Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day 281: Winter Wading

Josh "Schmosh" Merrill with a chunky South Branch brook trout.
When: Friday, February 17th, from 1pm to 5:30pm
Where: The South Branch of the Raritan River via the Ken Lockwood Gorge and Clinton
What: Trout fishing
Weather: Fair skies, 50 degrees, SW winds 10 to 16mph and gusting higher
Barometric Pressure: 29.97in and steady
Moon: Waning, 3 days after the last quarter
Water Conditions: Very cold and very clear

Man, I haven't seen Josh in probably 15 years, so this was pretty cool.

It turned out that Josh, Joe and myself all had the day off on Friday, so we decided to meet in the Ken Lockwood Gorge where I know people have been catching some fish.

I just had one thing to do first.

After finalizing my resignation at 11:30, it was home to exchange the suit and tie for a hat and jeans then head out Route 78W. I couldn't have asked for a better day to celebrate my new job, as the temp was headed on its way towards 50 degrees.

The Gorge was beautiful, like always, but we found it packed with anglers and the fish didn't seem to be anywhere in sight. The three of us did our best to dissect the pools that didn't have someone fishing in them, but it was slow going. After what was probably a couple hours and a mile of hiking upstream, Joe landed a nice brookie. Even after that bit of success, we had pretty much had our fill of the Gorge and we headed out to find better opportunities. Since I had a few spots in the area that have produced fish for me, we decided to check them out in hopes of having some better luck. Our first trip was to a small pond that I know is loaded with huge bluegills and solid bass, but they just didn't feel like biting on this day. After that it was off to Clinton, where Joe and Josh had never been before. Over the course of the next hour, they combined for two nice brookies and a native brown. I didn't have any luck, but putting someone on fish is almost as good as catching them yourself.....Almost.

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