Unlike many regions with large natural reproducing populations of Trout, New Jersey has something of a spectacle for “Opening Day.” Normally, anglers prefer to fish in peace and solitude, especially when seeking the illustrious Trout. If you are seeking quiet, relaxation and seclusion, Opening Day is something to be avoided. Realistically, it’s as if the nation’s most densely populated state, hosts a riverside party one-day a year. Once you accept Opening Day for what it is, a spectacle, its actually quite enjoyable.
The MKFF crew arrived early to find upwards of twenty people assembled in one of our favorite holes. On numbers alone, we were able to establish dominance at the pool, effectively holding the “worm dunkers” at bay as they coveted the prime territory our troops were holding. Nick was hysterical, issuing minute-by-minute updates as to how close we were to 8AM.
Thirty minutes of casting into a moderate sized hole with ever increasing numbers of bait fisherman is enough to drive you mad. The cool temperatures in the previous week had also made the fish a little slow. We quickly voted to move on to less traveled waters.
Around mid-day Mark was able to cast off the skunk, pulling in a nice Brook Trout. Simultaneously, several miles and a few towns over, Mike caught his first New Jersey Brown Trout since moving to California mid-way through last year.
Once every bit of water in the state had been walked through uncountable times we decided to stop by Dr. Ed’s party for lunch. Every year he puts together a delicious lunch of Jambalaya, Smoked Trout and Jameson Whiskey. This year Mark added his Brook Trout to the smoker.
While everyone else slept, (after a long night of Opening Day festivities) I headed back to where we started. There may not be as many fish in the river on day 2; this is fine considering there are many less people. The weather was more cooperative, two days in the mid-sixties really livened up the Trout.
I took the time to set up a quality nymph rig out, using a Flashback Hare’s Ear Nymph and a Pheasant Tail, weighted with a small to medium sized sinker, the Trout wanted to feed! My rig quickly pulled up several small Brown Trout and more surprisingly a Perch!
As I was standing there, taking in the solitude, two children about 10 years old, walked to the other side of the river from me and took a cast. They watched quietly as I pulled up a Trout, no sooner had a minute gone by and they had a Trout on too! The one kid, wearing a pair of short Muck Boots, walks out into the stream and SPLASH, he face plants!. I chuckled to myself, it happens to the best of us, take a bath to land that Trout (He emerged from the water unharmed and holding his Trout).
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