Tag Archives: Fall

Low Waters at the Orvis Game Fair

Last weekend was the 10th annual Orvis Game Fair at Sandannona in Millbrook, NY. Orvis Sandonona Shooting Grounds is the oldest permitted shooting preserve in the United States. These grounds have a lot of history on them and it is a special treat to visit every year. The last two years have witnessed warm beginnings to the autumn, as you would expect this delay of cool weather and rain adversely impacts the fall Trout fishing season.

This time of year, warm water fish are very prevalent.
This time of year, warm water fish are very prevalent.

This year a group of us grabbed a few campsites at the Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park off of the Taconic State Parkway. The park is over fourteen thousand acres and features two bodies of water, Canopus Lake and Pelton Pond. The location was perfectly situated between the West Branch of the Croton and Dutchess County rivers. Our logic was that we needed to focus on the tail waters of the Croton watershed due to the low level drought.

Camp Kitchen
Camp Kitchen

Fishing Report

The West Branch of the Croton below Boyd’s Corner was fishable, however mostly warm water species were hitting and flows were low. Mark had a swing and a miss out of the reservoir by a Brown Trout. The freestone streams of Dutchess County were all the lowest I have seen them over the past five years. They are still fishable for Smallmouth Bass when they are very low. I even managed to find a few Trout in one deep and cool pool.

A Dutchess county born wild Brown Trout.
A Dutchess county born wild Brown Trout.

The Game Fair

Every year we manage to find a new and exciting vendor at this expanding and vibrant event. This year we ran into the Merritt Bookstore and the Mid Hudson Trout Unlimited Club. The Mid Hudson TU is a finely organized club and their book on the waters of Dutchess County is a lucrative source of information. We also ran into the author of a new book, “The History of the Hudson Valley,” Vernon Benjamin.

You find the neatest artifacts at the game fair. This Hardy set is un fished and for sale.
You find the neatest artifacts at the game fair. This Hardy set is un fished and for sale.

Cast and Blast Weekend

Sassafras tree showing off its colors.
Sassafras tree showing off its colors.

The fall is at its peak here in the Skylands region of New Jersey. Farm country is humming with the annual rituals of harvest season apple picking, fall foliage, hard cider, wine tastings, craft beers and of course what we do here, Trout fishing. After a long summer hiatus and a hard skunking up on the Salmon River we are back in New Jersey and loving the weather.

Osprey doing a fly by.
Osprey doing a fly by.

After an aborted spring stocking season, New Jersey Fish and Wildlife revved up the stocking program with a strong fall stocking of catchable Rainbow Trout. Many of the local streams still have resident Trout due to the unseasonably cool summer and lower than normal interest in Trout fishing for the 2014 season.

Mark caught a few stockies.
Mark caught a few stockies.

Mark and I decided it was time to get out there and hone in our casting skills while prepping for Pheasant season which kicks off on November 8th at daylight. The MKFF crew plans on doing a fall Cast and Blast series about exploring the fallowed fields and the streams that wind through them this fall.

Bees nest in the trees.
Bees nest in the trees.

The Cast

Our local cosmonaut.
Our local cosmonaut.

The primary hatches expected in New Jersey streams have passed as the weather has consistently cooled. Sunday night provided us with our first full frost throughout the county. This does not mean the Trout are not biting, what works has changed but they are still eating. Midges, Woolly Buggers, Egg Patterns and midges are all good choices for the Trout.

Wild New Jersey Rainbow Trout with beautiful colors.
Wild New Jersey Rainbow Trout with beautiful colors.

Water flows are still coming up from their summer nadir therefore a good rain in the middle of the week helps fishing on the weekend. Fortunately, the weather pattern seems to be cooperating.

The Blast

.357 Revolver holstered on the hip.
.357 Revolver holstered on the hip.

Pheasant season in New Jersey opens on November 8th 2014 and intermittently continues through mid February with a brief intermission for regular Shotgun season. Personally, my shotgun skills have gotten a little rusty in the off season as I have not found much time to practice shooting. This fall weekend made for the perfect opportunity to try out the thrower.

Mark keeps the peace.
Mark keeps the peace.

This coming weekend, The Rockport Pheasant Farm is having an open house at their Hazen Road location in Hackettstown. New Jersey Fish and Wildlife will be opening the doors of the Pheasant farm for tours on Saturday October 25, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Lead the bird!
Lead the bird!
Mark's aim was dead on.
Mark’s aim was dead on.