Big Bow & Crowded Jersey Water

I had so much fun fly fishing the Pequest River in New Jersey last weekend that I decided I’d head there again on Sunday morning. I was interested in fishing the portions of the Seasonal Trout Conservation Area that I hadn’t been able to cover because I’d run out of daylight. I arrived at the river around 9:00am on Sunday. The weather forecast was calling for sunny skies with a light breeze and temps in the upper 30s. The sunshine had quite a few more fishermen on the water than the prior weekend. I set up my Winston fly rod with a 9-foot leader and a 5X, 24” section of tippet tied to a Flashback Hare’s Ear Nymph. Below the Hare’s Ear Nymph I tied a #20 Black Zebra Midge, the fly that is becoming my most successful winter pattern. It makes sense being that the midge larva is one of the only things the trout are seeing drifting by them during the month of January. Another new addition to my fly fishing gear was a new pair of Orvis Encounter waders and a pair of Simms Boa boots. It was a luxury to head out fishing with a pair of waders that I knew weren’t going to leak. My 2016 experience with leaking Patagonia and Simms waders is worthy of its own blog post at some point. The Simms Boa boots I wavered on buying because I know they are disliked by fly fishing guides due to the inability to make quick repairs in the field. I ended up going with them anyways because I have been tired of trying to tie frozen laces and get into and pull off wet wading boots.

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Frozen Reels & Rainbows on the Pequest River

I woke up Saturday morning to the sound of snow blowers running outside. A couple of inches of fresh snow had fallen overnight in southeastern Pennsylvania and it was cold outside. The temperatures on Saturday were forecasted to be in the high 20s with a “real feel” that was much lower. This was the only time this year that I paused for a second while rolling out of bed to consider whether or not I wanted to venture out to water somewhere to wet a fly line. But it didn’t take long for me to convince myself to get out there and soon I had my truck packed and warming up. Earlier in the week I’d been continuing my research on trout waters in New Jersey. One name that kept coming up was the Pequest River.

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