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New Jersey Fly Fishing Report January 11th-January 18th

Updated 1/11/18 - JH

Bubba is back:



Shannon's 2018 River News . . .

Happy New Year. We are coming out of the deep freeze. There hasn't been much to report on the fly fishing front as local waters were mostly locked up in ice but that is about to change beginning tomorrow. We've got rain in the forecast, hard to believe after the deep freeze but look for the water to start opening up after the mess that we'll see over the next few days. I'm planning to try and get that first fish sometime over the next few days and will let you know what I find.

Meanwhile you can go to the Outdoor Show in Edison this weekend or stop by the shop for Tying Classes both Saturday and Sunday. Matt Grobert will be our featured tyer this Sunday, January 14th and John Collins will be presenting his class on tying some of those awesome sculpins on January 21st. Classes are free but seating is limited and they begin at 9:30am.

 Stop by to pick up your new license and maybe a pair of fishing gloves or see some new gear like the new Scott G series or T&T Avant fly rods, Ross reels or Fishpond. Stock up on fly tying materials, it's just that time until this weather thaws a bit.

The Bubba Contest is back. Over 400 Rainbows and Brown Trout between 12-21 inches were stocked along with two large tagged "Bubbas", a Brown and a Rainbow. This is a catch and release contest. Catch one of the tagged Bubba trout, remove the jaw tag and release the fish to win a new fly rod or equivalent prize worth $350.00. Midge hatches will continue all winter but mayflies and caddis are done until spring except for a few BWO's on spring creeks. It is a good idea to downsize your fly selection now. Fish size 16 and smaller as the bugs you are imitating are either midges or immature nymphs and caddis larva. Stoneflies will be our first hatch beginning in late January most years. Wild fish have spawned so leave those stretches alone while the eggs incubate in the gravel redds. Concentrate on the larger rivers that were recently stocked. Midge, spawn and streamer patterns are the most successful. Also, move around to find fish. 

General Hatches, Fly Recommendations and Tips . . .

Nymphing during the day: Fish tandem rigs to improve your success. Fish nymphs and emergers or midges in tandem. I always prefer to fish the larger fly first, but to each their own. The easiest way is to tie the first fly on as usual then attach the second by using a  clinch knot tied to the bend of the first fly. Space the flies about twenty inches apart. It is also a good idea to balance your tandems by keeping them within a couple of hook sizes of each other. Use enough weight to keep the flies just off the bottom drifting slowly. Drag free drifts are a must now. Keep as little fly line on the water as possible and pay attention! Strikes may be subtle or fierce. If using a strike indicator, place it one and a half to twice the depth of the water you are fishing from the first fly. Any additional weight should be about six to eight inches from the first fly.   Streamers: Muddler Minnows, Woolly Buggers, Grey Ghost, Black Nose Dace, and Zonkers if the water is off color. 

  • Hare’s Ear nymph standard and beadhead #14-18.

  • Pheasant Tails #16-22 with or without a bead.

  • Trail a RS2 or WD40 #16-22 Grey, Brown or BWO to imitate those small Baetis nymphs so common now.

  • Rainbow Warrior #18-20 Another great midge larva pattern

  • Prince Nymph/ Zug Bug (Beadhead, Poxy Back, Standard) Great for  stoneflies.

  • Egg or Sucker Spawn patterns #16-18

  • Scuds and Sow bugs: Olive, Grey or Tan, #16-18

  • Caddis Larva: Olive, Green or Chartreuse is a must right now #14-18.

  • Midge Larva: Disco midges in Green, Red, or Black size 18-22

  • Woolly Buggers: Black, Olive and Brown #10-14 Conehead Muddler Minnows work too.

Note: I use larger nymphs and bead-heads when the water is higher and less weight when water drops. On the South Branch, use the heavier flies when the stream flow exceeds about 175-185 cfs. 


Current Local Hatch Chart . . . 

Lemon Cahill    March Brown  

Updated 1/11/2018


MORNING (6am-10am)

Note: Some hatches overlap time periods



ALL DAY 10am-5pm


Midges may be hatching. Try a small Adams or BWO Parachute #18-22


Dry Flies:











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