The holiday season is once again upon us. I have been getting in as much fishing as I can before the water gets hard. The late fall fishing has been fantastic, lots of fish and no crowds. On days where the weather is less than ideal for fishing I have spent the time tying flies. It feels good to have full fly boxes once again. I did not get a lot of mid season fly tying in this year so my fly boxes are in serious need of replenishment. I should have the nymph boxes squared away by Christmas then it's on to streamers and dries. Late fall and winter fly fishing can be very enjoyable as long as you are prepared for the conditions and pick your days. Another favorite activity of mine during this time of year is attending area hunting and fishing shows.
Central Jersey Trout Unlimited will have a presence at two area shows next month. The first show is the New Jersey Outdoor Sportsman Show at the New Jersey Expo Center in Edison, New Jersey. The show dates are January 13 - 16, 2011. The second event is the Fly Fishing Show at the Expo Center in Somerset, New Jersey starting January 21st through the 23rd, 2011. As I stated earlier we will have a booth at both events, so stop by and say hello.
There is not much going on at the present time in regards to projects. We are currently in a holding pattern on the Point Mountain project and I honestly don't expect any change in this status any time soon.
For those of you that attended Ozzy's presentation on the CJTU fly tying event, you will be happy to know that the DVD's are ready and will be at the meeting. If you pre ordered you will be able to pick them up at this month's meeting and I believe there may be a few extras available for purchase as well.
Speaking of this month's meeting we will giving a presentation on Tenkara. For those that may be unfamiliar with the term, it refers to a Japanese style of fly fishing. Tenkara is a simplified style of fly fishing utilizing a long rod and no reel. Several members of the chapter and myself will be presenting the material, I think you will find it an interesting presentation. In addition to the talk we will have Tenkara equipment and flies on hand for demonstration purposes.
That's it for now. Let me take this opportunity to wish every one a happy and safe holiday season and healthy and prosperous New Year. Merry Christmas!
You can contact Bart at
I can't believe it is November already; this year has really past by quickly. As we move into the cooler months there is still plenty of fishing to be had. In my opinion some of the best fishing of the year is taking place right know. During the last few weeks the fishing has been great, though there have been some challenges like falling leaves in the water. Depending on where you are fishing, this problem should be coming to an end. I am starting to notice a lot of spawning activity on some waters, which is always a good sign. Our trout need all the help they can get to successfully reproduce. Please help them out by not fishing directly to spawning fish, also try to to disturb them when they are one their redds by avoiding wading through areas that are being used for fish for spawning.
Now that the weather is turning cooler many fly fisherman are doing less fishing and more fly tying. If you are a fly tier you may be interested in attending the 2010 International Fly Tying Symposium taking place at the Double Tree Hotel on November 20th&21st. Speaking of area shows, CJTU will have a presence at two local shows after the first of the year. The first show is the New Jersey Outdoor Sportsman Show at the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center in Edison, NJ. The dates are January 13th - 16th. We are always looking for volunteers for this show to help out with the children’s fly tying. If you can tie some a wooley bugger please consider coming out and lending a hand, we’ll even get you free admission into the show if your working at our booth. The next event is the Fly Fishing Show, taking place at the New Jersey Convention Center in Somerset, NJ. The dates for this show are January 21st - 23rd.
We will be kicking off our annual fund raising efforts shortly. This year we will be raffling off a trip for two to the Delaware River, which will include guided floats and lodging. The tickets will be sent out by mail to everyone on our mailing list. When you receive the tickets please consider supporting your chapter by purchasing a few tickets. As usual tickets will also be available at our meetings and shows. We will also be running a separate raffle for the “Ultimate Trout Fly Selection”. This collection of consisting of hundreds of flies that have been tied by our members is up for grabs. Chances to win will only be a dollar apiece and will be sold at all meetings and shows through March 2011. We will also be giving away a fly or spinning outfit (winners choice) at the NJ Outdoor Sportsman Show so remember to stop by our booth and pick up a ticket for a buck.
I’m up against a tight deadline but I wanted to mention the NJ Fly Fisherman of the Year contest, which took place this Saturday at the Raritan Inn. This funding raising event for TU and various watershed associations was a blast. I don’t have the time or the space for all the details so look for a full report in next month’s MainStream. There is not much to other news to report. The Point Mountain Project is still in a holding pattern. That will wrap it up for this month. Get out there and fish before the water gets hard!
You can contact Bart at
I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful fall weather we have been experiencing. I'm pleased to announce that the trout fishing is picking up. The cooler waters are rousing the fish from their summer doldrums. For the most part the holdover fish, where you can find them, are in good shape and the browns and brookies are in their spawning colors. Another reason I love fall fishing is the lack of crowds. It very possible to find solitude and quality fishing on New Jersey waters at this time of year.
September was a busy month for us. Unfortunately lack of volunteer participation prevented us from attending all of the events on our calendar. The biggest event of the month was the outdoor expo located on the Assumpink Wildlife Management area. This was a very well attended event. It would have been a great venue to spread the word of what Trout Unlimited is all about. It also would have been a great time to reach out for the younger folks. There was a kids fishing area where our volunteers were desperately needed. This type of work is very important to our overall mission of conservation. The more folks know about us the easier it is to get the important work done. I strongly recommend that more folks get involved in the future. I hate to miss opportunities like this.
Coming up this month on Saturday the 9th is the Musky One Fly competition. This event being organized by Brian Cowden, Trout Unlimited's Home River Initiative Coordinator, will take place along the Musconetcong River. All of the proceeds from this event will go directly to the Point Mountain Restoration Project. For more information about the event, please see the article about the event written in this month's MainStream. I encourage folks to come out and give this one a try. It's for a good cause!
In regards to Point Mountain we are waiting for the permits before we can begin any work on the project. I received some news on the process that I will be discussing at next week's meeting. To sum things up I will be surprised if we see any movement on this project this fall.
This month's speaker at our general meeting is our very own "Ozzy". He will be presenting the long awaited video of the CJTU Fly Tiers. This presentation will highlight some of the favorite patterns of our best Fly Tiers. In addition you will have the opportunity to purchase the video if you wish, the cost is only $10.00. We will be accepting orders for the DVD at Tuesday's meeting. Orders will be taken at this month's meeting and the DVD's will be available for pick up at a future meeting.
That's it for now. We have a beautiful weekend coming up so go out and wet a line!
You can contact Bart at
Summer is over. Although some may lament, like my kids who have headed back to school or my wife, the teacher, who is also heading back to school, I'm pretty excited. The end of summer means the return of trout fishing in NJ. It's not that I have not wetted a line for trout over the summer. I have, but not in New Jersey. In most years I stop fishing for trout here at home around the middle to end of June. The waters simply get to warm to fish with out the risk of fatally stressing the fish. So as the sun moves lower in the sky and the days shorten, the waters cool, bringing a return of my favorite pastime.
September is a busy month for Central Jersey Trout Unlimited. We have quite a few events coming up. Some of these events we have committed to, some are we are still sitting on the fence waiting to see if we will have enough volunteers to staff them. A quick run down includes, the first annual Green Fair in Clinton, NJ on September 18th, the NJ Wild Outdoors Expo in Upper Freehold in the Assunpink wildlife area on September 25 & 26th and finally the 8th annual Musconetcong Watershed Association Wine Tasting event on September 26. For all the details look for the articles in this month's MainStream or check our website.
The Point Mountain project is currently in holding pattern as we await the permits to begin the work. I have been assured, that once the permits have been secured that work can begin quickly, but that always depends on environmental conditions. So it is unknown whether we will actually "get wet" this fall. If we do get a green light we will be looking for volunteers, likely on short notice, so keep checking that inbox for our action alerts.
Coming up next month, we have the Musky One Fly Tournament on Saturday October 9th. All proceeds from this event will go towards our Point Mountain project. Get involved in this one it should be a blast. For all the details visit our website. We have also been invited to the Riverfest in Bound Brook on October 2nd, if we can get the volunteers to staff it. Look for additional information in an action alert as we get closer.
For those that are interested, the state has announced their fall and winter stocking programs. Approximately 21,000 fish will be stocked in 16 watersheds during two stocking periods in October and November. This will be the third consecutive year that the state has stocked these larger fish in the fall.
Finally I want to remind all of our fly tiers to begin bringing in their flies for our Ultimate Trout Selection raffle. We will be collecting flies at every meeting until the box is full. One of our members, Ron Ruskai, has agreed to stuff the box with flies to give us a good head start on this project. We need everyone's help on this one so start tying.
That's about it for this month. Remember we are starting up our regular meetings on the second Tuesday of each month. Come out and spend an evening with us.
You can contact Bart at
This summer is turning out to be a hot one. I have not cast a fly to a trout in New Jersey since the second week in June. During these warmer months its best to give these coldwater fish a break until the cooler weather returns. So what is a dyed in the wool trout angler to do? Go to Montana!
A good-sized group of Central Jersey Trout Unlimited members headed off to the wilds of Montana for ten days of trout fishing. I had great time, beautiful scenery, great weather & loads of laughter. The fishing? It was tougher than normal but I managed to catch them though I had to work for it. Though its great to be home I am already planning my next trip back. We are thinking about sharing some of the details of our trip in the form of a presentation at an upcoming meeting.
We are hoping for a speedy permit process and good weather this fall so the work on the Point Mountain Project can begin. We have started to release some of the funds we have earmarked for this project. Hopefully we will soon be able to report that work has begun on this important restoration project.
We have decided to run a different type of fundraising raffle this year. We are planning to raffle off a mega fly selection in the spring of next year. Our hope is to have all of our fly tying members tie a dozen flies and donate them to the cause. We will be displaying the flies at our monthly meetings so you can watch the collection grow. Dry flies, wet flies nymphs or streamers, traditional patterns or secret weapons, we will take them all. Bring your flies to the meeting and we will add them to the box. Tickets will be available for purchase at every meeting at all of our special events.
I want to remind everyone that we resume our regular meting schedule in September. We will meet at 8:00pm on the second Tuesday of the every month in the usual location, the American Legion Hall In Dunellen. We have some great speakers lined up this fall so come out and join us.
You can contact Bart at
Summer is upon us! This was painfully evident over the last week with the triple digit temperatures. In most years the coming of July means a break from New Jersey trout fishing for me. Surviving summer is no easy task for a trout in New Jersey waters. Although we do have a few waters that have no problem holding cooler temperatures during the summer, it is not the norm. In most rivers that have a holdover population of trout, the fish are stressed by warm water temperatures. In late June I witnessed close to a hundred trout of all sizes stacked up in a seam of cooler water flowing in from a small feeder stream. When you observe that type of behavior fishing is out of the question. Hooking and playing a fish in water temps over 70 degrees could prove fatal to a trout. During the summer I give New Jersey trout a break and pursue them in other areas or switch to other species of fish.
I am pleased to announce that Central Jersey Trout Unlimited’s board of directors unanimously voted to fund the Point Mountain rehabilitation project. This project on the Musconetcong River will improve trout habitat on several hundred yards of marginal water on the Point Mountain tract. Depending on water conditions this important work should begin this fall. As soon as specific details emerge we will share them through an action alert.
I hope everyone has a great summer. As a reminder we do not hold regular meetings during the months of July and August. Our meetings will resume in September on the second Tuesday of the month at the usual time (8:00pm).
You can contact Bart at
I hope everyone is getting a chance to get out and wet a line this spring. The fishing has been fantastic. Late spring is one of the best times to be on the water. The crowds are dwindling and it is not uncommon to have the entire river to your self after Memorial Day. Just be mindful of water temps as we approach the summer season. Always try to avoid fishing for trout when the water temperature exceeds 70 degrees. Fighting a trout in water 70 degrees or higher can put extreme levels of stress on the fish. In this situation seemingly healthy fish can die shortly after their release. So remember to bring a thermometer with you and use it often.
Central Jersey Trout Unlimited will have a presence at the Treasures of the South Branch Festival, in Clinton New Jersey on June 12th. This festival will feature exhibits on outdoor recreation, the environment and local history. Come out and spend the day with us.
There has been some progress on the Musconetcong River Point Mountain Tract Stream Rehabilitation Project. This project will attempt to improve several hundred yards of habitat in this area. As many of you know, the Point Mountain tract is designated as a Trout Conservation Area. Central Jersey Trout Unlimited has adopted this section of river as our home water. If you are familiar with this piece of water you are probably aware of the long shallow section in the center of this area. This marginal water holds very few fish and acts as a heat sink, heating up the water downstream. Our goal is to “redesign” this section of stream by increasing depth, adding structure and preventing bank erosion. When completed, we will restore fish and invertebrate habitat to this part of the river. As you can imagine this will be a massive undertaking and an expensive one. To date we have committed $2500.00 and have obtained a grant for an additional $3000.00 for this project. To see this project to completion it will require an additional $6000.00 dollars. We will discuss this issue at our next general meeting and welcome your input. Brian Cowden, the Musconetcong Home Rivers Initiative Coordinator, will be our guest speaker at the June Meeting and will have all the details of this important project.
With expensive projects like Point Mountain looming in our immediate future we are very concerned about our finances. The board of directors has been discussing numerous ideas on fundraising to help off set the costs of large-scale projects like Point Mountain. In addition to our annual raffle, we are looking to put together a “fly box” raffle. Our intention is to collect hundreds of flies, tied by our members, and offer this massive collection as a raffle prize. I am asking every fly tier to consider donating a dozen flies to this cause. Whether you are a beginner or an expert tier we welcome your contribution. Our goal is to create the ultimate collection of trout flies. This collection will be on display at our regular meetings so you can watch it grow and decide for yourself what flies it is missing to make it the “Ultimate Collection”. The sale of raffle tickets at a dollar apiece will begin immediately and will be offered for sale at monthly meetings and shows. We are also looking at other ideas like a “One Fly Competition” and we hope to have more information on that in the future.
On the topic of fund raising I would like to acknowledge one of our members, Richard Dooley. Rich recently presented Central Jersey Trout Unlimited with a check for $750.00 from his employer, Verizon Wireless. Many corporations support their employees volunteer efforts in charitable organizations, does yours? If so, why not consider having them support your favorite charity, Trout Unlimited.
Please remember that our June meeting is scheduled for the third Tuesday in June (June 15).
You can contact Bart at
I would like to start off by apologizing for the absence of my President's Letter in last month's addition of Main Stream. I had to attend to some personal business and was not able to get my letter to our editor in time for the deadline.
This is a great time of year to be a trout angler! The bugs are hatching, the days are warm but not too warm and this year we are blessed with good water levels. Overall the fishery appears to be in pretty good shape. The opening day crowds have given up on trout fishing and it is possible to find solitude on rivers that were lined with fisherman a few weeks back.
March and April are busy times for our chapter. In March we had a presence at the Pequest Hatchery Open House. We assisted at the education pond teaching youngsters how to fish and we demonstrated fly tying and answered questions inside the main building. In April we conducted our annual clean-up of the Musconetcong River. I don't have the final numbers but it appears it was a big success. We removed a lot of trash and debris from the river and its banks. I strongly encourage everyone to participate in these events in the future.
Planning for our big project on the Point Mountain section of the Musconetcong River is moving along but we have been faced with some funding issues. Hopefully I will have more to report on this subject next month as we work through this issue. We are still conducting trout stocking on this section of the river and will continue to do so right up until the end of May. If you are going to fish Point Mountain please remember that the regulations have changed this year. This section of stream is now designated as a year round Trout Conservation Area. In a nutshell this means artificial lures only and you can only keep one fish over 15". If you decide to keep a fish you must stop fishing (no "trading up").
We have some good speakers lined up for you before we take our summer break. So if you pull yourself away from the water, come out and join us at our monthly meetings. I would like to remind everyone that our June meeting date is on the third Tuesday of the month not the second.
Since I would rather go fishing than write about fishing I am going to wrap things up here. I hope everyone is getting a chance to spend some time on the water. When you're out there think about how important our trout streams are to you. While you're at it, think about what you can do to assist us in preserving this resource.
You can contact Bart at
It looks like winter may finally be loosening its grip on us. I actually got out on the water today and at times I was down right warm. My multiple layers were a bit much for the temperature that ended up near fifty degrees. I had my doubts when the day started; it was 36 degrees and snowing on my ride to the river in the morning. Once things warmed up, the fish started eating and it turned out to be a great day. Not tons of fish but enough to keep things interesting. I’m looking forward to warmer weather and the color green on the ground instead of white.
I am also looking forward to the upcoming events that Central Jersey Trout Unlimited has in the works. On March 27th and 28th we will be at the Pequest Trout Hatchery taking part in the Open House event. We will be at the education pond helping out with the kids fishing and we will also have a fly tying demo set up indoors. Come out and spend the day with us. Better yet, volunteer some of your time and lend a hand. E-mail me at and I provide all of the details.
Our next event will be the Musconetcong River clean-up scheduled for Saturday, April 17th. Why don’t you come out and spend a few hours helping us clean up the river, before heading out to wet a line. We’ll even provide lunch! You can find all the details in this month’s newsletter.
Fundraising has been a hot topic at the last few board of directors meetings. Our chapter, like many of you, is really feeling a pinch in this economy. Were looking for some help with this year’s raffle. Normally we only distribute our raffle tickets through the mail. It was suggested that maybe our members could help us out. If you feel you could sell a few tickets to family or friends we’ll have them at our next general meeting. The drawing will be at the open house at the end of the month. If you decide to take a few tickets we will work out the details to ensure everyone gets into the drawing. As always we are always looking for new ways to generate income. If you have any suggestions please share them with us.
Central Jersey Trout Unlimited has joined the social media craze! We now have a Facebook page. The idea was suggested by one of our members as another way to get our word out. You can check us out at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Central-Jersey-Trout-Unlimited/338645994649?v=wall . Stop by and become a fan!
We have a great program scheduled for our upcoming meeting. The program will cover trout biology and behavior and how it applies to fishing. Our speaker, Tom Brtalik is a Pennsylvania guide with over 30 years fishing experience. Stop by Tuesday night and check it out.
Well that’s it for this month. Lets hope we’ve seen the last of the snow!
As I write this I am staring out into blizzard conditions. There is about ten inches of snow on the ground and my area is forecasted a total of 18” -22” inches before it is all over. So much for fishing! I had every intention of heading out this weekend for the first trip of the year. I spent an evening earlier this week prepping my gear, restocking fly boxes, checking supplies of tippet material and arranging everything for a quick departure Saturday morning. This was the first free weekend I had this year and now I am snow bound! Normally I would have 2 or 3 fishing trips under my belt by this time of year.
One of the reasons there has not been too much fishing is the weekends have been filled with CJTU activity. January was busy month, filled with fly tying demos and outdoor shows. I bumped into a lot of folks from the chapter at the Fly Fishing Show. It was great talking to all of you. We are hoping to have a very busy spring this year as well. We should start to see some work begin on a few of our projects.
Keep an eye on your mailbox over the next few days. We mailed out this year’s fund raising raffle. This year we are giving away a special T.U. 50th Anniversary fly rod and reel with a bunch other goodies thrown in as well. We realize that times are tough out there for a lot of folks, but if you have the ability to contribute a few dollars please consider it. We have a major stream rehabilitation project starting on the Musconetcong River this year. All of the proceeds from our fundraising activities this year will be going towards funding this project.
Winter days like today are a great time to break out the fly tying materials and tie up some flies. If you looking for some fly tying ideas, our Fly of the Month is a good place to start. I have been tying a few hours every evening after the wife and kids go to bed, and I am quickly restocking my boxes with flies that were lost last season as well as adding a few new patterns. In fact as soon as I finish this letter, I’m heading downstairs throwing a few logs on the fire and spending the day behind the vice. If I can’t fish I might as well tie flies!
I would like to start off by wishing every one a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. The beginning of the new year is always a busy time for us. During the month of January, CJTU will be present at three area events. On Saturday January 9th, Central Jersey Trout Unlimited will be conducting a fly tying demonstration at Efinger Sporting Goods on Rt. 28, in Boundbrook, NJ. As an added incentive, Efinger’s is running a month long sale on fly tying materials, this is an excellent time to stock up.
We will also be present at two fishing shows this month. The first show is the Garden State Outdoor Sportsman Show. The dates are January 14-17 and the show will be held at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center at the Raritan Center in Edison, NJ. At this show we will be running all of our normal activities. There will be fly tying lessons for the kids as well as casting demonstrations and instruction in the casting pool. We will also have our merchandise for sale, including flies tied by our members. In addition we will be running a fly-casting competition. There will be plenty of prizes including a brand new fly rod. Our booth will have a brand new look this year, so be sure to stop by, take a few casts and check out the new booth.
The second show is the Fly Fishing Show. The dates are January 22-25, the show will be held at the Garden State Convention Center in Somerset, NJ. We will be in our usual location, in the front lobby, so stop by and say hello.
Our very own Wendell Ozefovich, better known as Ozzie, has just released his fourth video in his Underwater World Of Trout series titled Trout Vision and Refraction. To assist CJTU in our fundraising endeavors Ozzie as offered to donate $5.00 to the chapter for each video we sell at our booth. If this video is on your wish list (if its not it should be!), purchase it from the CJTU booth at either show or at our meetings and help out your chapter.
As many of you know, the Musconetcong River is Central Jersey Trout Unlimited’s home river. Though the river supports miles of trout habitat, our chapter has taken an interest in a very special part of that stream, the Point Mountain tract. Years ago we fought to get seasonal trout conservation regulations on this stretch of water. Over the years we have also assisted in stocking this section of stream. Our members distribute the fish, by hand, throughout the entire tract. I am pleased to announce, effective this year, we now have year round trout conservation regulations on the Point Mountain tract. This beautiful piece of water has the ability to hold trout year round. These new regulations will go a long way to protect these fish. If this section of stream has one fault, it is the shallow, marginal water in the center of the property. I am pleased to announce a major stream rehabilitation project is underway to restore trout holding water to this area. Our chapter recently pledged $2,000.00 towards this project and recently received a $3,000.00 dollar grant from The Trout and Salmon Foundation to apply to this work as well. Unfortunately much more money is needed. The money we raise during this year’s fund raising event will go directly to this project.
If you can find some soft water, go out and catch some trout. Winter is our most overlooked season. Nymphing may be the best way to go but warmer days may bring on some midge hatches and as the year progresses, little black stones are always a possibility on some waters. That’s all for now.