Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fly Shop Owner Mauled By Bear In Bow-Hunting Incident

Fly Shop Owner Mauled By Bear In Bow-Hunting Incident

I was shocked to learn about this incident.  We spent a lot of time at the Trout Hunter Shop this summer during our annual pilgrimage out west.  I hope Rich heals up real quick.  He is a very luck man!  Things could have turned out much worse the way the bears have been chewing on folks out there this year!

Friday, September 23, 2011

All may not be lost...

Photo from NJ Fish and Wildlife website

New Jersey Fish and Wildlife have been working hard to salvage the fish from the draining lake in my previous post.  Still no word on what the eventual outcome for the lake will be but the division is working hard to save as many fish as possible.  

Here is a report on the situation from their webpage:

September 21 Update:
An additional 1200 fish were removed from Prospertown Lake on Tuesday, September 20. The fish were relocated to Pemberton Lake WMA. The lake will be monitored over the next two weeks to evaluate if any additional removal/relocation is required.
September 16 Update:
An additional 2000 fish were collected from Prospertown Lake and relocated to Turnmill Pond on Thursday September 15. A total of approximately 3000 fish have been relocated thus far. The lake water level will be monitored over the weekend. Another day of electrofishing is planned for early next week.

September 15, 2011

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has been performing a fish salvage operation at Prospertown Lake (Ocean County) since the outlet structure failed earlier this week resulting in the lake's water level dropping substantially. The lake, a popular fishing destination, is located within the Prospertown Lake Wildlife Management Area.
As of Tuesday, September 13, 2011, approximately 1,000 black crappies, bluegills, yellow perch, brown bullheads and largemouth bass have been collected by Division Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries biologists and Bureau of Land Management personnel. The fish have been have been relocated to Turnmill Pond located on the nearby Colliers Mills WMA. Two electrofishing boats are being used to stun the fish, allowing staff to net and transfer them into a nearby hatchery truck.
The failure at the 80-acre lake in Hornerstown is believed to have been caused by the deterioration of the lake's outlet valve coupled with the additional flows from recent storm events. The exact cause of the failure will be determined once the lake drains and a thorough inspection of the outlet can be made. The lake is managed by the division.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Death of a fishery...

Hurricane Irene hit the northeast pretty hard.  Two of my local warm water haunts were destroyed by the storm. Both impoundments suffered a catastrophic dam failure and subsequently bled out.  What happened to the pictured lake left is a bit of a mystery.  The dam looks intact, but it appears that the floodgates may have ruptured.  Water is still rushing out at an alarming rate from the base of the dam but the waterline is no where near the dam at the current time, so I have no idea where the water is coming from.  The coves and shorelines are littered with the remains of fish.

On the back side of this high and dry island (to the right of the egret) Icaught my largest NJ bass of 2011, a spawned out female that pushed the scales to the seven pound mark. This was a favorite place to fish. I could be on the water in minutes from leaving my driveway. It was a convenient place to drown some flies after work and still be home in time to put kids to bed.

I saw NJ Fish & Wildlife in there during the week trying to rescue fish from the receding waters. I have no idea what the future holds for this lake. Will the dam be repaired, the lake restocked and restored to it's former self? Or, will it slowly dry out and return to a meandering stream.  Only time will tell...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Grayling In the lower 48

Grayling are a species of fish that have always intrigued me.  Usually associated with the far north and Europe, they are an exotic fish for a fellow that hails from New Jersey.  On our recent trip to Yellowstone Country we had an opportunity to fish for grayling in the park.

Grebe Lake has a healthy population of both grayling and rainbow trout.  The lake is an easy 3 mile walk from the road, the trail is as about as flat as they come for that part of the world.  Roughly three quarters of the shoreline is fishable, the rest of it is a tangle of deadfall from the big fire.  The lake once served as a hatchery for the park in the early days but any traces of that operation are long gone.  If you make the trek you will be rewarded with fine fishing in a wilderness setting. There are a couple of primitive campsites on the lake as well, if a overnight stay interests you, The walk is easy enough to consider packing in a float tube. Just be sure to check with the park on regulations concerning camping and watercraft.

My trips to this water usually occur in mid July and on every trip I have been blessed with blizzard like damsel fly hatches.  This year was no exception.  As a bonus, the fish showed no preference between the nymph or the adult fly.  Top water or down low, it was all up to the fisherman to decide!  Last trip out the adult damsels were a subtle olive color and this year they were a brilliant blue.

For nymphs a basic olive damsel pattern would work as good as anything else.

The highlight of the day however, is when we switched over to tenkara gear to take these fish.  Fishing with a tenkara rod proved much more effective and a hell of a lot more fun on these chunky, little fish.

Even a ten inch grayling would give you a run for your money, as the bend in my buddy Rick's rod clearly demonstrates.  Grebe Lake is a place I find myself coming back to year after year.  Its not a place your going to catch a wall hanger, but you will certainly experience quality fishing!