• Posted by Nick Honachefsky
  • On April 5, 2019
  • Comments
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Opening day of trout season is set to hit Jersey on April 6th, and streams are loaded to the brim with stockers and hatchery trout.

In all my life, I don’t believe I’ve ever missed an opening day of trout season in New Jersey. The day is not only a rite of passage, but it’s a family affair and a tradition that runs generations deep. Browns, rainbows, and brook trout are available in most streams, but don’t overlook reservoirs and clear water stocked lakes as well to target trout. Here’s how to gear up to put a stringer together.

Stream fishing is about finding the pools and pockets. Search out the deep holes usually downcurrent of a waterfall or spillover, long stretch runs and undercuts below overhanging stumps where schools of trout pack up to suck down morsels of food as they pass by. If live baiting, light tackle is a must. I use 4-6 St. Croix Ultralight matched with a Shimano Stradic 1000 spinning reel spooled with 4-pound Trilene XL and a size #10 Eagle Claw Baitholder hook with the barbs crimped down. Nightcrawlers, garden worms, mealworms and salmon eggs are all standard stream baits to lance on the hook. If I have enough of a wide span from streambank to streambank, its possible to cast out lures to work through the deepwater.

Lures to throw which mimic fathead minnows, shiners and dace include a Hildebrandt Flicker spoon, RoosterTails, Phoebes and even a small Mepps Agila. Flycasters are best suited to employ a 6 to 7-foot, 4 to 5 weight rod, a 6x to 7x tippet and tie on beadhead nymphs, flashback hare’s ears, elk hair caddis or Hendrickson flies, all depending on the hatch in the river at the time. Usual hatches to mimic are mayflies, caddis larvae and other assorted nymphs. Trout are not only morning and evening feeders but will bite throughout the day which makes for a fun, all day event for family and friends to enjoy a refreshing spring day out in the woods and waters. Take a step away from the saltwater for a second to make some freshwater memories this spring. Try for trout!


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