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Pequest Winter Fly Fishing


GilV

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I had a Spring and Fall Atlantic Salmon trip cancelled because of covid and the border closure. I had salmon and steelhead trips cancelled to NY, because of their wacky covid regulations.

I never fished the Pequest. Is it decent trout fishing in winter? Got cabin fever and will be doing a lot of home state fishing this year instead of counting on out of state trips. Planning on fishing between the hatchery and Orchard street bridge. Any recommendations for local flies to the river would be appreciated.

I checked this site out, but any other fly recommendations would help from guys that fish it in winter. http://www.perfectflystore.com/wpequestr.html

Thanks

Gil

 

 

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pequest is good in the winter. find the holes and fish low and slow. have to get your flies right in front of them. use alot of shot to get down. getting snagged is a good start. for example, put enough shot on until you get snagged, then with each cast after that remove one shot until your flie are floating very close to the bottom but not snagging. 

every little twitch or or stop in your line  set the hook. 

any small nympths work. i like using black PTs, brassies, and sinking griffins knats. of course your streamers may get a bigger fish to bite. 

at least thats how i fish winter trout. have fun out there. 

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4 hours ago, GilV said:

I had a Spring and Fall Atlantic Salmon trip cancelled because of covid and the border closure. I had salmon and steelhead trips cancelled to NY, because of their wacky covid regulations.

I never fished the Pequest. Is it decent trout fishing in winter? Got cabin fever and will be doing a lot of home state fishing this year instead of counting on out of state trips. Planning on fishing between the hatchery and Orchard street bridge. Any recommendations for local flies to the river would be appreciated.

I checked this site out, but any other fly recommendations would help from guys that fish it in winter. http://www.perfectflystore.com/wpequestr.html

Thanks

Gil

 

 

The Pequest is a tail of two rivers. Upstream of the Pequest Trout Hatchery which I suggest you ignore and below the hatchery to the Delaware. There are always fish moving in and out of the hatchery and the river through the mill race which you are not allowed to fish. But the effluent coming out of the hatchery creates an intense midge hatch especially along the left bank below the Hatchery outflow. That is why that spot is so popular with anglers. The fish learn to midge all day and all night and gorge themselves on tiny little flies. Flies like RS2s or other midge imitations work great. 
 

Below the bridge at the hatchery grounds and all the way to the Delaware, look for deeper, slower water in winter and drift low and slow. Lots of big rainbows. If they don’t eat midges, try dead drifting a black woolly bugger. Takes will be very subtle in winter. Don’t expect strike indicators to move much if fishing that way on a take. If you see it pause, set the hook. 

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1 hour ago, GilV said:

Thanks Bucksnbows. What size RS2 and midges 20 - 22? Woolly bugger size? How are Hares Ears and black stone nymphs on the Pequest?

i fish midges at 20 but have at 18. IMO wooley bugger size doesnt matter much, but drifting it with no life rather then giving action to it is more important. but with any fly fishing in the winter, go smaller and darker. hares ears are the go to nympth no matter what time of year, again just go smaller. fishing a black hares ear should do well. or a variation. try the traditional hares ear but tied with a black body etc...the key to winter fly fishing is low and slow. get those flies almost bouncing off the bottom. like i said before if your getting snagged your getting down. now focus on getting the drift. i like using the large thingabobbers as a strike indicator. they allow a slower drift with higher deeper water. 

the only thing with a slower drift is the trout have more time to see your fly. tie or buy good ones. 

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2 hours ago, GilV said:

Thanks Bucksnbows. What size RS2 and midges 20 - 22? Woolly bugger size? How are Hares Ears and black stone nymphs on the Pequest?

I go 18 down to 24 for midges and 10 or 12 in winter for buggers. Little black stones (LBS) won’t be important until later like February. Those become active near pool tail outs in the warmth of the day (11-3 ish). Small eggs are important now as well as scuds. 

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3 hours ago, Bucksnbows said:

The Pequest is a tail of two rivers. Upstream of the Pequest Trout Hatchery which I suggest you ignore and below the hatchery to the Delaware. There are always fish moving in and out of the hatchery and the river through the mill race which you are not allowed to fish. But the effluent coming out of the hatchery creates an intense midge hatch especially along the left bank below the Hatchery outflow. That is why that spot is so popular with anglers. The fish learn to midge all day and all night and gorge themselves on tiny little flies. Flies like RS2s or other midge imitations work great. 
 

Below the bridge at the hatchery grounds and all the way to the Delaware, look for deeper, slower water in winter and drift low and slow. Lots of big rainbows. If they don’t eat midges, try dead drifting a black woolly bugger. Takes will be very subtle in winter. Don’t expect strike indicators to move much if fishing that way on a take. If you see it pause, set the hook

why ignore the river upstream of the hatchery? I just starting exploring the pequest, thanks for the help. 

Edited by Bskies
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15 minutes ago, Bskies said:

why ignore the river upstream of the hatchery? I just starting exploring the pequest, thanks for the help. 

Because the swamps along the middle river were drained and the river channelized, that water gets too warm in summer. It is classified NT (Non Trout). Above that section you can find some colder water, but between the Hatchery outflow and the limestone ground water that mixes with river water, it is cold enough below the hatchery except on the hottest days for trout. That section is TM (Trout Maintenance). It is similar to the Musky in many ways because both are too warm in upstream reaches only to cool down due to tributaries and limestone karst groundwater mixing in. 

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Thanks for the advice. When I was young I fished Catskill streams and north jersey streams with small nymphs and dry flies. Since then I moved 37 years ago to the Jersey shore. I am used to big flies and fish. I have to get my head around these  small flies and smaller fish again. I may wind up just swinging streamers to practice casting, if I catch something great, if not that is OK too.

I will give some nymphing a try also and tie up some of these tiny flies, if I can see them. The lightest outfit I have is a Orvis Bamboo Nymph Midge rod. It is for 4 and 5 weight 7'6" and 7'9". I had the rod built for me from Orvis in the '70s and probably haven't used it since the '70s. I will give that a shot again for midges and nymphs. 

Thanks again for the info.

Gil

 

 

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