Monday, August 15, 2011

New Friends and Old Stomping Grounds

Last week I had to go on a business trip to NYC and this time I planned to stay another day to head out fishing with Chris Stewart (TenkaraBum) and Alan Deutsch. We decided to fish KLG, a very scenic but sometimes crowded section on the South Branch of the Raritan River in New Jersey that I used to fish a lot before moving to Colorado in late Spring of 2008.

Typical KLG water...

... and pocket water
After we figured out logistics (take the train to NJ where Alan would pick Chris and me up and then drive to the river), we decided to meet early on Saturday morning and were on the river around 8.30am. Driving to the river, I was again reminded how green and lush the Northeast is compared to Colorado, where the predominant color is beige or sand, especially late in the Summer.

We got to the river which was running very low, just below 40cfs, lower than I ever saw it when still fishing in NJ, I think. A lot of the holes looked similar if not the same, but as you know, a river does change over time a bit. Big flows will do that. The access has changed though, where you used to drive along the entire stretch on River Road, you could now access KLG from the top and drive to the trestle pool where a new handycap ramp was built into one of my favorite spots or you could park at the lower end hike in.

Chris and I decided to hike from the trestle pool to the lower parking lot to see how the river looks like downstream and then started fishing our way up.

As it often is, catching a fish right off the start is not a good sign. I hooked up on the 6th cast with a nice brown trout that took the Killer Kebari in on the the better runs. After that, it all became a bit more difficult and fish became sparse. The water was so low that I eventually changed to a size 16 CDC and Elk (of course) thinking that fish just had to look up. I was able to entice a few risers but was unable to hook them at first, by noon I was only able to net two more brown trout with one lost after an aggressive hookup.

After lunch, we decided to give the fish (and ourselves) a bit of a rest and explored the river by car upstream and downstream. Chris wanted to see how the water further downstream and closer to the train station looked like, as he often ventures fishing by train. The water looked definitively fishy but appeared to  me to be more of a "warm water" species section and while I was test casting one of Chris' new top secret rods I was able to get into half a dozen blue gills (I think) and a small smallmouth bass.

Blue Gill...?

Baby Smallmouth Bass
Later in the afternoon we went back to KLG, hoping to get into an evening hatch. I got one more brown trout on a CDC & Elk but we had to pack-up soon since there was a big thunderstorm and heavy rain moving in.

Tired but happy we headed back to the train station.


  1. That's a beautiful stream. The markings on the brown are awesome.

    We have received some much need rain here in the northeast, and the streams have rebounded nicely.

  2. Sounds like you guys had a nice time...Still wish I could have been there. It's a good thing you were there on Sat. and not later. We had 11" of rain in some places here on L.I. on Sun. from the rain that moved in on you guys!

  3. Karel,

    We need to do this again (each time you come out)! Good thing we went Saturday. On Sunday the flow was 650 cfs.

  4. Glad for you guys that the much needed rain came but the amount is just mind boggling.

    I am looking forward coming back, maybe the fishing party will include a few more of us.