Need a Crash Course on Spring Flies

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Luke_M310
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Need a Crash Course on Spring Flies

Post by Luke_M310 » Sun Mar 21, 2021 1:59 pm

Per the title.

Excited to get out this spring and fish, but I’ve never trout fished NJ rivers before. Primarily looking at the Musky, if it matters. I know there are hatch charts, but I figure the crowd here has the experience to know what works and doesn’t.

I’m not after anyone’s secret recipe or anything. Just anything to get me started. Particularly re: nymphs, since I assume that’s what I’ll be fishing, mostly. Can I use the “standard” stuff (ie prince, copper John, hares ear, etc.)? If so, a rough size range? 14-18? Anything specific to the area? And of course, if fish actually would eat a dry, I’m curious about which particular bugs and sizes I should be looking at, as well.

Thanks!

barkeater
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Re: Need a Crash Course on Spring Flies

Post by barkeater » Sun Mar 21, 2021 7:24 pm

Standard stuff works and 14-18 is good. Throw in a pheasant tail and a Caddis imitator or two such as birds nest or La Fontaine and you will do fine for spring into summer. Add a few species specific Mayfly nymphs a few weeks before the hatch chart indicates that fly is popping not a bad idea. For dries there are plenty of hatch charts which give sizes and what should be hatching when. I'm not mentioning junk flies. :twisted:

Vance
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Re: Need a Crash Course on Spring Flies

Post by Vance » Mon Mar 22, 2021 7:41 am

Hi, One of the best is a Pheasant Tail nymphs in 14,16 and18. Gold ribbed hares ear in the same sizes. For dries Hendrickson’s ,Red Quill and dark caddis, small blue winged olives, blue quills. The Hendrickson and red quills in 12 or 14. The others in16 and 18. Musky is a good choice and don’t forget the South Branch. I like the Ramapo around Glen Gray bridge area also Flatbrook. Don’t know where you live but the upper Wanaque is also good and not that crowded. On the South Branch the gorge gets pounded and parking is hard. Bill the mailman

Jaybird
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Re: Need a Crash Course on Spring Flies

Post by Jaybird » Mon Mar 22, 2021 9:00 am

I would just add that besides all these great suggestions , get a few hares Ear nymphs without the bead. In a pinch you can float them in the surface film as a caddis pupa or a floating nymph/emerger , so it has dual uses . Also scuds scuds scuds after the Sulphers that's kinda what's left on the menu .

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lightenup
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Re: Need a Crash Course on Spring Flies

Post by lightenup » Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:24 am

Try an iris caddis size 16. It is very versatile. It can be fished deep and wet, swung as an emerger or dead drifted dry. All work and catch fish and there is no need to be technical. It simly attracts fish, even when caddis aren't hatching. All the other suggestions are great as well. I woild add a PT soft hackle to the mix as well. Same thing..dead drift it deep, swing it and also try it dry. A little dust and it will float well.

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Drossi
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Re: Need a Crash Course on Spring Flies

Post by Drossi » Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:20 pm

Pheasant tails or other dark nymphs size 14-18 or about trout pellet size. LOL.

Don't overlook soft hackles like partridge and orange/yellow/green and traditional winged wet flys like the hare's ear, march brown, and leadwing coachman. They are easy to fish and can effectively imitate many stages of the hatch.
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NJpatbee
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Re: Need a Crash Course on Spring Flies

Post by NJpatbee » Mon Mar 22, 2021 3:25 pm

Don't forget the Musky Shrimp! Parts of the Musky are loaded with shrimp and scuds. Fish it near the bottom.

Luke_M310
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Re: Need a Crash Course on Spring Flies

Post by Luke_M310 » Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:28 pm

Great info from everyone, thanks!

Another rookie question... is there any sort of consensus on what rod line/size to use on these NJ streams? I know you can probably use just about anything, but curious what others use. I have a 7’6” 3-wt glass rod, a “softer” 9’-0” 5-wt, and a “faster” 9’-0” 6-wt. Why do I feel like a 4-wt is probably the right choice when it’s the only size I’m missing? Lol

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lightenup
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Re: Need a Crash Course on Spring Flies

Post by lightenup » Tue Mar 23, 2021 10:39 pm

Luke_M310 wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:28 pm
Great info from everyone, thanks!

Another rookie question... is there any sort of consensus on what rod line/size to use on these NJ streams? I know you can probably use just about anything, but curious what others use. I have a 7’6” 3-wt glass rod, a “softer” 9’-0” 5-wt, and a “faster” 9’-0” 6-wt. Why do I feel like a 4-wt is probably the right choice when it’s the only size I’m missing? Lol
That 3wt. Would be lots of fun, especially if you hook into a larger fish. I would bring that for dry flies if the opportunity a..rises.😉 and the 5wt for nymphs or streamers. Nymphs as it is a bit longer and of course throwing a heavy streamer on a 3wt. glass may be a bit challenging.

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Drossi
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Re: Need a Crash Course on Spring Flies

Post by Drossi » Thu Mar 25, 2021 9:32 am

Luke_M310 wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:28 pm
Great info from everyone, thanks!

Another rookie question... is there any sort of consensus on what rod line/size to use on these NJ streams? I know you can probably use just about anything, but curious what others use. I have a 7’6” 3-wt glass rod, a “softer” 9’-0” 5-wt, and a “faster” 9’-0” 6-wt. Why do I feel like a 4-wt is probably the right choice when it’s the only size I’m missing? Lol
I'd go with the soft 9' 5wt for the Musky, lower SBR, Pequest, BFB. Save the 3wt for small streams. It's a fish killer later on in the season heading towards June. You'll over play the fish IMO.
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BiggerThomas
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Re: Need a Crash Course on Spring Flies

Post by BiggerThomas » Thu Mar 25, 2021 10:40 pm

All good suggestions from the peanut gallery. I'd add a tip that they've all somehow overlooked: be sure to spit on your fly before you begin fishing--works like a charm. :lol:
Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to Endless Night
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