Return to a favorite...Van Campens 8/5

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NJAngler
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Return to a favorite...Van Campens 8/5

Post by NJAngler » Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:23 pm

Hi all. I haven't posted in I don't know how long. As many of you will find out as you get older and some of you older members already know, life can be good but suddenly turn on you. It did for me late last year. I will spare you the sad details but will tell you this: any chance you get, tell your parents you love them. They are the strongest people you will ever know but one day all of you will find out they are not invincible. Nothing can prepare you for what may happen to them even though you know its coming. Anyhow next time you seen one or both of them, embrace them and tell them I much they have meant to you. Now on to trout....

Hit up Van Campens for the first time in a long time. It was rocking pretty good but clear. Right from the get go the trout were hitting. Put in a solid 4 hrs covering about 2 miles of the upper part. Easily cleared a hundred trout with about a 60/40 split of brooks to bows. Nothing over 9" but great action. One wild brown caught so they are now getting past all those old watergate spillways. Remains to be seen how many browns will move on up and how they establish themselves. I will say the hemlocks have taking a serious beating back there. There are hundreds of trees either down or leaning over. You need to be in good shape to hop over and under them. Def not a place to go on a windy day. lol. Overall a great few hours on what remains NJ's finest trout stream.

Enjoy the pics!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/9sUhxsTTtF46dF9R8

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BiggerThomas
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Re: Return to a favorite...Van Campens 8/5

Post by BiggerThomas » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:13 pm

I hope you found peace and strength during that time, Mark. That sounds rough.

But nice trout, as always. I think a bronze should be made of your famous "NJ Angler" fish hold--it's classic.

BT

martalus
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Re: Return to a favorite...Van Campens 8/5

Post by martalus » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:29 am

Great to see you back in the saddle, Mark. So sorry to hear about your troubles. Life is at once so beautiful, yet so fragile.

Glad to see that there are still good numbers of brookies up there. I had read about bows gaining strength above the historical village, but it sounds like the brookies are holding their own. That erosion due to the hemlocks coming down does look a bit worrisome though. Who would be responsible for any projects to stabilize those banks? Are there any disease resistant hemlocks or other native species that could be planted?

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cappy
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Re: Return to a favorite...Van Campens 8/5

Post by cappy » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:21 am

Thank you for the post and pictures, epic day on the stream for sure. I can't imagine with the states limited resources they would do anything on their own to improve the banks, best case would be if a TU initiative was implemented with support from the state.

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njcatchrelease
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Re: Return to a favorite...Van Campens 8/5

Post by njcatchrelease » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:44 am

Great post, I went through a lot with my parents 2 years ago and you are never prepared for it.

I took a ride up by Van Campens on Saturday just to scout out the river. I knew that with all the rain the river would be unfishable but I was just looking for places to try once the water gets back to normal. It was running like a mini Niagara Falls! It looks like it would be a great piece of water to fish at normal levels. Let me know if you ever are looking for someone to fish it with. I would love to learn the river and the techniques needed to fish it.
Tight Lines

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NJAngler
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Re: Return to a favorite...Van Campens 8/5

Post by NJAngler » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:39 am

martalus wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:29 am
That erosion due to the hemlocks coming down does look a bit worrisome though. Who would be responsible for any projects to stabilize those banks? Are there any disease resistant hemlocks or other native species that could be planted?

Not sure what can be done. The sunlight gaps are already filling in with mostly beech and birch trees which are native and with time will provide both shade and bank stability so that;s the good news. Bad news is the steeper banks will take much longer to "heal" and in some cases may never fully recover. As is they add silt to the stream every rain event so that,s not so good. I've seen similar problems all over DWGNRA on the pa side. Most of those trails/ravine areas are still closed from March with so many trees down. I swear in some spots it looks like Godzilla stomped through. Its terrible. Fishing can be a a nightmare with so many trees down across the streams. One positive is that new/deeper pools are being created with the logjams.

Paul W.
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Re: Return to a favorite...Van Campens 8/5

Post by Paul W. » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:37 pm

I lost my Mom suddenly in February and I try to tell people to express to those they love that they indeed love them. It might seem awkward to be so open with one's feelings, especially for younger people, but you won't regret it. Mark, as always, your pictures make me want to go fishing. Because I am executor of my mother's estate, much of my free time is filled up with lawyers, bankers, accountants, realtors, etc., but after seeing these pictures I need to make time to get on the water.
Native to This Stream: Brief Writings About Fly-Fishing & the Great Outdoors - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BL0H5FU/re ... TF8&btkr=1

Madeinuk
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Re: Return to a favorite...Van Campens 8/5

Post by Madeinuk » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:40 am

Losing loved ones is never easy - may time and tight lines heal provide their healing balm eventually.

Van Camoens used to be a favorite spot until an idiot ranger chain sawed through the tree the used to dam up the upper falls pool.

I have some great memories - from catching naked lesbians going at it to catching the biggest bruisingest monsta brown ever. I swear that fish was over 4 inches across at its widest point. For minutes after catching and releasing it I could hear my pulse in my ears - it was that much of an adrenaline rush!

That was a good 15 years ago now and I hardly get up there anymore - thanks for the reminder to check it out again.

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Rusty Spinner
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Re: Return to a favorite...Van Campens 8/5

Post by Rusty Spinner » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:06 am

cappy wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:21 am
Thank you for the post and pictures, epic day on the stream for sure. I can't imagine with the states limited resources they would do anything on their own to improve the banks, best case would be if a TU initiative was implemented with support from the state.
The state doesn't own it, it's NPS land (DWGNRA). As for TU, that would be the Fred Burroughs North Jersey chapter territory. I'll see if it is on their radar, but that chapter has a bad taste in its mouth when trying to work with DWGNRA (long story). But hemlock woolly adelgid is insurmountable if the released beetles aren't able to control it. I manage a forest in Sparta and we lost all of our once stately hemlocks nearly two decades ago. We have reached equilibrium with the adelgids and even see some new hemlock seedlings, but it will take several hundred years to bring them back if they can come back.
"A sinking fly is closer to Hell" - Unknown

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Twism86
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Re: Return to a favorite...Van Campens 8/5

Post by Twism86 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:36 am

Welcome back!!!! Glad to see you on here again! I need to get out to some WTSs now that we have more than enough water in them.
"Stupidity is scary but genius can be frightening.
Genius built the atom bomb. Genius topples nations."

martalus
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Re: Return to a favorite...Van Campens 8/5

Post by martalus » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:36 am

Similar to Oliver, I had one of the most exhilarating moments of my fishing life on VCB-I am sure I related the story once on another site. One rainy late August evening about 12 years ago I was just out of a break up and recovering from a hangover and was chucking a rooster tail mindlessly at the base of the big, deep waterfall pool at dusk. I was having fun just trying to get it sink as deep as possible, but had no real expectations of catching anything-If I remember correctly, it may have been my first time ever fishing VCB so I wasn't really sure about the place. Anyway all of a sudden I feel like I am snagged on a rock and then that rock started pulling out drag like a mofo. It seemed like a never ending fight on my UL and 4 pound test and I thought maybe I had a big eel, or a SMB or striper on the line. The thing kept diving and bulldogging me into the depths of the pool. Finally I finally saw the fish and it was a monster of a brown like MadeinUK described. I grabbed it like a football but didnt get a chance to measure it. Easily could have been 22 inches and 4 pounds with a big old kype and wide shoulders. My heart was racing for several hours after that one! As it was summer, it may have swum up from the Delaware and got stuck at the bottom of that waterfall.

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