Friday, February 12, 2016

Pocket to Pocket Brookies with the Nissin Pocket Mini - Superbowl Sunday Fun in the Garden State

There are many beautiful wild trout streams in New Jersey. I have not given this state its fair share of fishing time, and this year I intend to change that. With this in mind, I headed out to a spot that I had been sent to by another skilled and seasoned Tenkara angler for a warm winter's day of fishing.

Upon arrival I discovered that this stream was everything it had been promised to be, and maybe more. A somewhat remote location, I drove on winding roads to arrive at a small pull-off and an old concrete bridge crossing the water.

Right away I knew this would be a challenging day of fishing - bright sun casting shadows, short and steep plunge pools with obstacles leading to challenging drifts... but I was ready.

Working my way up the stream I struggled to keep my footing on the icy rock surfaces and to keep out of view of the fish. I had a few nice follows and a missed take early on, but worked a decent section before switching to a downstream style of fishing and landing two in a row.

I knew I needed to move quickly as I had a lot of water to cover and not all that much time... but it was hard not to cast to each deep pocket. I had new polarized glasses that gave me more insight into which holes were deeper than they looked without this added feature.

As the water warmed up and some clouds moved in, my success rate increased. Getting good drifts more than a few seconds was really hard if not impossible in most places. Adapting to the conditions, I did my best to use the rod and the currents to my advantage.

A fallfish? Seems odd above all that plunging water...

The Nissin Pocket Mini proved to be a great rod for this stream. Enough backbone to pull a bead head fly in strong current, as well as the strength to control a fish and hold it away from snags and waterfalls.

I used a fly that Robb from Creekside Kebari had sent my way, as well as my own standard home-made pattern.

His fly looked a lot more appealing to the human eye than mine, but they all worked just the same.

Here a few deep pockets formed to the side of the main current that was being forced between the rocks.

Inevitably, it got to be late afternoon way too quickly and the sun began to dip. I figured I'd save the rest of the stream for another day and walked back to the car. 

At this point on this trip there was the somewhat bittersweet added bonus of it being 4:50PM on Superbowl Sunday. I experienced my (possibly first ever) traffic-free ride back into and through downtown Manhattan from New Jersey. What I wouldn't give for the drive to go that easily every time... a man can dream, can't he?


  1. Nice brookies! I'l have to visit NJ sometime soon, not just for trout but pickerel... I here the pickerel in the Pine Barrens are world class.

    1. I've never fished for them myself, but seen some nice photos of yours. NJ is worth a trip.

  2. Nice silhouette of the sunset sky.

    1. Thanks Lester, the colors were very intense on that sunset.