|This section of the Musky didn't get stocked. Shhhhhhhhh.|
It's April and with this coming weekend we'll have completed the cycle of "opening days" with the rest of Pennsylvania waters being open. I had to work, so I couldn't make it out for the circus. Not so much that I wanted to be out there amongst the catch-n-kill crowd, but rather walk around the streams armed with a DSLR & a 50mm lens to take in this frenzy. I also wanted to know if folks were playing fair or not in a recently designated Year Round Conversation Area, that was known for getting picked over by the bait boys when it was a Seasonal Conservation Area. In the past there was an EasyUp tent camp setup complete with tables, chairs, cutting board, and a small portable propane powered grill awaiting the full stringers of Eau de Pellet Truite a la Pequest Hatchery to show. The gear that these folks use was always something to behold, too. We live in a "put & take" state, so what does one expect?? Others would say, "oh they're just stockies, who cares?". That is not the point, really.
It is a losing prospect to change attitudes about the trout we have in New Jersey when the number of CO's (Conservation Officers) are too little for the area that has to be covered. Also, when you have only two small sections of rivers that are designated "Conservation Areas" versus the rest of the fishable trout water this state has. Things like that just shows us that we will always be a "put & take" state. Even more basic than all of that is the fact that hatchery fish taste like SHIT! I really don't get that appeal of pellet trout, but this opening day hoopla is all for getting folks to buy their fishing licenses year in and year out. Nothing else.
Before I diverted to this, I mentioned I had to work, so I couldn't make the morning session, but I got to fish the TCA before the hordes showed up during the week. The Musky has been flowing around the +/- 400cfs range, as of late, which makes it a very gnarly wade for many, which may be it's only defense against opening day shennanigans. Outside of ramping up my fishing, I was also doing some recon work for getting my long time friend and ex-bandmate Erik on a fish or few. I got out last Monday on a quick solo trip which yielded the 1st signs of Caddis in the air and fun stocked brookie action. Also, got out on Friday with Mike Nutto & John Heaney.