President's Letter

December 2008

Bart Photo

This is the time of year when I clean off the fly tying desk, which has been gradually accumulating clutter all summer long, and get back to the business of tying flies. Fly tying has become almost as enjoyable as the fishing itself...almost. As I write this the first snow of the season is falling, its really not much more than a flurry but is snow. When you can't get out on the water, fly tying is an excellent way to stay involved in the sport. Not to mention the added benefit filling your fly boxes.

Right know I am going through my fly boxes and taking inventory. At first glance it looks like it was a pretty good year, there are a lot of empty compartments to fill. I will also check my supplies and make a list of needed materials. With the Fly Fishing Show right around the corner this is the perfect time to take stock of what is needed.

Once the desk has been cleared, lists written and supplies in order I get down to business. I wish I could say I have the time to tie flies whenever I want but that is far from the truth. Usually its for an hour or so a couple times a week once the wife and kids have gone to bed. I usually start out working to refill patterns missing from boxes. Tying an hour or two a week this could a month or two. Once the boxes are stocked its time to start tying up new patterns I want to try. In addition there are always plenty of late night experiments a few of which turn out to be winners but the vast majority eventually end up in the bluegill box or tucked away in some obscure corner of my vest.

If your interested in fly tying or looking to learn more about the hobby we are excited to tell about a new feature on our website. We have recently redesigned our Fly of the Month portion of our website. The site currently has almost three-dozen patterns listed with plans to put up our entire archives in the next few months. There are also plans to add a fly tying tips section to the site. At the present the site is linked to our main site but is hosted on a different server. Eventually we will move it on to our server but it is fully functional and you can start using it right now. Please consider submitting your own patterns to share with other C.J.T.U. members. If you would like to submit a pattern just click on the e-mail me link of the Fly of the month home page.

I also want to mention our fly tying lessons that will be starting up this January. You can visit the website for additional information or speak to Tom Kapusta or any other director at the nest two general meetings.

We will be giving a way a Sage LE 690 9 6wt fly rod this month to one lucky individual who has shared their e-mail with us to receive this newsletter. You dont have to be at the meeting to claim your prize but it is a great excuse to get out of the house on a Tuesday night.

This month we have a great program for you. Our own Wendell Ozefovich known as Ozzy to most will be given a presentation on our Trout in The Classroom program. It will be a great opportunity to learn about one of our most important ongoing projects.

Next month we will be hosting our Fishermans Flea Market, where folks bring in their unwanted gear to sell and donate a portion of the proceeds to the chapter. You get to clear out the garage to make room for all the new stuff your going to buy this year, go home with a little cash in your pocket and put a little cash into the chapters pocket. You decide what you want to give be it a little or a lot. By the way if anyone has a pair of size 13 waders/boots they are thinking about getting rid of bring them to the meeting or shoot me an e-mail. One of our members contacted me and mentioned he is looking for a pair.

Speaking of raising money we will be kicking off our annual fund raising raffle next month. We have a bamboo fly rod and reel outfit with a bunch of other goodies thrown in. If you have purchased tickets from our past mailings your on our list and will receive yours in the mail. If not, dont despair you can pick yours up at our meetings or at any of the shows where we have a presence.

Thanks again for those e-mails from those of you interested in volunteering. Rest assured, we have your information and we will contact you when projects come along, we expect to be pretty busy once the spring rolls around. We will be distributing a survey at the next few meetings where you can give us suggestions on the direction you would like to see your chapter heading. Please participate; we would love to hear from each and every one of you. Your opinion is important to us, fill out the survey and be heard!

One final word, a lot of folks hang up their rods once the weather gets cold in the fall. If your one of those people, your missing out on some fine fishing. I am not complaining mind you because there is a lot more elbowroom on the water. But I feel guilty having fish like this all to myself.

Caught last Saturday on the ...

Tight Lines
Bart



November 2008

I want to start off this month's letter from the president by thanking those of you that answered our call for help last month. A few of you responded to last months letter and advised you would be willing to help out with some upcoming projects. Your assistance is greatly appreciated. We are not out of the woods yet so if you feel you would be interested in getting more involved with Central Jersey Trout Unlimited drop me a line either through our website or at bartlombardo@optonline.net .

The weekend after listening to last month's guest speaker, Don Bastion's presentation on wet flies I was overcome with the desire to go out and wet some wet flies myself. So I headed up to the South Branch with friend and fellow C.J.T.U. member Rick Dooley. I fished some gaudy old school wet fly patterns and Rick fished a new creation that came off his vice the night before (maybe I can talk him into sharing this pattern for a future fly of the month, it was a killer!). Right off the bat it was established that the fish were keying in patterns with orange in them. Partridge and Orange for Rick and a Queen of the Waters for me. We took well over a dozen fish a piece in the course of a few hours. It was a great day on the water.


Rick with a nice South Branch rainbow.

Rick with a nice South Branch rainbow.

That's why I have selected the Queen of the Waters for this month's Fly of the Month. If any of you would like to share a favorite fly please drop me a line with a description of the pattern and a photo if possible. Better yet send me a sample! We will post it on the fly of the month column for you. Speaking of fly tying we will be hosting classes for all levels of fly tiers starting in January. Look for more info on these classes in the future or contact Tom Kapusta () for additional information. While still on the subject, donating flies is another way to help out your chapter. We sell the flies tied by our members as part of our fundraising efforts. We are currently in need of flies for the up coming show season. If you are a fly tier don't miss the International Fly Tying Symposium held at the Double Tree Hotel in Somerset NJ on November 22nd & 23rd you can get more information by clicking this link. That's it for now; if anything comes up between monthly meetings we will send out an Action Alert. As always if anyone needs to contact me you can reach me via e-mail at .

Tight Lines
Bart


Fooled by the Queen of the Waters



October 2008

Central Jersey Trout Unlimited is facing a little dilemma. Over the past few years we have noticed a steady decline in volunteer hours. This is becoming a bit of a problem since, as all of you know, C.J.T.U. is a non-profit volunteer organization. Trout Unlimited's mission is to conserve, protect and restore North America's coldwater fisheries and their watersheds and in our chapter we strive to support this mission entirely through the work of our volunteers. Although we don't know the exact reason for the decline, issues like declining membership, the rising price of fuel and the failing economy are probably having a negative effect. These issues, on top of the fact that we all have more and more demands on our time these days that make it difficult to find the time to volunteer. In my case family, work and other obligations make it difficult for me to give as much of my time as I would like.

Its important to remember that we are far more than a group of folks that enjoy fishing. C.J.T.U. is involved in conservation and restoration projects such as the Gruendyke Dam removal on the Musconetcong River. Earlier this year the dam was removed but now the real work begins, restoring the stream to its original condition. This is important work and we need to get more of our members involved in the various restoration projects. C.J.T.U. is also involved in education, from the Trout in the Classroom program in our Middle and Elementary Schools, to the educational and fishing programs at the Pequest Hatchery. We work hard to protect our natural resources and educate our children on the importance of preserving our coldwater watersheds and fisheries. By doing so we ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the same or better fishing that we treasure today.

Currently the vast majority of the work going on these days is done by a handful of individuals. They simply cannot do it all. If things do not change for the better in the near future we run the risk of not being able to continue the programs we are running today. As it stands now Trout in the Classroom and the Getting Started in Fishing Programs may not be returning next year due directly to a lack a volunteers to keep the programs running.

Some of you may not feel directly affected by these changes but the next item I wish discuss may have you feeling differently. I know that many of our members fish the Musconetcong River. A lot of these folks also fish a section of the river called Point Mountain. This jewel on the Musky attracts a lot of fisherman because of its high quality of water, the special regulations and the abundant trout that occupy this stretch of river. What you may not know is that C.J.T.U. has a lot to do with the current popularity of this section of river. We lobbied hard for the Trout Conservation regulations that are in place there today and for the last few years our members and employees of the park service have stocked the river by hand on a weekly basis for the first six weeks or so of each season as well as supplemental stockings in the fall. As of next year all that changes. Because we can no longer provide the volunteers to stock the river the state will no longer be providing weekly stockings. In addition any stocking that does occur will likely only occur at road crossings. What made Point Mountain such a special place is that we took fish from the truck loaded them onto a ATV and distributed them through out the river. Of course we could turn all this around but it requires help...your help!

We are looking for ways to make it more attractive for someone to donate their valuable time. We are discussing things like fuel stipends, special raffles, awards or giveaways for those that volunteer their time. You don't need any special knowledge or training to volunteer you time. On every project there will be an experience T.U. member who will show you all you need to know. So give it some thought, is there a way to free up a few hours a month? For me it means less fishing but maybe each one of you can find a way to do less of something or do some creative scheduling to free up a few hours time to help us out on one of our projects. It is a enjoyable and rewarding experience.



September 2008

By the time you read this the kids will be back in school, the nights are starting to get a little bit cooler, and even though it will officially last for more than another month, what most of us think as summer has come to an end. For many people the end of summer leaves them feeling a little down. For me it’s the exact opposite. The end of summer can only mean one thing, the beginning of autumn, my favorite time of year. It means cooler weather, brilliant colors, time spent wandering the forests and fields in search of game and most important the return of trout fishing for me in New Jersey. Even though I probably fish for trout 12 months out of the year, I seldom target them in New Jersey during the warmer months.

Registrations for our electronic version of Main Stream are still coming in and if you are reading this you have already signed up. However, we still do not have all of our members on board yet. If you know someone from the chapter, who has not signed up yet, please encourage them to do so. Remember, we have a rod giveaway coming up this fall for all those that have signed up to receive paperless version of Main Stream. I am also looking for feedback; let me know what you think of the new format. So far some of the new features like the Action Alerts, which are e-mail notifications of upcoming events, have been used with great results. These notifications allow us to get information to our members in a timely fashion especially when something comes up between meetings. So please drop me a line at and let me know what you think.

Central Jersey Trout Unlimited has a lot going on in the next few months. Coming up in a few weeks will be our Kids Fishing Education Day. This is event, which will take place at the Pequest Hatchery Education Pond on Saturday September 20th, is open to all C.J.T.U members and their families at no cost. In fact feel free to bring a neighbor’s child as well. The whole purpose of this event is to introduce children to the fine sport of fishing. The hours for the event are 10am-3pm and please remember fishing in the pond on this date can only be done by children ages 16 and under, we “grownups” will be there to supervise. C.J.T.U will provide the bait (only worms fished on single barb less hooks will be allowed) and rod and reels if needed. We will also provide a lunch of pizza and soda. Please look for the additional information in this month’s addition of Main Stream and sign you and your children up at the September meeting.

Our chapter also hopes to have a presence at the Wildlife Heritage Festival at the Pequest Hatchery on September 28th & 29th. We are looking for volunteers to help out with this event. If you are interested ask one of the directors at the September meeting for additional information. If we are able to get volunteers for this event we will send out an Action Alert with additional details.

As you can tell, we work very closely with the folks up at the Pequest Hatchery. One particular individual stands out among all of the fine employees and volunteers that work there. Carole Skwarek, a Resource Interpretive Specialist, recently retired from the Division of Fish and Wildlife. She worked at the Pequest Trout Hatchery and Natural Resource Education Center.  Carole played an integral part in our Pequest Programs and it was because of her tireless work and dedication to her job that our programs ran so smoothly. If there was anything we needed, Carole was there.  Central Jersey Trout Unlimited presented Carole with a waterproof digital camera as a thank you for all the years she was there to help our chapter. We hear she enjoys, taking close-ups of butterflies and all the other creatures in her backyard pond, so we know she will put it the camera to good use.  We will truly miss her.

Work is continuing on the Musconetcong River. Brian Cowden, Trout Unlimited’s Musconetcong Home Rivers Initiative Coordinator will be looking for volunteers to assist him with various projects. When the requests come in we will notify you via e-mail.

In closing I would like to invite everyone to attend our first annual C.J.T.U Barbeque being held this October on Saturday the 4th at the Raritan Inn. Check out the article in this month’s Main Stream for all the details. It will be a day of great food, fishing and fellowship. I hope everyone and their families come out to spend the day with us.


August 2008

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. You may have noticed that there was not a President’s Letter sent out with last month’s Main Stream. My apologies, I was not able to include one because I was out enjoying my summer! I was part of a group of four C.J.T.U members that headed out to Montana for two weeks of fishing. Although the water was still in runoff stage on a lot of rivers, we managed to find some water where the risk of drowning was somewhat diminished and found some great fishing and even got in on the elusive Salmon Fly hatch. We may even go so far as to put on a presentation highlighting our adventures in an upcoming meeting.

In my absence Central Jersey Trout Unlimited was keeping busy. On July 19th we hosted a Getting Started in Fly Fishing Class up at the Pequest Hatchery. We had thirteen people show up and they received hands on instruction and even had the opportunity to fish in the hatchery education pond. For those that have never experienced the education pond it is like…well fishing in a hatchery. Lots of big hungry fish!

Speaking about the hatchery’s education pond we will be hosting our kids fishing day there on September 20th. This is event is open to all C.J.T.U members and their families at no cost. In fact feel free to bring a neighbor’s child as well. The whole purpose of this event is to introduce children to the fine sport of fishing. The hours for the event are 10-3 and please remember fishing in the pond on this date can only be done by children ages 16 and under, we “grownups” will be there to supervise. C.J.T.U will provide the bait (only worms fished on single barb less hooks will be allowed) and rod and reels if needed. We will also provide a lunch of pizza and soda. Please look for the additional information in this month’s addition of Main Stream and sign you and your children up at the September meeting. Hope to see you there.

Our chapter also hopes to have a presence at the Wildlife Heritage Festival at the Pequest Hatchery on September 28th & 29th. We are looking for volunteers to help out with this event. If you are interested ask one of the directors at the next meeting for additional information.

We should also be announcing some additional work projects coming up in the next few months. As many of you know a dam was removed on the Musconetcong River this year, and a lot of additional work needs to be done at the site. Look for an Action Alert from Central Jersey Trout Unlimited when we have more information.

In closing I would like to invite everyone to attend our first annual C.J.T.U Barbeque being held this October on Saturday the 4th at the Raritan Inn. Check out the article in this month’s Main Stream for all the details. It will be a day of great food, fishing and fellowship. I hope everyone and their families come out to spend the day with us.


June 2008

Dear C.J.T.U. Members,

I hope everyone is enjoying this year’s fishing season, I know am. The water levels are looking good, the weather has been favorable and the fish have been biting. This time of the year gets a little quiet for us because most of our members are out on the water. Attendance at our meetings tends to be a little light, especially on good weather days. For our June meeting we encountered a problem with our scheduled speaker, so one of our members, Dave Hart, has agreed to put on a presentation on Bone Fishing in the Bahamas. Dave has done some presentations in the past for us and they are always top notch, so be sure to come out and join us on Tuesday, June 17th at the American Legion Hall. Remember our meeting date has changed this month! We will be meeting on the third Tuesday instead of the second Tuesday for this month’s (June) general meeting.

I will be looking for volunteers in the next few months to help out with various projects on the Musconetcong River. Brian Cowden, Trout Unlimited’s Musconetcong Home Rivers Initiative Coordinator, has several projects in the works and will be looking for volunteers. The work will include retrieving data from temperature monitors, help with sitting on a committee to oversee the 2009 Musky River Fest, general fund raising and a fund raising and outreach event on the river with our partners the Musky Watershed Association, riparian buffer plantings, cattle abatement projects to include fencing, riparian buffer plantings and some stream bank stabilization. This is only a partial list as he has quite a few other irons in the fire as well. I will provide more information on specific projects as it becomes available.

Central Jersey Trout Unlimited will have a presence at the Treasures of the South Branch Event on Saturday June 14th at the Red Mill in Clinton. The event celebrates the Treasures of the South Branch of the Raritan River and highlights the many positive attributes of the beautiful river that we all enjoy. So please add the event to you calendar and stop by and say hello.

Unfortunately our summer programs at the Pequest Hatchery are still up in the air. As soon as I learn for certain what the status of these programs are I will notify everyone on our mailing list. If your reading this your on our list!

Speaking of our mailing list, if you know a C.J.T.U. member that has not signed up for our new newsletter please encourage them to do so. Let them know that we will respect their privacy. E-mail addresses will not be shared with anyone! We will not be flooding inboxes with unwanted advertising. The only correspondence from us will be the monthly newsletter and perhaps a notice on a T.U. related concern if something comes up between editions of Main Stream that require immediate action. Tell them to visit our website http://www.cjtu.org/ and enter their e-mail address on our home page. That’s all there is to it! As an added incentive, anyone who provides us with an e-mail address will be automatically be entered in a free rod raffle. We will be collecting addresses through the spring and summer and we will select the lucky CJTU in the fall.

As a reminder, we do not have general meetings during the months of July and August. The general meetings will start up again in September (2nd Tuesday). Keep an eye on your inbox though, as I mentioned previously we have several projects in the works.

I’d like to close with a little fishing story. A few weeks ago I was noticing a lot of crane fly activity on my home water. This insect intrigued me so I did a little research. I learned that although the larva doesn’t actually live in the stream bottom they often find their way into the water column during rain events as the rising water erodes their bank habitat. A quick Internet search revealed dozens of patterns most of which were quite large, far too big to represent the larva form of the small yellow/orange adults I was seeing on the water. Then I came across a pattern called “Walt’s Worm”. In fact one site Rise Form Studio TV actually had a video tutorial for tying this pattern on their site. It is a simple pattern to tie, so easy in fact that my five-year-old son William, who recently took up fly tying, was able to tie me up a bunch. Here is a photo of a brown trout that was fooled by this simple pattern.

Bart with Brown Trout

It’s a nice fish but what makes it special is that it was caught on one of the first flies tied by my son. He has a promising future as a fly tier!

As always, if anyone has a need to contact me I can be reached via e-mail at .

Tight Lines


May 2008

Dear C.J.T.U. Members,

I am pleased to announce that our electronic version of Main Stream is about to make its début. This will most likely be the last regular print addition of Main Stream you will receive in your mailbox. There may be special editions of the newsletter that we send out periodically, but it is our intention to rely on electronic media to get our message out. As previously discussed this decision is being driven by a financial need more than anything else. The rising costs of printing and postage have made it impossible to continue printing and mailing our newsletter. I encourage each and every one of our members to share their e-mail address with us. Be assured we will respect your privacy. Your e-mail address will not be shared with anyone! We will not be flooding your inbox with unwanted advertising. The only correspondence from us will be the monthly newsletter and perhaps a notice on a T.U. related concern if something comes up between editions of Main Stream that require immediate action.

Our Board of Directors have been working hard developing a feature rich format for the new electronic version of Main Stream. Part of this project also involves redesigning our website, which I am happy to say is underway. Now you will be able to view our newsletter as intended, in full color and if an article includes a link to a resource on the web you will be able to direct yourself to that link right from the article.

At this point some of you may be asking, how do I go about signing up for the new Main Stream? It’s easy, simply visit our website http://www.cjtu. org/ . On our home page you will see a box prominently displayed that reads “Sign up for our newsletter”. Just enter your e-mail address and hit the “go” button, that’s all there is to it. As an added incentive anyone who provides us with an e-mail address will be automatically entered into a free rod raffle. We will be collecting addresses through the spring and summer and we will select the lucky CJTU member when we launch the electronic version of Main Stream in the fall. So stay involved, stay informed and sign up for Main Stream today!

Obviously there is more going on than changes to the newsletter format. Last month we wrapped up our annual fundraising effort. We raised almost $5,000.00 through our raffle. I want to personally thank each and every one of you who supported your chapter by purchasing tickets.

C.J.T.U had a presence at the Pequest Open House at the end of March. Our members helped out with the kids fishing down at the pond and also demonstrated fly tying to the scores of folks that showed up over that weekend. We also participated in a clean-up of the Musconetcong River during the month of April. I don’t have the final numbers yet but I heard it was a successful outing. We will also be involved in the stocking of the Point Mountain section of the Musky. We will be out every Friday until the end of May assisting with the stocking of fish in that section of the river.

What’s happening in the future? In the fall we hope to be hosting a Kid’s Fishing day but that depends on what is going on with the hatchery. Budget cuts could affect our ability to utilize that facility. There will be a CJTU barbeque this fall. We are hammering out the details and should have some info for you in the weeks to come. That is about it for now. Take a break from fishing and come out to a meeting. As always, if anyone has a need to contact me I can be reached via e-mail at .

Tight Lines !

March 2008

Dear C.J.T.U. Members This will be one of the last paper MainStreams you will be receiving in the mail. Main Stream is not going away it is simply evolving. Due to the rising costs of printing and mailing it is no longer cost effective to print and mail Main Stream. It costs the chapter close to a thousand dollars each time we do a mailing. As a non-profit conservation organization, whose only source of income is through our fundraising efforts, I feel that money would be better spent protecting our cold-water fisheries. Not to mention that we will be further protecting our resources by reducing our dependence on paper to deliver our message. You have already been subject to some of the cost saving efforts we have tried in recent years. If you recall MainStream used to be delivered to your doorstep 10 times a year. During the last two years we reduced the number of newsletters you receive annually by half. Although this saved the chapter some money it also hurt us because we could no longer get information out to our members in a timely fashion.

In this day and age almost all of our members have an e-mail address or access to the Internet. If you’re like me the last thing you need is another piece of junk mail cluttering your inbox. I promise you will not consider our new electronic newsletter “junk mail”. At last, we will be able to deliver the full color, feature rich document that only Main Stream’s editors see. Currently our newsletter is delivered to you in black and white. With the electronic version you will be able to see the photos, the fly patterns, and everything else in full color. We will once again be able to produce a newsletter on a more regular basis ensuring that we get important information out to you in a timely fashion. Another added benefit will be the ability to hyperlink directly to the sources on the Internet that may be mentioned or quoted in a particular article.

Overall we have had overwhelming support for this endeavor, but I realize that there may be some that will be unhappy with this change. Unfortunately there is no way we can continue to produce a printed copy of Main Stream. I think that everyone will see that this change will be a step in the right direction. We will be able to deliver a more feature rich product, dramatically reduce our costs, and be able to apply the money saved directly to our conservation efforts. We are in the process of working out the details on exactly how we are going to collect the e-mail addresses of our members. As soon as we get it all figured out we will begin our campaign to reach out to each and every member to make sure you continue to receive your copy of our newslet ter. So please be on the look out for more information about this issue in the months to come.

As I mentioned previously, one of the reasons we are being forced to make these changes is because of the financial burden associated with the printing and mailing of MainStream. That being said this would be a good time to talk about our current fund raising event. Hopefully by now you have received your raffle tickets in the mail. This year we have dubbed our raffle the “Artisan Package”. CJTU members or supporters have made all of the items in this traditional bamboo fly-fishing outfit. Everyone should have received his or her tickets by now, but since we used a new method to put together our mailing list we may have missed a few of you. If that is the case you can purchase tickets out our general meeting or at the Open House at the Pequest Hatchery, where we will draw the lucky winner on Sunday March 30th. Please help support your chapter by participating in this year’s fund raising event!
Thank you in advance for your cooperation in helping MainStream complete this transition into the 21st Century. As always, if anyone has a need to contact me I can be reached via e-mail at .

Tight Lines !

Bart