President’s Letter

December 2013

Bart Photo

Well, another year has come and gone.  They seem to slip by faster each year.  This fall did not offer a lot in the way of fishing opportunities for me this year.  I managed to sneak way from other obligations a half a dozen times but that is a far cry from the 2-3 trips a week that would be the norm.  When I did get out I found the fish but conditions were usually tough.  A dry summer created some extremely skinny water this fall, and conditions have not improved much in regards to water flows.  As I write this, rain is pelting the windows and its 60 degrees outside.  It probably would not be a bad time to grab a box of meaty streamers and go rustle up some brown trout.  They are quite active this time of year and the overcast skies and rising water would be just the thing...if only I wasn't sitting here typing out a newsletter.  

Like I already eluded to, its been a busy year for me. It’s also a very busy time for Central Jersey Trout Unlimited.  This November kicked off our show season.  Our first show of the year was a new one for us, the Fly Tying Symposium in Somerset NJ.  Its not a new show by any means, but it was our first time attending as a TU Chapter.  It was fairly well attended and the chapter received some good exposure and we even had some new faces helping out at the booth.  Thank you to everyone who took time out of their busy lives to help out.  

During the month of January we will be in attendance at two more area shows.  The first show will be the NJ Outdoor Sports Show in Edison, NJ, January 9th-12th.  The second show will be the Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, NJ, January 24th through the 26th.  As usual we are always looking for help promoting our chapter at these events so if you want to help out you can drop me a line or reach out for me or a director at the next two meetings.  In addition to the the above shows, we will have fly tiers at Efingers Sporting Goods in Bound Brook, NJ every Saturday throughout the month of January.

We are a month late in announcing our slate of directors for the upcoming year.  We will be announcing our first round of nominations at the general meeting next week and finalizing the slate during or January meeting.  I mention this, because we are always looking for more folks to take a more active role in the chapter.  If you think you would be interested in a directors position please see me or one of the other directors at the upcoming meeting or contact me via e-mail and I will throw your name up for nomination.  We have a few open spots to fill this year and quite frankly we'll always find room for anyone that wants to get more involved.

We are a month away from starting up our fly tying classes.  They will be kicking off the third Tuesday in January at our regular meeting location.  You still have two more opportunities to sign up at this and next month’s meeting. The cost is $50.00 for the basic and intermediate classes and $10.00 a night for the tiers workshops.

While we’re on the subject of fly tying our January meeting is our annual chapter tying night.  We encourage everyone to bring out your vise, tools and materials and join us for a night of tying.  If your not a tier it's still a great night out to socialize.  In addition, we will have a lot of free fly tying materials on hand for the taking.  We are getting rid of all of the materials we currently have in storage, so this will be a great opportunity to score some free material.  We are also conducting our first ever fly swap this winter.  The program received a lot of interest and we are already making plans for our next one.  Check out our website for the details.

Our December meeting will feature a presentation from our very own Wendell Ozefovich, better known as Ozzie.  Ozzie’s presentation “Not Just Trout” answers the question why we love to fish. Ozzie’s above and underwater photography is amazing. This is a presentation you will not want to miss!  I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.  Let's hope Santa brings you that new fly rod this year.

That about wraps it up.  It's back to watching the rain on the window and day dreaming about fishing...

Tight Lines,
Bart Lombardo

You can contact Bart at

November 2013

Every year its seems that time slips away faster and faster. Its hard to believe its November already! It seems like it was just yesterday that I was waiting for the weather to warm and the bugs to start flying again. Now instead of bugs the leaves are flying. In reality, fall is my favorite time of year to be on a trout stream. The fishing can be great but it is not without its challenges. The water can be low and clear making for very spooky fish. Then there are all those flying leaves to contend with. On the plus side you will often find you have the river to yourself, the weather can be fantastic and the fish seem eager to eat when you can catch them off guard and make a good presentation.

We have a quite a bit going on in the upcoming months. This month Central Jersey Trout Unlimited will be attending the 23rd Annual Fly Tying Symposium in Somerset New Jersey on November 23rd and 24th. This is a great event for the fly tier. There will be tiers present from around the world showing off their talents as well as numerous vendors selling fly tying materials. If you at the show stop by our booth and say hello. We'll be raffling off a fly rod made by one of our members, and have some folks at the table tying their favorite flies.

Speaking of fly tying, we are beginning to get ready for our winter fly tying classes. This year we are doing something a little different with our workshop segment of the class. Each night of the five workshops will focus on the complete life cycle of an insect important to the New Jersey trout fisherman. As usual our instructors will strive to show you something you have not seen before or can't pick up in your local fly shop. Classes will start the third week in January. You can find additional information on the workshop as well as our other classes on our website.

I have one last item for the fly tiers in our group. We will be running our first fly swap in the upcoming months. It will work like this. We will select a generic pattern or insect, for example our first fly will be a midge pattern. You'll tie enough flies to provide each participant with one fly. In return you'll receive a fly from each of the other tiers. So if you tied a dozen of the same pattern you get a dozen different flies in return for you efforts. We'll have more information for you as we get closer to the kick off date.

Our trout in the classroom program is now in full swing. Things are progressing nicely with the usual bumps in the road and successes. This year CJTU is assisting 18 schools with their trout in the classroom programs. We are always looking for help with this great outreach program if you interested please contact me and I'll put you in touch with the program coordinators.

We have a great speaker lined up for you this month. Rick Nyles, owner and guide for Sky Blue Outfitters, will present an informative program detailing his experiences "Fishing in Central PA : Penns, Spring, Pine, Big Fishing Creeks ". Rick prides himself as a master dry fly guide and fisherman. It will be a great evening of insights and tips about some of the best trout streams our neighboring state Pennsylvania has to offer.

Come on out to the meeting this Tuesday November 12th and we will give you a free ticket to our bucket raffle if you slap a name tag on your chest. Remember to come out a little early and take part in our capsule classroom. This informative session begins an hour before the meeting and its a great opportunity to pick up some one on one instruction on something that will assist you in pursuit of our favorite fish.

Tight Lines,
Bart Lombardo

You can contact Bart at

June 2013

On May 22, 2013 Central Jersey Trout Unlimited lost one of its most dedicated members, Leon Cheeka, at the age of 87. Leon passed away after suffering a major stroke a few weeks earlier. Leon was probably best known for his fly tying abilities. He was an incredible fly tier, even at 87 years old. He not only acted as an instructor for the chapter but also donated hundreds of dozens of flies to the chapter over the years. He was always very generous with his fly tying knowledge as well as the flies he tied. Many members will remember the years we ran semi-annual bus trips to the Connetquot River on Long Island. One of the many highlights of those trips was the passing around of Leon’s fly boxes. During the ride up to the river, Leon would break out several large tackle boxes filled with hundreds of flies. Those boxes would be passed around and the flies were free for the taking for whoever wanted them. I distinctly remember one trip in which, with a twinkle in his eye, he pointed out a small pink and blue woolly bugger and said “try some of these”. I was skeptical but grabbed a few anyway. It turned out to be one of my best days on that river and almost all of the dozens of fish caught that day fell to that strange little fly. Leon shared his knowledge of fly tying with hundreds of people. He was a fixture at our fly tying classes and demos. He was best known for his muddler minnows and a pattern from his home waters in Pennsylvania called a bread crust, but there was not a fly he could not tie. Leon was also a dedicated conservationist and served on CJTU board of directors many years. We will miss him.

You may have noticed that this newsletter is coming to you a little later than normal this month. Our meeting schedule for June is different from the rest of the year. Our general meeting takes place on the third Tuesday of the month. Next week's meeting will be a little different from most of our meetings. The evening will be all about catching up with old friends and making new ones. We are dropping the meeting format and hosting a BBQ. The festivities will start at 6:00pm at our meeting hall on the picnic grounds behind the building. There will be food, beverages and plenty of prizes. Please come out and join us. This will be a rain or shine event. If the weather is inclement, we have plenty of room to move things indoors. While we are on the subject of meetings, remember there are no general meetings during the months of July and August.

We are anxiously awaiting word on the Point Mountain River Channel Restoration Project. We are hopeful that work will beginning soon on this project. We will also be participating in a water quality and macro invertebrate study on the Musky. I just learned of the project this week and I don't have all the details yet. We will be looking for CJTU volunteers to lend a hand in this important study once more details emerge.

We have a great meeting planned for September. Jay "Fishy" Fullum will be our guest speaker and as usual he will be hosting a fly tying session before the meeting. Check out the rest of Main Stream for the details.

Keep you eyes on your inbox as we move into summer. We will not be meeting but there will limey be a call for volunteers for the work on Point Mountain. E-mail will be our primary method of contacting folks. I hope everyone has a safe and happy summer.

Tight Lines,
Bart Lombardo

You can contact Bart at

May 2013

I hope everyone has been getting the enough time on the water this year. As for myself, it has been one of those seasons were there always seems to be something to get in the way of fishing. That's about to change. As soon as I finish typing out this newsletter I am hopping in the car and heading down to the Shenandoah's for 5 days of trout fishing with tenkara gear, then I am heading directly to Grand Lake Stream, Maine to chase landlocked salmon and smallmouth bass.

Unfortunately, all this fishing is going to cause me to miss next weeks meeting. We will have Brian Cowden as our guest speaker to give us an update on T.U. activities in the state. Hopefully we will be receiving some good news about our Point Mountain channel restoration project.

I want to take this opportunity to invite everyone out to our June meeting. we are doing something a little different this year. We are dropping the format of our regular meeting and instead we are going to host a BBQ. Before and after every meeting a lot of socializing takes place and often folks are reluctant to take their seats at the start of the business meeting. Our June meeting will give you an opportunity to catch up with friends, enjoy some good food, and have the opportunity to win some great prizes. No business, no speakers, just a good time with friends. The meeting date in June is different from our regular meetings. We meet the THIRD TUESDAY instead of our normal second Tuesday. So mark your calender for June 18th. We will be satrting at 6pm and the festivities will run to about 9 or so. If the weather permits we will be outside in the pavillion at the rear of the building.

I have a some unfortunate news to share with everyone. Long time member and director Leon Cheeka suffered a stoke earlier this week. He is currently hospitalized and we are hoping for the best. Please keep Leon and his family in your prayers.

Tight Lines,
Bart Lombardo

You can contact Bart at

April 2013

This weekend will be the official start of the the 2013 Trout season.  I say "official" because many anglers enjoy fishing for trout year round.  Fortunately we live in a state where that is possible.  For most fisherman the ritual of opening day is steeped in tradition.  Many have traditional waters they fish, even specific pools on rivers.  The rivers are crowded, often too crowded, but we put up with the company.  Fortunately, things will thin out in a few weeks and solitude on the water will once again be possible.  Whatever your ritual is, get out there and fish this weekend.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the CJTU volunteers who braved the chilly March weather to help out at the Pequest Open House event at the Pequest hatchery last month.  I also want to thank all the folks who donated gear for us to sell at this year's flea market.  We raised just under a $1000.00 dollars for the chapter.

There is still no official word on the status of the Point Mountain Restoration work.  Many of the hurdles that were in front of this project have been cleared and we are hopeful that 2013 will be the year we start this important stream rehabilitation project.  We will keep everyone informed as we move through the spring.  If work is going to take place this year it can not start until after the 15th of June.  In regards to the Trout Conservation stretch at Point Mountain, CJTU volunteers along with folks from Hunderton County Parks assisted the state in stocking trout along the entire section of river.  

In this month's Main Stream you will see a special notice in regards to our June Meeting.  We are doing something a little different this year.  We will be hosting a BBQ for all members and their guests.  The meeting will be taking place on the THIRD Tuesday of the month instead of the second.  We will be at the same location but will be using the grounds outside.  There will be plenty of food and prizes so come out and join us.  You find all the details in this newsletter.

The folks from Tight Lines Fly shop will be giving a presentation entitled “Spey Casting & Fishing for Steelhead on the Salmon River” at this month's general meeting.  They always provide great presentations so be sure not to miss it.  For our Capsule Classroom this month we will have Darrel Luty, a Federation of Fly Fishers Certified Fly Casting Instructor, as our guest presenter. He currently is a sales consultant in the fishing department at Efingers and helps customers pick out fly rods and new casters get started. As a result, he is quite experienced in watching a caster for a brief time and then suggesting improvements in casting technique. His Classroom session will consist of briefly watching the fly casting of any of you who wants to participate and then suggesting a few ways to improve.  These sessions start prior to the start of the regular meeting so be sure to get there early and take advantage of this opportunity to "tune up" your casting.

That is going to be it for now as I still need to prep for my Opening Day ritual of a stream side campout.  Nothing like waiting until the last minute...

Tight Lines,
Bart Lombardo

You can contact Bart at

March 2013

Spring is two weeks away but as I write these words the snow is flying and the world is white. This is ironic since there has been very little snow this winter in our area. Although the winter was not as mild as last year there have a number of good days for winter angling. Everyone I know who has been out this winter has met with success on the water.

The season opener of trout season is less than a month away. As you are going through your gear and getting ready, why not consider donating gear you no longer use to Central Jersey Trout Unlimited? This is the last month that we are accepting donations for the upcoming flea market at the Pequest hatchery. Last year we had a very successful fund raising event where we sold donated items. Members then returned all or some of the funds back to the chapter as a donation. We raised over $1000.00 dollars for conservation in a weekend and we hope to repeat that this year. We are accepting donations of any type of outdoor sporting equipment. We prefer an out right donation, but if you are looking to get some money back for yourself we can sell the items on consignment as well. Please bring your items to the next general meeting on March 12th. If you are planning on attending the event you can also bring them directly to us at the hatchery on March 23 or 24. We are also in need of volunteers to help out that weekend. We need members to help out in a number of ways. We need help in the flea market, our informational booth located inside the hatchery as well as helping out up at the fish pond. Please contact me if you are interested.

The annual cleanup on the Musconetcong River will take place on Saturday, April 13th 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. As always we will be looking for volunteers to help out. Please save the date we will provide more details in next month's newsletter.

Our March speaker will be Len Ruggia, who is a guide and fly tyer at Shannon's Fly & Tackle. He will be presenting a program entitled "Guide Flies for the Gorge" and will demonstrate patterns he's developed and ties for year-round fishing in Ken Lockwood Gorge. It should be a very informative presentation, one you don't want to miss if you fish the gorge.

On Saturday, March 16, 2013, NJ State Council of Trout Unlimited is sponsoring March Fly Tying Madness at The Cranford Community Center, 220 Walnut Avenue, Cranford, NJ 07016. Hosted by Rahway River TU, the event begins at 9am. Tyers are asked to donate flies for NJ Project Healing Waters and Casting For Recovery programs. Door prizes will be awarded to participants and complimentary lunch will be served. A number of tiers from CJTU will be present, if you tie your own flies come out and join us.

A number of members have expressed an interest in starting up our trips program up again. I would like to get some feedback from our members on where folks would like to go. It could be local as well as involving some travel. We have groups of CJTU members heading out to fish all the time. Many of us would be more than happy to invite some additional people along as well as plan a specific trip if enough folks are interested. Feel free to contact me anytime to discuss putting together a fishing trip.

We are looking to expand our DVD "rental program". As you know we offer free DVD rentals to chapter members. These DVD's are available to active chapter members free of charge. In order to purchase additional titles we will be asking members interested in taking out a DVD to purchase a $5.00 video library card. This annual fee will allow us to update out library and replace damaged titles. All holders of a valid "library card" will still be able to borrow DVD free of charge.

As a final note I would like to mention if you ever considered getting more involved in the chapter we would welcome your participation. A great way to get introduced to what goes on behind the scenes is to attend a board of directors meeting, our board meetings are always open to all members. So if you have thought about becoming more involved in your chapter come out to a meeting and check things out. Our board of directors meets the first Tuesday of every month at the same location as our general meetings.

Tight Lines,
Bart Lombardo

You can contact Bart at

February 2013

It looks like winter has finally arrived. Although there has not been much snow, there has been plenty of cold. My favorite stream started icing up during the last cold snap but it did not stay frozen for long. This morning, as I type this, freezing rain is beginning to pelt my windows.  A big storm is inbound for the North East today that could bring this year’s first big snow. Though many despise the snow I enjoy it, the fish do too.  A good snow pack on the ground slowly recharges our aquifers, allowing the water to be absorbed into the ground instead of running over it.  A heavy snow year goes a long way in recharging our rivers and keeping them running at good levels.

January was a pretty busy month for us here at CJTU. Our members participated in two area shows last month, the New Jersey Outdoor Show and the Fly Fishing Show. Both events raised some money for our chapter. I want to thank everyone that volunteered their time helping run the booths and setting up and taking down our displays.  I want to especially thank those that helped sell our raffle tickets.  Though everyone helped out and sold a few tickets, two members really did an outstanding job!  Thank you Joe and Paul!

Our chapter fly tiers were also busy last month.  We had two tiers at Efingers Sporting Goods every Saturday during the month of January. Thanks go out to those folks who gave up part of their weekend to promote our chapter and introduce others to fly tying.

Our fly tying classes are in full swing now. If you did not sign up for lessons there are still opportunities to get involved.  During each class we also host fly tying workshops. These workshops are for folks that have some basic understanding of fly tying. Each workshop provides all the materials needed to tie that evening's selection of flies. All you need to to is show up with your tools. The cost is $10.00 which can be paid at the door. The workshops and lessons take place on the third and fourth Tuesday of this month.  They are held in the same locations as our meetings.

Speaking of fly tying, Trout Unlimited's New Jersey State Council is sponsoring a Fly Tying Madness event on Saturday, March 16 at the Crawford Community Center located at 220 Walnut Drive, in Cranford, NJ. This event is open to every one. You are invited to bring your tying kit out for a day of fly tying.  All of the flies tied on that day will be donated to groups involved in fly fishing education. We will provide more details next month. Put it on your calendar today!

We are still looking for donated sporting goods for the upcoming flea market at the Pequest Open House event coming up in March. If you have any old hunting, fishing or camping gear living around why not consider donating it to the chapter?  Last year we raised a lot of money for conservation through our member's generosity. We will have a table at this event selling merchandise and all money raised will go directly towards our conservation efforts. We will be excepting donations at our February and March meetings. We can also arrange for a pick up if you can't make the meeting.

If there is a woman in your life why not introduce her to fishing and Trout Unlimited. We have recently launched a women's initiative to get more females involved in our organization. The women's initiative is partnering with chapters throughout the state to connect with anglers through conservation projects and engage anglers with fishing outings and clinics to improve techniques. This is a great opportunity to introduce that special someone to fishing and conservation. As a added incentive Trout Unlimited is offering a free years membership to first time female members.  For more information visit or

Our chapter is looking for volunteers to help out with some shad and herring research on the Raritan River.  In the next week or so we will putting out an action alert with all the details.  Volunteers will be helping out netting, tagging and releasing fish.  There may also be some opportunities for specimen collecting through angling.  If you are interested in helping out all the information you need will be included in the action alert so keep an eye on you inbox.

We will be bringing back our video rental program. Like in the past the rentals are free but we are asking each member who wants to borrow a video to pick up a $5.00 video library card.  This small fee will help us maintain the library and pick up new videos.  The cards will be available at the general meetings.

This month yours truly and Dick Turse will be giving a presentation on Grand Lake Stream, Maine.  This wonderful fishery offers anglers opportunities to catch landlocked salmon as well as smallmouth bass and brook trout.  If you would like to learn more about this great angling destination come out to this Tuesday's meeting.

Tight Lines,
Bart Lombardo

You can contact Bart at

January 2013

I would like to start off by wishing every one a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. Another year is behind us. The beginning of the new year is always a busy time for us. During the month of January, CJTU will be present at two area events and we will be conducting fly tying demonstrations every Saturday at Efinger's Sporting Goods on Rt. 28, in Boundbrook, NJ. As an added incentive, Efinger’s is running a month long sale on fly tying materials, this is an excellent time to stock up. The sale will offer 20% off for all customers and 30% off for all TU members on all fly-tying items including hardware such as vises. Come out and watch us tie and pick up a bargain or two.

We will also be present at two fishing shows this month. The first show is the Garden State Outdoor Sportsman Show. The dates are January 10-13 and the show will be held at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center at the Raritan Center in Edison, NJ. At this show we will be running all of our normal activities. There will be fly tying lessons for the kids as well as casting demonstrations and instruction in the casting pool. We will also have our merchandise for sale, including flies tied by our members. In addition we will be running a raffle for a fully loaded tackle box. The proceeds of this raffle will go directly to some upcoming conservation projects.

The second show is the Fly Fishing Show. The dates are January 25-27, the show will be held at the Garden State Convention Center in Somerset, NJ. At this show we will be running a raffle for a fly rod. I don't have the exact specs of the rod yet but it will be a good one, guaranteed! We will be in our usual location, in the front lobby, so stop by and say hello.

Our January general meeting will be our annual CJTU Fly Tiers night out. We invite everyone to bring out your vise and materials and join us for a night of fly tying. Some of the chapter's best tiers will be on hand demonstrating their favorite patterns and answering questions. We encourage tiers of all experience levels to come out and join us. This is a great opportunity for novice tiers to get some free instruction.

If your looking for instruction that is more structured why not sign up for our fly tying classes? The classes kick off the third Tuesday in January. We offer something for every skill level from beginer classes to workshops for advanced tiers. The cost of the class is $50.00 and the workshops are $10.00 a night. If you are interested see one of the directors at Tuesday's meeting or check out our website for additional information.

We are still collecting donations for the Pequest Open House Flea Market in March. The chapter is looking for donations of any type of outdoor sporting equipment. Please consider donating any used or unwanted gear to us. We will also sell items on consignment for you if you are looking for some cash yourself. Just let us know the details when dropping off the gear. We will be accepting the donations at our general meetings in January, February and March.

So far the fall and winter season have been quite mild with plenty of fishable days. The rivers are looking good and the fishing has been quite productive. I am optimistic that this winter's fishing will be as good as last year. Start looking for little black stoneflies near the end of the month if the mild weather persists. Last year they were going strong by the first of February. Don't let your fishing rods gather dust this winter, get out and wet a line!

Tight Lines,
Bart Lombardo

You can contact Bart at