April has arrived and so have "April Showers". We are now approaching a point where our drought may finally be over. The ground is saturated from the recent rains and the streams are running high. Unlike last year this is looking like the regular start to spring. My concern is what degree of success did trout's natural predators like blue heron, mink, raccoons, and etc. achieve during last year’s extremely low water. We will see the results, if any, by those of us chasing wild trout in the next several months. Anyway, it's the time of year where we will see our winter dreams about fishing success come to fruition, or so we hope. A month from now I'll be on the West Branch in Deposit hoping for another awesome Hendrickson hatch. I've been thinking about that since the day I left there last May.
Our first event this month is our annual Musky clean-up of the Point Mountain stretch. We will gather at the Point Mountain Road bridge crossing the Musky at 9:00 a.m. on April 15. We will finish by noon that Saturday. Please come out and join us. It is always a good time. For those of you who are new to the Chapter, it's your chance to get acquainted with this beautiful section of the river. You may consider picking long-time members’ brains for pointers as to where to fish and what to use on this stretch.
On April 23, a number of us will again be tying flies at the Orvis Princeton Store. It's a good time to stop by and pick up any angling items you may need. Then on April 29 we will be at Rutgers Day in New Brunswick. You may consider buying your child or grandchild a stuffed rainbow trout. No! No! a stuffed toy like a Teddy Bear, not a mounted trout. We're selling them as an "Adopt a Trout Program" for the children. The cost is $10.00 and includes a certificate of adoption. With three grandchildren, it will cost me thirty dollars. Oh well, what grandparent doesn't spoil their grandchildren?
The Pequest Open House was rescheduled for June 3 & 4 because of a late snowfall and soft grounds. It's another great day out. We will have a booth and will also be teaching fly casting during the two-day event. Late on Sunday we will pick the winner of our Orvis rod, reel, and line (a $613 value). Good luck to all of you who have purchased a ticket.
On June 13, instead of a meeting, we will be having our annual picnic in the grove behind the American Legion. It's $10.00 a ticket with hamburgers, hotdogs, Italian sausage and peppers. I urge you to consider attending. It's not a concern if you don’t know anyone there. I'll be there to greet you and introduce you to members attending the picnic.
During our April meeting, we will be passing an envelope around to finish collecting funds for our former President who passed away suddenly last June at 46 years old. It's our way to show his family our gratitude for all his years of service and hard work in CJTU. Whatever you can contribute will be appreciated.
I'm pleased to announce that Marsha Benovengo has joined CJTU and will assume the role of Women's Initiative & Diversity Coordinator. Marsha is an avid fly fisher and has spent years working with Casting for Recovery, Joan Wulff Fly Fishers, and others as well. We look forward to swelling our ranks with woman who have a passion for conservation and fishing. This is a goal of National TU and mine also. Welcome aboard Marsha!
Here's to Spring!
You can contact George at
We've had the mildest February on record and many of us took advantage and got out on the water. I went out with Bart Lombardo two weeks ago and had a great time. I landed four fish including a rainbow that we estimated was about twenty inches. It's been about thirty years since I felt weak in the knees when I hooked into a larger fish. This rainbow, however, made me feel young again when he broke water the first time. It was a feeling I cherish. Now Bart on the other hand was a virtual vacuum on the stream. He landed over fifteen fish effortlessly. I guess I still have a thing or two to learn!
This meeting will start off a little differently. The meeting will begin at 7:30 instead of 8:00. Please come out early and enjoy some pizza and soda. Also, there will be a gentleman selling RIO fly lines and some tying materials at a significantly reduced rate. A short business meeting will then begin 8:00 followed by a presentation by Agust Gudmundsson. Agust has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to fishing for trout in New Jersey. If you want to learn of more places to fish in New Jersey for stocked or wild trout, don't miss this meeting!
As far a our coldwater conservation efforts, Fred Simonson who is the chair of our Conservation Committee, feels that if all things move accordingly, the stream improvement work on the A-Frame area of the Musky will begin and be completed next year. We are still working with our State Division of Fish & Wildlife to begin work on one of several brook trout streams this year.
We'll be at the Pequest Open House on April 1 & 2. If you're at the Open House please stop by our table and say hello. We'll also be tying flies at Orvis Princeton on March 12 from 11:00 until 3:00. If you visit Orvis on March 12, make sure to get one of their coupons to receive a 20% discount on fly tying materials and accessories. Bruce Turner from Orvis Princeton is making every effort that their shop is well stocked for fly tying.
By the way we will have a nice monthly raffle on March 14. We will have a bucket raffle which will include a Wild River Fly Shop mid arbor #3/4 reel and a fly tying lamp. Come on out on March 14 for some pizza, great raffle, and super inside fishing information from Agust.
You can contact George at
It's getting a few minutes lighter each day. When I see it light outside at 5:45 I start to think of spring. We're still a couple months away from spring, but I can't help but think of being on a stream in late March and fooling a few trout with my fly offerings. I'll be sixty eight in a few weeks, and it's the age that keeps me indoors in January and February. I recall one New Year's Eve thirty five years ago where I was standing waist high in the South Branch while it was fourteen degrees. Today I prefer for it to be in the high forties before I wet a line. I once asked an old time CJTU member, Lou Burnette to join me on the stream in the winter. Lou today resides in a place we call heaven, and I can see him smiling as I write this paragraph. You were right Lou, it's far too cold now most days!
We've hit several bumps in the road this year with the Trout in the Classroom (TIC) program. Despite all the best efforts of both teachers and students, most of the trout have not survived. This is not only a disappointment to us but especially to the young students caring for the fish. On the positive side, once our State biologists received the reports of the problems, they are now actively looking into what caused the young trout to die. As President of the chapter, I sympathize with Ozzie Ozefovich who spends countless hours running TIC for CJTU. Here's hoping that TIC runs much more smoothly next year. For all our members who assist Ozzie, I want to say thank you!
CJTU has just concluded our show appearances for the year. I had the opportunity to speak with many people at both shows. If you spoke with me at one of the shows and you then attend one of our meetings, please come up to me and say hello. We always hope that some of the people we meet at shows either join TU or attend one of our meetings. We also did quite well financially at both shows with our raffles and sales of flies. This will allow us to make a monetary commitment to start our stream improvement projects this year.
After mentioning our stream improvement projects during my last two President's Letters, I can now disclose where we will spend our time, money, and labor. We have decided to invest our efforts on the "A Frame Stretch" of the Musky. It is just upstream from the Warren Rod & Gun Club stretch of stream and is also referred to as "Between the Wires". This will be a major undertaking similar to our work at Point Mountain. We are hoping that a few other New Jersey chapters of TU join us in this endeavor. Additionally, we are working with our State biologists of the Division of Fish & Game to restore one or two native brook trout streams. These streams will only hold brook trout of the original indigenous genetic strain found in New Jersey. We're hoping to reclaim what we had prior to our colonization of the State. When completed it will be a 'step back in time' so to speak. To be honest, I find this restoration one of the most exciting aspects of my involvement with TU.
P.S. For more frequent CJTU news, follow us on Facebook at "Central Jersey Trout Unlimited".
You can contact George at
Well first of all, I would like to wish you a "Happy New Year!" This will indeed be a happy new year for me and you alike if we catch and release a good number of trout in 2017. The water levels of the South Branch and Musky have risen to a slightly higher level with the rains during the last month. Those members who have fished recently have done fairly well for winter fishing. I have heard that there remain a considerable number of large trout in the South Branch and Musky. If we're blessed with a couple of warm days in the high 40's this month I may get a chance to fish. We'll see!
Show Time has arrived again. We will have a booth at both The Garden State Outdoor Show and The Fly Fishing Show. You will see the dates of the shows listed in this issue of Mainstream. If you're at the show and see our booth, please stop by and say hello. I'm always interested in meeting members of our Chapter that I haven't met. Don't forget to take a chance at our raffle prizes. We're raffling a spinning rod & reel outfit at "The Garden State Outdoor Show". We're also raffling off the Orvis glass rod and reel outfit at both shows. The Orvis outfit is the perfect outfit for dry fly fishing. It would make a nine inch trout feel like a decent fish yet it will subdue a large trout with time and effort.
As I mentioned last month, we're embarking on another major stream improvement effort. We are meeting with one of our state biologists this week to discuss our areas of interest. By the February general meeting we will have decided on where we will spend some of our conservation funds. This effort is what TU is truly about. Also the expenditure of money will explain CJTU’s need for constant funding.
We have created several different committees on our board of directors. The committee chairs will speak briefly at our February meeting, all in the hope of including people from our general membership on their committees. There are those of you who will feel great satisfaction at being more involved in the working efforts of our chapter. Please keep in mind that I'm one of those people. Despite the presidency requiring a lot of my time, it makes me feel as though I'm personally making a greater difference in our New Jersey trout waters. I enjoy fishing the Point Mountain TCA area on the Musky. I owe thanks to the people before me who took on the effort to improve that water. Because of their work I have an excellent stretch of the stream to fish. For that I'm grateful!