NJ trout fishing report for the second week of March 2014. Rainbow and Brown Trout from Ken Lockwood Gorge and Round Valley Reservoir.
I was finally able to get out for a solid week of fishing again last week, and while I didn’t have enough to put up a report for any given day, I feel like the week as a whole deserves a short report on here.
Ken Lockwood Gorge
I started out the week by fishing over at Ken Lockwood Gorge on Tuesday morning (March, 18) with Chelsey Hoover. We got out around 7:00 a.m. and started off to see if we could get into some Trout for the day. Since Chelsey’s just starting to get into fishing, she was spin fishing with Trout Magnets and Panther Martins while I was fly fishing with bead head nymphs.
If you’ve never fished or hiked Ken Lockwood Gorge, do yourself a favor and just go. Here is a large KLG contour map and here is a description from the njwildlifetrails.org website:
New Jersey Monthly magazine has called Ken Lockwood Gorge one of the “Ten Most Beautiful Places in New Jersey.” With its steep slopes, huge boulders, impressive rapids and northern hemlocks, Ken Lockwood has long been a famous and much-loved site to birders, naturalists, kayakers, photographers, hikers, fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts. This is the southernmost hemlock glen in New Jersey and the cool microclimate—created by the hemlocks, local geology and rushing water and mist—is home to a number of species of birds, other animals and plants that are more typical of far northern New Jersey and New England.
David Allen with a beautifully colored Rainbow Trout caught at Ken Lockwood Gorge during a recent March 15 trip.
We started off by trying a few spots that were holding some fish last week when I fished with David Allen, including a spot where Dave landed a nice Rainbow and I got a few more hits. Though that morning, we had no luck there and eventually made our way down to a spot after about a mile hike where I had hooked into a beautiful wild Brown Trout a few days before. Didn’t take too long for me to hook into another fish at that spot, which ended up being another wild Brown which took a #16 bead-head pheasant tail nymph. That was about it for action that day for us, and after trying for about another hour or so we called it quits for the day.
My 15-inch wild Brown Trout caught on a #16 pheasant tail nymph at Ken Lockwood Gorge.
Round Valley Reservoir
I got word that Round Valley had some open water for fishing the shoreline early in the week last week, and Chelsey H. and I decided to give it a shot. We first headed out in the rain on Wednesday afternoon (March, 19), and it was about a 1/2 mile hike to open water. While our day started off pretty slow and miserable, we got one nice fish on the line that took Powerbait off the bottom, but unfortunately it took us around a snag and spit the hook so we called it quits after another hour and a half. Though we went back the next morning and had our lines in the water by 7:00 a.m. It didn’t take too long for us to get some action, which picked up a little after 7:30. By the time 8:30 a.m. rolled around we had gotten about six hits, all on Powerbait.
Chelsey Hoover with her first Round Valley Trout; a 14.5-inch Rainbow Trout caught (and released) on Powerbait!
Though the fish were just lipping it and hitting too lightly to stick the hook, so up until that point we hadn’t actually hooked into any fish. Though a little after 9:00 a.m., we had a hit on another one of our rods, and Chelsey hooked into and landed a 14.5-inch Rainbow Trout; her first fish out of Round Valley! That was it for the rest of our trip, but at least we beat the skunk! As far as the ice went that day, it had receded about another 100-150 feet or so from the previous day when we were there, and we even saw a few ice chunks up to 30-40 feet wide float by as the ice broke up. Also, as for the current ice situation; the ice completely broke up by last weekend and Round Valley is 100% ice free, which I’m sure everyone’s happy to hear!
Chelsey atop one of the bigger ice chunks we had float by while fishing the open water.