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  1. #1
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    Maine Brook Trout

    Maine Brook Trout (Days 1 and 2 of a Ten Day Journey)

    During the summer months I’ll often make a drive up the coast of Maine with a friend.. The drive to Maine from New Jersey is about 300 miles. Then the fishing trip commences, and concludes after about 500 more miles of driving along winding country roads that lead to brook trout nirvana.

    The skill to identify brook trout habitat can make or break the trip. If you can’t read trout water, then you might as well stay home and fish Bear Swamp Brook (which really is a good little trout stream). I catch several brookies each time I make the trip to the Ramapo Reservation, and I particularly enjoy the hike over the mountains to the small section of steam that I like to fish. The years I’ve spent on New Jersey’s designated WTS’s has made me expert in the art of pursuing the elusive brookie.

    So this year I would do the Maine journey alone, and put my skills as a Garden State angler to the ultimate test.

    Nothing but a topo map, my car, and my bamboo rod and handmade reel for company, this week I’d show the world what I’ve learned from over 20 years of fishing for natives in the underrated fishing state of New Jersey.

    Here is a diary of my Maine trip from August 2018.

    Day 1: I drove all the way from New Jersey to Portland, Maine. I slept the night at a red roof inn, and looked at my road atlas under a dimly lit desk to scout out some spots that I considered worthwhile for prospecting for brook trout. This takes considerable skill, to see brook trout water where others see nothing but a meandering blue line on an old road atlas.

    Day 2: I drove 60 miles to what I thought would be my first river, but what I thought was a stream turned out to be I-295.

    From what I’ve heard, this was a common mistake made by old timers before the use of iPhones and GPS technology took the challenge out of water prospecting. According to legend (and by sheer coincidence) Lee Wulff met up with Theodore Gordon at the on ramp to I-95 at the Canadian border, both having misread their maps, believing I-95 to be the headwaters of a brook trout stream that stretched the length of the American coast from Maine to Florida.

    Note to self: the dark blue lines on the map are interstate highways, not brook trout water.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Maine Brook Trout

    Off Topic (not about Maine):

    If you're a frequent fisher at Bear Swamp Brook, you may be interested in the EJTU Temperature Logger Data Update.

    See pages 7 & 8 of the January 2019 issue of Riffles.
    https://www.eastjerseytu.org/uploads...19_riffles.pdf


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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.

    Re: Maine Brook Trout

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    Off Topic (not about Maine):

    If you're a frequent fisher at Bear Swamp Brook, you may be interested in the EJTU Temperature Logger Data Update.

    See pages 7 & 8 of the January 2019 issue of Riffles.
    https://www.eastjerseytu.org/uploads...19_riffles.pdf
    Take that dam out, Bear Swamp is an eyesore. I don’t even think anyone uses the scout camp anymore. In over 20yrs of mountain biking back there I saw the camp used once, and that’s was over 10yrs ago. Only thing is to somehow make sure that all the pickerel don’t end up in the brook.

    Roll up the windows Brian, you're letting the stank out.

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    Re: Maine Brook Trout

    Quote Originally Posted by Trout Nazi View Post
    Take that dam out, Bear Swamp is an eyesore. I don’t even think anyone uses the scout camp anymore. In over 20yrs of mountain biking back there I saw the camp used once, and that’s was over 10yrs ago. Only thing is to somehow make sure that all the pickerel don’t end up in the brook.
    Let's take all the dams out, my kid's college costs are ridiculous!!! Homey needs more dam removals in NJ

    A sinking fly is closer to Hell - ​Unknown

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    Re: Maine Brook Trout

    you stole that whole idea from "Trout Fishing America."

    The scout camp is pretty busy.


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    Re: Maine Brook Trout

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Spinner View Post
    Let's take all the dams out, my kid's college costs are ridiculous!!! Homey needs more dam removals in NJ
    I’m surprised no one has taken that busted old dam out DIY style. I don’t think anyone will care or notice.

    Roll up the windows Brian, you're letting the stank out.

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    Re: Maine Brook Trout

    Quote Originally Posted by tompg View Post
    you stole that whole idea from "Trout Fishing America."

    The scout camp is pretty busy.
    That place is a dump, half the buildings are collapsing. Plus they have a couple of ponds up there where they have their activities. Bear Swamp gets no traffic other than the odd dog walkers and mountain bikers riding through.

    Roll up the windows Brian, you're letting the stank out.

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    Re: Maine Brook Trout

    It stinks (literally) right below the dam. On a Sunday afternoon, there's lots of traffic coming out of the camp. One of their ponds is (when I saw it several years ago) is crystal clear.


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    Re: Maine Brook Trout

    Quote Originally Posted by tompg View Post
    It stinks (literally) right below the dam. On a Sunday afternoon, there's lots of traffic coming out of the camp. One of their ponds is (when I saw it several years ago) is crystal clear.
    Camp Tamarack is no longer a Boy Scout camp, it closed down in the late 90's or early 2000's because someone illegally dumped back there (I think). I believe the town of Oakland owns it now? The traffic that you saw was probably hiking in from Camp Glenn Grey a couple of miles over. A lot of people also hike in from Ramapo and Ringwood. On a nice day, you'll see lots of hikers back there since its a trail intersection of Ringwood, Ramapo, Glenn Grey, and top of Skyline drive. Once you're there, you're about equal distance from all of those locations. When you get lost hiking back there, you always end up at Tamarack since its in a valley, and everyone naturally starts hiking downhill when they get turned around in the woods. None of the old buildings are really standing anymore except for that weird A-Frame chapel on the main trail. I've watched that place decay over the last 15-years. I've always wanted to go back there and run some Senko's through those ponds though.

    Getting rid of that dam will only improve that area, since Bear Swamp is just a big mosquito infested mud bog in the summer. The actual "lake" part is only something like 50x50' by the dam. I've been there in the spring when I've seen hundreds of Garter snakes mating below the dam, it really smelled like shit then, since Garter snakes release that foul smelling musk.

    Roll up the windows Brian, you're letting the stank out.

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    Re: Maine Brook Trout

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Spinner View Post
    Let's take all the dams out, my kid's college costs are ridiculous!!! Homey needs more dam removals in NJ
    McDonald's is hiring if you need a supplemental income...But I agree let's remove all the dams, High Bridge has a new Mayor, maybe revisit that, but I think they want to go hydroelectric and light five street lamps with it.

    "I'm not out on the river to win." -Kieth Rutherford

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  16. #11
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    Re: Maine Brook Trout

    FYI:
    Camp YawPaw is still used as a summer day camp.
    It's also available (for a fee) to Troops/Patrols/Dens for off season use.
    The Boy Scouts aren't quite ready to give it up.
    http://m.nnjbsa.org/OpenRosters/View...spx?orgkey=958

    Camps Tamarack and Todd were purchased jointly by Oakland, Bergen County, and State Green Acres funds.
    They're both now Bergen County Parks, and the lakes are contributing some warm water to one of Oakland's few TP brooks. The impervious surface run off from the Ramapo Reserve development should finish the job. If/when they ever survey that brook again, I won't be surprised if it's no longer classified "TP".
    (My only attempt to fish Tamarack yielded one skinny pickerel).

    Glen Gray is also a county park, but it's being run by some former Boy Scouts who actually charge you to use it.
    We probably have to wait for them to all die of old age, before anyone will even consider getting rid of the Lake Vreeland dam to revive Fox Brook. https://glengray.org/index.html
    (My only attempt to fish Lake Vreeland, found a bunch of Largemouths that were way too easy to catch).

    Don't get greedy. If EJTU can convince the DEP to breach the Bear Swamp Dam, count it as one for the "good guys".
    (The last time I was young enough to make that hike, there were YOY brookies as far upstream as the area between the Upper Falls and Bear Swamp Falls. Roughly where the "GoatPath" aka "Yellow/Silver Trail" crosses the Road).


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  18. #12
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    Re: Maine Brook Trout

    I am a trail maintainer for the NYNJTC and Bear Swamp is part of my area. The Boy Scouts maintain one of the locks on Bear Swamp road and the out bound traffic on Sundays is people driving down Bear Swamp Road form a weekend at the camp. I'd be happy to see the lake/swamp go but it is pretty nice in the winter when all the Lilly pads are gone. Someday I'll bring my skates. If you check Google Street View of the area, you can see a bunch of my 360 degree pictures. I avoid all the camps in the area because I can read a map.


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