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    Absolute Beginner - Few Quick Questions

    Hey All,

    Typical story of "Not new to fishing but new to fly fishing" Brother in law got me a beginner setup for my birthday a short while ago (5wt 8.5'), and I'd like to give it a fair try to see if I like it. I have a few flies lying around from when I tried tenkara, which I just never found any enjoyment or luck in, as well as from mystery tackle box type things. I recently found I love going after trout after fishing the D&R for stockies and doing some catch & cooks.

    I have been watching youtube videos and whatnot, so I think I can cover the basics of how to cast, what to fish for where, gear questions, etc. but I have two quick questions.

    1.) Waders - Every entry level wader ($60-$150) that I find has about 20 reviews on it that say "Hole after 2 uses" or "Leaked my first time out" - obviously I want to avoid that. It seems to unfortunately be luck of the draw unless you're buying a $400 pair of Simms, which I'm not that invested in yet. I wanted to ask if I would have a bad time of it if I got an $80 pair of made in china waders, some decent wading boots, and just went over any leaks that may pop up with aquaseal - considering I may only use them a few times.

    2.) I live in Trenton NJ, which is not a great spot as far as fly fishing is concerned. Wondering if anyone can recommend a few spots within an hour drive of me that I can wade for trout? I know to get my feet wet I should be practicing anywhere and catching some tiny sunnies and whatnot, but I'm really looking for the "traditional" wet wade for trout experience. Not super interested in fly fishing for bass as I have plenty of bassin gear. I have googled around and found some "spots" i.e. south branch of the raritan, or little lehigh creek, but wondering if anyone could point me to some parking along any specific bodies of water and specific sections to fish? I waded the Stony Brook near Princeton about two months ago or so but I was in a really shallow section with just one decent pool, all I caught were sunnies and rock bass - so It would be good to know where some of the deeper runs are and what not. As a disclaimer, I know its a bit hot for trout at the moment, most of this will be done in say - October when PA stocks (I have my PA license) and when the whether cools down and the trout start chewing actively.

    Thanks in advance for any guidance!

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    Re: Absolute Beginner - Few Quick Questions

    Welcome to fly fishing and the site. Having been a beginner not too long ago, and living in Princeton by the Stony Brook, I thought I should lend a hand. First, the Stony Brook only has trout for a couple of weeks during stocking periods. The trout get taken out pretty quickly and those not taken out die from the heat. The two spots I would recommend from Trenton (when the weather gets cooler) are (i) the Ken Lockwood Gorge in Califon/Highbridge (ii) the Musconetcong Point Mountain TCA and (ii) since you have a PA license, Valley Creek in Valley Forge. They are the closest real fly fishing streams and all about an hour away from Trenton and have parking lots. They are also catch and release streams. Just FYI, Valley Creek is a very small stream. Point Mountain and Gorge have bigger (stocked) fish. My other piece of advice is to hire a guide. For Point Mountain and the Gorge, call Shannon's Fly Shop. They are excellent and will supply you with the right flies and I think they have waders and boots that they can lend you. For Valley Creek, TCO Fly Shops guide there. Guides not only show you where the productive waters are, it is basically an on stream private lesson for fly fishing. Well worth the cost (and don't forget to tip the guide). Shannon's, pre-covid, also ran a day long fly fishing school where you got to fish their private club waters after lessons on land. That is also a great way to get a lot of instruction. I have no relationship with Shannon's except that I've bought a lot of stuff there, hired a guide there and attended their school. On your wader question, "wet wading" is actually when you don't use waders. You can use a bathing suit, shorts, or if you are worried about bugs and leeches, use quick drying pants. That would be fine when it gets a little cooler in the fall before it gets too cold. You also don't really need wading boots except that sneakers or sandals can get slippery on the rocks in the stream. At some point, if you get more into fly fishing, you will want to invest in a good pair of waders and boots. Another FYI, this site has been pretty dead lately (maybe the weather), but there normally there are a lot of different opinions out there so don't be surprised if others chime in here and disagree with everything I've said. Good luck!


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    Re: Absolute Beginner - Few Quick Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by johnkk111 View Post
    Welcome to fly fishing and the site. Having been a beginner not too long ago, and living in Princeton by the Stony Brook, I thought I should lend a hand. First, the Stony Brook only has trout for a couple of weeks during stocking periods. The trout get taken out pretty quickly and those not taken out die from the heat. The two spots I would recommend from Trenton (when the weather gets cooler) are (i) the Ken Lockwood Gorge in Califon/Highbridge (ii) the Musconetcong Point Mountain TCA and (ii) since you have a PA license, Valley Creek in Valley Forge. They are the closest real fly fishing streams and all about an hour away from Trenton and have parking lots. They are also catch and release streams. Just FYI, Valley Creek is a very small stream. Point Mountain and Gorge have bigger (stocked) fish. My other piece of advice is to hire a guide. For Point Mountain and the Gorge, call Shannon's Fly Shop. They are excellent and will supply you with the right flies and I think they have waders and boots that they can lend you. For Valley Creek, TCO Fly Shops guide there. Guides not only show you where the productive waters are, it is basically an on stream private lesson for fly fishing. Well worth the cost (and don't forget to tip the guide). Shannon's, pre-covid, also ran a day long fly fishing school where you got to fish their private club waters after lessons on land. That is also a great way to get a lot of instruction. I have no relationship with Shannon's except that I've bought a lot of stuff there, hired a guide there and attended their school. On your wader question, "wet wading" is actually when you don't use waders. You can use a bathing suit, shorts, or if you are worried about bugs and leeches, use quick drying pants. That would be fine when it gets a little cooler in the fall before it gets too cold. You also don't really need wading boots except that sneakers or sandals can get slippery on the rocks in the stream. At some point, if you get more into fly fishing, you will want to invest in a good pair of waders and boots. Another FYI, this site has been pretty dead lately (maybe the weather), but there normally there are a lot of different opinions out there so don't be surprised if others chime in here and disagree with everything I've said. Good luck!
    Yeah...This guy is wrong about everything. Buy the SIMMS and Orvis gear and go to the KLG. EVEN IF YOU DON'T CATCH ANYTHING YOU WILL LOOK GREAT!!! It makes everyone think you are good and you can tell great stories about the fish you caught. Download a couple of picture from the web and show them off!!!

    I think this guy actually is right on. Call Shannon's and do what he said, you will find out if it something you would really like to pursue and invest in...careful, it can become an addiction. I belong to FFA..Fly Fishers Anonymous, my wife made me join so I spend more time at home..

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

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    Re: Absolute Beginner - Few Quick Questions

    Appreciate both of you! I was looking up the klg myself earlier today and came across shannons too, I love that they have free fly tying sessions too (maybe not right now due to covid, but its nice to know it will likely be back at some point)

    Also good to know about stoney brook - it wasn't just me! I did pretty well on the canal path this season being the first time i've ever caught a (stocked) trout. I will obviously mind the catch and release rules when/where they are in place!


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    Re: Absolute Beginner - Few Quick Questions

    you can not go wrong by going to Shannons and speaking to Jimmy


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    Re: Absolute Beginner - Few Quick Questions

    Hey all,

    Thanks again for all the tips. I have not made it trout fishing or to Shannons (too hot anyway really) but I decided to get some practice in really close to my house in the Delaware river to see if maybe I could catch a smallie.

    Got to try out my waders (70$ amazon pair which did not leak the first outing which I’m calling a success) and my “terrafin” wading boot/sneaker by softscience. I’m happy with everything…except my casting abilities. Definitely tricky stuff, having trouble getting good casts more than about 10-15 feet away from myself. I’ve been watching all the mad rivers “fly casting” videos and hope to practice some more. I don’t expect to go out and bomb amazing casts. If I was dead drifting in a trout stream I think I could have made out ok, but a wide stretch of river I was in I was wishing I could cast a bit further out.

    I did “almost” catch something, which actually wasn’t the goal. I mostly wanted to practice, and with my line piled in front of me and my streamer/sculpin (got off a guy I bought some cheap rio fly line off of facebook marketplace) that was about 5 ft away from me got gulped by something which popped right back off the hook. I was not prepared to fight a fish so I’m ok with losing the fish!

    All in all it was a good experience and I’m ready to practice and improve my casting. I will make to Shannons and may hire a guide in ~october when it cools down.

    Thanks again everyone,


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    Re: Absolute Beginner - Few Quick Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Joeblowv1 View Post
    Hey all,

    Thanks again for all the tips. I have not made it trout fishing or to Shannons (too hot anyway really) but I decided to get some practice in really close to my house in the Delaware river to see if maybe I could catch a smallie.

    Got to try out my waders (70$ amazon pair which did not leak the first outing which I’m calling a success) and my “terrafin” wading boot/sneaker by softscience. I’m happy with everything…except my casting abilities. Definitely tricky stuff, having trouble getting good casts more than about 10-15 feet away from myself. I’ve been watching all the mad rivers “fly casting” videos and hope to practice some more. I don’t expect to go out and bomb amazing casts. If I was dead drifting in a trout stream I think I could have made out ok, but a wide stretch of river I was in I was wishing I could cast a bit further out.

    I did “almost” catch something, which actually wasn’t the goal. I mostly wanted to practice, and with my line piled in front of me and my streamer/sculpin (got off a guy I bought some cheap rio fly line off of facebook marketplace) that was about 5 ft away from me got gulped by something which popped right back off the hook. I was not prepared to fight a fish so I’m ok with losing the fish!

    All in all it was a good experience and I’m ready to practice and improve my casting. I will make to Shannons and may hire a guide in ~october when it cools down.

    Thanks again everyone,
    When the water cools, trout will move into the Main Stem and you’ll have that water all to yourself. At least I doubt anyone else will be within, say, several hundred miles of your spot.

    Beetle is being punished

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    Re: Absolute Beginner - Few Quick Questions

    Trout move into the main stem that far down when the water gets cooler? I’d think the River would be too silty/dirty. That or ur just trolling

    "...,he who does not put a padlock on his basket ought to put one on his mouth"
    The Practical Angler
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    Circa 1847

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    Re: Absolute Beginner - Few Quick Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Catskill Mountain Man View Post
    Trout move into the main stem that far down when the water gets cooler? I’d think the River would be too silty/dirty. That or ur just trolling
    Probably not trout, but smallmouth? Striped bass?

    https://youtu.be/-bk9A5znU8s

    Beetle is being punished

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    Re: Absolute Beginner - Few Quick Questions

    I saw so many guys by the Trenton makes bridge on the striper hunt once it hit April/May it wasn't even funny.

    I have my "mobile sportfishing pass" so I'm ok with hunting the salt for striped bass, but I do have a small 14' mirrocraft northport troller, I'll make it out on a riverbound striper hunt atleast once eventually.


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    Re: Absolute Beginner - Few Quick Questions

    Bushkill in Easton pa supposed to be good

    "...,he who does not put a padlock on his basket ought to put one on his mouth"
    The Practical Angler
    C.W. Stewart
    Circa 1847

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    Re: Absolute Beginner - Few Quick Questions

    Trenton is great fishing actually. Doesn’t the Delaware run through town? Check the water temps, but I think that’s what we call the “main stem.” Not as cold water as the East and West Branches near the dams, but still the Main Stem and quality fishing.

    Beetle is being punished

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