While the landscape is still green in NJ, the signs of fall are here. Leaves are starting to litter the sides of the road. Daily temps are only reaching the 70’s, and diving into the 50’s at night. The grass can go two weeks between mowings. Acorns are starting to appear along the trail. Pumpkins and cornstalks are replacing flowers and vegetables at local roadside stands.
And the most undeniable sign of fall: my first leaf fish of the season.
Today I made it out for a few hours, covering some new water in the local river. Although I was comfortable wearing shorts and a tee shirt underneath my waders, cooler water and a light breeze accompanied me for most of the afternoon.
I stuck with using poppers for this trip, but swapped out my 3 wt for a 9′ 5 wt rod and Wind River reel. The 5 wt gave me greater distance casting and confidence on the retrieve. It was also a better choice for roll casts and side casts.
Only one bass brought to hand, but the usual hungry panfish were there to keep me busy. While I was switching poppers a large eel slowly wandered past me, apparently unaware or unconcerned by my presence. Not sure what fly to use on him.