Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Musconetcong River New
The Musconetcong River, called the "Musky" by local
anglers, is a tributary of the Delaware River. Although
it's a heavily stocked trout stream, there's a good
number of holdover trout consisting mostly of brook and
some brown trout. The Musky also supports modest
populations of wild brook and brown trout in some
stretches of water. Fly fishing the Musconetcong River is
very popular for many New Jersey anglers.
The upper part of the stream below Saxton Falls,
consists mostly of pocket water with some fairly deep
pools, long runs and plenty of riffles. This section of the
river enters the Stephens State Park not far above
Hackettstown, where there's a continuation of prime
pocket water. The stream is surrounded by trees that
help keep the water cool during the summer months.
When the stream enters Hackettstown, the water slows
down and changes into long pools connected by short
sections of riffles. There's less pocket water here than
exists in the uppermost section. The bottom becomes
soft in some areas and there's lots of aquatic vegetation
on its bottom. The river continues to flow through the
Beattystown and Penwell areas.
From the Penwell Bridge on Route #57, downstream to
the Point Mountain Bridge, a distance of about a mile,
the river is designated a Seasonal Trout Conservation
Area. From there the stream flows through the towns of
Hampton and Ashbury where there's are some private
clubs, but plenty of public access despite those closed
sections. The river here has a typical large trout stream
feel with long, smooth pools separated by comparatively
shallow riffles and short sections of pocket water.
If you are fly fishing Musconetcong River on its lower
section you will find far less pressure from anglers. This
section is just before it reaches the Delaware. It
continues to have ample access and the fishing remains
quite good most of the time.
|Type of Stream
(Stocked with Holdovers - Some wild
brook and brown, )
Northwestern New Jersey
Almost year-round. Closed for three
weeks prior to the opening day which
is usually the second Saturday in
Special Regulation Areas:
Yes, Seasonal Trout Conservation
Area (See N. J. Regulations)
State of New Jersey
National Weather Service Link
Fly Fishing Gear and Trout Flies
Stream Flow Data:
Real Time USGS Data (Bloomsburg)
River New Jersey
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 ft., 5 or 6X Nymphing: 71/2 ft.,
3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rod:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five
or Ultimate Six
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Loon Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
The season runs almost year-round. It
is closed for 3 weeks.
Springtime provides some good
hatches and good
fishing if the water levels are good.
The fishing is good during most of the
there's enough rain and cool
temperatures to keep the
Fly Fishing Guide to the Musconetcong River:
Fly fishing Musconetcong River can require matching the
hatch. The Musky has a tremendous variety of aquatic
insects. When there's a hatch underway, the trout
usually key in on it. Because the Musconetccong River
has a wide variety of water, the methods and strategies
used to catch trout on a consistent basic vary greatly.
This beautiful stream has sections of fast water riffles
and a few runs in areas and slow, placid sections of
water in other locations. Its substrate consist of both
rocks and soft sand and mud. This provides a great
variety of aquatic insects with both clinger and burrower
mayflies along with plenty of crawlers and swimmers.
This results in having to match a large number of insects
throughout the season.
While it is true that the newly stocked trout are not
selective and will take a large variety of generic and
attract flies, the larger holdover trout won't be so easy to
please. They have to become use to and rely on the
natural foods that are in the Musconetcong River. This
includes not only the aquatic insects, but also the
terrestrial insects, crustaceans and marine species such
as sculpin, baitfish and minnows. You will need to match
the hatch as well as what is about to hatch in the
nymphal stage of life to fool most of the holdover trout.
The better fishing starts on the upper end of
the river around Saxton Falls. The Stephens
State Park below Saxton Falls offers some
good runs, riffles and pools as well as good
access. There is also access where it flows
under U. S. Route 206. Below that is access
from Kays Road which parallela a railroad
bridge. Most of these areas which are close
to the towns of Netcong and Stanhope, are
A favorite of local anglers is the area between
I-80 and Kinney Road. There is ample access
along Waterloo Road which runs from Saxton
Falls through Stephens State Park and on to
the town of Hackettstown. This is another
heavily stocked section of the river. It is also
a beautiful area of the stream.
The part of the stream that passes along the
town of Hackettstown is heavily stocked with
From Hacketstown, it parallels State Road
57 as far as Port Murray. This is probably
the best access.
You can get to the river via several
crossroads. Most of these bridges are
stocked. Those bridges which have the old
stone foundations have some nice pools
There's the old mill pool in Stephensburg
and the area below the fire-house. The old
milldam at Penwell has access. This area is
the Seasonal Trout Conservation Area
which runs just over a mile from the Penwell
Road Bridge to the Mountain Road Bridge.
You can also access the river along the
Musconetcong River Road, or county route
#645. Four different bridge cross the river
along this route and stocking takes place at
each of them.
Musconetcong River Hatches and
Our information on aquatic insects is based
on our stream samples of larvae and
nymphs, not guess work. We base fly
suggestions on imitating the most plentiful
and most available insects and other foods
at the particular time you are fishing. Unlike
the generic fly shop trout flies, we have
specific imitations of all the insects in the
Musconetcong River and in all stages of life
that are applicable to fishing. If you want to
fish better, more realistic trout flies, have a
much higher degree of success, give us a
call. We not only will help you with
selections, you will learn why, after trying
Perfect Flies, 92% of the thousands of our
customers will use nothing else.
The earliest hatches on the Musconetcong
River are the early stoneflies. Little Winter
Stoneflies, often called Little Back
Stoneflies, begin hatching in February and
last through the month of March.
The next hatch is usually some little
Blue-winged Olives. The mayflies are
bi-brooded and hatch twice a year in the
Musconetcong River. The normally hatch
starting in mid March and last through April.
They hatch again in late August and
Blue Quills usually start sometimes in the
first of April. These and other April hatches
are rely very much on the early season
weather. The exact times can vary greatly at
this time of the year. Normally the hatch will
last all of April. In addition, the Hendersons
and Red Quill mayflies will start in April.
Again, it is highly weather dependent. The
Hendricksons usually run just behind the
Blue Quill and the hatch ends about a week
or two past the Blue Quills.
In April you will also find the Grannon
Caddisflies, including Little Black Caddis
and the later, Apple Caddis, both of the
Grannon genus of caddisflies, will hatch.
Both of these hatches cans string out last
into the first of June.
Cinnamon caddis are the most prolific of the
caddisflies on the Musconetcong River.
They start as early as mid April and last
through June. There are several species of
these net-spinning caddisflies.
The Green Sedges, or Green caddis
whichever you prefer, start hatching in May
and last into the first of July. Trout can be
taken on imitations of their larvae, or Green
Rock Worms as they are called during most
of the fishing season.
Sulphurs begin to hatch in mid May and last
into July. There are also hatches of Eastern
Pale Evening Duns, also called Sulphurs,
that precede this hatch by about two weeks
of the true Sulphurs. It ends about two
weeks prior to the true Sulphur hatch.
LIght Cahill mayflies start hatching around
the first of May and last through June. You
will find these in the faster water sections of
Eastern Green Drakes hatch to some
extent. They usually show up about the
middle of May and last for about two or
three weeks at the most. This isn't a very
Slate Drakes start hatching in May and last
through September. However, the bulk of
this hatch takes place in May and early
June, then again in late August and
Trico mayflies, or the White Winged Curse,
start to appear about the middle of June in
the slow water sections of the
Musconetcong River. These hatch for about
two months. White Flies show up in August
and September in the slow water sections.
Great Autumn Brown Sedges hatch in
September and the first two week of
October. These large caddisflies hatch
during the evenings but imitations of both
the larva and the adult egg layers are
effective in the afternoons.
Don't overlook terrestrial insects. Imitations
of ants, beetles and grasshoppers work
from late June through September.
Streamers imitating sculpin, crayfish,
baitfish and minnows work year-round.
They are great in dingy water and very
early and very late in the day.
Fall can be an excellent time to for fly
fishing the Musconetcong River, again
depending on the amount of rain the area
It's possible to catch trout on warm, winter
days and the
fishing is sometimes surprisingly good.
Thumbnails: Click To Enlarge
Thumbnails: Click To Enlarge
Fishing Report Updated 10/23/16
(Bottom Of Page)
Musconetcong River Fishing Report - 10/23/16
The Musconetcong is a little below normal but on the way up. The levels should be fine
soon and there should be enough rain to keep them in good shape.
7 Day Weather Forecast: There is a chance of rain through tomorrow and then
Thursday through Saturday. Highs will range from 49 to 59 degrees and lows from 29 to
Recommended Trout Flies:
Brown Sculpin and White Belly Sculpin, size 6
Black Matuka and Olive Matuka Sculpin, size 4/6
Blue-winged Olives, 16 and 18, nymphs, emergers, duns and spinners
Mahogany duns, size 18, nymphs, emergers, duns and spinners
Great Autumn Brown Sedges, size 10, pupa and adults
Slate Drakes, size 10/12, nymphs and spinners
Cinnamon Caddis, size 16/18, larva, pupa and adults
Sandwich Hoppers, Green, size 8, 10, 12,
Japanese Beetles, size 16/14
Carpenter ants, size 16/18
Strategies, Techniques and Tips:
Our Brown Sculpin and White Belly Sculpin streamers are great flies to use during the
spring and in fact, the entire season.
The Black Matuka Sculpin and Olive Matuka Sculpin are good streamers to use at this
Blue-winged Olives are hatching.
Mahogany duns are hatching.
Great Autumn brown sedges are hatching.
Slate Drakes are hatching.
Cinnamon Caddis are hatching.
Terrestrial insects - Capenter ants, Japanese Beetles and grass hoppers, will become
more and more important as the month goes by.
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (email@example.com)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
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