Pequest River Rainbow Trout
Fly Fishing Pequest River New Jersey
The Pequest River is a heavily stocked trout stream
located in Northwestern New Jersey. It begins from
swamps and gains strength as it eventually becomes a
decent size trout stream.

Fly fishing the Pequest River can be a rewarding
experience. The stocked trout make it easy enough
for beginners to catch some trout and the holdovers
make it challenging enough for anyone.

The most popular area on the river is the fish
hatchery. It's located on the river between Great
Meadows and Buttzvile. Since it's a hatchery and a
know fish location, it's often crowded. The area near
the hatchery is really no better than many other areas
along the river, but it is thought to be the hot spot by
most of the local anglers.

The stream is made of areas of swift runs, pocket
water along with some nice pools and riffles. The
Pequest River is well shaded and stays rather cool
even during the hot summer days.

This stream is stocked with some nice size trout many
of which are able to holdover. The average fish is
probably around twelve inches. The stream is
probably not much over forty feet in width at its widest
places. Most of it is much smaller.

Access is plentiful. Route #46 follows along the river
for most of its length. A "Seasonal Conservation Area"
is located near the fish hatchery. The river provide
good fishing opportunities well below the hatchery.

The area between Buttzville down to Belvidere is
considered the best area by many anglers. The river
enters the Delaware River near Belvidere.

This is one of, if not the best, dry fly fishing stream in
the state. It has an abundance of aquatic insects
consisting of mayflies, caddisflies, stoneflies and
midges. Terrestrials insect imitations are popular
during the warmer months.

Although the fish are stocked, there's plenty of large
holdovers that become wild in nature and matching
the hatch is often necessary.

The water gets low and slows down some during the
warmer months and the trout become more difficult to
fool.  Fly fishing the Pequest River can require rather
technical fly fishing at times.

Good drifts are usually required. It is best to make
short, upstream cast, keeping most of the fly line off of
the water. This will help get drag free drifts. You also
must stay well hidden from the trout. The stream is
heavily fished in places and the trout can become
easily spooked.
Copyright 2021 James Marsh
Type of Stream

Brown Trout (Stocked with holdovers)
Rainbow Trout (Stocked with some

Small to Medium

Northwestern New Jersey

Nearest Towns
Great Meadows

N. J. General Trout Season


Non-Resident License
State of New Jersey

National Weather Service

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Photo Courtesy of Stephen Lamb
The season falls under N. J. General Trout
Fly fishing the Pequest River during the
Winter is fine during the nicer days.
Springtime is normally the best time to for fly
fishing the Pequest because of the hatches.
Make sure you check the water levels which
can be high at times.
Pequest River Hatches and Trout
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
Pequest 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.

This river provides a huge diversity of
aquatic insects but most of them exist in
sparse quantities.

As with most other trout streams, Blue-
winged Olives are among the most important
insects in the stream.  More than one
species of these little mayflies will start
hatching as early as the middle of February
and hatch until the middle of April. There’s
another hatch (Easter Blue Winged Olives)
that occurs from about the middle of May
until the first of June. Another Finally, the last
BWO hatch occurs from the middle of August
through the month of September.

Around the first or second week in April, the
Quill Gordons will hatch. It’s a rather short
hatch lasting only about two or three weeks.
At about the same time the Quill Gordons
show come off, the little Blue Quills will start
to hatch. The hatch tends to last for about a

From the middle of April until about the
middle of May, the Hendrickson hatch
occurs. You will find them in the more
moderate sections of the stream.

From the last of May until about the middle of
June you will find hatches of Eastern Pale
Evening Duns (
invaria species) occurring.
Before the hatch ends, their little sisters or
Sulphurs (
dorthea species) will start hatching
and last until the middle of July.

March Browns hatch from about the first of
May for most of the month. They are usually
found in the faster to moderate sections of
the stream. Another clinger mayfly, the Light
Cahill, will hatch starting about the last week
of May and last throughout the month of
Hatches, continued:
Slate Drakes hatch over a long period of
time, but usually irregularly. They first
show up about the first of June and hatch
off and on until the middle of September.  

The little Trico mayflies start hatching
about the middle of June and last through
the month of July. You will find both the
Yellow Drakes and the Tricos in the
slower sections of the stream.

Caddisflies are also present in good
numbers on the Big Flat Brook River. The
first hatch of significance is the Little
Black Caddis, or American Grannoms.
Some of these are called Apple Caddis,
named for their apple green bodies. They
start hatching about the third week of
April and last until near the end of May.

Dark Blue Sedges are very plentiful and
start hatching near the end of April. This
hatch can last into the first of the month
of July. The most plentiful caddisflies  are
the Cinnamon Caddis. Several species of
them hatch from about the last week of
May all the way through most of the
month of September.

Green Sedges hatch from about the first
of June through August. Their larvae,
called Green Rock Worms, are available
for trout to eat year-round. Imitations of
them should produce just about anytime.

Midges hatch throughout the year. They
become most important when there isn’t
anything else hatching. Imitations of their
larvae, pupae and of the adults will
produce.  A Griffith’s Gnat is the top
midge dry during hatches of these tiny
flies. Also, don’t overlook streamers. The
Pequest River has plenty of minnows,
baitfish and sculpin. Streamers are
usually most effective under low light
conditions or when the water is slightly off
color from heavy rain.

We have “Perfect Fly” imitations of all of
the insects in this stream. They are not
only the most realistic flies you can
purchase, they are the most effective at
catching trout. If you haven’t done so
already, please give them a try.
Trout fishing stays pretty good during the
Summer due to the shade but slows
down some.
Fall is a great time, maybe the best time
for big trout.
Pequest River Fishing Report - 01/19/21
The stream level are a little above normal. There are several insects hatching and we are
getting good reports when the levels are okay.
Stream Conditions:

7 Day Weather Forecast:
(click the box below to see more detailed weather infomation}

Recommended Trout Flies:
Rate: 176 cfs
Level: 2.00 ft
Afternoon Water Temperature: 39
Clarity: stained
USGS Real-ime Stream Flow Data at Pequest NJ
Brown Sculpin and White Belly Sculpin and Articulated streamers, size 6/4
Black Matuka and Olive Matuka Sculpin, size 4/6
Blue-winged Olives, 16/18, nymphs, emergers, duns and spinners
Midges: Blood (Red), sizes 20/22, larva, pupa and adults
Midges: Cream, size 20/22, larva, pupa and adults
Midges: Light Green, size 20/22, larva, pupa and adults
Aquatic Worms, size 12, pink, red, and others.
Winter Stoneflies, size 16/18, nymphs and adults
Strategies, Techniques and Tips:
Our Brown Sculpin, White Belly Sculpin streamers and Articulated 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..
Aquatic worms are working.
Winter stoneflies are hatching.
We still think the best strategy is to fish a tandem Midge rig under a small strike
indicator with the midge lava as the bottom fly and the midge pupa as the top fly. Fish
the adult midge only when you observe trout feeding on the surface.
Fishing Report Updated 01/19/21
(Bottom Of Page)
Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (
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 (
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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