The best thing about fly fishing in New Jersey is the variety of experiences you have to choose from. You can cast out a popper for largemouth bass on a local pond, tie on a dry fly for trout, and target striped bass or bluefish from the ocean coastline -- all in the same state.
New Jersey Freshwater Fly Fishing
During different seasons of the year, you can take advantage of New Jersey fishing for both coldwater and warmwater fish species. Spring, fall and winter provide excellent opportunities to fly fish for trout in Northwestern New Jersey, for example, while summer can be one of the best seasons to fly fish for bass on the state's lakes and rivers.
If you are learning how to fly fish, there are freshwater spots in New Jersey that are perfect for beginners.
As one of the most heavily stocked waterways in the state, the South Branch of the Raritan River is often a worthwhile stop for beginners who are learning to cast a fly for brown, brook, or rainbow trout. The spring and autumn months are typically the best seasons of year, with spring often being preferable due to the large number of hatches that take place.
Often cited as one of the best places to fly fish in New Jersey, the Musconetong River has plenty of access points along the stretch from Allamuchy Mountain State Park to Stephens State Park. Beginner fly anglers can target several species in this waterway including striped bass, largemouth bass, and stocked trout.
Check the state fishing regulations before you plan your trip to make sure you are aware of waterway restrictions, limits and trout stamp requirements.
Saltwater Fly Fishing NJ
Beginners and families who want to experience New Jersey fishing with fly gear can find a spot along the over 100 miles of the New Jersey coastline. Striped bass, bluefish, and weakfish can be caught on fly from the jetties or beaches using baitfish patterns.
If you are looking for a good place to cast an 8 to 10-weight fly rod along the coastline, try one of these saltwater fly fishing spots:
Island Beach State Park
The park contains over 10-miles of sandy shoreline along central New Jersey, separating the Atlantic Ocean from Barnegat Bay and is one of the best places to target bluefish on fly using topwater poppers during the months of May and June.
Liberty State Park
Situated on the banks of the Hudson River in Jersey City, Liberty State Park is a good place for fly rodders of all experience levels to catch striped bass, bluefish, and flounder during the spring and fall.
Before saltwater fly fishing in New Jersey, make sure you have signed up for the New Jersey Saltwater Recreational Registry Program.
Once you make a decision on where to fish in New Jersey, you can pack up your tackle and go. Think about how much fun it will be to fly fish in all these beautiful places. But before you head out, do not forget to renew your license.