Get Ready for Fishing Season!

As the latest round of snow slowly melts away and we officially enter spring, that means one thing for anglers in New Jersey – fishing season!

LafayetteBridge

Paulinskill River, Lafayette – Sussex County

Waters that are stocked by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife are now officially closed to fishing until April 8th, 8:00 a.m. It is incredibly important to leave these waters as they are while staff and volunteers stock and allow fish to become acclimated to their new surroundings.

It is also incredibly important that those required purchase a fishing license and know the fishing regulations for New Jersey. I know many people complain about the cost of the licenses for fishing and hunting, but they really are important. These fees help make sure our rivers are stocked, and rules are enforced through conservation officers. They also provide other great programs like Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs (Glenn and I are proud to be a part of) and free licenses for specific groups of people, such as handicapped, senior citizens, and active military. My husband and I always catch and release, but we still purchase a trout stamp because we believe in the work Fish and Game does and we know how limited their budget is. So I ask each and every one of you who requires a fishing license to spend the $22.50 and make the purchase. The cost of a ticket for fishing without a license is FAR more expensive.

Enjoy the fishing season, follow the regulations, fish ethically, and remember to “carry in/carry out.

Tight lines!

Why I love New Jersey

My husband and I were watching a television show about real estate in Montana. One couple was planning a move from California to Montana. Now, when most people think of Big Sky Country, they imagine the open prairie, cowboys, and wood cabins. Instead of embracing the lifestyle, they were trying to shoehorn California living into their new house. They obviously shouldn’t have left California. That’s where their heart is.

That’s kind of like how I feel about New Jersey.

Frankford-Cemetery

Frankford Cemetery in black and white by Lisaann VanBlarcom Permunian.

I am often asked a simple question. “Why would you EVER want to stay in New Jersey?”

When my husband and I were married there very were few things that were non-negotiable. One of those non-negotiable items is that I would NEVER move out of New Jersey.

“Why?”

New Jersey is my home. I was born in Columbus Hospital in Newark and spent over 30 years in Belleville. When a move needed to take place, we stayed close by in Nutley until we could decide on our next move. While it may sound crazy, going to the next town over from Belleville was tough. I also felt like I had betrayed my beloved Belleville by moving to our rival town. Two years later, we moved again. Instead of town-to-town, we moved county-to-county. Again, I almost had a nervous breakdown.

As my regular readers know, I don’t deal well with change. I know people who have moved across the country and half-way around the world. Me? I move from Essex County to Morris County and I could barely handle it. I’m a Jersey Girl through and through. I would’ve been very happy to stay in my house on Irving Street for the rest of my life.

Where else can you be at an awesome beach and then the mountains within a two hour drive

Rutt's Hut

A typical meal at the Jersey famous Rutt’s Hut.

in the same state? Have the best REAL Italian and REAL Portuguese cooking in the same city? I can go fly fishing in Walpack or grab a cheese steak at Seaside Heights. You want a great deep fried hot dog? I know the place. Oh, and I don’t pump my own gas.

Some people see Newark Airport and the Turnpike. Me? I see important places that played key roles in the birth of our nation. We are tough. If you are from Jersey, you need to be tough to fight off all the stupid stereotypes from those horrible television shows which I will not name.

So will I travel? Sure. But I will always come home to my New Jersey.

Photos Around New Jersey

Over the last few weeks I have been taking photos of “my New Jersey” as I like to call it. These photos show some of the beauty of this wonderful state. I hope you enjoy them!

Lafayette, NJ

Lafayette, NJ

Lafayette, NJ

Lafayette, NJ

Randolph, NJ

Randolph, NJ

Sparta, NJ

Sparta, NJ

Sparta, NJ

Sparta, NJ

Rockaway Borough

Rockaway Borough, NJ

Happy 350th Anniversary New Jersey!

This year marks the 350th anniversary of New Jersey. From its important role in the Revolutionary War, to Thomas Edison’s many important discoveries, to the awesome voice of Frank Sinatra, New Jersey is way more than the butt-end of jokes by those who have no idea what a wonderful state it is!

The “official” New Jersey began as a gift from Charles II of England to his brother James, the Duke or York. James gave a piece of his gift to two noblemen, Sir George Carteret and John Lord Berkeley. The document that actually shows this transaction is now located at the New Jersey State Archives in Trenton.

When the English arrived in 1664, they found Native Americans, Swedish, and Dutch settlers already calling what would ultimately be New Jersey their home.

In 2014, three themes have been developed to help celebrate this special anniversary…

Innovation: The world has been reshaped again and again by people from and things created in New Jersey. From Edison’s light bulb, to the Atlantic City boardwalk, to the first intercollegiate football game, to Frank Sinatra and Count Basie, New Jersey’s innovations and innovators have had an impact around the globe.

Diversity: By virtue of its location and diversity, New Jersey is in many ways a microcosm of the U.S., with numerous national themes playing out within the state’s boundaries over the past 350 years.

Liberty: New Jersey played a pivotal role in the American Revolution, witnessing more significant military action than any other state in the new nation and establishing a tradition of distinguished military service that continues to this day. New Jersey’s commitment to the cause of liberty was further demonstrated when it became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights in 1789.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, I know I don’t have to tell you how much I LOVE my state! From fly fishing on the Flatbrook, to enjoying the beach at Wildwood, to a great Italian dinner at one of the awesome restaurants in Essex County, New Jersey has it all!

If you would like to learn more about the different events that are taking place around the state to celebrate this important milestone, check out the official anniversary site: officialnj350.com. I hope you will take some time this year and participate in one of the great events planned!

The Fly Fishing Show: Somerset, NJ

One of the things I love about New Jersey is the diversity of activities you can do here. You can swim in the Atlantic. You can hike part of the Appalachian Trail. You can gamble in Atlantic City. You can experience a variety of different cultural delights in Newark.

Fly Fishing ShowWell one of my favorite activities is fly fishing. My husband and I have a fly fishing instruction business where we teach people the art of fly casting and fly tying. Well, if you are into fly fishing, this weekend is the event to end all events – The Fly Fishing Show in Somerset.

You can find anything and everything related to fly fishing at this event. There are plenty of classes, lectures and casting demonstrations that are included in your show entry fee. You can learn about fly fishing just about anywhere in the world and try out more rods than you could ever imagine.

This post is also a little self-serving. My husband and I will be there talking about fly casting and giving lectures. If you would like to stop by and say hi, we will be at the Shu-Fly booth Friday and Saturday. We are also giving our presentation on tactics for stillwater fishing Friday and Saturday.

If you decide to attend, I hope you stop by!

For the Love of Fly Fishing: Meisselbach Fly Reels

As I have mentioned here before, my husband and I are passionate about fly fishing. We have a fly fishing instruction service and love to share our knowledge with others. At a show back in November, I came across an antique reel I was just drooling over. After a little bit of thought, I decided to get it. Besides being an incredibly important fly reel in fly fishing equipment history, it had a special meaning for this Jersey Girl. It was manufactured in Newark, NJ. Yes, I said Newark, NJ.

Meisselbach 250 Featherlight

The Meisselbach 250 Featherlight. Note the Newark, NJ imprint!

August Frederich Meisselbach’s first reels were considered simple and useful by many. He received the patent for his first reel in February of 1886 named the “Amateur.” In 1895, the “Featherlight” was introduced, which is the reel I purchased and is shown here.

In 1917, Meisselbach sold the company and name to Heineman & Bro. of New York, but they continued to make the reels with the Meisselbach name in Newark until 1921 when it was moved to Elyria, Ohio. If you are interested in learning more about Meisselbach reels, check out oldreels.com.

Now think about it – the reel I purchased is over 100 years old and looks pretty good. I love this style of reel and am incredibly impressed at the manufacturing process that had to take place to create this reel. What I am most proud of is that this reel was made right here in the city of my birth – Newark.

New Jersey and Fly Fishing – Perfect Together!

New Jersey is home to some wonderful opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Whether you are on the Big Flatbrook in Sussex County or fishing out of the Atlantic Highlands, there is a fishing experience available regardless of your ability level or species interest. New Jersey has approximately 8,600 miles of streams and rivers, over 400 public ponds, lakes, and reservoirs, 83 miles of bayshores, and 127 miles of Atlantic coastline. Talk about plenty of angling opportunities!

This weekend is a great event in the Garden State if you are a fan of fly fishing. The International Fly Tying Symposium brings the best of the best from all over the world to New Jersey – yes, New Jersey. The expo floor is at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset and lectures and classes are held next door at the Double Tree Hotel.

This is one of my favorite weekends of the year. Why you might ask? My husband I get to see our angling friends from all over the world – right in our own backyard. We are fly fishing instructors and love to help people get started in fly fishing or learn more about all the great fishing opportunities in our state.

If you decide to check out the show, we will be at the Shu-Fly booth. Make sure to stop by and say hi and ask us about all the great fishing opportunities you can find in New Jersey!