Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide for the Musconetcong River in New Jersey
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 heavily
stocked.

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 ample access. 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 beneath them. 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
New Jersey
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Photo Courtesy of
Dennis McCarthy
Photo Courtesy of
Dennis McCarthy