During the summer, I like to fish the lower portion of the Passaic river for carp and Northern pike (Esox lucius or water wolf). The Passaic river, the longest river in New Jersey, was formed during the last ice age from a proglacial lake. A proglacial lake happens when water is trapped by ice until the water overflows.
The river still has a pollution problem but I have witnessed improvements in the quality of the water since 2004. Now when I fish, I see crabs, young fish, turtles and stripe bass living in the river.
I like to fish the Passaic River during the summer months because this is when carp feed on the surface of the river. I use an 8 weight fly rod to do this and small round pellets made from deer hair. When tied correctly, flies made from deer hair float like a bug or piece of bread on the water.
Many fly fishers have begun to fish for carp. Carp offer a unique challenge to the fly fisher because of what is required to catch them. They are smart, cautious and tough. Some like to compare fishing for carp with a fly rod to fishing for bone fish with a fly rod. Both require stealth, patients and casting skills in order to have a chance of catching the fish.
Several times during the summer I also fish for pike in the river. I target these fish using big flies - up to a foot long sometimes! Pike are at the top of the food chain in the tidal water of the lower Passaic river; where it flows through the urban areas of New Jersey. Nothing is bigger, badder or meaner than the pike with its canine-like teeth. Pike will lay in the river, almost motionless, waiting for a unsuspecting fish to pass by. On the attack, pike can go from zero to speeds in the teens when pursuing prey.