After fishing the same rivers, you start to figure it out. Where the trout usual hide, what areas are hard to wade or cast in, and what the fish are feeding on. Checking a new river though really challenges you to try all of your fly fishing skills.
Last night I went out fishing in the Ken Lockwood Gorge area on the Raritan river in NJ. Just happened by chance that I was working close to the river for my regular cube job and since i always keep my gear in my car I decided to check it out after work. The Gorge is a super easy river to access since there is a road and a hiking path that run along the river. I imagine it gets pretty busy on the weekends but a random tuesday night was easy. Its a pretty fast moving river but there are some slower spots and a lot of large rocks for the trout to hide among.
I was only able to fish for about an hour or two due to a thunder storm that rolled through (I have no problem fishing in the rain but the thunder and lighting is a different story). But I still managed to catch a few decent brown trout, with a few lost as well. I would say that a lot of my time was just spent walking the river yesterday getting a sense for “fishy” spots and trying a few different flies.
This fish I caught on a dropper rig with a big BWO and a decent sized killer bug. This is a common rig that I use in most of the rivers around NYC.