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Upper Delaware Fly Fishing Report


The great insect hatches and good fishing continues1

Currently the fishing in most of the Upper Delaware is very reliable and consisitent. The bigger bugs are on the water and the Trout are feeding heavily whenever they are present.

All of the Trout that we are catching are now fat like footballs from the abundant food.

Over the last few days our guests have been treated to widespread emergences of both March Browns and Green Drakes. On the waters where several of our guides floated the emergence of green drakes has been spectacular. There are also millions of Invaria and Dorothea sulfurs.

Over the last 2 days my guests have been able to fish size 6 dry fly patterns throughout the day and the fish have been crushing our flies.

If you are fishing the Main Stem the last few days has brought a much improved hatch of this gigantic insect - Heptagenia culacantha. This beautiful insect is about the same size or slightly bigger than Green Drakes. The Trout have been eating these well when they are on the water. There are enough of these insects this year that people are talking about them. Several years ago I collected a sample of this insect and had it correctly identified by Greg Hoover out at Penn State. Hopefully this beautiful bug will continue to grow it's numbers in the Main Delaware.

Heptagenia culacantha.jpg

Yesterday's insect activity had the Trout on the surface from mid afternoon through to darkness.

Below are a pair of yesterdays rainbows

Christine bow.jpg

Greg Bow.jpg

All of the upper Delaware rivers are low at this time but fishing well. The very cold nights have water temperatures in the prime range for active and aggresive Trout.

Below are some photos from during yesterdays hot Green Drake action. For those who wish to fish rthis hatch now is the time. In the last 10 years we have always had out best action with drakes between May 20 to 25th. The peak for Coffin Flies will come in about 7 days and be joined with Brown Drakes around the same time.

Right now the nymph action is very good. Our guests have been taking good fish on dries but they have been running the numbers up on nymphs.

Right now a nymph rig with 3 flies fished under a float is deadly. Over the last few days I have been setting up my rigs as follows. A BH March Brown followed by a smaller BH pheasant tail or bh soft hackle followed by either an Ice Pupa or Pheasant tail. The last flie should be a #16 or #18 at this time. All of these flies are tied in line and fished abour 2.5 to 3 feet below the indicator. At this time you want your flies suspended in the water column not on the bottom.

River Flow Table

Beaverkill - 164 cfs.

Wilowemoc - 98 cfs.

Upper East Branch -148 cfs

Lower East Branch - 421 cfs.

West Branch - 277 cfs.

Main Stem -927 cfs.

Our fly shop is now open daily. We are fully stocked with the essentials and the best local fly patterns in the area. If you are planning to fish and want to get the scoop on what's happening on all area rivers, stop in. Our guides will be in and around the shop from 8:30 am until they leave for their trips. You can pick their brains on the latest hatches, techniques and locations. Our staff will be available to you on a daily basis from now through the end of June

Currently there are Green Drakes, March Browns, Sulfurs, Hendrickson's, Stoneflies, Caddisflies and more emerging from all Upper Delaware Rivers. There is good spinner activity every night.

Today's Upper Delaware Fly Selection

March Brown Cripples, Green Drake Cripples, Baxter House Coffin Fly, Kens Coffin fly, Hackle Wing March Brown Spinner, Hackle WIng Rusty Spinners, March Browns, Sulfurs, Blue Quill CDC Duns, Quill Gordon Cripples, Hendrickson Knock Down Duns, Hendrickson Cripples, Red Quill Cripples, Elk Over CDC Caddis, X Caddis, Peacock Klinkhammers, Apple Caddis, March Brown Duns, March Brown Cripples

BH Copper Johns, BH Pheasant Tails, Ice Caddis, KT Pupas, BH Stoneflies, Flash Back Pheasant Tails, Cased Caddis

Small Zonkers, BH Wooly Buggers , Sculpins, Bottom Wigglers, Muddlers, Small Atriculated Flies

Streamers of 3" or less will be most effective at this time.


Both the Beaverkill and Willow are fishing well. Both got a nice boost in flow from the recent rainfall . Both rivers have excellent wading access at this time and there is very little angler pressure on these waters. At this time the Beaverkill and WIlloemoc are a good choice.

This is one of my favorite times to fish these waters. The insect hatches are now transitioning to species that thrive in the faster riffles and pocket water. The Beamoc waters are perfect for these insects! Over the next 4 weeks anglers should have no problem finding active insects and Trout.

March Browns are starting to show up in places and a few sulfurs should be about late in the day. At this time a rusty spinner is a great choice for any fussy fish.

Anglers should nymph early and start looking for risers in mid afternoon.

The nymphing is excellent. The best tactic for the Beamoc water is high sticking in the Pocket water. At this time the Pocket Water and Riffles are full of fish.


The East is in decent condition today. The rainfall was really needed on this river. In the coming days anglers should have nice nice fishing on this river.

The Upper East still has some Hendrickson / Blue QUill Activity. There are also caddisflies and March Browns. There should be some Green Drake activity in the very near future.

At the current flow the Trout will be tough in the Upper River. Anglers should try longer leaders over the fussy fish that live in the glass like pools slow.

The Lower East is now looking good for at least the next few days. This section is at low water conditions but the cold weather has it in prime range for active trout.

The lower east should fish well as it is great habitat for March Browns. Anglers should concentrate their attention around the riffles. This is where the March Browns will emerge from and it is also where the best spinner activity will take place. Like the Beaverkill this section of river will be at it's best over the next 4 weeks if water temperatures and conditions remain stable.


The West is at a decent flow today. There is a 266 cfs. release from Cannonsville. This release will keep most of the West ice cold.

The insect activity is very good and this river should be bug soup for the next month. Anglers will easily find rising fish at this time.

As is always the case there is a lot of green algae in the drift on the West. It is easy to deal with when fishing dry flies but very problematic when going subsurface.

Hendrickson's are still on the water especially in the upper section. There are also Caddisflies, March Browns and soon the sulfurs will establish as a major hatch.


The Main Stem got a nice boost of water and is now at a good fishing flow. The fishing was pretty good yesterday on the section where our guides floated. At this time you can pick at the fish with dry flies during the day. The last hour before dark has been excellent and just after dark has been a feeding frenzy in many places. This type of activity will now become the norm especially on bright sunny days. The only exception will be on cloudy and rainy days which should produce surface activity throughout the day.

The nymph action on the Main Stem is excenllent at this time. Our guests have been hooking up with wild rainbows in most every riffle that we fish. Over the last week we have easily had double digit catches daily.

The Upper River will continue to be a daily parade of drift boats especially on the Buckingham stretch. This should continue through mid June.

March Browns, Sulfurs and Olives are on the water in solid numbers. I have also seen a few Green Drakes, Hexagenia and Isonychia which are a bit early. These only emerged in small sections and are most likely the result of the extreme heat wave we had last week.

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