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Upper Delaware Fly Fishing Report


Anglers planning to visit the Upper Delaware and Catskill regions this weekend should find some decent weather. We are expecting air temperatures in the upper 70's. There is a slight chance of a quick shower on Saturday. The rest of the weekend is forecast for bright sunshine.

Over the last few days our guides have been switching between Trout and Bass fishing. Summer is a rewarding time for all of us as we spend a lot of time with young anglers who are just getting their feet wet.

Below are a few shots from this week. I had Ben and His Dad Scott out for their first Delaware River Bass trip. Ben is a natural and took both Bass and Walleye on his first float.

Currently visiting fishermen have a lot of options in the Upper Delaware. The East and West Branches are offering Reliable but challenging match the hatch dry fly fishing. Nymph fishing is also very good at this time.

The Lower Delaware and our ponds and Reservoirs are now in prime condition for Smallmouth Bass fishing. Our guides have been targeting these exciting game fish for a few weeks and the action improves every day. The remainder of July and August are prime time for Smallies.

We are in summer mode now so there will not be much change to the insects or the Trout activity. There are Tricos, Midges and mixed spinners on the water in the morning hours. Anglers will find some nice action if you locate areas where the Trico activity is heavy. These are insects that definitely have preferred water. In the Delaware areas with gentle riffles and pools with some aquatic vegetation are best. If you can find this type of water in an area with lots of grass along the banks you will have an even better scenario. These insects love to cling to the grass right along the banks. In the Delaware system I use #18 and #20 imitations for this hatch. If the fish are fussy Griffith Gnats, Ants and Floating Nymphs in the same sizes work well.

The afternoons still have a decent emergence of Sulfurs. The hatch is now spit with the areas just below the dams seeing activity in early to late afternoon. The areas downstream where the water is warmer see activity in the 2 hours or so before dark. Everywhere sees a surge in activity right at dark.

In the small section of the Main Stem that is cool there are Isonychia and Cahills in addition to the other insects mentioned.

Spinners and Terrestrials are a possibility at all times.

The nymph fishing has been excellent and our guests have been running up the numbers at times. Over the last few days my guests have had non stop action with our nymph rigs. The key right now is to be drag free and fish the correct level in the water column. The Trout have been feeding up for months now and nymphs fished up will draw a lot of attention. I have been rigging with 3 nymphs under a float. The whole rig is not very deep and the flies I am choosing are not heavy. I am currently rigging 1 small bead head to break the waters surface followed by 2 nymphs that have a more neutral buoyancy. Most strikes have been in the mid to upper third of the water column. Many of the strike as this time are clearly visible and similar to dry fly takes. Our Caddis Pupas, Copper Johns, Prince Nymphs, Pheasant Tails are good choices. #16 and smaller are the best choices at this time.

The Smallmouth bass action is getting better every day.

Mike Reilly with a nice smallie from this week

With the warmer water on the Lower Main Stem these fish are getting aggressive. Our guides have been finding lots of topwater action for our guests. The afternoon trips have been great and our guests are taking fish with a variety of topwater flies. Recently Poppers, Dahlberg Divers and Mice have been what we are feeding them. Just about every day there is a period where the action really turns on.

If you want to get out for a great day of fishing call us today.