Fly Fishing Report for the Upper Delaware and Catskill Rivers
Guide Zach and Jen with a Scrappy Brown during yesterday's group outing
This weekend looks like it may start with changing conditions. There is heavy rainfall forecast for later today. The forecast is predicting heavy thunder storms which could put our rivers back on the rise. This has been the pattern recently and each time it seems to effect a different section of the region. Overall about 1/2" to 3/4" of rain is forecast with more possible in the areas directly in the path of the storms.
In the event that the forecast is correct. The Beaverkill and Willoemoc will rise and fall the quickest. The lower East Branch and the Main Stem will also go up quickly. These rivers also will have areas of turbidity if runoff is heavy. Most often the waters clear within 24 hours.
During the last 2 rounds of T-Storms the Upper East and Upper West branches were the least effected by the storms. Most likely this trend will continue. IN all of the recent high water these sections remained very fishable.
Right now the Sulfurs remain the most reliable and abundant insect around the system. Olives are also abundant both in the morning and evenings. In overcast rainy weather olives have been abundant. These tiny mayflies almost always bring the trout to the surface.
The bigger insects available are Isonychia and Cahills. These are mostly a night time event but occasionally the Iso's are about at odd times. Currently there is decent action blind fishing big Isonychia patterns. On recent floats our guides have been having our guests spray the water with our big Iso Cripple with good results. Yesterday we had a big group out and this method took some nice fish.
Nymphing is very good right now. During all of my trips this week my guests were running the numbers up with nymph rigs. Currently when fishing from the drift boat I am rigging 2 nymph rods for my guests. One in our traditional fashion with 3 flies fished about 3 feet below an indicator. During summer I always add a second rig. This is the setup that is hot right now. The set up is quite different. This is setup starts with a dry fly type leader about 10' with 2 very tiny nymphs. #16 - #20. I put a very small indicator 8" to 12" above the nymphs and blind fish it exactly like a dry fly in all water types. This setup will take fish from every water type but really excels in very shallow runs and riffles. I will also run this rig by any stubborn dry fly eater that we have trouble with. It is amazing sometimes how easy fish become when presented with a nymph just under the surface.
As for locations this weekend, we have options. Just about everywhere in the system has good flows and decent water temperatures. Under the current conditions I like the Beaverkill and Willowemoc during the non hatch periods. The riffles and pocket water sections are full of willing trout and the nymph action is great. The Main Stem has been exceptional but a lot of the good nymph spots are a bit under high water at this time.
At hatch time you can't beat the East and West branches for some fast and furious activity right near dark. I have been on both recently and can say that near dark is very reliable. This magic hour activity should remain steady now all summer. The action on the Tailwaters is mostly with the sulfurs and Olives. If you want to float some larger flies look to st up for late day on the Beamoc water or the Main Stem. This is where you will find the Iso's, Cahills and Various other insect. These type of bugs throive in the areas with larger rocks, faster water and slightly higher water temperatures.
It is also important for me to mention that spinner activity is a daily thing now. Spinners are available at all time but as expected with the big numbers coming back at dark. Big spinners are working well near dark. I have had luck with #10 patterns most nights. During the day and if your vision is good the #16 is about the most useful size at this time. Currently most of the tought fish can be taken with the #16 hackle wing rusty spinner.
If you want some location specific reports stop by the shop. Our guides are around most mornings before their trips.
If you would like to get out for a float give us a call today. Our schedule is opening up a bit now that the mad rush of spring is over. 607-290-4022