Fly Fishing Report for the Upper Delaware and Catskill Rivers
With July 4 Th. falling on a Tuesday many anglers will have some extra time to chase fish with fly rods. In the Upper Delaware anglers now have some options with both Trout and Smallmouth Bass.
Over the last week summer has slowly been getting a grip on our local water. With every passing day our freestone rivers are getting a bit warmer and the Trout are falling into a more laid back summer way of going about their business. At the same time the warmer water temperatures are starting to increase the activity of the always aggressive Smallmouth Population. As we continue the warming trend this great game fish will continue to dominate the marginal waters and the lower reaches of the Main Stem Delaware.
This week all of our guides have been out daily. It has been a mix with some guests staying on the Trout while others are heading to the lower Main for Smallie action. The last few days I have chosen sections of the Main Stem where we can fish Trout in the riffle water and cast for smallies in the pools and rocky shallows. This approach has kept my guests busy and kept their rods bent.
This week my guests had some incredible fish come to net including 2 Rainbows that beat the 20" mark. Both of these big boys came on tiny nymphs from super fast water. I also did my first Smallie trip and some combo trips that were pretty good. One day this week my guests had double digit catches of both trout and smallies. I did not take many trout photos this week but below is a nice Bow and Smallie taken BY Frank Passuch on a Main Stem Float.
Here is the skinny on the next few days-
With the warming waters and the forecast for 80 degree weather our freestone rivers will become warm quickly. The best time for the Beaverkill and Willowemoc will be in the morning hours of the day. During the afternoon anglers should check temps. as the lower reaches of the rivers will be around 70 degrees.
The East and West branches are icy cold at this time. This week the release from Cannonsville Reservoir was increased to 600 cfs. which has a pretty big plume of icy water heading down river. The entire West Branch and a big portion of the Upper Main Stem are in great condition for trout fishing and this is the best place to target. This is where our guides have been and this is where the photos are from.
The insects are pretty stable and unchanged from earier reports. Sulfurs and Olives are the main staple on the water. Good afternoon hatches on the Upper East and Upper West branches. There is a dead spot between around 5:00 to 8:00 before the insects kick in again. At this time it is smaller sulfurs, Olives, Isonychia, Cahills and Caddisflies. Spinners are also about in big numbers near dark.
Early day activity is still a crap shoot. There are some Cornuta Olives about. Tricos and Caenis are on the water but still spotty. With all of these morning hatches there are definite, specific areas where they thrive and lots of areas where they never get on the water in large enough numbers to draw fish to the surface. In many instances the activity from these tiny insects remains confines to single pools or small sections. The best areas have lots of grass along the banks and some aquatic vegetation in the water. They also like water that has warmed up a bit so don't look close to the dams. Another thing to remember is that in the catskills the trico activity is later than in many other river systems. Sometimes the activity starts as late as 9:00am.
If you are planning to fish the Upper East or West branches now is the time for long and lighter leaders. Our guides are now constructing leaders of at least 15 feet that taper to 5X or 6X when fishing the tiny Sulfurs, Olives and Spinners. Trico and Caenis should be fished on similar rigs. All Upper Delaware rivers are low, gin clear and offering total access at this time. Now is the time for long precise casts, impeccable line control and perfect line feeding skills.
If Bass are your thing the action is getting good now. Both Guide Zach and I had several trips down river this week targeting these exciting fish. We have had action on both Fly and Spin tackle and have been getting fish both deep and on the surface. The best action has been later in the day after the waters warm up. We had one day where it was super hot right up till dark. We have also been getting a mixed bag on most trips. This week we have had some really big Pickerel along with Walleye and mixed panfish. This action should improve daily now and become super good as soon as the water of teh lower Delaware stabilize above 75 degrees. July and August are the prime time for taking big numbers of these hard fighting fish.
If you are looking to get out for a trip during the Holiday give us a call we have some openings. We are also taking bookings for July and August.
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