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Fly Fishing Report for the Upper Delaware and Catskill Region


The past week we had excellent fishing most days. The colder weather, light rain and snow squalls finally have it feeling like late fall. Over my last week of trips the dry fly fishing has been very good. Most days have been offering up about 3 to 4 hours of casting to fish on the surface. We can expect to see this action continue and on days where it is comfortable to fish great action for BIG Rainbows can be had.

Now for the immediate future, this weekend.

A polar vortex came to town last night and brought us severe cold. Today we are forecast for our first day where it does not get above the freezing point. Tonight single digit temps. are forecast. (9 degrees).

I cancelled my trips for today and tomorrow due to the temp. and high winds I will be back at it on Sunday when we head back to the 40's. Next week should be great with mid to high 40's forecast for every day.

AS for the fishing I will attach below my most recent article that went into the River Reporter. It give a pretty good idea of what's happening.

Dry Fly Fishing on the “D” Still Going Strong

Ken Tutalo

This year’s transition from summer to winter has been stalling out for over a month now. Thus far we have had very few nights below freezing and daytime temperatures have been very warm. This type of weather has been great to be out on the water, but the unseasonable warmth has kept the cool weather Blue Wing Olive hatches behind schedule. Over this same period the hunt for rising trout has been a hit or miss proposition.

We are a week into November now and I can finally say that change has come. I have been out on the river guiding every day for the last 2 weeks and the action has been improving every day. Currently the Blue Wing Olives are emerging from the Delaware every day and the rainbow and brown trout are gorging while they have the chance. These small insects will be their last big meal before freezing conditions shut things down for the winter. The next few weeks will offer the best opportunity of the season to take the largest Wild Rainbow’s in the system with dry flies.

Over the last week of reliable action the insects have been on the water from early afternoon through dark. As the temperatures get colder the start time will move earlier in the day. This hatch normally continues until the rivers start to freeze.

For those who do not regularly fish the late fall finding rising trout may be difficult. Most of the trout have already moved to the slowest sections of the river. The late olives are tiny insects and the trout need to feed in the slowest possible water to get any nutritional value from them. Currently most of the rivers trout can be found in the tail ends of the Delaware’s long pools and eddies. The key is finding super slow water that has just enough flow to allow drifting insects to accumulate. This is where you will find pods of mature Rainbow Trout slowly cruising the surface leisurely sipping large numbers of insects. Pursuing trout feeding in this fashion is a great challenge and due to the insect’s small size at the higher end of technical fishing.

For the rest of the season I will be choosing either a #5 or #6 fly rod with a 15 to 18 foot leader built down to 6X tippet. The flies are all small now, #18 is the standard and this setup will allow the small flies to land on the water with slack and float naturally.

The flies that produce well now are those that really signal vulnerability. Patterns that are designed to appear crippled, or trapped in the surface film get a lot of attention from the fish. My favorites are the CDC Knock Down Dun, Hackle Wing Cripple, Olive Klinkhammers and Rusty Spinners

As far as technique goes the best advice for this time of year is patience. With the cruising nature of the feeding you will need to give the trout time to find your fly on the surface. Unlike spring and summer late autumn trout intend to eat every fly. They will slowly swim in every direction until they eat every fly in their area before moving on. Sometimes a cast that you would normally give up on closes the deal after a very long wait.

Wade Safe and Good Luck on the River

The Baxter House guides staff will continue to offer guided float trips on the Delaware and surrounding water through the end of November.

On next Friday 11/18. I will begin my guide schedule in Florida. The remaining days in November are pretty booked up. I have only 11/21, 29,30 remaining. We are currently taking bookings for the period starting Dec. 1 through April 15. If your travels this winter put you on Florida's west coast gives us a call to plan a day o the water. 607-290-4022

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