Fly Fishing Report for the Upper Delaware and Catskill Rivers
A West Branch Brown from this weekend
Over the last few days the Upper Delaware Region is in a Heatwave! It has been a long time since we have had bright sun and temperatures north of 90 degrees. There is no better way to beat this heat than chasing trout in the Icy cold water of the West or East Delaware.
This weekend the release rates were increased and our guests were treated to both the cooling effect of 40 degree water and lots of eager trout.
For the next 2 months the action on these rivers will remain steady. Sulfurs and Blue Wing Olives will be the main staple each day. At times Trico's Isonychia, Cahills and Caddisflies will spur some feeding. During summer Midges are also a steady food item. Two of my favorite patterns for midge eaters are the Griffiths Gnat and our Hammer Midge. Both are great for picking off fish that are feeding in water that is like glass.
Most days there is activity early in the day, mid afternoon and heavy activity near dark. Most every day anglers can find steady targets to cast to simply by covering a lot of area.
Right now the best approach to fishing the wary fish in these rivers is to rig very long leaders. I never have a leader of less than 15 feet in summer. Fly choice is pretty simple. Cripples, Knock Down Duns, and spinners will get steady takes. Fishing the smallest fly you can see will also increase takes. If you can fish #18 and smaller the fish will eat. The best choice of fly style will be ones tied with CDC wings, if your casting style can keep them floating. My next choice are the hackle wing variations. We have a full lineup of flies specifically designed for summer fishing. Stop by the shop today.
Some shots from recent guided trips on the West Delaware
During summer most of our fish come from beneath the surface. The next few months are exceptional for fishing the nymph. We are offering guided trips for the next 60 days that are specifically geared towards teaching the techniques that our guides use every day.
On all of my recent trips we have been in double digits with our nymph rigs. If you are planning to go subsurface the key is to go small. #18 to 22 is what they're eating. Like the dry fly fishing longer leaders will keep the flies looking good. The longer leader will also allow for the natural drag free presentation that is essential in the Upper Delaware system.
The photos below are fish taken on tiny nymphs this past weekend
Right now the fish are coming on small flashback pheasant tails and on our custom tungsten nymphs. Trigger Nymphs, Hot Spots, and Ice Pupas. Tiny Micro and Midge indicators are also the way to go. In summer the most important component for being successful on the East and West is the rigging. You need to strike a balance that will allow the fish to find your nymphs while also reducing the amount of algae you dredge out of the drift.
For those of you who like to chase Smallmouth Bass the action is on! Our guides are offering this option daily now. The trips are on the Fly Rod or on light spin tackle. Most days we fish both. The best action is downstream of Callicoon. Our guides are fishing the river sections from Callicoon to Lackawaxen. Right now the action with surface poppers is very good.
Giive us a call today to schedule your next fishing adventure 607-290-4022
Pro Tip for Summer - watch the people. The West and East branch in summer are a never ending parade of human activity. The fish don't really spook. If they did they would never eat. They simply move from the pressure and find the places people avoid. In summer I watch every single person and the paths that they take to wherever they are heading. I try to fish my guests in the areas that are outside of the daily parade route.