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Fly Fishing Report for the Upper Delaware and Catskill Rivers

Early Summer Outlook

For the last 2 weeks summer weather has had a firm grip on the Upper Delaware River System and the Catskill Mountains. Our rivers, reservoirs, lakes and ponds are at or near normal summertime levels. In the coming weeks visitors to our area will have lots of options for chasing game fish with fly fishing or light spin tackle. The big issue at this time is deciding what type of fishing and the species to chase.

Currently there is very reliable Trout fishing in our tailwater rivers. These icy cold rivers have good summer insect life and actively feeding trout every day.

Our Reservoirs and the Delaware river are offering top quality fishing for Smallmout Bass. July and August are prime time for targeting Smaiiles. For sheer numbers of smallies the Delaweare can't be beat. The river is full of these cooperative creatures and they are eager to take either surface flies or a variety of different lures. If Trophy sized Bass are what you are after, you can't beat Pepacton Reservoir. This is an overlooked fishery that regularly yields trophy sized Bronzebacks. The rocky shoreline of this reservoir is perfect bass habitat.

Summer is also the time for exploring local lakes and farm ponds. Just about every warm water fish species will be taking advantage of the warm weather and the increased food sources that summer provides. Some summer favorites are large mouth bass, pickerel and panfish. All of these species are active at this time.

Our guides are currently offering trips for bass and other warm water species. We have several trip options for the individual, families and small groups. Summer is a great time to get your kids out on the water! Give us a call to plan your next fishing adventure. 607-290-4022


The Trout and the insects have now settled into their typical summer schedule. Most days are offering vary reliable action with the trout feeding in a more laid back style whenever bugs are present.

Currently the best action is on the Upper East Branch and the Upper West Branch. These are the only river sections that our guides are fishing at this time. Right now anglers can find trout rising sporadically at any time of day. There are however 3 distinct periods where the activity shifts gear and becomes a true match the hatch fishing period.

The first is early morning. There are currently fish feeding on the early stages of the yearly Trico hatch. The current action is not yet widespread but this hatch builds up quick. This is not the easiest hatch to target in the Upper Delaware. There is simply an enormous amount of area here and the Trico habitat occurs in small pockets which are spread about. These insects emerge best in areas of the river that have mid flows and aquatic vegetation present. They also need areas that have lots of grass along the river bank to offer protection to the spinners. Tricos also do best in water that is in the mid to upper temperature range for Trout. So finding pools that have weeds, are grass lined and in the 55 to 65 degree range are your starting point for finding reliable fishing. It is also worth noting that most of the time the initial action each day is stimulated by sunlight. In many places where trout live this is shortly after dawn. It has been my experience that Upper Delaware Trico hatches are much later. I like to arrive around 7 am. but the action is normally somewhere between 8am. and noon.

The second period of activity occurs in mid afternoon. This activity is mostly centered around the emergence of the Invaria sulfur. This action is great but it does not last all summer. In many places this action is already waning. Currently the areas closest to the cold water release are best. The first 5 miles or so directly below the dams have the best habitat and fishing outside these areas will greatly reduce you odds of afternoon risers.

The last time period is always the best. This is right at and after dark. This is also the time where insect diversity increases greatly. This action is also fairly evenly spread throughout the tailwater influenced sections of both rivers. Anglers should note that the warmer the water while still remaining within the limits for trout, the greater the insect diversity. An example would be fishing the evening near the Dams will likely produce some feeding activity with Sulfurs, Olives and Midges. An Angler fishing the same time period further downriver in warmer water will likely encounter Sulfurs, Olives, Isonychia, Cahills, Caddisflies, Midges and more profuse spinner activity.

This is one of the reason we offer evening float trips. These late day trips move down river with the increasing insect activity.

Some quick notes and thoughts from the last week.

Isonychia activity is picking up on the West Branch.

Cahills are easy to see at dark.

Nymphing is still the best approach if you want numbers of fish.

Tiny Nymphs are the ticket. Below are a few of our key performers.

Most all of our recent big fish have come on #20 or smaller flies. (nymph and dry)

It's great to stand in a tailwater when it's 90 degrees.

If you want to get in on the action give us a call today. Our guides are experts at teaching the techniques for fooling East and West Branch fish in the summer months. 607-290-4022

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