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Fly Fishing Report for the Upper Delaware and Catskill Rivers


Summer weather continues to have a firm grasp on the Upper Delaware and Catskill Regions. For well over a month there has not been much rainfall. This time period has been all sunny hot days. This string of hot dry weather has taken it's toll on our freestone rivers.

Today the Beaverkill, Willowemoc, Lower East Branch and Main Stem are flowing low and on the warm side. In great contrast the Upper East and Upper West Branches have good conditions due to the reservoirs releasing cold water into them.

Right now our area is still offering some great opportunity for fishing!

For Trout - The Upper East and Upper West branches have the proper conditions. The cold waters here are producing daily insect hatches and lots of rising trout. Both Pepacton and Cannonsville reservoirs are fishing well for Trout.

The Bass Fishing is great! Right now the low warm waters in our freestone rivers is perfect for Smallmouth Bass. Our guided trips on the Main Stem Delaware have been great. All of our local lake and ponds are also in about perfect shape for Bass fishing.

The Fly Fishing Report

Summer is a technical time in the Upper Delaware but there are a lot of options.

The fishing is technical due to the lower steady flows, crystal clear water and the abundance of mostly smaller insects. In addition to these factors our trout have been fished hard since mid April. All of these factors make summer dry fly fishing a very rewarding challenge.

For the Dry Fly fisherman there is some sort of activity at all times. Tricos, Sulfurs, Olives, Isonychia, Cahills, Midges and Terrestrials will supply an almost around the clock buffet. This is however the season where the Trout will feed in spurts of activity or slowly pick away at floating insect throughout the day.

Summer is also a great time for fishing a variety of nymphing techniques. Our guides offer special summer trips devoted specifically to the nymph enthusiast.

July and August are also the best months for Mouse and Streamer fishing the hours of darkness. Our guides are all about hunting giant Browns and they will be offering guided mouse trips through mid September.

Below is a big boy from last night. Photo from Guide Rich McCombie

Early morning is Trico Time. This is a hatch where the fish will feed steady for a few hours.

These tiny mayflies are prolific in many areas of the Upper Delaware river system. There are areas of abundant Trico activity to be found on the Upper East, Upper West and Upper Main Stem. As I have mentioned in past posts the key is finding the areas of activity. The key is targeting areas of mid to slow water with aquatic vegetation and grass lined river bank. It is also important to search areas with water temps that range from mid 50's to mid 60's. In the Upper Delaware the timing can be from sun up through around 11:00 am.

If you plan on giving the Trico hatch a shot make sure you stop by the fly shop. We have a great selection of flies specifically for this activity. We can also help out getting you on the specific locations where these insects are abundant.

Mid morning through early Afternoon is the time to work the banks with Terrestrials. If you see the occasional bank sipper he is probably an ant or beetle eater. Breezy days are the best for blind fishing terrestrials.

Mid afternoon through dark is the time for Sulfurs, Olives, Isonychia, Cahills and more. If you are heading out remember that the colder water closest to the dams will have little diversity in hatches. For the most part these waters will be Olives, Sulfurs and Midges. Fishing the waters above 55 degrees late in the day will increase the amount of species that you will encounter. Both Isonychia and Cahills have been active .

The photo below is from Guide Marty Yi, taken from the Upper West branch on one of our tiny cripple patterns

If you are planning to fish the tailwaters make sure you stop by. We have a full selection of Dry fly and Nymphs specifically designed for the East and West branches of the Delaware.


Mid summer through fall is prime time for Smallmouth Bass. All of our recent trips have been non stop action!

Currently Popper Flies, Streamers and Buggers are taking fish with fly tackle. Soft Baits on jigs, crankbaits and poppers are effective on light spin tackle. Right now the Delaware is low and the water is warm. The current conditions are optimum for smallies. Anglers should note that the largest fish will be active at the times where the sun is indirectly influencing the water. The first few hours in the morning and the last few before dark are when the big boys will be hunting.

The average sized fish are opportunistic feeders and they will aggressively strike at about any time of day. Currently our trips are averaging several dozen fish per person. The next month is the perfect time to book a Smallie Trip. These trips are also the perfect way to introduce young anglers to river fishing. Take a Kid fishing today

Give us a call today to book your next Upper Delaware fishing adventure 607-290-4022

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