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Fly Fishing Report for the Upper Delaware and Catskill Rivers


This weekends conditions appear to be very favorable for all fly fishermen. It looks like we will have air temperatures in the Upper 70's. There should be a mix of sun and clouds and there is about a 20% chance of a passing shower each day. This is the type of forecast that could increase insect activity around the system.

The Beaverkill, and Willowemoc are in perfect condition for wade anglers. Fishing pressure is non existent. This week anglers have been doing well in both rivers. The Upper and Lower East are wadable as well. The West Branch and Main Stem remain a bit too high for good wading access. Fishing from shore or shin deep is possible in both rivers. Drift Boat fishing in the higher water is pretty good.

There are plenty of insects emerging from all of our local rivers.

The fishing options around the Upper Delaware Region are improving daily Over the last few days our guides have been able to fish Streamers, Dry Flies and Nymphs. Our guests have had success with all three methods. Based on the current weeks weather forecast this trend should continue.

Our guides have been on the East and West branches every day for weeks and in the last week we started to float sections of the Main Stem again.

Overall the fishing is good. There is not however any one method that is red hot. At this time you need to let the river guide you to the correct technique. A good example is my last few trips. We have rigged up streamer, nymph and dry fly rods. We have been working the shallow riffles over with nymphs. We have been probing the deeper pools with streamers and throwing dry flies whenever we see fish rising. Together these three methods have lead to some great action and quite a few fish coming to net. The nymphing and Dry Fly action are sure to improve as the river flows continue to drop.

For those who prefer to fish the dry, here is the info.

Tricos are on the water in the am. hours. The flows are a bit high yet but if you target the slowest water there are plenty of targets. Yesterday on the way out I watched a slow pool that had a dozen nice fish slowly picking off these tiny insects.

Most all of the other surface action is later. Around 4:00 pm is about right in most areas. From this time through dark there are fish rising . Yesterday the hatch was excellent and we had almost 5 hours of fishing to risers!

Currently Olives, Sulfurs, Isonychia and Cahills are about in enough numbers to keep the fish interested. In some area there are sporadic flurries of huge insects. These are possibly Hex or some other burrower type insect that looks giant among the smaller insects of summer.

Like every August the initial stages of the daily hatch is dominated by juvenile trout. It is simply amazing how many small trout show up every year after the smaller creeks warmed up, or shrunk to a trickle during July. This year is no exception. There are tons of 10 inch fish eating everything in site..

With the water still high #16 and #18 Olive and Sulfur Dries have been working well for me. Thorax Style, Traditional and Cripples have been equally effective. Yesterday in the gin clear water we had trouble fooling some fish. Our CDC Knock Down Duns and CDC Slow Water Cripples are the solution to these fussy fish.

below are some of our slow water patterns that excel in the Upper Delaware River

Blind fishing our Baxter House Isonychia cripple has also been fairly productive during the non hatch periods.

The nymphing has been best on the drop offs at the heads of pools and in the more shallow riffles. The best action is coming on small nymphs. The consistent takes have been on # 16 and #18 patterns. The most productive have been trigger nymphs, hot spot nymphs and the old standard pheasant tail.

The streamer bite has slowed down since the water became gin clear again. We have been taking fish every day but we have had to change tactics and flies to stay successful. The main change in tactics has been to target water that is broken up with hydraulic features, small standing waves and any turbulence. The other tactic that has been working it targeting the deep water where you can't see the bottom. This is slow methodical fishing but it has been producing some big fish even in bright sunshine.

The fly choice is also important now. I have switched over to flies that are translucent. This style always performs best in clear water and bright sun.

Below are some examples

In the coming weeks the fishing will continue to improve. The pattern of early and late day dry fly action will continue until we start getting cooler weather. At that time the action will become an all day event. We are also entering into one of the best time periods for nymphing. The next 2 months are prime time for running the numbers up with nymph rigs.

Now is the time to give us a call to plan your fall fishing trips. 607-290-4022

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