Fly Fishing Report for the Upper Delaware and Catskill Rivers
Good Fishing Continues
The good fishing around the Upper Delaware and Catskill Mountains continues. Our guides have been out every day and during the past week we have floated just about every river beat in the system. Here are the details.
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. Currently dry fly and nymphing ar the best tactics The fish are around the deeper pools and the fast water sections above and below these pools.
The Upper and Lower East are wadable as well. The insect life and overall fishing is best in the Upper River. This past weekend I had fish on the surface most anytime after 1:00 pm. The action varies by section but the areas with knee deep moving water and smooth river cobble are pumping out bugs. We have been finding nice pods of small to mid sized fish in this type of habitat.
The Lower East is hit or miss. The fish have not yet spread out since the warm low flows in July. When you find some Trout they are in groups. Much of the water remains a trout free zone at this time. The Smallmouth Bass fishing is pretty good on this section.
The West Branch and Main Stem remain high but anglers can now get into the water. The West is the best option for afternoon action. Sulfurs and Olives are on the water daily. The trout here are in a steady pattern of feeding whenever insects are present.
Our guides have floated about every section of the Main Stem Delaware from the Junction down to Narrowsburg. The action has been decent. Like the Lower East there are vast areas that are not currently holding trout. This is most noticeable below Buckingham access. The Smallmouth Bass action is pretty steady in the lower river. We had a couple of trips for smallies that were filled with action.
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