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Upper Delaware River Fly Fishing Report

More Rain and Cold Weather

The early spring conditions continue in the Catskill Mountains and in the Upper Delaware River System. All of our rivers remain on the high side and the water temperatures are cold. This is great news for the Trout and Insects. Not so much for wade fishermen. Anglers with drift boats are enjoying good fishing when the cold driven rain is not testing your sanity.

All of our guides are on the river daily now. Each day we cover a lot of river miles and our guides have been fishing every local river. Throughout the system the first hatches of Blue Quills, Quill Gordon's, Hendrickson's and Apple Caddis are getting spotty. The emergence is pretty light now in most places. The West Branch probably has a few more good days of pumping out these early season insects but the rest of our waters have seen the best action pass. Currently a large portion of our waters are between hatches and it takes a combination of several species of insects to keep the trout interested. This is a normal yearly occurrence but the wait for more hatches is a short one.

Recently I have fished 2 different floats that offered some promising Sulfur and March Brown activity. I have also seen a few larger stoneflies in the air as well. Thus far the activity from these insects has been pretty isolated to certain areas of the system but it won't take long to spread everywhere. In the coming days we can expect to see more big bugs on the water. During March Brown time you rarely see huge numbers of insects on the water at one time. These insects instead emerge in small numbers all day long and the first time you see big numbers is during spinner flights.

This emergence trait also signals a big change in the way that our local trout behave. Rather then waiting for one big hatch each afternoon they are forced to look up all day long. Now is the time where blind fishing likely spots will become very effective. Our guides like to fish the non hatch periods with one of our big March Brown cripples or a March Brown Comparadun. This hatch is also the first hatch that centers around the faster riffles and pocket water habitat. The trout should slowly start to spread out and use much more of the river than during the hendrickson activity.


The last few days the rain has been non stop. During my last 2 floats we had steady rainfall from start to finish. I did not take the camera out much but we had some real nice Trout come to net.

This morning most of the wade spots are blown out and turbid. All of the rivers however have started to drop flows and are heading down steadily. The Beaverkill and Willowemoc jumped up real fast but should be back to fishable flows in 2 days if no more heavy rainfall occurs.

The Upper East and Upper West are still in good shape for drift boat fishing. The Upper East will have some opportunity for very confident waders.

The lower east is a bit high for any quality fishing. Drift Boat anglers should give it a day or two.

The Main still remains a romantic notion in 2019. There have been some brief times where we could jump in for a day or two but the conditions needed for insects and trout to really click have thus far eluded us. At the current flows we are some time away from great Main Stem access.

Over the last few days our guests have done well despite the crappy weather. I personally did not take any photos the last 2 days in the pouring rain but we had some success. I had Andy Gennaro out yesterday and he took a pair of 19 inchers. One on the dry one on a nymph. He also brought in a few smaller browns on dries and nymphs.

Our guide staff has had similar results from around the river system.

I also did some recent trips to lesser fished local rivers. Some of the photos in today's report are from off the beaten path locations.

If you want to get in on the BIG BUG action now is the time to reserve a drift boat trip. Call us today to book your dates. 607-290-4022

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