Upper Delaware River Fly Fishing Report
This weekend we are forecast for some beautiful weather. This is the first time since the season opened on April 1 that there is no rain in the forecast on both Saturday and Sunday.
It's big bug time so the fishing around the Upper Delaware / Catskill region is great.
At this time all of our rivers are running at flows that allow wade anglers about unlimited access. The water temperatures are in the prime zone for our Trout to be active and aggressive. Currently anglers can expect to have good results with Dry Fly, Nymph and Streamer.
Our guide staff has been running hard for 2 months now. We have had everyone on the water every day. We are currently covering huge amounts of water each day. Between our guides who walk wade and our drift boat guides there is very little water that we don't see every day. This week our guests are enjoying very steady Dry Fly and Nymphing and some impressive fish have come to net.
For the next few weeks our guides are focusing on the freestone rivers. These warmer rivers with their classic make up of Riffle, Run, Pool are where the big bugs thrive. Right now the sections of river with the most pocket water are where the action is. Now is also the time where action can spring up at any time of day. You never know when big bugs will appear on the water. This is especially true with the big golden stoneflies that normally appear in bright sun conditions.
At the current flows anglers can finally reach the spots where the trout are most active. For confident waders now is the time to walk the riffles and pockets and pound the water with big March Browns, Drakes or Stimulators.
These big bugs are what the fish are looking up for. Our guides have been able to keep our guests rods bent with this tactic even during the most dead periods of the day. Stop by the shop an pick up some of our custom dry fly patterns!
Anglers who fish with me and a few of our other veteran guides know that we love to nymph. This is the only method where anglers can really run the numbers up on the tough to fool Upper Delaware trout. This week my guests have been in double digits every day with nymph rigs.
In the Upper Delaware the key to both dry fly and nymph fishing is to match your flies drift exactly to the speed of the water you are fishing. Drifting your flies slower or faster than the current simply don't cut it here.
With that said indicator fishing offers anglers the best opportunity to keep track of drift speed. I am currently rigging my guests with 3 nymphs. It is good to have a heavy bead head to get down quick. I like impressionistic flies that look like everything but imitate nothing specifically. Make sure in your 3 flies you have offerings that can be identified as Stoneflies, Mayflies and Caddisflies. Recently I have been starting with a Baxter House Wired Stonefly, BH Ice Pupa and Small Pheasant tail. I regularly switch through a few other custom patterns we stock until we dial in with steady action. Currently our March Browns, BH Soft Hackles, Hot Spot and Trigger Nymphs have been hot. The trigger nymphs are a killer and as the big bugs fade they will become the main staple in our nymph rigs for the summer and Autumn months.
Currently I am setting the indicators about 24" above the top fly. It is important not to go deep at this time. Our trout are used to surface feeding now and their attention is up. Show them the nymphs up in the water column. Avoid the bottom 1/3 of the water depth you are targeting. It is also a good idea to carry a wide variety of indicators. With the water dropping and it being crystal clear landing softly is a big deal. Stick with the smallest indicator capable of floating your rig.