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Upper Delaware River Fly Fishing Report

Big Bug Report

The big bugs are here and the fishing is good. Our guides are on the water every day and our guests are having great success with both dry flies and nymphs. Now is the time to get out on the water. Start early and stay late. Book a trip and let our guides put you in the right places!

Today's blog photos are from my float trip yesterday with my buddy Andy Gennaro. We had a very good day in the steady rainfall taking both Browns and Rainbows with nymph and dry flies.

The highlights of our day were Andy bringing two 2 footers to net. The fish were 24.5" and 24". The larger was his personal best in 49 years of fishing the Delaware. Congrats Andy!

As has been the case all season the timing of the hatches are still running behind the normal emergence times by a week or two.

Currently there are the following big boys still emerging - March Browns, Golden Stones, Green --Drakes, Brown Drakes, Isonychia and Invaria Sulfurs. The most abundant insect at this time is the smaller Dorothea Sulfurs. These are the main staple to the fish and will be the most important insect through the summer. Cornuta Olives are also emerging now. This is a morning hatch and the fish always love BWO'S.

Being successful now is all about timing and location. If you want to stay on the fish you have to target the correct water. Right now fishing the fast water is key. The riffles and pocket water are now the centers of activity. Steady flow sections with large irregular rocks are also key spots.

These locations have the nymphs of all the big bugs. The fast water is also the prime location that spinners will return to during their egg laying flights.

As of today I have not seen any huge activity from the Drakes. This week the activity has been steady. Each day I have been seeing a sporadic emergence of Green Drakes and a sparse amount of Coffinfly spinners mixed in with the March Brown and Sulfur spinners near dark. To me this seems similar to the way the hatch proceeds each year. I think the mother lode of these bugs is ahead of us.

The Brown Drakes have been on the water in larger numbers over the last 3 days. These biggies always emerge in darkness and are of the most value to us in their spinner stage. Saturday night the water was covered with these insects at 10:00pm when I was rowing out. The fish were gorging on them. For those of you who wonder why the full sun, day time rising has been lack luster, this is why. The big boys know the buffet starts at dark. This is also why we always recommend fishing on dark sky, rainy days.

Anglers planning to fish in the coming week should also take note that there is no set schedule for bugs. Everything happens when they are ready. On bright sunny days the best spinner fall times can be from sun up through mid morning. Year in and year out the best Brown Drake spinner falls I fish have been in the am. Fishing the morning now is smart since this time period is also when the Cornuta Olives emerge. Even if the spinners don't show you will find fish up on the bigger olives.


Yesterday the rains came again. Lots of rain and this morning it took me a half hour to pump the water out of my raft. This morning the Beaverkill, Willow, Lower East and Main are up and turbid. The actual flows are not important since they will come down quick. They should be clear and fishable some time tomorrow.

The Upper East and West got nice boosts to their flow. Both rivers needed a blast of fresh water and they got it. The elevated flows should make the fishing better. More bugs and more approachable fish.

We should have very nice conditions right through next weekend for wading or fishing from drift boat.


Location, Location.

Upper East and Upper West - Big and Small Sulfurs, Small Olives, Spinners some Caddisflies and very sporadic larger bugs. Afternoon through dark

Willowemoc - Sulfurs, Caddisflies, March Browns, Spinners, All Day

Beaverkill, Lower East, Main Stem - March Browns, Drakes, Isonychia, Golden Stones, Coffinflies, Sulfurs, Mixed Caddisflies, Big Spinners, All Day

Now is a great time to book a trip. We have some guide slots open this week and next. Big Bugs and Great nymphing for big trout. It's time for booking half day Trout and Evening Hatch float trips, effective now through the end our August.

We are now also taking advance booking for Smallmouth Bass trips. We have some great float trips lined up for targeting these strong fighters. Ask us about our floats that target trophy bass. Now through August.

Call us today to talk fishing 607-290-4022

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