Fishing Report for the Upper Delaware River and Catskill Region
Summer Heat Wave
First off I want to apologize for the lack of information lately. I was away for a couple of days and the trips I have been doing have been starting at odd hours. No time to sit at the computer.
In that time period the Upper Delaware and Catskill regions have been in the grip of a heatwave. Like everywhere else in the east our daytime air temperatures have been way up in the 90's.
This type of sustained heat is rarely good for fishing. Our guides have been working every day and the story of the week has been much slower fishing. This is the reason that we have been working odd hours. The amount of time that mature fish are active has been shrinking and we have been hitting the water when they are active. Currently daybreak until the sun hits the water and Sunset are prime times for Trout. For Smallmouth bass the am hours through early afternoon have been best.
Our guides have been hitting the prime times, splitting trips into 2 portions and targeting multiple river sections per day to keep our guests on the fish.
Right now water temperatures are about as high as they will be this summer. Today the heat is expected to break. It is raining lightly right now and the extended forecast is calling for 5 straight days with high temperatures in the 70's. There is a possibility of up to an inch of rainfall today. This amount of rainfall combined with the cooler weather is sure to put the fishing right back on track.
If we truly get an inch of rainfall our river will rise quick and go off color for a day or two. Whenever that happens in summer we normally get a run of great streamer fishing. If you want to get in on it, keep an eye on the weather and river flows. Give us a call if the water spikes upwards.
With the actual weather and the forecast I expect the fishing to quickly return to normal summer conditions. Anglers planning to fish in the coming days should expect to find plenty of options. Normal match the hatch Trout fishing on the Upper East and West branches.
Great Smallmouth Bass action on the warm water sections of the Delaware. Sight Fishing for Carp on local warm water creeks plus the options in our reservoirs, lakes and ponds.
First the TROUT.
As is always the case in summer, the trout and insects have a reliable daily routine. Currently the match the hatch dry fly fishing is on the tailwaters only. This includes the East Branch below the dam, the West Branch below the dam and a very small portion of the Upper Main Stem.
The bug life is good. There are lots of Sulfurs emerging from both rivers. The normal routing of an afternoon hatch followed by a dead period with a heavy emergence near dark continues.
In addition there are other bugs in the mix. Blue wing olives have been on the water daily, especially late in the day. This week I have seen the entire surface of the East branch covered with these tiny insects. When the fish won't eat your sulfur the remedy is almost always a small olive.
There are also times when Isonychia are emerging. This activity is found a bit down river from the dams, normally where the sun has warmed the water enough to make a noticeable temperature break. There are also lots of Cahills emerging right near dark. Trico's are now establishing as a fishable hatch in some areas. If you have been unlucky locating these insects remember that they are most abundant in areas where the waters have warmed up some, contain aquatic vegetation and grassy banks. All of these habitat characteristics are needed to sustain these insects.
As is always the case in our insect rich environment other bugs are possible at any time. There are always a few Caddisflies, Stoneflies, Midges and Terrestrials about. The fish eat them when they are available. Ants and Beetles are a trout favorite and sometime make a super selective trout look like a fool.
For the remainder of the summer and assuming normal summer flows the trout fishing is best described as out technical time of year.
Right now the bugs are small. The water is clear. All movement is in clear sight. Slowly getting into position, accurate casts and long light leaders are necessary. All of our guides are rigging leaders of 15'+ at this time. In moving water 5X is OK but on the glassy pools 6X is usually needed. I rarely use less than 6X simply because mature Delaware trout blow light tippet up at will. My experience altering leaders has proven over and over that length is more important then thickness.
Fly choice is big when you are trying to feed trout that have been eating sulfurs every day by the thousands. My number one trick is to fish an olive. With that said the tiny bugs of summer do have some different characteristics from the larger bugs of spring. The most noticeable is that they sit up on top of the water, on their feet. Thorax style flies imitate this and offer the same footprint as the naturals. Some of the Baxter House custom patterns do the same. Our hackle cripples and the Andy Fly are examples. The other go to now is the CDC knock down dun. If the naturals are not standing proud they are most likely crippled or knocked down. The Knock down dun cover this vulnerable stage perfectly.
CDC is difficult to fish but you cannot dispute the effectiveness of the feather. One solution that has been helping out is the new products from High and Dry. Their Shaker desiccant and powdered floatant are far superior to the products of the past. Stop by and pick some up.
Nymphing is also pretty technical in the skinny water. Our guides are also rigging long leaders and fishing small flies. #16 through #20 is normal for summer. Trigger nymphs For indicator fishing constant adjustment of the float is necessary. Think about fishing the upper 2 thirds of the water column for the best action.
Our guides are experts at teaching the technical skills needed to fish Upper Delaware trout in summer. Give us a call to plan a trip today.67-290-4022
Smallmouth Bass, Carp and warm water
Summer is the time for chasing Smallies and sight fishing Giant Carp. The fishing for both is excellent right now.
First the smallies. Our guides have been all around the river system chasing these great gamefish. Our guests have the option right now of choosing either to fish the Big Delaware where we have been running the numbers up both with the fly rod and with light spin tackle.
Fly Rodders can expect great action now with surface poppers. Below the surface small streamers like clousers and b