Fly Fishing Report for the Upper Delaware and Catskill Rivers
This weekend marks the 50th. anniversary of Woodstock so there are lots of activities planned around the county this weekend. The concerts at Bethel Woods and the Music festival in Callicoon already have people pouring into the area.
The weather forecast looks a bit tough for concert goers but it looks great for Trout fishermen.
Over the next week the forecast is predicting overcast skies and a chance of rain every day. Over the past month every day that has been overcast has provided exceptional dry fly fishing. Last week on the 2 days with similar weather I had 5 straight hours of rising fish each day.
Here is the current weather forecast and the current river flows. The river flows should rise a bit based on the forecast.
If you want to get out for a full or half day float trips now is a good time.
Not much has change over the last week. Anglers planning to fish in the coming days should have a lot of options with fish to target. Right now Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Carp and all warm water species are fishing well.
If Trout are your target you are still looking at 3 distinct times where you will find rising fish each day. The early morning will offer a few hours of action with Tricos and other small spinners. This action is not everywhere so some hunting is involved. Look for areas with water temperatures in the low 60's, aquatic vegetation and stream banks that are grass lined. All of these components make an area more attractive to these tiny mayflies.
The afternoon hatch has been the most reliable time period. Sulfurs and Olives have been mixed on the water and the trout have been feeding steadily. With the low water conditions the fishing remains technical but our guests have been catching them. Currently you have to be careful in your approach and float your fly down from well upstream. Long leaders are a must. I have been rigging leaders of 15' to 5X. On some of the slow glassy pools I will add on a 3 foot section of 6X tippet. I normally change back and forth from 5X to 6X based on the speed of the water. On overcast days the afternoons have been exceptional.
Here are some of the patterns that our guides are having success with. All are available in our shop or online. hackle cripples, slow water cripples, transitional emergers, knock down duns.
The final period of activity has been just before and at dark. This period is also very reliable but the starting time is a bit unpredictable and fog is always a factor at dark. The action is Sulfurs and Olives but normally with solid spinner activity mixed in. If you are far enough down river and fishing warmer water you may also encounter Isonychia and Cahills.
Dry fly anglers should also remember that summer is terrestrial time. There is no shortage of ants, beetles and inchworms this year. If you see that occasional big swirl up under overhanging tree limbs you probably have a ant eater.
Our guides have also been hitting it hard after dark and it's been good. The next few week are the best time to fish the darkness with mouse, frog, popper and other creature type fly patterns.
The cover shot of todays blog post is from this week. Here are some other recents
Smallmouth Bass and Carp
This action remains very steady. All of our float trips have been hitting it hard. Main Stem Delaware trips have been producing lots of fish on both Spin and Fly tackle. A couple dozen fish per angler is normal at this time. Most of the Main Stem smallies have been around 12" with a few smaller and a few larger every day. The Main stem trips also have the added excitement of multiple species possible. Summer trips her also regularly produce Walleye, Pickerel, Large Panfish, Rock Bass, and Striped Bass. All of these species readily take both flies and lures.
Our sight fishing trips for trophy sized Smallies has been great. We do not put up big numbers on these trips but we have been taking several Bronzebacks like the one below each trip.
These trips are for the hunter and many of the fish we take are spotted before we cast. Below is an example of one water type that we are targeting
I have been rigging my standard streamer rig for the Smallies which is a tandem rig. I like my leaders about the length of the rod. I normally tie in an additional 3 foot section of fluorocarbon and leave a long tag end for a teaser fly. The main flies are normally something chewy and dark in color. My teaser flies are normally 3" range, single hook flies that dart and keel in the water. Below are a few examples.