Fly Fishing Report for the Upper Delaware River and Catskill Streams
This coming weekend we are forecast for some perfect weather for autumn Trout fishing. It looks like a partly sunny days with high temps just around 70 degrees. The nights have been in the 40's and that trend is expected to continue. Perfect weather for being outdoors in the mountains!
Here is the extended forecast
As I have been reporting our local rivers remain on the low side. It has been a long time since we had a soaking rain storm. This summer has been a series of thunders storms and light passing rain which do not move the river gauges or benefit the streams very much.
Currently anglers have unlimited wade fishing access to all of our Catskill rivers.
Over the last 2 weeks there has however been several good pulses of ICE COLD water released from Cannonsvill reservoir. We are currently in the middle of one which started last night. Today there is 801 cfs. running out of the dam while yesterday it was in the 400's.
These regular pulses of cold water have kept the fishing action good on the West Branch and Upper Main Stem.
The autumn is my favorite time for fishing the Delaware's Wild Rainbow's. These fish know that the days are getting shorter and they have an increased urgency in the way that they feed. The Bow's are already in high feeding mode and every recent trip has been producing steady action.
Below is guide Jim with a nice Delaware Bow that took one of our custom Isonychia nymphs
At this time the fish are feeding all day long below the surface and going topside whenever insects are present. Blind fishing Isonychia and other attractor patterns is very productive now.
I have been on the water most every day as have most of our guides. Over the last week our staff has covered a huge portion of our regions river miles. In the last few days our guides have been over the entire Upper West Branch, Upper East Branch and the Main stem from Hancock to well below Narrowsburg. Right now is a time of plenty. These trips have been targeting both Trout and Smallmouth bass. The fishing has been both day and night. Every trip has been full of opportunity and exciting action!
The Photos below are from our recent guided trips. Thanks Matt, Zach, Luc, Jim, Rich for making it happen every day.
THE TACTICS AND LOCATIONS
Right now anglers planning to fish should be aware that the activity is best around the faster water sections of the rivers. Riffles and Pocket Water are the centers of both insect and Trout activity. There is action in the slow pools but it is not in high gear. On most days the trout are tucked up in the suds during the day eating what the river offers. Towards dark they drop back to the slower water to feed on the smaller insects that cover the water near dark. The near dark sweet spot is where the fast water dissipates to slow in each pool.
If you want to run the numbers up nymphing is the way to go now. This will be the go to method for our guides until the cooler weather and steady blue wing olive hatches kick in.
Right now the nymphing game is excellent. The cooler water has flipped the switch and the fish are focused on bulking up. Currently the nymphing is pretty easy if you target the correct water and get the rigging right.
With the low water conditions you will have to tinker with the rigs. I currently have 2 rods rigged for each client. One is a light nymph rig. Three nymphs, all small, #16 - #20. Pheasant Tails, Trigger Nymphs, Caddis Pupas. Light line (5X, 6X) and with a small indicator set only about 10" above the top fly. This is used for long line nymphing in water from 6" to 18". SOme of the largest fish come from this water in fall.
The second rod goes heavy. Three nymphs, Heavy line (3X, 4X). Big Flies, Baxter House Iso Nymphs, BH Rubber Legs, Trigger Nymphs, Zug Bugs, Pheasant Tails. Large indicator about 18" above top fly. This rig works the deep cuts, waist deep pockets and drop offs at the heads of pools, etc.
Below are some Wild Bows that could not resist my custom Isonychia Pattern