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Upper Delaware Fly Fishing Report


It's really starting to look and feel like Autumn in the Upper Delaware region. Our mountains are showing lots of color and the leaves are falling.

The cooler weather and shorter day have really turned the Trout Fishing on!

Our guide staff has been very busy over the last several weeks. Every trip has been good and our guests are getting lots of opportunity to cast to large feeding Brown and Rainbow Trout. Currently there is opportunity for fishing Dry Fly, Streamers and Nymphs

The photo above is from Guide Luc. The other photos in today's post are from Baxter House trips with Guides Matt, Rich, Jim and myself.


As has been the case for the last 2 months, rainfall has been avoiding the region. Our freestones remain very low. The Beaverkill, Willowemoc and Lower East branch are barely flowing. The water temperatures are fine but I personally won't fish here until we get some rain.

Our guides have been focused on the Upper East Branch, West Branch and Main Stem. Reservoir releases have these rivers at or above normal for the season. Currently the release from Cannonsville Reservoir has been fluctuating between 600 cfs. and 1200 cfs. it varies based on water needs down river. As is normally the case from late summer through fall the release is turbid. When it is cranked up anglers can expect to find elevated amounts of algae, weeds and debris in the drift.

Currently the Upper East is at levels for wading only. The West and Main are fine for wade or drift boat.

There is good insect life system wide but what you will find varies greatly from place to place. Currently there are lots of insect species in small numbers that the trout have been picking at. Isonychia, Caddisflies and Terrestrials are the most reliable lately but there are lots of summer time insects that are still about in small numbers.

The heavy Blue Wing Olive hatches that produce heavy daytime surface feeding have yet to establish. We need a bit more cold weather for this to kick in.

Nymph fishing is the most reliable method for taking trout at this time. Every day our guests are running the numbers up. My advice for the near future is work the riffles to keep your rod bent. This is where the fish are and where they will remain until the olive hatch establishes.

Currently most Bead Head nymphs will get some attention. Our guides are fishing a mix of time proven and BH Custom patterns. Good choices for now include - Pheasant Tails, Prince, Zug Bug, Rubber Legs, Trigger Nymphs, Ice Pupas, Rainbow Warriors, etc.

All techniques will produce but our guides are indicator fishing since this is the most efficient way to cover the huge expanses of riffle water in the Main Delaware.

The turbid waters of the West branch have also produced a decent streamer bite. Small bait fish patterns will produce the most strikes. I like to fish a tandem rig with a woolly bugger about 18" in front of a small articulated bait fish. As the days click off the calendar we can expect our resident Stud Brown Trout to grow more restless and aggressive. Fishing the big meat patterns (6"+) will put you in touch with those fish.

Now is a great time to book a trip with one of our guides!

I will be fishing the Delaware for another 2 weeks before heading south. I have a few open days.

Our guide staff will be at it for as long as the weather cooperates. Call us today to book one of our open days 607-290-4022


I will begin guiding the flats and back country on Oct. 20. I will be putting out a blog post and forecast regarding the fishing in my area soon. Now is the time to plan a winter fishing trip to Florida.

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