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Fly Fishing Report for the Upper Delaware and Catskill Rivers

The Blue Wing Olives are on the water!

The cooler weather has settled into the Catskill, Upper Delaware region. Our mountains are at their peak of color and the leave are falling everywhere. Yesterday we had some crazy rain squalls which were pushed by heavy winds that gusted up to 50 mph. This cleaned out many of the trees directly along the river corridor.

Yesterdays super crappy weather spurred a very good streamer bite and our guests took full advantage of it. Lots of mature Brown Trout hit the net yesterday.

some nice ones from my trip with Mark who has his family in for a week of fishing with us

The streamer bite will continue to be on and off through the month. Whenever the weather turns lousy expect it to be hot!

Currently all of our rivers are fishing well with low water conditions. Expect to find unlimited wading and crystal clear water.

The big attraction at this time is the reliable match the hatch dry fly fishing. It is on. Now is the time to get in the water.

The cold along with the shortening days has spurred heavy insect hatches and reliable surface feeding. Our Wild Trout are now feeding steadily throughout the day. They know winter is coming.

For the last week the water has been covered with insects all afternoon. Every day has seen very heavy feeding from around 2:00 until near dark. It normally shuts down right after you feel a sudden drop in air temperature.

Right now it's all about Blue Wing Olives and Hebes. The Hebes are on the water in especially high numbers this fall and the fish are on them. Earlier this week I also had guests that fished through one of the heaviest Sulfur hatches I've ever seen in October. There are also a lot of caddisflies about but they are not of much importance since they are rarely on the water.

Right now the flies you need are the Hebes and Olives. This is what the fish are keyed in on. You need to have dry flies from #16 through #20 to cover the variables. To simplify things I normally just fish BWO's but make sure I have a few #14 and #16 olive patterns which are more similar in size to the Hebes. Although the Hebes are lighter in color the olives still work perfectly and may even stand out better against a sunny sky.

I normally carry 4 or 5 different patterns for these hatches. The Baxter House cripple, knock down duns, cdc olive emergers, Olive para emergers, and BWO klinkhammers. A selection like this will seal the deal in all of the water types you may find rising fish.

All of these patterns are available to you at the links below.

At this time I am rigging all of my boat rods with very long leaders for fishing the olives. (15 ft. +) You need a lot of slack to fool Delaware Trout on smooth as glass pools. Longer is always better than lighter. I never use tippet lighter than 5X.

If you plan on fishing in the next month here's what you need to know. The fish are beginning to move. within a short time most all of the fish will move to the slowest water available that has some depth. It is a simple requirement that they need slow water to make feeding on tiny olives worthwhile. This is why nymphing is in decline and why it will soon be a futile method. Now through freeze it's about soft water, eddies and tailouts. That's where the action will be focused.

Now is the time to book a trip with our guides. They are experts at putting you in the right places for fall dry fly fishing but time is running out. We are about 1 month from closing up and moving our guiding south for the winter. Our guides are 100% booked through Monday but after that we have openings to get you on the water. Call now to schedule. The best action is yet to come! 607-290-4022

Below are a bunch of shots with our guests from this week. Photos from guide trips with myself, guides Matt, Luc, Jim and Colin. Get in on the action!

It is also time to start thinking about aa winter trip to the Tampa Bay Estuary for some flats and Back Country action. I will be available for Snook, Redfish, Trout and more starting in early November. Call today or visit my page at


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