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A day on the Neversink.

Posted on May 05 2018

After five days of trying to wade fish  the high water in the Delaware system, with poor hatches and a lack of feeding fish, the prospect of having to contend with the plethora of drift boats and other personal flotation devices sure to be on the river today, made it the perfect day to give the Neversink a shot.

For those who don't know, it's the "forgotten"  Catskill tailwater.  The home water of Hewitt and LaBranch is now under the reservoir but the cold water releases grow bigger trout than either of them probably ever caught.  Why isn't it fished more?  Well, New York City loves the Neversink water as much or more than the Delaware's EB.  As a result the releases are kept at minimum levels and the stream heats up during the summer months. Because of the low releases it's an easy stream to wade but too shallow to float. 

I've been told that the fly hatches are prolific. (Last year I went to the Neversink twice and never saw a bug hatch or a fish rise).  It's fifty miles east on Rt 17 from Hancock and I have been unable to find any good information published on a daily basis to let you know what is or isn't happening.  If it's "on" the trip is well worth your while.  If, like last year, when nothing was happening, it's a wasted couple of hours.

As most of you know,  Hendricksons usually start hatching about 3:00 pm.  The hatch lasts up to a couple of hours and depending on too many variables to go into even if I was being paid, there may or may not be a spinner fall after the hatch.  The timing of the hatch makes it the best hatch for Troutfitter regulars to try the Neversink as you can come late and drive home early.

How was the trip?  Went early and took time to chat with a few anglers.  After being given directions to one of the access points into the "Neversink Unique Area" I drove over and had a look.  There were about a dozen cars there, mostly hikers.  Was told that it's 15 minutes down to the river and half an hour to get back up.  Then sat around watching the bugless water go by for over an hour.  At 2:55 the first Hendrickson appeared.  When I'd seen half a dozen I suited up and I'm glad I did.

Fished about a third of a mile of river with a mix of riffles, runs and pools in what I would call a "nice" Hendrickson hatch and spinner fall.  Saw no other anglers until the walk back when there were two guys spin casting from shore and one angler casting to a rising fish in the pool where I had parked the car.

How'd I do?  Had rising fish from 3:00 until I quit at 6:30.  They refused poorly thrown casts ( the wind was not a big help there) but almost all of the fish that ate were three and four year olds. It was for sure a top ten day for the year and I MIGHT even go back and try it again tomorrow!

BTW on the trip back my windshield was pelted with apple caddis at every bridge on the BEB.


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