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Every team needs a closer.

Posted on August 10 2023

Woke this morning to find the porch screens covered with isos for the second straight day. Obviously the "Fall" isos have begun to hatch but with the BR flow at 3,500 cfs and rain predicted for tomorrow there is little I can do about it.

The prediction was for sunshine today so I went to the tying bench right after breakfast and tied todays supply of sulfurs along with a couple isos and some spinners, while waiting for the grass to dry. Got on the mower at 11:00 and finished up at 12:15. Had lunch and set out for Deposit. Last night after fishing I drove up to the Red Barn. The pool was empty and there were bugs and rising fish. There was on car parked at the barn with a guy suiting up. I thought about it and said "tomorrow" and drove home leaving the pool to the solitary angler. Drove straight up to the Red Barn at 1:30 today only to find six cars in the lot and thirteen anglers in the water. Could see an unbroken line of fisherman up in the pool by the Stilesville parking area, did a u-turn and headed for someplace where there was less chance of injuring someone on a backcast.

The sulfurs - The bugs were going before I arrived. It's complicated, clouds keep the water cold and the hatch is usually later in the day. Sunshine warms the water and the hatch is earlier. Rainwater from the tribs is warmer than release water from the reservoir and should get the bugs hatching earlier still, but downstream from Oquaga which was still pouring about 200cfs of warm rainwater into the WB, there were no bugs or risers. Shrugged my shoulders and drove upstream, parked and took a walk up to a "C" rated run only to confirm the rating.

The fishing - Saw four rises in the run as I walked up. Turned and fished down to two of the risers. Got a refusal and an ignore for my troubles. Ended up at the scene of yesterday' fish hooking bonanza. The hatch was probably on the wane but there were rising fish. With two weeks of good hatches I have gotten better at not casting at the yearlings. Rose at least a dozen good fish that refused to eat the fly. Hooked eight fish, landed four (2 were 11.5 inch hatcheries). I had gone a good hour with no action  when I made a cast into a seam along the edge of some slack water. A huge head came up and attempted to engulf fly. The fish was rushed to the emergency room where he is undergoing treatment for a severe case of whiplash. Adrenalin is not the friend of dry fly fishermen. 

At 7:15 I left Lordville and drove up to a place on the WB that fishes well at 1,100 cfs. I was in the water by 8:00 and was a good half an hour early. When the first fish began to rise it was dark enough that you had to either put on a cahill and fish the black water or put on an olive and fish the silver water. Chose the olive and hooked and landed five fish none of which was the least bit fussy about what they ate. Another big difference from "Sulfur Zone" fish was their energy level. All of them tore around the pool like it was the first week of the season. Made for a nice ending to a day that didn't quite go according to plan.   


  • Chris : August 10, 2023

    Dennis…..there is a box in front of the barn where you put your $5 but it’s the honor system. It’s gotta be the most hammered pool on the entire WB I’ve never even attempted fishing it during the sulfur hatch but occasionally find it empty in the spring and pony up the money to save the hike from the lot!

  • Dennis 2: August 10, 2023

    Angler119. While I have fished the Delaware quote a bit for someone who lives 3 hours away, I have never fished at the red barn. What’s the deal with sign that says $5 for parking? I don’t see anyone there taking cash or a trust box to deposit the money.
    Yesterday there were wall-to-wall fishrrmen above deposit. I fished just above Oquaga where there were a lot of sulfurs and small rising fish. Caught a few, finally saw a bigger fish rise, hooked and lost it.
    Moved down to the gamelands hoping to find a bit of solitude and some rising fish late. Found the first, not so much the latter. Saw a couple isos drift by, managed a half dozen refusals and a couple small fish. I Ieft for the drive home at 7:45, guess I should have hung in there a bit longer.

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