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Fishing downgraded to "Fair".

Posted on July 20 2018

There's no reason to sugar coat it.  From the 15th of May until the end of June the fishing was Excellent. When I returned from my trip out west last week I noticed a down tick.  I rated last week as Good.  This week gets only a Fair.

There are many factors which contribute to how good or bad the fishing will be.  This season has already had three periods of over 90 degree temperature.  The rainfall after mid May has been  below average.  The combination of high temps and low water quickly creates temps above the 70 degree "no fishing threshold".

 The releases from Cannonsville and Pepacton have been reduced, C - two times, P - twice (I think)  C release is now at about 340 CFS which is well below the level needed to cool any part of the big river below junction pool.  The P release is now around 125 CFS which has let the temperature creep up into the seventies at Harvard several times, leaving the river below Harvard unfishable.

The Beaverkill, Big East and the Big River  have all been too warm to fish for several weeks.  This leads to a concentration of anglers in the WB's "Sulfur Zone" which is the only reliable place to find mid day bugs.  Its crowded with guide boats and wade fishermen, the fish look at every fly under a microscope before eating and when they do get hooked they are too tired to put up a good fight.

The UEB above Harvard and the WB below "Barking Dog launch site have little to offer on sunny days until late in the day when the sun is off the water. If you want action from fat well rested fish pick a spot below a riff on either stream about 7:30 and look for risers (be sure to have your flashlight with you).

Outlook?  Help may be on the way.  The current weather forecast shows rain all next week.  Cloud cover and rain in the summer is the best you can hope for if you are a fisherman. Both the bugs and the fish are more active in the lower light and lower temps.

On the other hand if it stays dry we could get help with increased flows to meet minimum flow requirements down river.  Significant flow increases will probably not be needed, however, until the Wallenpaupack power plant reaches it's draw down cut off point.

The fishing can't always be excellent.  Use the time to work on your casting.  Explore new areas you haven't fished yet.  From two this afternoon, when I started, until 8:00 tonight I had caught but one fish.  It ate my first cast of the day at a pool I hadn't fished in 10 years (It was a 21 inch brown).


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