Posted on September 03 2020
As I sat down to write this, a size 30, winged black ant lit on the rim of my perfect manhattan glass and - - - fell in. He didn't drink much. Will get back to ants later.
With the BK up over 1,000 CFS from the rain, the eastern half of the system, the BK, BE and BR were out of play. The BR was fishable at today's levels but I don't try to cross it at 2,500 anymore and with the limited number of fish in most pools doubling the flow reduces your chances of finding a fish by more than half. The rise in the water is just what we have needed. When things get back to comfortable wading levels the BE will not only be fishable but it will have fish in it and the fish will be better distributed in both the BK and the BR.
Today I had little choice but to fish the WB. It has by far, the most fish and also the biggest fish. With the sulfur hatch over those yellow flies you are seeing are probably Hebies, (which I use to call lemon olives), cahills or golden drakes. There was no one fishing. The fish? They were in every flat water pool sipping from a selection of several sized olives.
What did I do? Put on my waders and had at'em. Olives are different than sulfurs (no not just the color). They don't (except on "olive days") hatch in the profusion that sulfurs do but when the sulfurs are going fish feed mostly subsurface on the emerging nymphs. Yes, you see rises but how many duns do you see eaten? Olives get eaten on top. There aren't as many, fish are hungry and they taste good. A good cast to a fish eating olives will get at least a look. Yes I got refused but only half the time compared to about 80% of the time with sulfurs. Match your olive to the size of those on the water, (my box has olives from 14's to 22's), look for a rising fish and see if you are good enough to fool him. Alone in the river with no other waders or boats, I was able to fool quite a few.
The olive fishing went from 2:00 (when I got there) until 5:15. It was so good I took my waders off (I never do that), didn't know if I would fish or just call it a day. Drove down to the middle section of the WB where I basically haven't fished since June and there were wade fishermen everywhere I wanted to fish. Drove back up to Hale Eddy and walked out on the bridge and glassed the river - not one rise. Drove upstream a mile and at about 6:30 decided to give it a try. When I got into the water it was covered with size 30 winged black ants. I mean there was an ant every two inches from the time I got there until dark. The fish either had been dining long before I got there or just didn't care. Had to look for a riser, wade to within casting range and wait for it to rise. Didn't have any trouble seeing my fly, it was a size 22 and was at least five times bigger than those on the water. Didn't matter, the trout loved my ant. Cast at 8 fish, seven of them ate it, lost one and spent far too much time on the eighth one who knew which ant not to eat.
It's the Delaware, the last two weeks have been a challenge, today was as nice as dry fly fishing gets. There were no hogs (that was Monday and Wednesday) just quality two and three year old 12 to 16 inch fish. If you come tomorrow - - you probably should have been here yesterday.