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Out Of The Algae And Into The 'Bows.

Posted on July 24 2023

Things went smoother than I expected this morning, got the bills paid, found everything on my grocery list, found Mink oil at Tractor Supply, only took seven minutes to gas up at BJ's, and was on the way down at noon. Stopped at Deposit and found I was in time for at least part of the sulfur hatch. Fished from 1:40 until 3:30 and didn't see more than four rises that weren't to my fly. Five fish came to my fly, two ate and I landed them both, One 8, the other 18.

Drove down to Lordville, unpacked and put things away, watered the garden, chatted with the neighbors and at 5:00 decided to have the sauerbraten that Jean made out of a venison roast, thanks Jean, even the croutons were great. With the meal finished and cleaned up I checked out the stream temps and decided to go low. Where I fished I saw one olive and half a dozen iso's and no risers until close to 9:00. But, the fish were hungry and looking up. Hooked a dozen yearlings. The little 'bows were all between 9.75 and 10 inches. The browns were between 9 and 9.5. Measure the next yearling you catch in the WB, they are way behind in growth this year. In addition to the yearlings I had nine adult fish eat my fly. Three did so on upstream casts with the fly within ten feet of me. At that point the only option is a roll cast and although all were hooked none stayed on. The remaining six were quality fish, all between 16 and 18 inches. Four rainbows and two browns.

Unless things change (and I don't expect them to) no one is going to catch a lot of fish in the "Sulfur Zone" during the day. Why? Most of the big fish ignore sulfurs in the day time and they have eaten the fish that usually do (1,2,and 3 year old's). There is difficult, but exciting fishing during the last hour of light when the sulfurs hatch and the big fish feed. You have a chance of hooking a big one then, but you better bring your A game. Last Thursday I was surrounded by big feeding fish and hooked a grand total of three. If you are new to blind casting, I don't recommend heading downstream into bugless water like I did tonight. Stick with the sulfurs, when there are bugs and rising fish downstream, I'll let you know.

Note to Jack - Hale Eddy will get you out of the worst of it but you won't see bugs there in the afternoon (I don't think). There should still be a modest hatch of sulfurs just before dark. 


  • Taylor H: July 24, 2023

    Hey Mr 119! I’m About a year into fly fishing, and today was my 3rd trip to the Delaware River. I poked around deposit a bit around the same time you were there and the whole river was dark brown. Did you manage to avoid that area or is that water still worth fishing with a dry fly? Went down to the gamelands and saw some sulfurs, olives and rises. Unfortunately no fish for me yet, but I’m still paying my dues!

  • Ed Smith: July 24, 2023

    Angler119-Thanks for your report. Sounds like daytime in the “zone” continues to be “slow”. Jack-I concur with you. Everyday on a river should be enjoyed. Bugs or no bugs, fish or no fish , we are fortunate to be on the river.and should cherish the time spent. Ed Smith

  • Jack: July 24, 2023

    Thank you for your added info,
    Given my current eyesight limitations, I think I will wait until the fall ISOs hopefully make an appearance.
    P.S. Hopefully you younger fishermen enjoy everytime you get to be out on the water. I have many friends who are unalel to fish at all.

  • Chris Z: July 24, 2023

    Landed a huge 22# brown Saturday night right at dark, fish were extremely picky feeding just under the surface. Had to work hard and go really small.

  • HydeLowRider: July 24, 2023,Hey_Hey_(Out_of_theBlue)

    “It’s better to burn out than to fade away.”

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