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So you want to fish the pseudos hatch.

Posted on October 14 2023

 I admit it, I've been bow hunting and have provided no helpful information on the status of the Delaware River fishing. Most of those fishing in October are hard core anglers and know what they are doing. They don't need my advice, but perhaps outlining a few basics will be useful to anyone who wants to take in the fall colors (poor at best this year) and spend a couple of afternoon hours fishing.

The pseudos - They are tiny olives that hatch in the fall when both the water and air temps turn cold. The hatch occurs during the warmest part of the day (somewhere between 1:00 and 5:00). You'll need very small  (20/22) light winged olives. The real bugs sit on the water a long time as if wondering what they've gotten themselves into and the trout sit just under the surface and quietly suck them in.

Where - Pseudos hatch throughout the Delaware system, however, I've found the fish reluctant to spend the energy required to eat them in high water. Fish the lowest and slowest water in the system. Right now that would be the WB and the Willow. There is rain scheduled for today and that could of course change everything.

The fish - Right now the big browns are on the verge of the spawn and have more important things on their mind than eating pseudos. That doesn't mean you can't catch a big brown but your chances aren't great. The big fish eating pseudos will be the rainbows who just love to eat flies of any kind (except Hebes and tan caddis).

If you've been reading carefully you'll note that I've sent you to the WB and Willow (two brown trout streams) and told you that you probably won't find big browns up and feeding. So why go there? You should find browns up to 2.5 years old feeding, as well as rainbows that reside there (WB). If you want to try for rainbows fish the tailouts of slow water pools in the EB (at 1,000cfs it's still a bit high) and the BR which at about 1,600 cfs should have some 'bows up and sipping. 

Hope to head back down next Tuesday and give it a try.    


  • Other Dennis: October 17, 2023

    As usual, thanks for your sage advice. I hit the river yesterday, and the advertised pseudo hatch took place in 3 separate episodes. The fish were even more selective than usual. Most that I saw were feeding in still pools, so they had lots of time to inspect, and all I got were last second refusals of my #22 CDC comparaduns and emergers. There were tons of black and tan caddis in the bushes, but no caddis mid-river, and no fish fell for that joke.

  • Ed Smith: October 14, 2023

    Dennis Thanks for your kind thoughts. I should be ok I by the end of the week. Ed

  • Dennis : October 14, 2023

    A119 thanks for the tips. I hope to be down again this week. I fished the other day and did good with olive emergers.
    Ed hope you’re feeling better!! Take care

  • Chris : October 14, 2023

    Made my last trip to WB this week fishing all over. Upper west a waste with the algae and green water spent most time on lower river. Usual fall frustration for me I never see much of the much heralded fall Pseudos. There were some…as well as some risers…but sporadic at best. The terrible weathermen understated the wind by oh id say 15 mph so that didn’t help. Landed a couple fish and enjoyed the fall weather and colors. Thanks for all your reports they are highly enjoyable and informative. Can’t wait for Spring already! Have a healthy and happy winter!

  • Ed Smith: October 14, 2023

    Angler119-Thanks for the info on the pseudos. It one of my favorite hatches. I’ve even hit it after Thanksgiving on the BK. Hope to be on the Willow next Thursday after by bout with Covid is over. Ed

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