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Sometimes a good rant soothes the soul.

Posted on September 05 2020

It's been a quiet week blog wise, thankfully no kerfuffles, (hats off to a new reader Keith who used kerfuffle in his introductory comment, haven't heard it or  seen it used for years).  Thanks also to the others who shared their fishing experiences on trips this week.

With no questions asked, no answers have to be given which gives me time for a rant.

Regular  readers, I'm sure are aware that it has been tough fishing the past two weeks.  This week turned the corner. What that means is that I am catching good numbers of fish again.  I fish the river system a minimum of five days a week and have been doing so for 30 years. Fly fished for over 35 years before that. The fact that I'm catching fish doesn't mean that you will.  It means that there are fish willing to eat dry flies, if  you are in the right place at the right time with the right flies and the necessary skill to present them properly.

The Delaware River System is the toughest place I know to consistently catch trout, it's why I'm here. Learning the river and becoming able to catch it's trout is a long journey.  Yes, anyone might get lucky and catch a big one but to consistently catch trout on this river system is an accomplishment you should be proud of.  If the DEC stats can be believed, a fish every four hours is the norm for fishermen here.  If you want to do better you need to you need to give fish credit for their survival instincts and their ability to make changes that make them harder to catch. You need to improve your skills, be aware of the changes the fish have made in the way they react to fishermen and make the necessary counter moves required to catch them.

In this blog I've tried to make you all better fishermen, some of you  have followed various suggestions and have caught more fish.  Unfortunately others remain convinced that it's the fly or the place that determines success.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  This summer we allfished the same pools.  The rest of the year when there are options I'm much harder to find.  Why?  I'm content to fish where there are less fish because there are also less drift boats and wade fishermen and more fish that are relaxed and willing to eat a fly.  Day after day I see the same cars parked at the same spots and the same fishermen casting the same flies to the same fish with the same results.  It drives me nuts.

Because of the number of people who read the blog, I,m sure you understand that I can't say where I am fishing.  Except for sulfur season I will rarely enter a pool if someone else is there. Believe me it's not where, it's how.  I try to provide you with all the information you need to be in the game. Skill deficiencies may limit success but if you are willing to read and try to follow suggestions I guarantee you will not do any worse than what you are doing now.  

If you read this blog, know that I will never say it's good when I'm not catching fish and when I say it's tough, just maybe, you might try to get a foursome lined up for the weekend. Bring your olives, isos, white flies and ants and take in the fall colors on the Delaware, if the last few days are any indication there are fish to be caught.


  • Greg: September 07, 2020

    Very well put re the Delaware.

    I very much enjoy your blog. It feels like to you are speaking directly to me.

    Been trying new areas as well since I prefer catching no fish with no one around then catching fish in the middle of a pod of fisherman-if that sounds crazy.

    Thanks for taking the effort of keeping us informed. After all its nice to have some idea of what is going on beofre I drive 2 1/4 hours up there.

  • Dennis: September 07, 2020

    I was 0-4 yesterday. Dave told me if I made 0-5 I would have to sit on the bench for an hour!!
    I fished above dream catchers and caught 3 fish. 10-12 inches. I didn’t care it was great!!!!!!! That tug on the line is a great feeling. Caught all three on a iso.
    Thanks for all the great information and sharing your wisdom about the river it is truly helpful

  • Jim N: September 06, 2020

    So is your soul soothed?

    I must admit that I love your blog. It is the first thing I do every morning after pouring the first cup of coffee. You write as if you are fishing for us readers. You put just enough info out there to lure us to your fly. Not many refusals….and lots of hook ups.

    I have just started to fish the area and I find your information (and my brother-in-law’s who introduced me to the upper D) quite valuable. I will use each nugget the next time I visit to fish and the next time I sit at the vice. What I realize is that there is so much to learn, and while I will never know everything, each piece of information that you provide helps. So thank you for what you tell me and for what you don’t.

  • Jim V: September 05, 2020

    Having followed your very helpful blog all summer, I was just beginning to get my sulphur skills functional when the sulphurs disappeared and you are now discussing white flies, flying ants and very small, lightly visible olive hatches in totally new parts of a very long river system!
    I have thoroughly enjoyed the summer even without spectacular results. I now realize that many of the hatches, locations, presentations I learned will change weekly/monthly and much of my Delaware system knowledge will be most valuable next year the second time around!
    On the other hand, I have followed your advice and used the last two weeks to restore my rusty (due to my flyfishing) golf game to its normally solid 7 handicap!! You can’t afford to waste time at age 74! Your blog has markedly shortened my learning curve and is unique in its ability to give your readers a real feel for the daily drumbeat and rhythm of the Delaware system.

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