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The 2017 season in review.

Posted on October 26 2017

Returned to camp after six days to find the north facing hills a barren gray with isolated spots of color where a lone aspen or oak is making it's last stand.  The oak trees on the south facing slopes which were green when I drove home last Friday are now a beautiful combination of burnt orange and burgundy interspersed with the green of the pines.  If you enjoy fall foliage it's your last chance 'til next fall to take in nature's art work.

After yesterday's fishing it became an easy decision to finish the camp shut down.  Yes there were olives and rising fish but the adult browns are busy spawning and the risers were all fingerlings and yearlings.  If water conditions improve there may yet be chances to hook some rainbows sipping pseudos in slow water pools but it's time for me to call it a season.

For the record it was one of my better years (fourth out of twenty six).  I didn't catch as many fish over 17 inches as some years but there were lots of two and three year old fish willing to eat a dry.  The lack of big fish can in part be explained by the high water conditions early this year which limited where I could wade during May when many of the big fish are caught.  I also avoided the most heavily floated areas during most of the "big bug" season.

The big river seemed to have a healthy population of fish in all year classes. 

The lower EB (below jaws) continues to disappoint as the fish population there has been  down for several years. 

The UEB seems to have a healthy population of two and three year old fish but I found (contrary to some river reports) the number of big fish to be down substantially from 2016.

The WB in the "sulfur zone" was a big disappointment this year.  Don't know if it was because of a poor sulfur hatch, fewer fish, excessive fishing pressure or a combination thereof.  I did well in the middle portion of the WB once the pressure eased off but did not do well in the river's lower reaches.

The lower Beaverkill up to and including the downstream "no-kill" area has been a disappointment for the last few years.  There are a small group of fishermen, taking advantage of the five fish per day limit, who have systematically gone from pool to pool harvesting the wild browns and rainbows that reside there.  Clearly the regulations need to be changed to limit this abuse.

This is the third year I have written the report.  While it is basically no more than a " How'd ya do?" blog, I do try to provide some insight into ways in which you can become a more successful Delaware River fisherman.  Short of providing GPS locations of "secret spots" (there aren't any) I would welcome any comments or suggestions for improving the reports. 


  • Fred Zaiko: October 30, 2017

    Thanks for all the reports and fishing information. I get up there a dozen or so times a year and it is very interesting to compare notes. I mostly fish the WB and Junction pool so I don’t range as far as you do, but I agree, last year was much better for big fish than this year. Ha
    ve a great winter and I hope to read your posts again next year.

  • Tim: October 27, 2017

    Thanks for another year of exceptional and entertaining reports. Best fishing blog anywhere in US I’ve seen. Only recommendation is that New York DEC sit down with Angler 119 (who they know) and do something with his remarkable information and thoughtful suggestions. The Delaware system is heavily pressured. Those responsible for managing it should do their job and assess what might be changed to further improve this fantastic asset. If no kill works why not expand it? Resorts say their business is 10 to 1 wade fisherman. So why not ban boats between Stilesvillevand Barking Dog? How about Angler 119s suggestion regarding reducing fish limit on Beaverkill?

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