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What you should know if you are going to go.

Posted on September 25 2019

With my time on the river drawing to a close I thought it would be helpful to those of you who are planning on fishing this fall  to give you a current status report on the rivers making up the Delaware River System.  Keep in mind that a good rainstorm could change everything.

Beaverkill - The river is crystal clear with a current flow of under 75 CFS.  There is no flow to the water in the pools. With the cooler temperatures the fish have repopulated the pools. The streamside rocks show evidence of continued iso hatches.  The water is still too warn to expect meaningful pseudo activity. There are better opportunities elsewhere.

The Upper East - (above it's junction with the Beaverkill) is flowing at about 135 CFS  at Harvard with a release at Downsville of 114 CFS. The flow is low and slow but the water is ice cold, pseudos are hatching in the afternoon and the trout are feeding on them. The fishing has attracted quite a few fishermen.  The fish have all been fished to and are very careful about what they eat. If you are up for a real challenge, give it a try.  Please respect other anglers, Walking in the water sends a wake across the river and puts fish down. Try to find an empty pool or at the very least stay as far away from other anglers as possible.

The Big East -  (from the UE - BK junction to Hancock.  The river is crystal clear with a flow of under 150 CFS.  Some fish have moved back into the pools. There are still a few isos hatching along with brown caddis right at dark. The fish know the game and are very careful about what they eat. If you like solitude this might well be your best bet.  Access is limited, respect landowners property rights.

The Big River (Delaware River below junction of E and W branches in Hancock). Current flows vary depending on the water needed  to make mandated minimum flow down river. Both floating and wading are fine at current levels.  The water is cloudy due to the silt from the WB releases.  There may be some isos hatching mid afternoon and Epherons (white flies) towards dusk.  There has been heavy boat traffic down to Buckingham and heavy wade fishing activity at junction pool and Stockport. There are fish throughout the system. The fish in the  more heavily fished areas are now very hard to fool. If you are adventuresome and fish down in the lower river, even as far as Callicoon,  you might find 'bows willing to eat your fly.

The West Branch - Everyone's favorite river. It's a muddy mess. Water levels are up and down daily.
There is lots of water for floating. Wading, because of the limited visibility and high releases should be done with caution. Streamer fishing is the current game here and is best done from a boat where you cover new water with every cast. Expect a good number of swirls behind the streamer and, if you are lucky, a few takes.


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