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Where things stand on the first day of summer.

Posted on June 21 2018

It's the first day of summer and we need rain.  Lots of it.  The reservoirs are fine, right where they should be. NYC is seeing to that.  But the tribs are drying up, the releases have been cut back and the BK, BE and almost all of the BR are too warm to fish.  The adult fish are being stressed by the low oxygen content in the warm water.  In the tribs the brown and rainbow fingerlings are becoming easy prey for predators.  We have had only one inch of rain so far in June (two inches below normal).  Two or three all day steady rains would do wonders.

The fishing:  Has to start with the limited area that can be fished.  Everyone fishing is on the two branches and the very top of the BR.  Is it crowded?  Not really.  More than anything this shows the effect of the heavy pressure during the first two months of the season.  Fish get pounded.  They learn from their mistakes and become harder to catch. Fishermen get discouraged from lack of success and switch to golf or croquet.

The bugs:  Damned if I know.  I've never seen anything like it before.  Hendricksons well into June, drakes still hatching (a few), isos and sulfurs appearing in some places and not in others, a March Brown and a Green Drake floated by me today while I was fishing a sulfur hatch.  Chatted with three fishermen who fish the river a lot. Their unsolicited statements were the same "What's with the bugs?"

The fish:  There are lots of them. I fish enough so that my statistics on fish caught take on some significance.  Last year the number of big fish I caught was down.  But there were lots of two year old fish (12/14 inches).  This year the big fish numbers are also down but there are lots of two and three year old fish (12/16 inches).  The fish population seems to be healthy everywhere that I have fished except areas hit hard by the human predators.

The future:  The two and three year olds are likely out of danger from the two biggest predators (large trout and mergansers) only eagles, osprey striped bass and man are still a threat (it's no fun being a fish).  Unfortunately these same fish will (with the help of the mergansers)  make survival difficult for the fingerlings and yearlings over the next few years.  The river system has a good population of trout, we all need to do everything we can to insure their survival.


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