Hook, Line and Sinker: April 29, 2009

Flies have been hatching this past week – on trips to the East Branch of the Delaware River and the lower Beaverkill in Delaware County over the weekend there were great numbers of caddis flies in the air, on the water, and in the willows lining the banks. Some Hendricksons have made their appearance, resulting in good catches of trout, and just prior to the stocking of our area streams, reports of catches of good-sized wild and holdover trout have come in. By now, most of our rivers and streams have been stocked, which has helped fishing success even more. While there appear to be record numbers of caddis hatches and caddis flies on the water, however, the trout do not appear to be taking them off the surface – and most successful fly fishers have been doing well fishing below the surface.
Sonny Somelofski, of the Tremperskill Country Store, Andes, reported that fishing in Pepacton Reservoir has been very good this past weekend. Fishing from shore continues to be productive, during the early morning and late in the afternoon toward evening. Krocodiles still seem to be the lure of choice, as well as fishing with sawbellies. The April Pool at the Tremperskill Country Store has been “dominated by Sauers” Sonny declared. Carl Sauer, of Ravena, was using sawbellies and brought in a brown trout that weighed eight pounds, five ounces. His brother, Bob Hotaling, of Galway bagged a nice six pound, nine ounce fish. And the rest of the family did well – Jerry Sauer Jr. of Kingston, brought in a seven-pound, one ounce brown and his father, Jerry Sauer Sr. brought in the biggest trout – an eight-pound, 12-ounce brown that measured 27 inches in length.
Buddies John Todd of Andes and Rob Feracci of Millbrook were night fishing over the weekend and kept their limit both nights. Fishing seemed to be productive at about 11:00 p.m. at 14 feet; and a bit later on, 1:30 a.m., a bit deeper in about 17 feet of water. The two friends caught and released many fish over the weekend.
On Monday DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis reported that the invasive species Didymo is confirmed to be present in the Esopus Creek. This aquatic algae has now been confirmed and identified in three locations in New York State, including the Batten Kill in Washington County near the Vermont border and in the East and West branches of the Delaware River.
The DEC collected samples and has found the presence of didymo in the vicinity of several public access sites along a 12-mile stretch of the Esopus from the Shandaken Portal to New York City’s Ashokan Reservoir.
According to the DEC website, Didymo is unlike many other aquatic invasive plants, as it grows on the bottom of both flowing and still waters. It is characterized by the development of thick, gooey mat-like growths – which can last for months – even in fast flowing streams. In addition to making footing difficult, didymo can impede fishing by limiting the abundance of bottom dwelling organisms that trout and other species of fish feed on.
There are currently no known methods for controlling or eradicating didymo once it infests a water body. Didymo mats look like brown or white fiberglass insulation or tissue. While didymo appears slimy and stringy, it feels rough and fibrous, similar to wet wool and does not fall apart when handled.
Anglers, canoeists, tubers, and others engaging in water-based recreation can unknowingly spread didymo. The microscopic algae can cling – unseen – to waders, boots, boats, clothing, lures, hooks, fishing line and other equipment and remain viable for several weeks under even in seemingly dry conditions. Absorbent items, such as felt-soled waders and wet suits, require thorough treatment.