Hook, Line and Sinker: April 4, 2012

April 1 dawned with overcast skies and temperatures in the 30s, and the prospect of rain during the day – pretty typical of an April morning and the opening day of the trout fishing season. Undaunted by the chilly wet weather, Jennifer Grossman of New York City and Livingston Manor traveled to one of her favorite spots on the Willowemoc and accomplished a feat that may be duplicated but never topped – she caught a large brown trout on a dry fly on her very first cast of the new season! There were numbers of trout fishers out and about on the Beaverkill and Willowemoc, but not too many stories of fishing success.

Waters are low
Area rivers and streams remain at low flows, despite some opening weekend rain. The Beaverkill at Cooks Falls was flowing at 459 cubic feet per second (cps) as of Tuesday morning; this was less than half the average flow of 1,150 cfs for this date over 96 years of record keeping. The highest flow recorded on this date occurred in 2005, with a whopping volume of water measuring 21,100 cubic feet per second; the lowest flow on this date was just 208 cfs back in 1915.

The East Branch of the Delaware at Fishs Eddy showed a similar less-than-half average flow. On Tuesday morning the river was recorded as flowing at 753 cubic feet per second as compared to the average flow of 2,080 cfs over 56 years of record-keeping.

The highest flow on this date was also recorded in 2005, when 47,400 cfs was measured; the lowest recorded flow of 420 cubic feet per second was recorded in 1965.

The Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum celebrated the opening of the trout season as well as a ribbon-cutting ceremony, dedicating the brand-new renovations in its Educational Building as “Agnes Van Put’s Kitchen.” Agnes, who is well known for her cheerful hostessing skills as well as her delicious cookies and famous homemade soups, which she ladles out to hungry trout fishers each opening day, was on hand to cut the ribbon.

Al Carpenter of Al’s Sports Store in Downsville reported fair fishing on opening day. Fishing in the Pepacton Reservoir was a bit slow overall, although a few trout fishers had good success. This was the first time in recent memory that the reservoir was open to boats on opening day.

The day’s biggest trout
Frank Antenori from Pennsylvania was fishing with a Krocodile from shore. He bagged the largest trout of the day; a nice brown that weighed in at nine pounds, two ounces, and measured 28 and-a-half inches. It was the only trout brought into Al’s store that weighed more than five pounds. A few four and-three-quarter pounders were also brought in.

Veteran trout fisher Jeff Portz, of Roscoe, had a banner day, catching 10 trout while trolling.
And Earl Jacobs from Livingston Manor caught seven while trolling two colors down out in the middle of the reservoir.

Fishermen on the East Branch of the Delaware did well, many using Rapalas and Thundersticks.