Hook, Line and Sinker: July 23, 2008

Mike Cornwell of Al’s Sports Store in Downsville reported Monday that fishing in the Pepacton Reservoir this past week has been productive. There are two new leaders in the Pepacton Trout Derby as of Monday. In first place is Joe Lacomis of New Jersey who caught a 13-pound, 9-ounce brown that measured 29 inches in length. The big fish was caught on a sawbelly. Currently holding the second place spot is Al Lutkins, also from New Jersey, with a 12-pound, six-ounce brown trout that measured just 28 inches. Moving into third place is another New Jersey fisherman, Mike Fulton, with his 11-pound, 14-ounce brown trout that measured 28 inches in length.
It’s also been a good week for young fishermen. Mike Debellis from Downsville was fishing in the East Branch of the Delaware when he managed to catch a nice three-pound brown that measured 23 inches.
Young John Lacey, also from Downsville, caught a three-pound, 14-ounce catfish.
And, young Shane Curtain, from Sydney, was fishing the reservoir with his father when he bagged a seven-pound, 12-ounce brown trout.
Mike reports that the fish have been scattered, with anglers finding success from the surface on down to about 38 feet.
One fly-fisher reported that all trout he’s been catching are full of Japanese beetles.

Sulphers out
Sulphurs are coming out at about 5 p.m. in the evening. Fishing on the rivers and streams being most productive during the evening hours right up until dark. Reservoir fishermen have been doing better in the early morning proving that while the fish in the river are feasting on flies, the fish in the reservoir are holding out for baitfish.
Sonny Somelofski of the Tremperskill Country Store reported not a lot of activity. One angler had five fish one day with only one keeper. There is no thermocline in the reservoir yet, but he’s predicting about the first of August for that turnover to occur, which should make a difference.
Dave Budin of Del-Sports, Inc. in Margaretville reported that the Esopus has been fishing well, at least below the portal with the coldwater releases. Fly-fishers have been doing well with Isonychia imitations. In addition, lighter colored flies such as the Light Cahill, and variations such as Ray Smith’s Red Fox, seem to be fishing well in the tail water sections.
However, it has been slow fishing in the upper East Branch and its tributaries. With the hot weather we’ve had and just a smattering of rain showers, we need more rain to bring up the water level and cool things off a bit.
Smallmouth bass seem to be running up into the East Branch just above the reservoir, but no trout activity to speak of. Dave has been fishing in the evenings up until dark and has reported a few trout, but has noticed he’s been catching a lot of young trout, fingerlings in the four- to five-inch range, which is encouraging for next year’s population. The only downside is the mergansers – which seem to be feasting on the young trout. Why isn’t there an open season on those pesky, fish-eating ducks?