Hook, Line and Sinker: June 17, 2009

A check with the NYS DEP Web site on Monday morning revealed that the NYC reservoirs are at the following levels: Pepacton is at 99.6 percent capacity; Neversink, 96.6 percent; Rondout, 98.2 percent; Ashokan, 98.6 percent; Schoharie, 83.8 percent. Only Cannonsville is currently spilling, and registered as at 100.9 percent capacity.
Al Carpenter of Al’s Sports Store in Downsville reported on fishing in the Pepacton Reservoir. His Pepacton Trout Derby is in full swing; the derby runs through the month of June and entries are just $5 per angler. Prizes are awarded for the three largest trout caught.
In the running for first place is Carl Waskiewicz from Pennsylvania. Carl was fishing with sawbellies when he caught his trout that measured 28 inches in length and weighed eight pounds, seven ounces.
Currently in second place is Mike Goodman from Downsville with his eight-pound brown trout that also measured 28 inches in length.
Holding third place is Ken Booth of Pennsylvania with his seven-pound, 10-ounce brown trout that measured 27 inches. Ken’s fish was also taken on a sawbelly.
Al reported that the best fishing on the Pepacton has been early in the mornings before 6 a.m. and in the evenings just before dark. Fish are being caught from surface down to 35 feet. “The rain has them all up and down. They’ll be on top for an hour or two, then down 25 feet, some even 35 feet. But I’d say the average depth is 25 feet.” He also said there are “tons of bait but they’re not feeding, they’ll come up, and go back down. They’re not hitting consistently – but it’s just starting to improve,” remarking that this year’s 28-inch trout are weighing just eight pounds, while the same length fish last year would tip the scales at 10 – 12 pounds.
Outside of the derby entries, young Alicia Sprague of Downsville was fishing with a worm when she caught a beauty of a bullhead that measured 16 inches.
Sonny Somelofski of the Tremperskill Country Store said that water levels are pretty high but there were a number of fishermen out and about this weekend. Tom DiCarlo of Ridgefield New Jersey was fishing sawbellies and managed a nice seven-pound, three-ounce brown that measured just over 25 inches in length.
Bob Cole of Andes was out trolling and had a few fish. Bob remarked that right now the sawbellies are running very small but Bob felt that was okay as every fish he pulled in was chock-full of small sawbellies. Sonny added that reservoir trout fishers should not worry about the size of the bait, despite most of the sawbellies running no more than two-and-a-half inches long. Shane Kenyon of Mt. Tremper was using one such small sawbelly when he caught a nice seven-pound, seven-ounce brown trout that measured 24 inches that he caught off shore on his first cast!
Stream fishing had tapered off somewhat over the weekend. We fished the Beaverkill in Delaware County on Friday evening and found great fishing, caught a good number of trout on size #14 dry flies (Adams, Able Mabel and Green Meanies) despite not seeing many flies on the water, just a few Isonychias and Sulphurs. But on Saturday afternoon we fished hard with three friends down on the Lower Beaverkill at Cemetery Pool and had a difficult time catching a trout, despite using streamers, nymphs or dry flies. Our fishing ended at about 7 p.m. just as the trout began to rise. The steady rain shower turned to a noisy thunderstorm and we hurried off the water to escape the lightning. By Sunday the river was quite high, running 1,290 cubic feet per second at Cooks Falls. The average flow should have been in the 400s. We settled for a streamside chat and a nice lunch followed by a bit of casting with each other’s fly rods. Hopefully this rainy weather will settle in the next day or so and the streams will return to a more fishable level.