Hook, Line and Sinker: May 19, 2010

Area rivers and streams are a bit low for this time of year, but have been fishing well. According to the United States Geological Survey website, the Beaverkill at Cooks Falls is flowing at 300 cubic feet per second (cfs). The average flow on this date is 519 cfs. The East Branch of the Delaware River at Fishs Eddy measured 752 cfs with an average flow of 996 cfs. The West Branch of the Delaware at Stilesville is actually a little higher than the average flow. Today’s readings were 304 cfs as opposed to 223 cfs over 46 years of record keeping on that river. Water temperatures have remained very cool, in the low 50s, due to the cold weather and cooler nights we’ve had this month.
Fly hatches have been fairly consistent with the exception of about a week ago. We are beginning to see some March Browns and Gray Foxes make their appearance. There’s been a great caddis fly hatch on the lower Beaverkill in the afternoons starting about 2:00 p.m. Trout seem to feed voraciously during the time when those flies are about, even taking nymphs as well as dry flies.
The Cannonsville Reservoir is spilling. Other area reservoirs are near capacity but not spilling: Pepacton, 99.4 percent; Ashokan, 99.2 percent; Neversink, 97.7 percent and the Rondout, 97.6 percent. The smaller Schoharie Reservoir is low at 75.3 percent of capacity.
Sonny Somelofski of the Tremperskill Country Store in Andes reported that Pepacton Reservoir fishermen are doing well on the upper end of the reservoir, catching their trout on live bait including shiners and sawbellies, which are now available at the Tremperskill Country Store as well as Al’s Sports Store in Downsville. Fishermen using Krocodile and Kastmaster lures and big trolling spinners are doing well. The upper-end trout fishers are finding their fish from 18 feet to about 22 feet down. Sonny said that the water is still very cold.
The Pepacton Trout Derby is in full swing at the Tremperskill Country Story. For a $5 entry fee, trout fishers have a chance at earning a cash prize. First prize will be 60 percent of the entry fee money; second prize will be 30 percent, and third prize will pay 10 percent. Leading the derby fish so far is a seven-pound, ten-ounce brown caught by Carl Sauer of Ravina. Carl used a sawbelly to lure his big fish, which measured 26 inches in length. The derby runs until May 31. Reservoir fishermen can enter at any but before they catch their fish!
Al Carpenter of Al’s Sports Store in Downsville reported that the fishing on the lower end of the reservoir “hasn’t been great this month.” He attributes this lull to the cold water and believes that the upper end, being shallower, has provided better fishing. At the lower end of Pepacton, however, fish have been mostly between 10 and 20 feet down at night. During the day the fish are “scattered,” some just off the bottom, others on the surface just off shore. Al will host his Pepacton Trout Derby during the months of June and July. Entries are also just $5 for cash prizes.