Hook, Line and Sinker: May 2, 2012

Fishing conditions over the past week have changed – thanks to the much-needed rains we’ve been receiving. River levels rebounded from less than one-quarter of the historical average flow to more normal levels for this time of year, and then started their descent again.

The East Branch Delaware at Fishs Eddy, as of May 1, is flowing at 767 cubic feet per second (CFS). This is below the average flow on this date of 1,230 cfs over 57 years of record keeping. The highest flow recorded on May 1 was 9,460 cfs in 1996; the lowest recorded flow was 510 cfs back in 1985.
The Beaverkill at Cooks Falls has also risen to above average last week, and then receded to much lower flows. The river was recorded on Tuesday morning as having a flow of 430 cubic feet per second; the average flow on this date is 642 cfs over 98 years of record-keeping. The highest flow recorded on this date was 3,970 cfs in 1996; the lowest recorded flow was 270 cfs way back in 1930.

Female Hendricksons, with their signature yellow egg sac, were seen in good numbers on the Beaverkill during the late afternoon and provided for some good fishing, with Blue Winged Olives and Caddises still around as well.

Interestingly, in checking my notes from last May 1, Hendricksons still had not appeared, and they’ve been hatching for a good three weeks now, since about April 16. We were anticipating the Shad Fly hatch by the 8th or so of May (this year, we encountered the Shad Fly hatching in full force on the East Branch Delaware on April 14!) Most area reservoirs, on May 1, 2011, were spilling; but at this writing, Pepacton is just at 91.1 percent capacity and Cannonsville is at 92.7 percent. The total capacity of our Catskill reservoirs stands at 93.4 percent.

The Esopus has been fishing well, especially during the late afternoon into evening with lots of rising fish.

At this writing, all of our area rivers and streams have been stocked.
Al Carpenter of Al’s Sports Store in Downsville reported that fishing on the East Branch has been terrific – saying that ‘they’re catching a ton of fish in the river’ in part, thanks to the stocking that was done last Thursday. He said that there have been reports of March Browns starting to hatch on that river, which also provided good fishing.

However, due to the extremely windy conditions, coupled with the rain, fishing in the Pepacton Reservoir has been a little slow.

Tony Gaglio of New Jersey and Charlie Mills of Downsville were successful in catching two nice trout. The first one weighing nine pounds, three ounces; and the second, eight pounds, six ounces. The fish, which measured 28 and 29 inches respectively, were caught while trolling.

Bon Yenik of Binghamton was successful in catching a very long but skinny brown trout, a huge female of a ‘weird green and yellow color’ that measured 30 and-a-half inches in length but only weighed nine and one-quarter pounds. The big brown was caught offshore on a Kastmaster. Al mentioned that the trout were not feeding all that well, and that fewer fishermen were out this week due to the weather and those who have been fishing from shore have been doing just as well as those fishing from a boat.