Hook, Line and Sinker: May 21, 2008

Weather conditions here in the Catskills this past week just confirmed what everyone who lives here has known all along – “typical spring weather” and “Catskill weather conditions” are two very different topics. We’ve experienced a range from warm sunny temperatures well into the 70s last Wednesday back down to 33 degrees and SNOW showers on Monday morning! And along with the cold front that blew in with windy, rainy and chilly conditions all weekend, came a lull in the trout fishing.
Dave Budin of Del Sports in Margaretville, lamented that although he saw a few March Browns (the very large, size #10 mayflies that usually produce pretty good fishing) Gray Foxes and shad flies (caddises), the fishing over the weekend was slow and not too productive, except for the above the reservoir and in the streams on up toward Roxbury. Evidently the few degrees of warmth in the smaller streams and the East Branch above Margaretville made the difference in the quality of the fishing. Dave is very optimistic about this coming (long) weekend, however, the weather is supposed to clear and warm up after Wednesday, and with warmer temperatures, the fishing will improve.
A friend called on Sunday evening and reported that he’d had good fishing around Downsville and Shinhopple last week and that he saw numbers of Hendricksons hatching, and experienced Hendrickson spinner falls in the evenings! The lower East Branch Delaware had its major Hendrickson hatches around April 15, as is more typical for that hatch but he felt that the cold bottom releases (water temperatures last week was still only about 48) are keeping the hatches back a bit.
Mike Cornwell of Al’s Sports Store in Downsville, reported that fishing on the Pepacton Reservoir this past weekend was also slow, due to the ‘cold snap’ we experienced. He said he did see a couple of nice fish the largest being Ed Brown’s nine- and-a-quarter pound brown trout that measured 27 inches in length. Ed, who hails from Walton, was trolling Sutton Spoons on about about seven colors, and probably found the fish at about 30 feet of water.
John Bock of Roscoe was fishing from a boat when he bagged a nice eight-pound brown trout.
Mike reported that the fishing from shore is now ‘kind of off for the trout unless you’re fishing for perch and bullheads; the bullheads have started to bite up towards the Barkaboon.”
He also said that March Browns have been selling well in the store – and that over on the West Branch of the Delaware good hatches of March Browns and a grayish-blue caddis fly were keeping the trout busy. Evidently they passed up the March Browns to take the caddis fly – which had no tail, and this fly-fisher was traveling around looking for a good imitation – of which he’s not yet had any luck.
The Esopus was high and muddy, not conducive to fishing this past weekend. Hopefully by next weekend things will settle down and warm up.