2016-06-15 / Hook Line and Sinker

Hook, Line & Sinker

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By Judy Van Put

Candy Chin of the Tremperskill Country Store in Andes has provided a nice record of the good fishing that has been going on in Pepacton Reservoir earlier this spring. She has been seeing a lot of motivated, happy fishermen, including Lenny Amberger of Delancey who caught a five and-three-quarter pound brown trout at about six feet down. Lenny caught his fish on a slip float with a minnow.

The first place winner of the May pool, sponsored by the Tremperskill Country Store, was Art Perry of Kingston with a beautiful brown trout that weighed nine and-one-quarter pounds and measured 28 inches. Candy said that fish had a chubby belly. And Joe O’Connor of Andes took second prize with his eight-pound, 26-inch brown trout.

And to ‘talk turkey’ for a bit, Candy related that the sporting couple of Toby and Judy Titch of Andes was successful in the May turkey season with each bringing home a turkey. Judy shot hers first; an 18 pounder that sported a nine and-three-quarter-inch beard and spurs that were one inch in length. Toby’s tom weighed 19 pounds, with a nine and one half inch beard and one inch spurs.

On the other end...

At the other end of the reservoir, Al Carpenter of Al’s Sports Store in Downsville reported a slow week of fishing due to last week’s cold and rainy weather. However, a few fishermen were happy to report success. In fact, there is a new leader in the June Trout Derby sponsored by Al’s Sport Store. Hank Straub from Chester, brought in a nice eight-pound, ten-ounce brown trout he caught on a sawbelly. Hank’s fish measured 26 and-a-quarter inches.

Tom Perry from New Jersey brought in a seven-pound, five-ounce brown and Dave Tuttle, from the Newburgh area, netted a brown that weighed seven pounds, three ounces.

Reports have come in from the upper end of the reservoir of fishermen seeing schools of bait swimming around in the coves and shallower water, and trout slashing through to feed on them.

River levels have dropped once again. The Beaverkill at Cooks Falls was flowing at 187 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Tuesday morning. The average flow on this date over 102 years of record keeping was 299 cfs. The East Branch at Fishs Eddy was flowing at 413 cubic feet per second as compared to 629 cfs based on 61 years of record keeping. And the West Branch at Stilesville was recorded at 502 cfs, with the average flow of 443 cubic feet per second based on 53 years of record keeping. Evidently the DEP must be releasing a small amount of water as the flow has been consistent at about 500 cfs for the past week.

Weekend catches

Reports of good fishing over the weekend came in from a couple of Beaverkill fly-fishers, who ‘couldn’t get out of the water’ as the combination of rain, lower temperatures, and flies hatching (including a good hatch of some remaining March Browns) triggered some hungry trout. There are many types of flies hatching now. Fishing remains best during the morning and evening hours, with the bulk of the hatches appearing later in the day.

A few March Browns may still be seen during the afternoon. March Browns are large (size #10 and #12) mayflies whose tan color with mottled dark brown wings are easy to see. Good flies to use during this hatch are the March Brown, the Adams, or the Able Mabel in those larger sizes. Grey Foxes are still around as well. These look similar to March Browns but are smaller in size.

Various sizes and colors of Caddis flies have been hatching beginning in the mornings, along with Blue-Winged Olives. Watch for Isonychias later in the day. These are the slate-colored mayflies of about size #14, whose nymphal ‘shucks’ can be seen on the rocks along the stream.

Isonychia hatches, especially in the evenings, have encouraged rising trout and provided excellent fishing. Using a Dun Variant, one of Art Flick’s classic Catskill flies, in size #14, is a good imitator of the Isonychia.

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