2016-07-27 / Hook Line and Sinker

Hook, Line & Sinker

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By Judy Van Put

Fishing in the Pepacton Reservoir has been very productive lately. In addition to some nice trout, good numbers and catches of bass have been reported over the past week, especially since the last full moon on July 19.

Eric Miller was fishing on Sunday and reported catching nine bass, a seven and-one-half pound brown trout, and two rainbow trout, measuring 15 and 20 inches.

Pat Riordan from Pennsylvania also had good fishing, catching a six-pound brown trout and five bass.

A somewhat slower month of June produced the following winners in the Pepacton Trout Derby sponsored by Al’s Sports Store in Downsville: First prize was awarded to John Nichols of Kingston for a beauty of a brown trout that weighed a hefty nine pounds, six ounces, but measured just 26 and-a-quarter inches in length.

More winners

Second prize was taken by Hank Straub of Chester for his brown trout that weighed eight pounds, ten ounces and also measured 26 and-a-quarter inches. And rounding out the Derby was the third-prize winner, Justin Kulers of Verplanck who managed an eight-pound, five-ounce brown trout that measured 27 inches. All three prize-winning trout were caught while fishing with sawbellies.

The two largest trout reported in the month of July were just an ounce shy of 12 and 13 pounds. The first was an 11-pound, 15-ounce brown trout that measured 28 and-three-quarter inches in length, caught by “Skidder” Rider, of Andes, who was trolling with spoons when he hooked his big fish.

And Ella Ackerman, 11, from New Jersey and fishing with her grandpa, John Rutkowski (also of New Jersey) managed to catch a huge 12-pound, 15-ounce brown while fishing with sawbellies.

John Rutkowski is holding third place in the July Trout Derby, with his eight-pound, nine-ounce brown that measured 25 and-three-quarter inches. Currently in second place is Roy Hesselgrave of Verplanck, with his seven-pound, 15-ounce brown, that also measured 25 and-three-quarter inches. Leading the July Derby is Bill McDonough of Virginia with a nice eight-pound, nine-ounce brown that measured 26 and-a-quarter inches.

A number of smaller mid-sized browns came in last week as well. Jerry Backus of Walton managed a seven-pound, five-ounce brown and Todd Curtain, also of Walton, bagged a seven-pound, nine-oncer while fishing with bait. Sawbelly fishermen seem to be having the most luck this week.

Water temperatures have been recorded as 58 degrees Fahrenheit at 30 feet down, and 55 degrees at 35 feet over the weekend, with reports of most fish down around 30 feet.

In addition, good numbers of baitfish have been seen on the surface, especially around dusk. Al Carpenter reported a school of baitfish on the surface in the evening before dark; while traveling along the shoreline he noticed quite a few bass swirling just below, going for the bait.

The West Branch of the Delaware has provided good afternoon and evening fishing for fly-fishers. However, on Monday afternoon, the level spiked up to 951 cubic feet per second, as compared to the 52-year average of 493 cubic feet per second on this date. Water temperatures have been cool and comfortable, ranging from a low of 48 to just under 60 degrees Fahrenheit this past week.

Good hatches of Sulphurs and Isonychias have occurred in the afternoons through evenings. Summer fly hatches on most of our rivers and streams also include Blue Winged Olives and various sizes of Caddis flies. Terrestrials, such as ants, beetles, grasshoppers and inchworms are also used during midsummer, usually with good success, as are the tiny midges in sizes #20 and smaller.

Tippet tips

Remember to use a smaller tippet when fishing these flies, 6X and 7X, and make your presentation the best it can be with as little disturbance to the water as possible. And while the tailwater fisheries of the East and West Branches of the Delaware can be fished all during the day, the Beaverkill and WIllowemoc will best be fished in the early mornings and late evenings, up until/after dark on these hot and humid summer days.

Candy Chin of the Tremperskill Country Store in Andes reported that the winner of the June Pool sponsored by the Tremperskill Country Store was a nine-pound, one-eighth ounce brown trout that measured 27 inches, caught by John Nichols, of Kingston. John had fished all night and caught the big fish at 5:15 a.m. The fish was 15 feet down when he took the bait.

Candy also reported that young brothers Meir, 10, Eli, 8, and Hudi, 6, Steinmetz were fishing from a boat on Camp L’man Achai’s Perch Lake with their father, Asher when they “helped their daddy catch a nice brown trout” that was reportedly over a foot long.

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