2016-09-21 / Hook Line and Sinker

Hook, Line & Sinker

By Judy Van Put

We’ve just returned from a nice vacation on Cape Cod with picture-perfect weather and lovely beach conditions. It was nice to get some good showers when we arrived home on Sunday into Monday, as we understand that all the rivers were very low and needed the rain.

The East Branch of the Delaware River was above the average flow on Monday afternoon, recorded at 542 cubic feet per second (cfs) (after having peaked at 600 cfs) as compared to the average flow of 392 over 61 years of record-keeping. The water temperatures this past week have been more favorable, ranging between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

The West Branch of the Delaware, however, was steadily averaging about 1,500 cfs this past week until this past weekend, when it plunged to between 500 and 600 cfs; then by early Monday morning spiked up to more than 2,000 and has now receding down to 872, This is above the average flow of 515 cubic feet per second over 52 years of record-keeping. Water temperatures on the West Branch maintained from 51 to 57 degrees all week and then rose to 62 degrees Fahrenheit by Monday afternoon.

Morning and afternoon hatches

On the East and West branches and main Delaware River below Hancock, there are some Trichos, small Blue-Winged Olives and Caddis flies hatching in the mornings. In the afternoons watch for Isonychias, which can be a great hatch in September. And don’t forget about Terrestrials such as ants, beetles, grasshoppers, and inchworms, which are still important to the trout’s diet during this time of year.

The Beaverkill at Cooks Falls was recorded as flowing at 147 cfs on Monday afternoon, which is above the average flow of 129 cfs over 103 years of record keeping. The river had been well below normal until receiving the steady rains of Sunday and Monday. Both the Beaverkill and the Willowemoc have been quite low. The highest flow recorded at Cooks Falls on September 19 was 5,820 cfs in 2012. The lowest recorded flow on this date was taken way back in 1964, when a paltry 27 cubic feet per second trickled past the gauging station.

Beaverkill scene

Fly hatches on the Beaverkill are spotty and quite small. You may find some Trichos still hatching in the mornings, along with small Blue-Winged Olives and occasional caddis flies, but not in great numbers. Terrestrials are also important to keep in your fly box. Some favorite tiny flies that work well on the Beaverkill include the Red Midge and Pheasant Tail Midge in sizes #20, #22 and smaller. Remember to tippet down to 6X and 7X when fishing these tiny flies.

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