We are now fully into the much-anticipated Merry Month of May – Spring has come to the Catskills in all its glory – the delicate light-green early leaves just pushing out, brightly colored wildflowers and flowering shrubs and trees lighting up the landscape. We have enjoyed harvesting foraging, bringing home ramps, fiddlehead ferns, watercress and, on special occasions, trout (and hopefully a wild turkey!) — gourmet fare fresh from our own woods and waters.
Hendricksons were out amid a tremendous caddis hatch at the end of last week – we could see the yellow egg sacs on the females as the dipped into the water and flew straight up toward the sky; interestingly, though, on one fishing trip there were no rises to speak of – only two were seen, each of which produced feisty browns that took my Elk Hair caddis. The Shad Bush is blooming now, and we are looking forward to the Shad Fly hatch – a prolific caddis hatch with its signature green egg sac that will plaster cars driving along the roads and rivers.
A check with the USGS website on Tuesday morning showed that the Beaverkill at Cooks Falls was flowing at 547 cubic feet per second, which is just above the average level for May 15 of 537 cfs over 104 years of record-keeping. The minimum flow was 149 cubic feet per second in 2001; and the maximum flow recorded on May 15 was 6790 cfs in 2012.
The East Branch Delaware River at Fishs Eddy was flowing at 1240 cubic feet per second, which is above the average level for May 15 of 1060 cfs over 63 years of record-keeping. Water temperatures have been in the 50s all week.
West Branch is still high
The West Branch Delaware River at Hale Eddy is still high – flowing at 1320 cubic feet per second, which is above the average level of 520 on this date cfs over 54 years of recordkeeping. Water temperatures remain cold on the West Branch this past week, ranging from a low of 43 degrees F last Monday mornings to a high of 50 degrees F.
Candy Chin, of the Tremperskill Country Store, reported that her May Pool is growing, as Richard Morgan, of Boonton, New Jersey brought in a nice catch – a brown trout that weighed 6. 75pounds, taken “at the bridge.” Candy remarked that both the fish and the fisherman had large smiles.
And Lenny Amberg, of Andes, caught a six-pound, nineounce brown trout that measured 24” in length. He was fishing from shore, in the rain, with his pal Skip, and the buddies were on their last baitfish of a dozen sawbellies, and getting wetter. Lenny saw a fish break on the surface, and got his fish in five minutes. (Candy remarked that it was really raining, as he paid for his coffee at her store with a soggy dollar.) As a sidebar, the two were fishing at twenty feet down but caught this fish in ten feet of water.