Blog

May 23 2017

Big Brown.

Who said that there's no trout south of Callicoon?
Here's a hefty 20 incher that John Pellegrino caught and released south of Narrowsburg. Yes, Narrowsburg on today's float trip.

Closeup.

Nice!
Great river conditions. Water was 58 degrees and the clarity and levels are excellent.
Hatches downriver?
Cadddis, Sulphurs and a few March Browns.

#9 Railroad Bridge near Tusten Settlement.

The Upper Delaware River.
There's no place like it.

May 20 2017

Mixed Bag.

More shad were caught on today's float trip from Long Eddy south to Callicoon on the Big D.
Here's Glenn Catanzariti with a nice American shad...

...along with a lanky 20 inch walleye.

Besides walleye and shad, Glenn was also into wild trout and smallmouth bass making the day's outing an Upper Delaware River Grand Slam!

May 19 2017

Upper Delaware River American Shad
"The Poor Man's Salmon"


What a run it's been this year!
Probably the best shad run in over fifteen years!
Here's Kevin Kearsey with one of five shad he nailed north of Callicoon, New York on the Upper Delaware River on our half day afternoon float trip.


What normal river levels and current flows looks like.

The green box....NOT the red box.
Great conditions right now on the Big D.

May 12 2017

Another day on the wild and wooly West Branch.
MORE big fish.


Richard Quigley, a veteran river angler, with a dandy wild brown that he caught and released this afternoon.
Hatches were sparser than yesterday with Caddis, Blue Quills and Hendrickson showing from 3:00 until 5:30pm.

Like father...like son!

Sean Quigley with another nice wild brown.
Richard and Sean caught over ten nice fish between them. All brownies except one rainbow.

------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------
R.I.P.

Phil Chase


A great man has passed.
Phil Chase - teacher, angler, conservationist, was one of the original advocates for clean water and cold water releases for the magnificent Upper Delaware River wild trout fishery.
The river and those that love the Catskill / Upper Delaware River region have lost a true friend.
I will miss him very much.
His full obituary.

May 11 2017

Wild West Branch.
Big fish.


Steve Peleschuk with one of many big wild browns he caught and released on today's float from Balls Eddy to Buckingham.

One more.

Great hatches of caddis, Blue Quill and Hendricksons with happy fish rising from 3:00pm until 5:30pm.
Water hit 53, clarity is good and the river level is still high at 4500cfs so wading is very limited.

Seventh Heaven.

No wind, high clouds and good targets by mid afternoon.
We're about three miles south of Hancock on the Main Stem.

Auto Mall? Nope.
EVERYBODY loves to fish.


Balls Eddy Pennsylvania State Access with about 30 rigs...and it's a weekday!

Get a boat.

This USGS chart speaks for itself.

May 10 2017

West Branch.


Andy Vallardares with a nice wild West Branch Delaware Brown.
Point Mountain in Hancock, NY in the background.

Rivers are still high...

Water in the grass and wading the branches and Main Stem is not possible.

Due to Cannonsville and Pepacton Reservoirs...

...still spilling.
(They've now been spilling for about three weeks.)

Guess what?

MORE rain is forecast for this Saturday and into Sunday.
Over an inch.
When will it end?
Our actual precip for the past three months far exceeds the historical averages. See NYC DEP chart above.

May 6 2017

Spring 2017.
A lot of water.
Take a look at the charts below.


40 Day USGS Chart for Callicoon, NY on the Upper Delaware River.
75% of the time the CFS levels were above the 40 year median. (Orange Triangles)

And on the West Branch?
92% of the time, CFS levels were above the 40 year median. (Orange Triangles)

Incredible.

40 Day USGS Chart for Hale Eddy on the West Branch of the Delaware River.

May 5 2017

Wash Out.
Wipe Out.
Blown Out.

O.K., good morning.
Let's start out with where we are for Friday May 5th 2017 with a series of factual charts.
USGS numbers.

Here are the current USGS stats for the Upper Delaware River system.
As you can see, all of the rivers are high at 7500cfs, fast and cold at 47 degrees.
In fact, the water in Callicoon has dropped more than 12 degrees since this past Monday. Why? A lot of rain and colder air temps.
Rivers will rise over the next few days. Why?
Because it's raining right now.

NYC DEP Reservoirs Levels


Both Cannonsville (WB Delaware River) and Pepacton (EB Delaware River) are over 100% and continue to spill thus the river levels are not going down.

Radar for today - Friday, May 5th


Yep.
More rain today (and tomorrow).

Callicoon - Water level...


High, fast current and rising.

Hale Eddy - Water level...


High, fast current and rising.

And, lastly, NOAA water level/ CFS projections.
For Callicoon...


High, fast current and rising.

...and for Hale Eddy on the West Branch.


Ditto.
High, fast current and rising.
Not good.

Weather forecast for next week?


Cloudy and cool. That water temperature won't get over 52. and it will remain high.
Tight lines.

May 2 2017

Blown Out.


Yep.
Like I said yesterday. Take a look at the Beaverkill USGS chart for this morning. They received over 3 inches of downpours last night.
More rain is coming this Friday as well. At the point, we'll be fishing for trout through June!
(Once the rivers get back to normal.)
So, in the meantime, I'll tie up some more of those E/C Caddis. Tight lines!

The Big Eddy in Narrowsburg, New York


High, Brown and Windy.
Not exactly great conditions to toss a dry fly - or anything for that matter.

65 Day USGS Chart for Callicoon / Main Stem UDR


To show you how high the level has been this spring, here is USGS chart for Callicoon, NY
on the UDR & how often it was above the 40 year median.

Anything above 3500cfs at Callicoon is high & fast - not conducive for fish to come up for dryfly.
Callicoon is currently @ 14,000cfs or 3X the normal flow.
Chart attached. Red boxes are time periods in the past 65 days above the median level.
More rain this Friday!

What does a guide do on their day off?
Say a prayer.



Please.
No more rain for awhile.
Please.

May 1 2017

1 for 4


The guide went .250 today with plenty of targets of caddis, Hendrickson and Blue Quill.
You couldn't ask for better fishing conditions. Falling barometer before a storm, dead calm, overcast with humdity, water level the best its been this spring and water temperature at 52.
From the monent I put the boat in the water at Callicoon Pool close to 3:00pm until about 5:30pm there were targets and bugs.
I went 1 for 4.

Callicoon Pool


The E/C Caddis nailed four fish this afternoon.
In fact, every fish caught on top this spring has been with that pattern!

T-Storms / Rain and a Strong Cold Front Coming


Pretty graphic.
Strong winds tomorrow and Wednesday.
Fishing will shut down for a few days.

April 29 2017

A better fish than Wednesday's brownie.


Another nice wild Upper Delaware River brown that smashed an EC Caddis in the Callicoon Pool this afternoon.
Water level is still up a foot but the clarity is great and temperature is 58 degrees.
Hatches of Blue Quill, a few Hendos and Caddis.
Cloud cover definately helps since the fish were rising mid afternoon eventhough we had to adjust to north wind gusts.

Close up of the killer fly. E/C Caddis.


Originally designed by Ralph Cutter in the High Sierra's. One of my favorite ties especially when the caddis are on the water. This has been a best seller for me. Try one...or two.

Pan of the Upper Delaware River


Looking south of Callicoon.
No place like it. God's Country.

A great stretch of river.


Fish or no fish.

Busman's Holiday


Anyday on this river is a holiday.
Amen.

April 26 2017

Finally. 2017 Dry Fly on the Upper Delaware River Begins!


A nice wild Upper Delaware River brown that took an EC Caddis on top this afternoon in the Callicoon Pool.
Water temperature hit 54 degrees and the level is at 4500cfs. That's still a foot plus higher than normal due to reservoir spill, release and feeders coming in.
Nonetheless, good hatches of Hendrickson, Blue Quill, various Caddis and EBS.

There's a nice Hendrickson perched on my sunglasses...


...wating to be eaten.

Great to back in Callicoon Pool!




April 20 2017

Early bird shad on the Upper Delaware River!


A nice silvery fat roe caught and released north of Callicoon, New York on the main stem Upper Delaware River.
Surprising since the river has been high, bank full and running fast with water temperatures today hitting 54 degrees. See chart below.

30 Day USGS river level at Callicoon


As you can see the river has been running very high and fast for most of April due to the reservoirs at Cannonsville (WB Del) and Pepacton (EB Del) being over 100% and spilling.
In addition, the Catskills has received a lot of rain as well as runoff from the 36 inches of snow we received in mid March 2017.

April 8 2017

Tasty.


Getting ready.
A handful of Early Black Stoneflies.
Yum.

Hi - Viz.


On their way out the door.
Some Hi - Viz Parachutes tied up for a fly customer. The trout love 'em.


March 15 2017

Shawshank.


Now I know what Andy Dufresne felt like digging out.
Narrowsburg got hit hard with 36 inches of snow.
Will be good for the water table and spring trout fishing.

March 4 2017

2017 World Fishing EXPO at Rockland County, NY


A nice crowd showed up for my seminars about the beautiful Upper Delaware River at the 2017 World Fishing EXPO in Suffern, New York.

November 22 2016

The 2016 International Fly Tying Symposium in Somerset, NJ


Yours truly tying away and meeting new friends this past weekend.

The water is real cold and we're ready for winter hibernation and tying flies...


In the 30's.

Capacity at Cannonsville Resrrvoir (West Branch Delaware River) is now below 19%.


Let's hope for some decent snowpack this winter to refill those NYC reservoirs since they are now about 20% below where they should be for late November.

November 10 2016

November...and the water temperature is a cold 45 degrees!
Wild Upper Delaware Rainbow.



Jack Curley with a beautiful Big D. rainbow that he caught and released near Hankins on today's float trip.



October 10 2016

Upper Delaware River.
Looking towards New York and Callicoon at the Pennsylvania boat access.


Very low water.

USGS Chart for Callicoon on the Upper Delaware River

Levels and flow are way below the 40 year median. (orange triangles)


October 6 2016

Trophy.
20 inch Upper Delaware River smallmouth bass


Michelle Leddy caught and released this beauty south of Narrowsburg, New York on this afternoon's float trip.
Great fish Michelle!

Yes. The Ice Pupa (again).

This time in green.
They both work well.

Eel weir south of Narrowsburg, NY.

Low water levels. Probably the lowest in five years due to no rain and NYC cutting back reservoir releases.


September 27 2016

More rainbows for Earl.


North of Hankins, New York on the Upper Delaware River.

When in doubt...


...the ice pupa abides.
Available in green, grey and, as shown, tan.

September 25 2016

Nice wild Upper Delaware River 'bow.


Earl caught and released this chunky wild Main Stem UDR rainbow on today's float trip south of Long Eddy, NY.

Thus, try the following this fall in the fast riffles on the Upper Delaware River...


Bead head Isonychia CDC nymph. Size 12.

Need rain in the Catskills.


Pan shot of Ten Mile River south of Narrowsburg, New York a tributary of the Upper Delaware River.
All of the Catskill / Pocono streams and feeders are very low and bony.

September 19 2016

An honest 16 inch fattie.


Right off the bat, Todd connected with this feisty river bronzeback and said:
"That's a good 'un!"
We agree.

September 17 2016

Wild Bow.


Señor James Parilli with a nice 19 inch wild rainbow caught and released north of Callicoon today.

August / September 2016

Upper Delaware Smallmouth Bass. The time to catch them is NOW.

Big.


Plentiful.

Great fighters

on spin...


and fly!

One of the best smallmouth bass rivers in the U.S.A.!
Here's a nice 19 and a half inch bronzeback that Alan Kaufman caught and released south of Ten Mile River this afternoon!






Even a 14 inch bronzeback will take you into backing.
This fish took a black gurgler on top at dusk.








Upper Delaware River Gurglers!
The bronzebacks smack these topwater flies silly in the skinny fast water.
Best on a) overcast days b) no wind c) at dusk d) fast shallow oxygenated water and e) in late summer and fall to imitiate the baby shadling heading back downriver to the ocean.

June 10 2016

Cold Snap.
The water temp topped out at 64 degrees by 6:00pm near Narrowsburg on the Big D.


Good buddies, The Maestro - Alan Kaufman - and yours truly with a dandy wild trout caught and released on today's float trip south of Narrowsburg, New York.
And, yes....the water temperature ranged from 61 to 64 degrees - perfect for the wild bows!

Could be the high Sierras...

...but it's really the Catskills - only 2 hours northwest of NYC.


What a difference two weeks makes!

Eventhough we were targeting smallmouth bass, there were many bugs on our trip south of Narrowsburg yesterday with the water in the low to mid 60s.
Tan caddis, sulphurs and Isos.

May 27 2016

Upper Delaware River Heat Wave (Day 2)

Jim Phillips caught and released this buck shad right out of the gate this morning at Ten Mile River at the confluence of the main stem UDR a few miles south of Narrowsburg, New York.

75 degrees at Callicoon, NY by day's end.

Too warm for trout. My cut off for trout is 68 degrees.
Time for smallmouth bass.

The political season heats up too along NYS Route 97.

Memorial Day 2016
We're at the first of the three day holiday weekends.
Stay cool, drive safe, drink plenty of liquids and remember those that gave of themselves and thank those that served for your freedom.

May 25 2016

When it's hot...
Give the trout a break.


John Burger with a nice buck shad caught and released at the confluence of Ten Mile River and the Upper Delaware River south of Narrowsburg, New York.
We're at the beginning of a heat wave which will last through Memorial Day weekend with afternoon highs in the upper 80's.
With no rain and a paltry NYC reservoir release of about 230cfs from Cannonsville, the main stem UDR is beginning to cook.
By day's end, the trout zone from Lordville, NY south to Long Eddy to Callicoon all had water temps in excess of 68 degrees.
Don't fish for trout when the water gets too warm. Give them a break and target smallmouth bass and shad instead.

6pm water temps and levels via USGS

Warm water from Lordville south due to NYC stingy release policy via FFMP (eventhough their reservoirs are at 99.6%!)

Green Drake emergence.

Yes, Virginia.
Mayflies do hatch south of Callicoon, New York.

May 22 2016

Callicoon, New York
Yes. It's quite a river.


Michael Silfen with a beautiful wild Main Stem Upper Delaware River wild brown caught on top at dusk in the Callicoon Pool.
Fly fishers seeking dry fly action will have to wait for the last 90 minutes before dark for risers.
Best times: 7:00pm until 8:30pm using #16 Suphurs - duns, cripples and spinners.

And at the end of the day fishing on the Upper Delaware River...what do you find?


Day's End.

Looking north to the Callicoon Bridge.

May 14 2016

Cochecton Walleye.

Kris van Naerssen with a nice river walleye caught this afternoon north of Cochecton, New York on the main stem Upper Delaware River.
The river is bank high, water is in the grass, slight stain and is about 58 degrees.

May 13 2016

Please sir, may I have some...more?

This wild brown took the #16 BWO CDC Loop Wing Emerger which was trailed off a #12 Snowshoe Rabbit Rusty Spinner.
Now here's the thing.

I had broken off a take. Retied the same tandem rig. 30 minutes later in the same location - usually frog water of less than four feet -I threw and fish took.
When I netted the fish - guess what?
My first rig was in his mouth!


Food glorious food!



Beautiful wild Upper Delaware River brown trout



May 11 2016

A client that purchases flies from me writes from the West Branch Delaware River...

Fly fisher, Chris Zando, having success with my Hendrickson Snowshoe Breakout Emerger.

Nice words. Thank you!



Wish I was there!



Close up of Mr. Zando's gorgeous 20 inch wild rainbow!



The fly that this fish ate.

A Snowshoe Hendrickson Breakout Emerger.
Available in size 14 and 16.

May 8 2016

Memo to the Makeover & Branding Department..

The Donald®

May 5 2016

Catch and Release - Part I: Nice fat brownie.

That's Rich Wierer with a dandy 20 inch Big D. brown that he caught and released on today's float trip south of Hankins, New York.
Rich caught this fish on top with 5x and then the fish jumped out of Rich's arms and back into the cold Delaware which was about 49 degrees.
A #16 CDC Loop Wing BWO Emerger was the trailer off a Sparkle Dun March Brown.
The fish ate the emerger.

Catch and Release - Part II: Tomatin Single Malt.


Rich managed to hold on to this longer than the fish.

Hole in the Wall.


We've got plenty of water! Trout fishing should remain great through the month of May.

On the Menu.


This is what that gorgeous brown trout ate today.

May 3 2016

The Callicoon Pool. Mid Afternoon. Cold, Gray and Dreary for early May.


No wind.
Maybe a few heads?

Water temp? It's 50 degrees.


Cold and damp weather.
The Catskills finally received some rain over the last few days keeping the rivers cold and bank full.

What's on the menu?


That's a size 18 BWO Hackle Stacker trailed with a size 12 snowshoe rabbitt quill spinner.

A fat Upper Delaware River wild brown.


He ate it!

And a text from a happy customer...


Those EC Caddis are great!
Thanks to Ralph Cutter who originally designed the pattern in the Sierra's back in the 1980's.
We've had incredible success using the EC's on the wild 'bows on the Big D. as well.

Close up of George's fish.


Beautiful.

Coming up later this month...Sulphurs!


My CDC Loop Wing Sulphur Emerger available in #14, #16 and #18.
I tie these as BWO's as well.

May 2 2016

Hi - Viz Spinner.


We'll try this sweetie on the wild trout tomorrow evening as they cruise and sip the spinners in the film at the Callicoon Pool.

Catskill river levels have come up and are a bit stained from the heavy rainfall this morning.
It's just what the doctor ordered since the water clarity was too clear along with the bright sunny days we experienced for the better part of April.
Water temps have now dropped below 50 degrees at Callicoon and the main stem is bank full.
It promises to be a great week ahead to look for heads with the dry fly.

April 29 2016

Wild Brown.
What the Main Stem of the Upper Delaware River is known for. Look at those spots!


Lillian Yee with a nice brownie caught and released south of Kellams Bridge.

Wild Rainbow.
What the Main Stem of the Upper Delaware River is known for. Look at those markings!


Albert Yee with a beautiful Big D. 'bow caught and released north of Callicoon, New York.

Yep. That is a Light Cahill.
And it's late April in the Catskills!


Bug soup.
This cahill landed on my shades late this afternoon north of Callicoon.

Rain. Rain and MORE Rain!

Looks like both Cannonsville and Pepacton are ground zero for this storm tonight and more rain is coming on Sunday!
This is just what the doctor ordered for sustained cool water temps, more water for the reservoirs and to stir up the river a bit since it had been gin clear for over three weeks making for difficult conditions with bright bluebird skies.

USGS Chart 4/29/16 for 7:00pm

Let's see how the river levels increase when I wake up tomorrow.

12 Hours later. USGS Chart. 4/30/16

Levels hardly budged overnight.
Shows you how dry the ground was.
More rain coming tonight and all day Sunday.

April 27 2016

A nice letter from a customer.

Wish I was there!

April 24 2016

March Browns! (and it's ONLY April 24th)

Not many.
But...a sign of more to come.
2016 will go down in the books as a year in which we were about 2 to 3 weeks ahead of schedule.

Big fat wild brown at White House Curve. Main Stem. Upper Delaware River.

Nice fish for John Creegan.

Walleyes on a bluebird bright day with gin clear water?

You bet. Mike Seltzer with one of four 'eyes caught and released today.

April 22 2016

Chunky Monkey...right before dark.

Current conditions on the river near Callicoon:
Water is 60 degrees, clarity is super clear, overcast with no wind
BUT where are the bugs?
Sparse hatches of caddis and the Hendos are finito for 2016.
I had to wait until the last half hour to have happy fish taking bugs on top and this guy whacked a #14 Snowshoe Rusty Spinner right before dark.

Snowshoe Rusty Spinner.

This is what they ate.

60 degrees by day's end at the Callicoon Pool with a 400+cfs release from Cannonsville.
WE NEED RAIN.




April 15 2016

Water Temp? 53 degrees.
Smashing!


This fat Upper Delaware River wild brown smashed a Snowshoe Breakout Hendo emerger this afternoon in the Callicoon Pool.
Hatches? Hendrickson, Caddis, EBS, Blue Quills after 2:00pm.
But, give 'em the emerger trailed off a dry on 5x and they'll take it.

April 13 2016

Hendricksons.

We'll give it a shot today up near Callicoon.
3:00pm. The water temp should be close to 50 degrees by then.
Here's an assortment of my arsenal of Hendricksons: Hackle Stacker, Hi - Viz, Snowshoe, Sparkle Dun, Red Quill Parachute - what a choice!
Like the deli counter at Zabar's!

April 12 2016

The Perfect Setup.
The charts have aligned.


Water temperatures this morning throughout the Upper Delaware system are 42 degrees.
With the warmer weather forecast for the balance of the week close to 70 (see chart below) this portends to be the first decent dry fly period of the Catskill year since water temps will exceed 50 by the end of the day from Thursday through Sunday. With that, anglers should expect targets, heads, risers - eating dry flies - hopefully a size 14 Hendo after 3:00pm.

Weather forecast for the Catskills.

Can't beat it - nice.
Warmer with no wind.

NYC Reservoir Storage.

With the 2+ inches we received last weekend Cannonsville Reservoir on the West Branch is now at 97.6% and filling since water is still coming in at Walton, NY.
This means that we've gone into a different FFMP table thus NYC is obliged to release more water into the West Branch.
Good news for all - we can all spread out.

April 10 2016

Fly: Goldfinger

Always a good choice.
He's the man...the man with the midas touch.

Levels are receding but water temperature are still very cold.

BUT. It will be very good later this week into next weekend. Forecast is highs in the mid 60s with no wind.
Time for afternoon dryfly with water temps hopefully hitting the magic 50 degree mark.

Fly: Poo Pah - this time without the bead and using Sybai Flat Body Glass from the Czech Republic for the underbody.

Thanks to Joe Fox of Dette's in Roscoe, NY for carrying this product.

April 9 2016

Fly: Gib's Delight

Looped trailing shuck with egg sac.

Cold water. Too cold... USGS chart.

Brrrrrr....39 degrees water all along the Upper Delaware River system right now and it will be record cold tonight - in the 20's.
Wait a few days - or, more like next weekend.

April 7 2016

Friends of the Upper Delaware (FUDR) offiicial statement on the DRBC / RFAC April 5th meeting:
The Silence of the Lambs


Read the whole thing.
Kudos to FUDR but they're working against a stacked deck.

BUT LOOK...a silver lining!
We got RAIN...a driving rain for the Catskills! Screenshot below.


Exactly what we needed to replenish the reservoirs, raise the level and stir up the water.
RAIN!
This is a 2+ inch event for the Catskills today. Probably the most rainfall we've received in a month.
Thank you Mother Nature. NYC, NY, PA, NJ and DE might not have answered our rationale for more water but you , at least, answered our prayers.
RAIN!

Callicoon Creek rising after the rain.

A good way to measure how much rain we've received is to look at the USGS gage for a smaller stream like Callicoon Creek which is a trib to the Upper Delaware River.
As you can see on the graph, it shot up and has now registered a little less than a foot - or we received, so far, a little less than an inch of rainfall in the last 24 hours.
It hasn't crested yet so we'll check back later tonight.

Crest. Callicoon Creek.

Up about 1.8 feet in the last 24 hours or about two inches of rain.
All Catskill rivers are now rising - Beaverkill, West and East Branch and Main Stem.
Remember: The smaller tribs are first to go up after a rainfall and the first to go down.

April 5 2016

It's COLD!

16 degrees!

USGS Chart for this morning.

As predicted, the water temperatures have dropped below 40 degrees.
Callicoon water temps had been 55 last Friday - they are now 37 degrees.
Temperature swings like about 20 degrees in 72 hours can't be good for feeding activity.
And that's WATER temperature.

More orders.

On it's way out the door.

Fox's PooPah

Use these with the Jayne Mansfield's and EC Caddis in late April and May.
Later on today, from 1 to 4pm, we have the public hearing for the Flexible Flow Management Plan (FFMP) over at the Lake Wallenpaupack - PPL Conference Center in Hawley, PA.
The skinny is that some of the bigwigs will be there.
And talk about skinny -- look at the West Branch Delaware River. Cannonsville release remains at 107cfs. That's bony. We'll see if the muckymucks show up at the meeting this afternoon and report back. Tight lines and stay warm!

Full house at the FFMP / RFAC meeting this afternoon in Hawley, Pennsylvania
BUT...New York State DEC is a No Show! AWOL!

No problem. We have Representative Chris Gibson's (R-NY) letter which was read into the record by a lady by the name of Diane Tharpe past director of The North Delaware Conservancy and on Gibson's Watershed Advisory Group.
Read Gibson's letter.

There was a full house at the DRBC / RFAC meeting held this afternoon.
The powers that be that control the water politics (and releases) on the Upper Delaware River have left unchanged the policy of the FFMP for 2016.
No changes with regards to release tables which is not a good sign for cold water trout advocates to this tailwater.
I also heard more public comment from downriver officials and citizens from New Jersey and Pennsylvania that they would like to see New York City create more a void (90%) at Cannonsville Reservoir on the West Branch Delaware since on more than one occasion they brought up the floods of 2004, 2005 and 2006.
The irony is that 1) New York City did not build their reservoirs at Cannonsville and Pepacton for flood control and they will be the first to tell you so and 2) there would have been more destruction in '04, '05 and '06 if the reservoirs were not there to hold back or check the flow.
As Vonnegut said: "And so it goes."

April 3 2016

Fly: Jayne Mansfield - Size 12

Not a day to be out on the river with wind gusts to 45mph out of the north.
We'll give Jayne a whirl later this month when the caddis show up. The fly pictured above along with the EC Caddis is all you'll need when the Grannoms show.

Sunday, April 3 2016.

Water temperatures are dropping due to cold front.
Nighttime readings for tonight through Tuesday are in the teens. That will drop the water temp on the Main Stem to the upper thirties / low forties by Tuesday.
Not good for hatching and not good for feeding.
The week after will be better - starting on the 11th.

"Water water everywhere?" Right. Today's USGS Chart.

And NYC continues to screw around with water from Cannonsville.
Notice the chart from Stilesville, NY at the dam.
They dump between 800 to 1,500cfs from mid February through mid March eventhough there was NO snowpack for something they call "Flood Mitigation" in the FFMP and then they cut back the Cannonsville release to 108cfs drying up the West Branch plus pissing away about 10% of what they had in storage.
It had been close to 98% now it's down to about 90% in the past month.
Let's see if we get that water back.

Current reservoir storage levels at Cannonsville and Pepacton

Yup.

April 1 2016

The Setting...

The Wire.
Callicoon Pool, looking south, on the beautiful Upper Delaware River late this afternoon around 4:30pm.

The Food...

That's a Hendrickson!
Notice the three tails.
Incredibly early for them to be hatching in the Catskills - about three weeks early in fact.
This is due to no run-off, no snowpack and warm air. The afternoon air temperatures hit 70 today and the water temperature maxxed out at 55 degrees.

The Imitations...

A tandem rig with a few of my hand tied patterns - a Snowshoe Hendo trailed on 5X with a Hendo Breakout Emerger was what I used this afternoon.

Wild Trout

Not big but a real nice way to start off the year - and on top!

March 29 2016

Cold front. North wind to 35mph.

The Upper Delaware River at the Ten Mile River public access this afternoon.

Well, the water temperature certainly dropped about six degrees from last week near Callicoon and will continue to chill since the Catskills is due for below seasonal air temps for the next 10 days.
If the forecast is true, we're about two weeks off for any decent fly fishing on the Main Stem and West Branch.
We need to have water in the low 50's - consistently.
Note that NYC DEP has now cut the Cannonsville release to 377cfs.

Long range forecast through mid April 2016.
Cold and damp...but no significant rain is due.

March 26 2016

They're here.

Early Black Stonefly.

The real deal
And a few more...

Water temperatures on the Main Stem are hugging the 50 degree mark by 4:00pm.
Hey, Tony! How d'ya do that neat wing on the early brown stonefly?

Simple. Pull back the hackle.
This technique is great on all stoneflies - from EBS to Yellow Sallies.
In the Catskills and Poconos, we are about two to three weeks ahead of normal. USGS chart is below.

Once the water stays in the low fifties consistently, you'll see risers by 2:00pm and Callicoon water got to 51 this afternoon.

March 25 2016

Late March...or early June?

Ten Mile River. About five miles south of Narrowsburg, New York.
The old stone arch bridge is visible to your left and the stream exits into Upper Delaware River.
Early June conditions for late March in the Catskills. The water is gin clear and at below normal levels.

Gettin' Ready!

22 years!
Same boat. A LAVRO from the state of Washington. 22 years old. Look at that scumline.
She's served me well and I'm looking forward to another great year of fat wild trout and teeny weenie dry flies on the beautiful Upper Delaware River.
Letting the hair get long...

March 23 2016

Anticipation.

Hi - Viz Hendos in size 14.

March 20 2016

Orders...orders...orders.
After returning home from last week's four day fishing expo in Suffern, New York, I then drove to Trumbull, Connecticut to give an A/V seminar on the Upper Delaware River to the Nutmeg Trout Unlimited group which was well received.
It was a nice attendance with about forty members on hand on Tuesday evening.
On Wednesday, I came back again to Narrowsburg to fill a few fly tying orders.

Top to bottom:
All Hendrickson variations.
Snowshoe, Red Quill, Hi-Viz, Hackle Sacker and Sparkle Dun.
In April, I'll give one more A/V seminar to the Hacklebarney Trout Unlimited group in Whippany, New Jersey.

March 14 2016

Set Up - The 2016 Suffern Fishing EXPO

Here we go!
My booth at the Rockland Fishing EXPO in Suffern, New York.
Photos, photos and more photos of happy anglers.

Pan shot of the aisle at the fishing show.

We had steady crowds for the four days the show opened which was Thursday through Sunday, March 10 through 13.
Most folks asked what kind of spring season we would have since the Catskills had no snowpack this winter.
In fact, it was close to 75 degrees when the show opened on Thursday and a old client was nice enough to get me a frosty brew.
Many old customers stopped by and it was a pleasure meeting and answering various questions about fishing opportunities to newcomers.

Good friends, Fred and Andy Stabbert of The Sullivan County Democrat.

Fred Stabbert, publisher of the Sullivan County Democrat, stopped by my booth with his son, Andrew, to say hello...
and also to buy me a nice cold beer since my throat was parched and it was still toasty in the fieldhouse on Friday.
Fred is a great guy that I've know for over 25 years who's also a terrific angler and is also passionate about the Upper Delaware River region.

March 8 2016

SHOWTIME!

The Granddaddy of the fishing sport shows is this Thursday!
Right off the NYS Thruway at Exit 14B at the Rockland County College Fieldhouse.
If you're at the show, please stop by my booth and say hello and also be sure to pick up a FREE issue of the Catskill - Delaware Spring 2016 issue full of great fishing articles.
See you at the show!

March 1 2016

Q: What's the total NYC Reservoir Storage for this date?

A:We are 10% above where we should be for March 1st.
So...let's DUMP that water!


And NYC is dumping the limit of 1,500cfs from Cannonsville Reservoir on the West Branch of the Delaware River.

February 28 2016

Cabelas. Hamburg, Pennsylvania

Mid way bewteen Allentown and Harrisburg on I-78.


Interior shot of the Cabelas in Hamburg. A huge store.
Aquarium, mounts from all over the world, restaurant, kayaks, clothing, tackle, gear...
250,000 square feet of goodies!


Cabelas had invited me to their annual "Captain's Weekend" to give seminars on fishing the Upper Delaware River over the weekend as well as tying some of my fly patterns.
Coming up
The Rockland Fishing EXPO will be held from Thursday March10 through Sunday March 13 at the Fieldhouse of RCC in Suffern, New York.
If you're at the show please stop by my booth at #925 and say hello.
I'll have a few issues of the new Spring 2016 Catskill - Delaware magazine which is chock full of fishing articles about our region for all who attend the show.

February 26 2016

The Big Eddy
Upper Delaware River. Narrowsburg, NY


Ice Out. (Last year the ice went out on April 4th so we're about six weeks ahead of 2015.)
NYC Reservoir Storage?
Cannonsville is at 94.5%
Pepacton is at 89.3%
Total storage for February 26th is now: 94.8 % and normal storage for this date is: 87.2%

February 25 2016

MORE rain!


Today's river chart.
All Catskill / Delaware River rivers and streams are rising today after the region receieved anywhere from 3 to 4 inches of rain yesterday.
I would think Cannonsville Reservoir will come close to spilling in the next few days.
I'll post the NYC DEP data when it becomes available.


Beaverkill USGS Chart.
And the old Beaverkill at Cooks Falls shot up about 6 feet in 12 hours.
This rain event will flush any residual snowpack (which we didn't have much of) and ice out to sea.

February 18 2016

Got Snow?


Current map. The Catskills / Upper Delaware River Valley is in the red box.
None. No snow in open areas and less than an inch in shady areas.
The rain washed it all away.


The long range weather forecast for the balance of February.
Air temps normal with very little precipitation.


NYC DEP snow survey for 2/17/16.
ZERO snowpack for the Catskill / Delaware watershed at their reservoirs.


NYC Reservoir Storage.
Cannonsville on the West Branch of the Delaware River. Getting close to 90% with about 6 weeks left until April.
I think it will spill this in April and/or May if we have a normal late winter / early spring.
Also, combined NYC reservoir water storage is currenly above the historical averages for this date.

February 17 2016

How much rain?


Beaverkill went from 2 feet to 6+ feet in 12 hours.
About 3+ inches of rain fell in the Catskills yesterday and with it washed out most of the remaining snowpack in the hills.

From the Narrowsburg Bridge - looking north.


Open channel from the heavy rain yesterday is pushing the ice downstream.

And, looking south.


Ice breaking up in The Big Eddy.

February 16 2016

More Rain (NOT snow)! And, it's February in the Catskills!


Moderate to heavy rain today. Doppler radar above.

It's Feburary in the Catskills...and it's raining. Almost 50 degrees after the deep freeze we received over the weekend with air temps below zero.
We have received far more rain than snow this winter. My guess when all is said and done? Close to one to one and a half inches of rain.


NYC Reservoir Levels. Note that this screen grab is from February 12th - not today.
After today's rain, my guess is that Cannonsville Reservoir on the West Branch of the Delaware River will be close to 90% full.

February 13 2016

Seven U.S. Presidents Who Fished


That's Ike second from left with a stringer of pike before "Catch - Photograph and Release" became the ethical thing to do to conserve our resource.

Tonight at 9pm on CBS!
More G.O.P. debates!

Real feel with wind chill in Narrowsburg, NY today is about 15 below.
No snow however. I'd say we have less than an inch on the ground.


A good day to tie up a few E/C Caddis for a new order that I received this past week.
Gotta love this pattern for the wild trout on the Upper Delaware River. Last year, this fly pattern first created by Ralph Cutter out in the Sierras back in the 1980's wacked those fish silly up and down the Big D - from Hancock to Callicoon!
By the way, our wild rainbows on the Upper Delaware River were imported from northern California - the McCloud River - back in the 1880's to be exact so I figured why not try a Western pattern like the E/C or, for that matter, Bob Quigley's Hackle Stacker and our wild trout are nailing them with gusto.
Available in #12, #14 and #16.

February 9 2016

Upper Delaware Council for 2016


Article from the Sullivan County Democrat.


Group photo of the 2016 UDC members.
Upper Delaware Council members after their meeting last Thursday. Newly sworn-in members seated from the left:
Vice-Chairperson Jeffrey Dexter, Chairperson Fred Peckham, and Secretary-Treasurer Alan Henry.
First row standing from the left: Zoriana Gingold, Susan Sullivan, Debra Conway, Tony Ritter, Timothy Dugan, and Jeff Haas.
Third row standing from the left: Aaron Robinson, Steven Tambini, Andy Boyar, Bill Rudge, Kristina Heister, Larry H. Richardson,
David Dean, Jim Greier, and Harold G. Roeder, Jr. Representatives of UDC members Westfall Township, PA
and Lackawaxen Township, PA were absent from the meeting.

February 7 2016

Current Snowpack?


Superbowl Sunday...and still no snowpack for the Catskills / Upper Delaware River.
We're in the red box.

February 3 2016

We got rain.


Doppler radar for the northeast.

We (in the red box) are getting moderate rainfall in the Catskills today.
They had forecast 1 to 2 inches for us but my guess is that it will be closer to an inch. As you can see the heavy stuff (yellow in map) went to the south of the Catskills.
More precip is better than no precip to fill the NYC reservoirs and my guess is when all is said and done, Cannonsville will be over 86% - way ahead of the storage at this time last year.

February 2 2016

Groundhog Day (and Phil didn't see his shadow)


Snowcover? Nope.

Jonas is but a distant memory and all of the ground in the eastern seaboard will be bare after we get some rain tomorrow.
For the Catskills? They're expecting afternoon temps near 50 degrees.


Here's the data I received from NYC DEP of their snow survey data for 2/2/16. Hot off the presses.
Compare the actual snow (zero BG) to the historical BG for this date.


NYC Reservoirs Levels.
Cannonsville is over 80% which is good for early February.
My guess is that it will spill by late March / early April since we are bound to get either rain and/or snow in the next 8 to 10 weeks.

January 31 2016

Somerset. The 2016 Fly Fishing Show.

The man - Joe Humphries.
87 years young demonstrating the Tuck Cast (Squeeeeeeeeeze...) at this year's Fly Fishing Show.
In sum, Somerset was packed. From when the doors opened on Friday 9:00am to late this afternoon it was non-stop.
Kudos have to go to Chuck and Ben Furimsky and their whole staff for making this expo THE best show in the country - bar none.
On display was merchandise from gear to boats to clothes to books to you name it! If it has to do with fly fishing - it's at this show.
Outfitters, Fly Tiers, Rod Makers - but what make this show special is all the interesting educational seminars and demonstrations that occur round the clock for three days. Incredible.

Thank you Joe for all the knowledge you have gathered from flyfishing, which you, in turn, have shared with all of us - beginner or advanced - that love this sport.
You are a great teacher and ambassador.

January 28 2016

4 Days After Jonas

Today's snow cover. Nothing in the Catskills. Bone dry. The forecast for this coming Sunday through next week is highs in the 40's and it's late January.
Off to Somerset, New Jersey for the 2016 Fly Fishing Show. I will be tying my patterns all days in the Fly Tiers aisle.

Stop by and say hello!

January 27 2016

Pine Tree Eddy on the Upper Delaware River in Cochecton, New York

A pan shot of the Upper Delaware River taken earlier today. Left is south, right is north and across the river is Pennsylvania with no snow cover.

January 26 2016

No Snow in the Catskills (and it's late January)!
       

No snow whatsoever on Fireman's Field (left photo) in Narrowsburg, New York this afternoon. The white you see is ice on the river.
At the NYS DEC river access (middle photo). Looking across to Pennsylvania - there's no snowpack on the shady elevations.
The Big Eddy on the Upper Delaware River. Open water to the south but the ice in the eddy is only a few inches thick and not safe to walk on.
43 degrees this afternoon and more above seasonal air temps are forecast for next week.

January 25 2016

Jonas The Blizzard.
Well, not much snow for the Catskills / Upper Delaware region as the before and after maps show below.
When all was said and done, Narrowsburg, NY, in western Sullivan County got less then an inch whereas two hours to the south and west, New York City got 26 inches in Central Park - almost a record.

Before...
  and after...

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