Fishing the Delaware River

Davitticus Maximus

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Yesterday I took a trip to the Delaware River in Deposit N.Y. I left in the afternoon and arrived around 2:30. I was hoping to try my hand at the evening hatch. I am, what I consider a newbie, to fishing the Delaware River system. I have only fished it a few times and was only successful at catching fish there once. But most of us know that fishing is not only about the act of catching fish. It's about losing yourself in your surroundings, becoming one with nature, enjoying the scenery, appreciating the wildlife, etc. Yesterday was one of those days. The weather was gorgeous, not quite as hot as it has been for the past month or so. Atleast I didn't notice if it was. I picked a spot by a railroad bridge, which was a short hike downstream from where I parked my car. My plan was to start by the bridge and very slowly work my way upstream over the next few hous and cover as much water as possible. There was minimal bug action and no risers for awhile so I started nymphing. This resulted in zero strikes. But I enjoyed watching a pair or Mergansers and a Kingfisher that appeared to be eyeballing me from a wire stretched across the river. Sometime later I noticed some bug activity and when the sun finally headed downward finally some rising fish. I tried hard to do everything right, but to no avail. I simply could not get a fish to respond to my offerings. Normally I begin to feel anxiety after I have fished for hours without so much as a strike. Yesterday was about getting away and having a quiet and peaceful day to myself doing what I love. If nothing else, I feel that I did improve my casting. I recently bought a new fly line for my Sage Accel. I practiced getting nice delicate landing of my fly and I felt good about the results. I did pretty good with distance as well. Just a great day to enjoy the outdoors.
 

djamtime

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Coincidentally I also made my first drive to Deposit on saturday evening. It is a beautiful river for sure. I didnt notice alot of activity either, however it was amazing how cold the water was.
 

motts

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It really is a very special place, but I feel that way about the Catskills in general. My wife fished the West Branch with me for the first time a couple weeks ago and we've been back almost every weekend since. There was a decent amount of activity on the evening the picture below was taken, but it appears to have slowed as of late with just a few sporadic rises yesterday afternoon/evening. I've done well on small to very small BWO patterns matching the stages of emergence as well as various nymphs when there was nothing happening on top. My best fly over the last month or so there has been an RS2.

V__6FC4[1].jpg
 

Davitticus Maximus

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Coincidentally I also made my first drive to Deposit on saturday evening. It is a beautiful river for sure. I didnt notice alot of activity either, however it was amazing how cold the water was.
The cold water is courtesy of the Reservoir. I don't remember the name off-hand, but it releases cold water from the bottom. This keeps the water at a consistent temp all year round. I was actually getting quite cold as the sun went down and wished that I had brought a long sleeve shirt or jacket. Standing in that water for hours will definitely bring your body temp down. Atleast for me as I tend to get cold quickly.
 

Davitticus Maximus

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It really is a very special place, but I feel that way about the Catskills in general. My wife fished the West Branch with me for the first time a couple weeks ago and we've been back almost every weekend since. There was a decent amount of activity on the evening the picture below was taken, but it appears to have slowed as of late with just a few sporadic rises yesterday afternoon/evening. I've done well on small to very small BWO patterns matching the stages of emergence as well as various nymphs when there was nothing happening on top. My best fly over the last month or so there has been an RS2.

View attachment 25205
Great picture! Before Covid-19 came along and ruined all the fun I had made plans to fish the Delaware in the Spring. I have been told that the best hatches occur in May and that tends to be the best time to catch fish. While I still plan to go back a few times before the snow flies, I am hoping to do some Spring fishing next year.
 

motts

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Great picture! Before Covid-19 came along and ruined all the fun I had made plans to fish the Delaware in the Spring. I have been told that the best hatches occur in May and that tends to be the best time to catch fish. While I still plan to go back a few times before the snow flies, I am hoping to do some Spring fishing next year.

Thanks! I would agree that May and June bring the most reliable hatches (one of my most memorable days fishing anywhere was catching the March Brown hatch on the Willowemoc on Memorial Day with fish literally launching themselves out of the water every time they took my fly).
 

goofnoff1

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Yesterday I took a trip to the Delaware River in Deposit N.Y. I left in the afternoon and arrived around 2:30. I was hoping to try my hand at the evening hatch. I am, what I consider a newbie, to fishing the Delaware River system. I have only fished it a few times and was only successful at catching fish there once. But most of us know that fishing is not only about the act of catching fish. It's about losing yourself in your surroundings, becoming one with nature, enjoying the scenery, appreciating the wildlife, etc. Yesterday was one of those days. The weather was gorgeous, not quite as hot as it has been for the past month or so. Atleast I didn't notice if it was. I picked a spot by a railroad bridge, which was a short hike downstream from where I parked my car. My plan was to start by the bridge and very slowly work my way upstream over the next few hous and cover as much water as possible. There was minimal bug action and no risers for awhile so I started nymphing. This resulted in zero strikes. But I enjoyed watching a pair or Mergansers and a Kingfisher that appeared to be eyeballing me from a wire stretched across the river. Sometime later I noticed some bug activity and when the sun finally headed downward finally some rising fish. I tried hard to do everything right, but to no avail. I simply could not get a fish to respond to my offerings. Normally I begin to feel anxiety after I have fished for hours without so much as a strike. Yesterday was about getting away and having a quiet and peaceful day to myself doing what I love. If nothing else, I feel that I did improve my casting. I recently bought a new fly line for my Sage Accel. I practiced getting nice delicate landing of my fly and I felt good about the results. I did pretty good with distance as well. Just a great day to enjoy the outdoors.
If you're planning on being a Delaware regular try wet fly fishing. The Delaware is huge water. Dries and nymphs aren't an efficient way to cover it unless you have visibly rising fish.
 

Davitticus Maximus

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If you're planning on being a Delaware regular try wet fly fishing. The Delaware is huge water. Dries and nymphs aren't an efficient way to cover it unless you have visibly rising fish.
Thanks, for some reason I have never tried wet flies. I will have to give them a try.
 

Ard

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Hi Dave,

Look at trying small soft hackles or some old school winged wets there. Weight forward line and a long leader tapered down to a 3.5 pound tip should hold if you connect with a large fish.
 

goofnoff1

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Not to wear this out but I keep thinking of things. Wet fly fishing isn't a pattern. It's a technique or rather a series of techniques. The technique I'm suggesting is the way flies were fished for two millenium.

Here's some adantages of prospecting with a wet fly.

You can wade downstream which is easier than wading into the current.

You can use your standard dry fly leader. My set up is to tie a tippet ring to the end of a nine foot 3X leader then add 30" of 4X. Add a 12" to 18" dropper at the tippet ring. I'd fish a small black waited Wooly Bugger on the point and anything you can think of on the dropper. A LaFontaine Deep Caddis Pupa works great for me. Here's the neat part. When you're ready to switch to a dry you can remove the tippet ring and tie in a tippet you choose.

For instructions on how to fish this particular technique see this video on You Tube


Tight lines
 
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