Copyright 2017 James Marsh
Fly Fishing On The Delaware River In
The Delaware River is one of, if not the best, trout stream
in the Eastern United States. There's almost eighty miles
of water with a good population of large, wild trout. Much
of the river forms the boundary between the states of New
York and Pennsylvania. There's plenty of cold water and
a huge population of aquatic insects that make the
Delaware River a choice destination for catching wild,
Fly fishing the Delaware River consist of (3) three
separate sections which have entirely different types of
water. Our fly fishing guide sections are broken down into
these three separate sections to fully cover each of them.
Fly fishing the West Branch or the Delaware River
tailwater below Cannonsville Reservoir is very popular
and generally the most productive of the three sections..
Because of that, it's also the most fished section of the
river by fly anglers. The West Branch of the Delaware
varies greatly with the releases of water from the dam.
This twenty mile long section supports trout throughout
the year. For the most part, it is a picture perfect river with
long fast runs, pools and riffles. It's a big river varying in
width from about 60 feet to as much as 200 feet. Part of
this section hear Deposit has a catch-and-release
section. The river holds both brown and rainbow trout but
the majority are larger size brown trout.
There is plenty of public access points on the West
Branch but you need to make certain you are not fishing
on private property without you have permission.
Winterdale Road provides a good bit of access. Hales
Eddy is another access point but there are others.
The East Branch is the Delaware River is a tailwater below
Pepacton Reservoir. A few miles downstream from the
dam it receives the water of the famous Beaverkill, its
largest tributary. The entire East Branch is approximately
32 miles long. The river is wide, ranging from 50 to as
much as 200 feet in width in places.
This East Branch tailwater is different depending on
whether your fishing above the confluence of the
Beaverkill or below it. The water from the Pepacton Dam
to the Beaverkill is very clear, moderately flowing water
with long pools. Most all the property along the upper part
of the East Branch is private and permission should be
obtained to fish it. It has a good population of brown trout
and brook trout are present in many of the small
tributaries that enter the river. Below the confluence of the
Beaverkill, the river is warmer during the summer and
largely dependant on the flows from the Beaverkill. There
is some pocket water in the lower section but it consist
mostly of long runs, pools and a few riffles.
The West and East Branches of the river flow together at
Hancock, New York, and form what the locals call the Big
"D", or the main stem of the Delaware River. There's
about 27 miles of trout fishing on the Main Stem. The
famous Junction Pool is located at the beginning of the
main stem at the little town of Hancock, New York. The
cold water section that holds trout is approximately 25
miles long and extends down to Callicoon.
Access to the main stem for fly fishing the Delaware River
is a problem due to the lack of public access. You have to
get permission from the local land owners to fish most of
the lower river. There are a few public access points on
both sides of the river. Pennsylvania Route #191 has
some access points and so does New York's Route 97.
The main stem consist of many long pools with smooth
surface water but they are regularly broken up with riffles,
providing a great habitat for the large rainbows and
browns. The fish in the main stem are large. Fish are
commonly caught up to 18 inches in length.
All three sections of the river hold plenty of large trout,
have large populations of aquatic insects and provide
great fishing opportunities for visiting anglers.
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 & 12 ft., 5 or 6X, Nymphing:
71/2 ft., 3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Superb Five or Ultimate Six
For 5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Fly Fishing Guide to the Delaware River
Success fly fishing the Delaware River system
depends on the amount of experience and
desire of an angler to learn its many secrets. It
challenges even the most experienced anglers.
East Branch Fly Fishing Guide:
The East Branch flows from the Pepacton
Reservoir dam. In its upper section, this section
of the Delaware River has a low gradient and
slow flows. During the summer there are huge
beds of weeds and wading can be tricky in
parts of the stream. Parts of the river are too
deep to wade. Many prefer to fish the upper
section of the East Branch from a boat. It is
better suited for a canoe and as a result, there
are a lot of recreational boater and canoeist.
The upper part contains some Brook Trout,
mostly in the mouths of its small tributaries. It
looks much like a spring creek. Farther
downstream, brown trout begin to dominate.
There are some sections of riffles at
Shinhopple, otherwise the river remains fairly
slow flowing above the confluence of the
The Beaverkill adds a lot of water to the flow. It
joins the tailwater about 17 miles below the dam
or about the middle of the East Branch. It also
changes the appearance of the river. It looks
more like a freestone stream and closer to the
West Branch and Main Stem of the Delaware
than its upper East Section. Above the
Beaverkill, the water temperatures almost never
exceed 70 degrees. Below the Beaverkill, water
temperatures have reached as high as 80
degrees in the hot summer. In other words, the
East Branch can become too warm in its lower
section during the hot summer. While the upper
East Branch is mostly populated by brown trout,
its lower section contains mostly rainbow trout.
The trout population in the upper and lower
sections of the East Branch is supplemented by
the state with stocked brown trout. There are
plenty of wild rainbows in the river but they are
forced to migrate a long way during the hot
summer months. The lower part of the East
Branch is more suitable to floating than wading.
It is often too high to wade during the Spring.
The first few miles below the Beaverkill is all
private property. The last few miles above the
confluence with the West Branch has some
public access and is frequently floated by drift
boats during the cooler parts of the year.
The timing of the aquatic insect hatches on the
East Branch varies with the different water
temperatures. The upper cold water hatches
occur at slightly different times than they do in
the lower section and there are some
differences in the species that inhibit the water
in the different sections.
Main Stem Delaware River Fly Fishing
The East and West Branches of the Delaware
River flow together at Hancock New York to
form the main stem of the river. Although it isn't
fished as much as the East or West Branches,
it contains some of the largest rainbows in the
system and provides some of the best fly
fishing opportunities. There are some brown
trout, moreso in its upper section near the
Junction Pool. The rainbows in the lower and
middle sections are highly migratory. They
strictly depend on the cold water releases from
the West Branch and that has a history of
being very erratic and undependable. The main
stream trout waters extend downstream for
about twenty-seven miles from Hancock to
The main stem is a large, wide river. It has long
deep pools some of which are close to a half
mile long. There are some large rocks and
boulders and steep dropoffs. Much of the main
stem can be waded but it can be too strong and
deep depending on the discharges of the
dams. Many anglers prefer to fish it from a drift
boat. It is difficult to access in some places and
is rarely fished by those anglers new to the
Delaware River. It is bordered by beautiful
wooded mountains on both sides of the river. It
is a part of the National Park's Wild and Scenic
River systems and is mostly undeveloped. Over
the years, it has received little attention from
the media compared to the West or East
The upper part of the Main Stem has a low
gradient, consisting of very large pools with
short sections of connecting riffles. The lower
one-third of the Main Stem has more riffles.
Continued, on your right
Fall is the favorite time of many angles
because it is less crowded and the fishing
is usually excellent.
Fishing for trout is closed after the last day
West Branch Fly Fishing Guide:
The West Branch is the premiere fishing
destination of the three branches of the
Delaware River. I think that is for several
reasons, some of which have little to do
with the fish or I should say, fish catching. It
has plentiful and fairly easy access; is it far
less intimidating to new anglers than the
huge Main Stem; it is like wading a flooded
parking lot (easy to wade); and it isn't as
difficult to fish or understand as the
different types of water that exist in the East
Branch. It has also received most of the
publicity over the years.
The West Branch first flows though some
minor rapids with fast water below the dam.
The flows subside and the river begins to
flow moderately through some islands. It is
the coldest of the two branches. The river
gradually goes into a main wide channel
below the islands with long pools connected
by short sections of riffles. You can wade
across the river in most areas provided the
releases are suitable. The bottom of the
stream is relatively level. Even so, many
anglers still prefer to fish it from a drift boat.
Most of the trout in the West Branch are
brown trout, with some brookies and
rainbows. It is not stocked. All its fish are
wild although two of its small tributaries are
stocked and it is possible for them to get
into the West Branch. It has more trout per
acre than either the Main Stem or the East
Branch. Highway #17 follows the river fairly
closely for most all of its length. It is
approximately 18 miles long and wide,
averaging probably 200 feet or more.
There are over a dozen well marked fishing
access points along the West Branch. The
uppermost mile plus section of the river,
above a weir dam, is closed to fishing.
Below the weir dam the water stays clear
and cold. This section can be fished after
heavy rains that stain most other parts of
The lower section of the West Branch, from
the Hale Eddy Bridge to the Junction Pool
where the Main Stem starts, is the longest
section. It depends on constant discharges
of water during the summer to remain cool.
The lower section can become too warm
during the hot summer if the discharges
aren't regulated to help the fish. The
farther downstream you fish, the more
rainbows you are likely to encounter. This
section of the river can be accessed from
both Pennsylvania and New York. By the
way, fishing license are reciprocal.
The West Branch is noted for its prolific
hatches of aquatic insects and the
challenges it presents in matching the
hatch. Anglers come from throughout the
nation to fish its Hendrickson, Sulphur and
other mayfly hatches, but it also contains
large populations of stoneflies, midges and
caddisflies. Its banks are lined with grass
providing a good habitat for terrestrial
insects. During major hatches, its waters
can become crowded with anglers,
complicating the catching problem. Even
so, the fact the West Branch has a
excellent population of all wild rainbow and
brown trout that are very catchable by
anglers that can master the challenges,
makes it in our opinion, the best tailwater in
the Eastern United States.
Main Stem, continued:
Most of the wading done in the Main Stem
is done in the very uppermost section near
the Junction Pool. There's easy access and
the water is more suitable for wading than it
is downstream. Even so, it's a highly
popular float section. It also contains a
higher trout population that the lower
Like anywhere else on the Delaware River,
and most any tailwater for that matter,
obtaining and becoming familiar with the
discharges and stream levels is of critical
importance, especially on the Main Stem.
The Delaware River is open to fishing
year-round in some sections, April 1 to Oct. 31
Spring is the best time for fly fishing the
Delaware River because of the aquatic insect
hatches that occur.
The water released from the two dams stays
cool throughout the summer and provides good
Delaware River Hatches and Trout
The above images of Hendrickson mayflies
show what is considered by many anglers to be
the most important mayfly species that hatches
on the Delaware. They hatch in large quantities
and produce some excellent dry fly fishing. The
Delaware River has one of the largest
populations and widest varieties of aquatic
insects of any Eastern trout stream we know of.
Matching the hatch can be essential and
difficult. Many of our Perfect Fly trout flies were
developed on the Delaware River. It's one of
our favorite trout streams. Keep in mind the
discharges affect the hatch times as well as the
particular section of the river you are fishing.
The most consistent and longest hatches of
mayflies are the Blue-winged Olives. There are
several species that hatch from about the
middle of March through the middle of May and
then again from about the first of July through
November. Much of the season, you can find
some BWOs hatching at some point in the
About the second week of April, you can expect
to find both Quill Gordons and Blue Quills
starting to hatch. Both hatches last about six
weeks or until near the middle to the end of
May. Eastern Pale Evening Duns (Ephemerella
invaria) , called Sulphurs by many anglers, start
hatching about the middle of April and last for
up to two months. The smaller Sulphurs
(Ephemerella dorothea) start hatching about
the last week of May and last through the
middle of July. Both are present at times.
Gray Drakes hatch in some of the slow water
areas from the second week of May through
the middle of June. Both Brown and Eastern
Green Drakes start hatching in some of the
slow water sections the first three weeks of
From about the middle of May through June,
you can find hatches of March Browns and
Light Cahills in the fast water areas or riffles.
From the first of June through the middle of
August, you can find hatches of Gray-winged
From about the middle of July, all the way to the
middle of October, you can find hatches of
Tricos in the smoother, slower water. From mid
August to mid September, you may find some
hatches of White Drakes, or the White Fly.
Little Black Caddis (Grannoms), and locally
called Apple Caddis, hatch from about the last
week of April through the first three weeks of
May. The little Short-horned Sedges start a
week or two later and last almost two months.
From about the middle of May through most
of June will find hatches of Spotted Sedges
and their Little Sister Caddisflies. Starting
about the same time are the very similar
Cinnamon Sedges. They will hatch all the
way into the first of July.
Dark Blue Sedges are very abundant and
hatch from the middle of May through the
middle of June. Green Sedges start at the
same time and last from about six weeks.
The larvae of these, called Green Rock
Worms, are available for trout to eat all
Little Brown Stoneflies hatch from the
middle of March through the month of May.
There are several species, a few of which
are almost black. You will find all of the
stoneflies in the faster sections of water.
The Golden Stoneflies and the Giant Black
Stoneflies both start hatching about the first
of June and last into the first week or so of
Terrestrial insects are important beginning
about the first of June through most of
September. Imitations of ants, beetles and
grass hoppers work good during this time,
especially during late July, August and
early September. Watch for flying ant falls
Craneflies are plentiful on the Delaware
River and although trout can be caught all
year long on their nymphs, the adults are
more plentiful from June through October.
Midges are present year-round and provide
some of the few opportunities to catch trout
during the cold months.
Minnows, sculpin and baitfish are present
year-round. The large brown trout prefer
them in many cases. That means streamers
are important flies to have on hand.
Many of our "Perfect Fly" trout flies were
developed on the Delaware River. We used
its tough to match the hatch waters for a
testing ground for some of our flies. We not
only have the most realistic imitations you
can purchase, we also have the most
effective trout flies you can use. If you
haven't tried them already, please do. You
will be glad you did.
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (email@example.com)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will
help you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them
to you in time for your fly fishing trip.
All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
Headlines: The Delaware's West
Branch is closed until April 1.This is
to protect the spawning trout. The
East Branch is closed to trout
fishing until April 1. The main stem
of the Delaware below Hancock is
closed to trout fishing until April 1.
Be sure to keep a close check on
our Delaware River fishing report
Thumbnails: Click to Enlarge
Map of Delaware River
10/16/15 The stream levels vary with the section but are close to normal for this time of the
year. The brown trout are in the pre-spawn and spawning mode and aggressive. They are
taking streamers well. Great Autumn Brown sedges are at the peak of their hatch. Blue-winged
olives, Green Sedges, Slate Drakes and others. The best choice is probably the West Branch
at this time.
10/25/15 Stream levels are a little high in the West Branch and it is currently raining. They
should be fine soon. Great Autumn Brown Sedges are still at the peak of their hatch and
bringing trout to the surface to feed on the female egg layers in the late afternoons.
Blue-winded olive are hatching good and in two sizes, 20s and 16s. They should be good most
of the time, but be sure to check the discharge schedule.
11/01/15 Blue-winged olives are hatching good, and so are Great Autumn Brown sedges.
Brown trout are getting near their spawning time and very aggressive. They will take streamers
like our Brown Sculpin with vigor. Fishing conditions are excellent. Stream levels are just right in
all three sections of the Delaware and the weather is going to be great for the next week.
11/07/15 All three main sections of the Delaware River are in good shape and mostly wadable.
The temperature is just gradually getting a little colder each day. It has been relatively warm,
nice weather and that appears to continue. Hatches are getting down to mostly various species
of Blue-winged olives and Midges. Don't forget about the Brown and White Belly Sculpin. They
will fool the hungry post-spawn brown trout.
11/15/15 The stream levels are good in all three sections. There is some rain in the forecast at
the end of the week but hopefully, it won't be heavy. Blue-winged olives have been hatching
good and of course, Midges will be from now for the next few months. The Perfect Fly Brown
sculpin streamer has been the hot fly for sure. Our customers have caught some nice trout on
it, and not just browns. It has caught some big rainbows in the Main stem.
11/29/15 The Brown Sculpin has been a big fish producing fly this past week. The water has
been high in all three branches and streamers have been the only feasible choice most days.
Levels are down and should continue to fall. There is no rain in the forecast until next Saturday.
Midges and Blue-winged olives will be the only hatches. We suggest a tandem Midge pupa and
larva combo rig.
12/06/15 The West Branch of the Delaware River would be a good fly fishing destination for
anyone this coming week. The flows are normal and should remain that way and the weather
forecast about as good as it gets at this time of the season. You want have any competition for
other anglers. Midges and Blue-winged olives are the main aquatic insects you need to be
imitating. The Brown Sculpin streamer fly should continue to produce some large trout.
12/13/15 It just doesn't get much better than this in the month of December. All three sections
are in good shape. The West Branch flows are low now but could come up since there is some
rain today and tomorrow. The East Branch is finally in good shape. The main stem is where I
recommend you fish today but that too, may change with the rain. Winter stonefly nymphs
would be a good choice for flies. Of course the Brown Sculpin has been the big trout producer
for the past month.
12/20/15 The Delaware is in pretty good shape for this time of the year. We do recommend
fishing the West Branch over the main stem or East Branch. The water is much warmer. Fish as
near the dam as you can. Midges and Winter stoneflies are what you should be imitating. The
Brown Sculpin is still a good choice especially if it is cloudy or overcast and it should be for the
next several days.
12/27/15 The unseasonable warm weather will continue for a few more days. That means rain
will be along as well and that means higher discharges from both Branches and the freestone
East Branch is likely. Right now, conditions look good and maybe you can fish tomorrow. The
Brown sculpin streamer should be a good fly choice with all the cloud cover. Midges and winter
stonefly nymphs are the mainstay of the insects you need to imitate.
01/03/156 The weather is finally turning a little more normal meaning colder. We recommend
fishing the upper part of the West Branch and upper part of the East Branch above the
Beaverkill confluence. Winter Stoneflies and Midges are the only insects you need to imitate.
The Sculpin streamers will still work good but more so when it is overcast or cloudy.
01/10/16 The river is running high in all sections at this time but it should fall back down to
normal levels fast. There is no rain in te forecast, only a couple days of light snow. We
recommend waiting a couple of days and then fooling the trout with Perfect Flies. The winter
stoneflies are hatching but midges would bring about the highest odds of success.
01/17/16 All three sections of the Delaware are running high and stained. The West Branch
discharges have been up and down but mostly up. The East Branch is high and very cold below
the Beaverkill confluence. The main stem is high and stained. It is possible to catch trout but
high, cold water makes it tough.
01/24/16 The stream levels in all three sections are in decent shape and should remain close
to that for the coming week. You always have to check them but there is little rain/snow in the
forecast this next week. The uppermost part of the West Branch is the best choice right now. It
has the warmest water coming from the bottom discharge at about 39 degrees.
01/31/16 It is getting warmer and those avid anglers should take advantage of it while they can.
The long range forecast for February isn't all that great. Stream levels for all three branches
are okay right now. Midges, winter stoneflies, blackflies and little Blue-winged olive nymphs are
the foods you need to focus on.
02/07/16 The West Branch flows are good right now and the best section to fish. If you fish the
upper section as near the dam as legal, you will find warmer water. The East Branch is high and
the main stem very cold. The USGS gauge is working again there though. Midges, reds and
creams, and winter stoneflies are the insects you should be imitating.
02/14/16 The stream levels are all in good shape. The West Branch still has the best
opportunity. Fish the uppermost section near the dam for the warmest water. It is snowing and
cold now but will warm up a little at the end of next week. Midges, winter stoneflies and black
flies are the main insects to imitate.
02/21/16 The conditions for fly fishing the Delaware River doesn't get any better than this for
mid February. The stream levels are all in good shape and the water warmer than normal.
There is more warm weather on the way this coming week and conditions should continue to be
good. Midges, winter stoneflies, Black Flies and sculpin are the foods you need to be imitating.
02/28/16 The weather is turning back colder which is normal. All three sections of the river are
very high. It isn't worth fishing right now, so you will just have to watch the discharges and
stream levels. The West Branch will probably be the first to drop since it is controlled only by
the dam discharges. Midges, winter stoneflies, and black flies will the insects to imitate when
you can fish.
03/06/16 The Delaware still has a way to go before any section is worth fishing, but I feel it
won't be long. The weather is getting much warmer with less rain and no snow forecast. The
West Branch is still high with heavy discharges. The East Branch is high as well but down some.
The main stem is of course, high since both its tributaries are high.
03/13/16 Blue-winged olives are hatching in good numbers. Midges are also hatching. The
weather is going to continue to be warm, but there is rain in the forecast for every day this
coming week. At some point you can expect the levels to increase but right now, they are all in
good shape. Get ready for Blue Quills, Quill Gordons, little Black caddis and little Brown
stoneflies to start around April 1st.
03/20/16 The Delaware is in good shape in all three sections. You can wade just about
anywhere where wading is possible at any time. The water is mostly clear and the water
temperature is holding around the mid forties. Midges, creams and reds (blood midges) are
hatching just about everywhere and Blue-winged olives are hatching in some sections of the
03/27/16 Get ready for some big time fly fishing action on the Delaware. It is in great shape, the
water getting warmer and the stream levels about where they should be in March. Little Brown
stoneflies are already crawling out of the water. Several new hatches will begin within the next
two or three weeks, including Quill gordons, Blue Quills, little Black caddis and larger
04/03/16 There is a little spell of cool weather going to move through this coming week. The
discharges and stream levels are quite low but that can always change and will change. At least
you can wade almost anywhere you want to. You should continue to fish imitations of midge
pupa and larva. The Brown sculpin streamer will catch the larger trout but fish it during low light
04/10/16 The Delaware's West Branch is in the best shape of the three branches. It is warmest
near the dam and cooler downstream. The level is fine, with low discharges but the East Branch
and main stem is running a little high and cold. The weather will be warming back up this week.
Midges and little BWOs are about it until the water gets a little warmer.
04/17/16 The Delaware is in great shape for mid April. Lots of different aquatic insects are
starting to hatch. Blue Quills, Quill Gordons, Hendriicksons and Red Quills, Little Black Caddis,
and Little Brown Stoneflies. Little Blue winged olives will continue to hatch good. The stream
levels are down and there is no rain in the forecast until Saturday.
04/24/16 I hope you get the opportunity to get to the upper Delaware River soon. Anglers are
catching plenty of trout. The stream levels and water clarity in good in all three sections of the
river. There are a lot of insects hatching and the dry fly fishing has been very good this past
week. The forecast looks good for the coming week.
05/01/16 The river is in excellent shape for this time of the season with lots of new hatches. The
season seems to be a week or two ahead of schedule, not as much as some think, but ahead
some. All three branches are producing trout, with the West Branch the choice of many as
usual. There's a lot of rain in the frorecast, so what the levels.
05/08/16 The Delaware is in good shape and our customers are catching a lot of trout. The
East Branch and main Stem are a little high right now but falling. The West Branch is at a good
level. There is no rain in the forecast until next weekend. Lots of insects are hatching and dry
fly fishing has been great.
05/15/16 The stream levels are up in the West Branch, but will be changing; in pretty good
shape in the East Branch; and a little high in the main stem for wading. The weather is turning a
little colder and will slow the surface action for a day or two. There are a lot of hatches
underway but depends greatly on the particular place you are fishing. It is a good time to be
fishing the Delaware.
05/22/16 The river is in very good shape in all three major sections. Our customers are
catching good numbers and sizes of trout. There are lots of insects hatching but of course, it
depends on where you are fishing. Conditions are as good as they get at this time of the
season. Stream levels are good and the water clear.
05/29/16 The Delaware is in good shape in all three sections. There are a lot of new hatches
starting up, including the big Drakes, Greens, Browns and others. Slate drakes are showing up.
These are mostly in the East Branch but there are some in the in the big D as well. This coming
week looks like it is going to be a great time to fish the river.
06/05/16 The Delaware is in great shape with lots of trout being caught in all three major
sections of the river. Most anglers are fishing the West Branch but the East is doing good
above and below the Beaverkill confluence. Several major hatches are underway. The stream
levels have been a little low at times, but that will change during the next day or two. There is
rain in the forecast about every day.
06/19/16 It isn't often that all three major sections of the Delaware river are fishing good but
that is the case now. The stream levels are all good and both dam have low discharges. The
weather forecast is good for the coming week. Best of all, there are a large number of insects
hatching. Most anglers are fishing the West Fork but the Big D and East Fork are also
producing a lot of nice trout for those that are fishing them.
06/26/16 All three major sections are producing trout for our customers. There are some big
drakes hatching in the upper Eeast Branch. There are lots of caddisflies hatching and laying
eggs in the late afternoons just about everywhere. The main stem is producing some very big
rainbows for our customers lately. They are being caught on Sculpin streamers.
07/03/16 It doesn't get much better than it is right now. The stream levels are good in all
sections of the river and our customers are reporting good catches in all sections of the river.
There are still some big drakes hatching in the upper East branch. The main stem, or Big D, is
producing the most and largest trout, even though most anglers are fishing the West Branch.
07/10/16 The West Branch discharges and stream levels are still in good shape. The East
Branch is very high thanks to the blown out Beaverkill. The upper East Branch may be okay but
should be checked. The Big D, or main stem of the river is high, too high to fish even from a
drift boat. This should change soon and conditions return to normal. There are still a lot of
hatches taking place.
07/17/16 All sections of the Delaware are in good shape with good stream levels. There are still
a lot of insects hatching but keep in mind, some of them are limited to small sections of water.
Don't expect everything listed to be in any one area. The upper East Branch still has some of
the larger drakes, but they are done everywhere else. There are lots of caddis in about all
sections. Little Yellow stoneflies are very plentiful and in most sections of the river.
07/23/16 They are currently running plenty of water on the West Branch. The East branch is
low. The main stem of the river is in good shape and even offering some good wading
opportunities. Fish very late in the day near dark. The spinner falls and egg laying caddisflies
and little Yellow stoneflies are bringing a lot of trout to the surface to feed.
07/30/16 All three sections are in good shape but you will need to keep a close check on the
levels. It is rain as I am writing this and will continue off and on through Tuesday. That should
help the overall conditions. The East Branch is already a little high. Customers have been
sending in mixed reports the past week. The rain should help the overall condition of the river.
08/07/16 The river is in good shape for this time of the season. All three branches or sections,
West Branch, East Branch and Main stem are in good shape with good stream levels. There
are still a lot of hatches taking place but they vary greatly with the section of water being fished.
Terrestrials are also beginning to work good but I don't recommend fishing them in priority to
08/14/16 The stream levels are high in the East and main stem sections of the river and there
are flood warnings out for the next couple of days. The West Branch discharges and levels are
low and in good shape now, but likely to change soon. There are a lot of caddisflies hatching.
The late afternoon egg laying is bringing a lot of trout to the surface to feed. Terrestrial insects
are also working well - ants, beetles and hoppers.
08/21/16 The river is in good shape in all three main sections. The stream levels shown will
most likely change during the next few hours. It is raining today but it isn't expected to change
anything drastically. The weather is turning cooler and that is going to be a big help to the
overall condition. There are a lot of insects hatching but they vary with the exception of
Cinnamon Caddis, which exist about everywhere.
08/28/16 All sections of the river are low. The East Branch is low and warm, and getting too
warm in some sections. The East Branch is your best bet for now. The main stream is also very
low and warm. Hatches are slowing down. There are plenty of caddisflies, consisting of three
species. There are plenty of Tricos hatching as well. Fish streamers early mornings, Trico
spinner falls late mornings and egg laying caddis near dark.
09/04/16 The river is in good shape and our customers sent in good reports from the West
Branch early last week and the main stem this week. All sections are in good shape with lots of
insects hatching. They do vary greatly from section to section, except for the caddisflies. You
will find them everywhere. Late afternoon egg laying is still bringing fish to the surface to feed.
Early morning streamer fishing is still getting some larger trout.
09/11/16 The Delaware is getting into a little different mode for this hot summertime pattern.
The West Branch is a little high with heavy discharges but fine for the drift boat guys. The East
branch is about normal and the Main stem flowing just a little above normal. The weather is
cooler with only a little rain in the forecast this coming week. There are still plenty of insects
hatching but they vary from section to section.
09/18/16 The discharges and stream levels are down in all sections. The West Branch is
probably the best choice right now but the main and East Branches should be good as well.
You can wade most places you want to. It is still raining as I write this and subject to change.
Several new hatches have begun. Little Yellow Quills, Mahogany duns and Needle stoneflies.
09/25/16 The river is in good shape in all three sections. The West and Each branches have
good stream levels and discharges. The main stem is down near normal and should be
producing trout as well. There are a lot of hatches taking place and the Fall like weather is
turning the trout on. Now is a great time to be fishing, yet few anglers are doing so.
10/02/16 The weather is nice and cool and the trout are active. The brown trout are nearing the
pre-spawn stage and will take Sculpin streamers aggressively. There are some very good
hatches taking place but they vary from section to section. Don't expect them all to be in the
same place. The Blue-winged olives fall baetis hatch is going good. It is a very good time to fish
10/07/16 The river is low in all sections. The West Branch is very low. The East Branch low
below and above the Beaverkill confluence. The Main stem is low but of course, still has plenty
of long, deeper pools. The water temperature is no longer and problem and you can still catch
plenty of trout if you can stay hidden from them. Brown trout are beginning to build redds and
entering the pre-spawn mode.
10/16/16 The river is high in the West Branch and main stream due to heavy discharges from
the West Branch. The East Branch is at a normal level and your only option for safe wading
right now. You can fish the others with a drift boat but the water is high. Thw weather is much
warmer and that will last a few more days then turn to a more normal temperature. There is
some rain forecast this week, but shouldn't be much of a factor.
10/23/16 High stream levels exist in all sections. The West Branch is high but can be fished
from a drift boat. The East branch is just come up with high water from the tailwater discharge.
The main stem is high from both the branches. It should begin to fall soon in all sections but
there are some more rain in the forecast. The weather is much cooler.
10/30/16 Fall is a great time to fish the river. Most of the guides give up getting clients, or fair
weather guys. The weather usually remain stable up to a point. Brown trout spawn but please
only fish for the pre-spawners and don't wade through the redds. Blue-winged olive hatches
have been good lately and this should continue. There's a good week of weather ahead after
11/06/16 There are few anglers fishing when the fishing is about as good as it gets in the fall.
The stream flows are a little high in some sections and a little low in some sections but all in
decent shape. The hatches are getting less and less but Blue-winded olives are everywhere.
Fish the BWO nymph mornings, BWO dun afternoons and BWO spinner late in the day. The
Brown Sculpin is still getting some big trout.
11/13/16 The stream levels are running high with higher discharges in the West Branch. The
East Branch is also turning out a lot of water but the Beaverkill is low. The main stem is running
about a normal level. This don't quite make good sense but it is what the gauges are showing.
Blue-winged olives and midges are hatching good. Sculpin streamers will still be your best fly
bet for the larger trout.
11/20/16 The river is still in good shape and the few anglers fishing are still catching some nice
size trout. Streamers, like our Brown and White Belly Sculpin, are still producing some of the
larger size trout. The weather is turning much colder but it will affect the water in the upper East
and West forks very little since it is a bottom discharge. Midges and Blue-winged olives are the
most important insects to imitate.
11/27/16 Today would be a good day to fish the river, especially the upper West Branch. The
water isn't that cold and the discharges and stream levels are good. All sections are in pretty
good shape. The Beaverkill is bringing in some colder water and the main stem is averaging
about 43 degrees. You will do find fishing tandem rigged Red or Cream midge pupa and larva
11/30/17 Closed to trout fishing.
We took samples of the insects in
the all branches of the Delaware
over period of a few years using
professional entomology equipment..
Check out the Dark Blue Sedge by
clicking the above link.