Delaware River Fishing Report - The Compleat Angler

June 06, 2018

I was on the Delaware Main Stem on Monday and we saw lots of Caddis, March Browns, Gray Fox, Sulphurs, Green Drakes, Brown Drakes, a few Isos and Cahills - in short, the trout have a huge fly pallet to choose from. (Both the West Branch and East Branch are experiencing the same hatches, although key hatches vary on all three branches. For instance, while there were a smattering of Green Drakes on the Main Stem, they were much heavier on the West Branch.)  The key fly on Monday was a little Caddis Pupa in size #16. I lingered as the evening came on, with my longtime guide and friend, Ben Rinker from East Branch Outfitters  info@eastbranchoutfitters.com, in a lovely tail-out in the Upper Main Stem (photo above) and as the shadows flowed out from the banks we found ourselves sitting in Ben's Hyde boat with big, wild Main Stem Browns sloppily slurping Caddis all around us. Ben suggested the perfect fly, a #16 Caddis Pupa, and I took four lovely Browns from "18-"20 inches. The last fish tore downstream and had almost all my backing gone when we lifted anchor and finally boated him 500 yards downstream from where he rose. Here's a shot of him in the dark:

Here's the Caddis Pupa pattern that was so deadly - (come into the shop and we'll match it.) 

As well, the riffs and faster water were alive with rising fish - we took a number of lovely rainbows on both Caddis and Iso patterns, When things slowed down, I tried swinging a Dark Cahill wet (#14) and stuck a couple of great Rainbows. Here's one who couldn't resist a swung wet:

Nymphs are also always consistently effective in these rivers - patterns such as Stoneflies (#6-#12), Pheasant Tails (#14-#18), Prince (#14-#18), Hare's Ear (#14-#18), Flashbacks (#16-#18), and wets and soft-hackles are all killing. With the onslaught of Isos beginning to come on, a Leadwing Coachman wet can be deadly - especially dropped off a dry pattern. Fish are still hanging in water with good flow - so try those patches of softer water in-between the fast flow of an upper riff, or the tail-out of a riff or flat where water speed begins to pick up. Here's a perfect example:

And finally, there are thousands upon thousand of Golden Stoneflies (#4-#8) clinging to the streamside grass along both the Main Stem and East Branch - so keep a couple of Stonefly imitations in your box! When these large flies are on the water it can be chaos. A great pattern is the CDC Stone tied by Jonny King - (we have a good supply at the shop.) Here's a Perla adult waiting to take flight:

Catskill water flows ar


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