March 23, 2019 4 min read

Pre-Season River Update

Greetings Compleat Anglers! As April inches closer and closer, here’s some early intel on the state of our Connecticut and Catskill rivers. Many of you have already been out on the water after stockings on the Mianus, the Saugatuck, and the Farmington, as well as the Housatonic. Although we had some bitterly cold weather through February and early March, the days are getting longer and slowly we’re thinking that perhaps the groundhog got it right this year - it’s looking like an early spring. So here’s the current flow and temperatures of our Connecticut and Catskill rivers.

Lens Latest Pre-Season Report(Cadosia on the Delaware East Branch in early April)

River Flows: New York (Catskills)

Remember, until April 1st, 2019, the Willowemoc and Beaverkill are closed except in their respective no-kill sections; The Delaware East Branch is closed; and the Delaware West Branch is closed from 1.7 miles below the Hale Eddy Bridge and upstream.

  • Delaware Main Stem at Lordville: 3900cfs at 37 degrees (Wading is difficult at this flow, but floating and streamers can be very effective)
  • Delaware West Branch at Hale Eddy: 879cfs at 37 degrees (Wadeable with caution)
  • Delaware West Branch at Stilesville: 200cfs at 39 degrees (Very Wadeable)
  • Delaware East Branch at Harvard: 341cfs at 37 degrees (Wadeable)
  • Delaware East Branch at Fishs Eddy: 1820cfs at 37 degrees (Wadeable with caution)
  • Beaverkill at Cooks Falls: 1150cfs at 25 degrees (Not wadeable)
*Note: For fishermen fishing the Delaware Branches please note that Winterdale Road is again open, and the detour no longer exists.
  • Schoharie Creek near Lexington: 317cfs
  • Esopus Creek at Allben: 215cfs
Although the Catskill tailwater reservoirs are nearly full, flow releases from the dams has been moderate and water levels (not counting after rains) are moderate as well. Although water temperatures at the moment are in the high 30’s, if these moderate water levels hold, hatches could be dead on time or even a bit early. As water temperatures begin to approach 50 degrees, if weather patterns hold, as we get into April begin to look for Little Black Stoneflies, Caddis, Blue Quills, Paraleps, and olives, and in late April/early May begin to look for March Browns and Hendricksons. And even if you do not see any, remember that their nymphs will be active and should be a good bet to either fish under an indicator or to swing.

Lens Latest Pre-Season Report 2
(The Delaware Main Stem at Tower Road: April 2018)

As a Delaware River update, here’s some great news from our friends at FUDR (Friends of the Upper Delaware River):

“Friends of the Upper Delaware River joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and other Delaware River conservation organizations at a press conference in Wilmington, DE today to announce the first round of annual grants awarded through the federal Delaware River Basin Restoration Program.

FUDR and their partners received a $250,000 grant for three on-the-ground stream restoration projects in the Upper Delaware River communities of Hancock, Deposit, and Colchester. The projects will create local jobs, improve local infrastructure, mitigate flooding, protect water quality, and improve aquatic habitat.”

Click here for press release from the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed

And remember, this time of year, weather can change drastically from morning until afternoon, so remember to include lots of warm clothing. You can layer up and simply peel off layers if the days begin to warm up. We’ve got a great supply of fleeces, gloves, hats, socks, warm wading trousers and lots of other gear that can make your early-season trip much more comfortable. Best bets for cold weather relief: From Simms: Simms thermal tops along with Simms Wader Wick thermal pants; Simms Cold Weather Shirts; and for severe cold Simms Fjord Pants. You’ll also love Patagonia’s Snap Dry Hoody and Better Sweater. And under it all try a warm, comfortable Mountain Khakis Trapper Henley Top! As well, Buff has a great line of Polar Headwear. And don’t forget your Yeti Rambler (26 oz.) or Rambler Mug (14oz) to keep that coffee piping hot for hours and hours.

Lens Latest Pre-Season Report 3
(Our own Pat Fowler with a beastly brookie from the Saugatuck)

River Flows: Connecticut Rivers

  • Farmington River West Branch in Riverton: 186cfs (in the upper 30’s)
  • Still River in Robertsville: 360cfs
  • West Branch Farmington through the TMA: 546cfs (Nicely wadeable at this level)

The Farmington has been stocked above and below the TMA; Through the TMA you need to fish hard - there are fewer chances but the fish are generally of a much higher quality and size.

  • Housatonic at Falls Village: 1430cfs in the upper 30’s
  • Saugatuck at Lyons Plains Rd: 240cfs (high and difficult to wade)
  • Norwalk River in Wilton: 201cfs (high)

For both our Connecticut and Catskill rivers, look for early black Stoneflies (Size #14-#18). They have been out on the Mianus in good numbers and also on the Farmington. For those rivers that are heavily stocked, try using Mops, San Juan Worms, Egg Patterns, and Weenies, as well as a variety of nymphs - including Caddis Larva and other various nymphs.

Lens Latest Pre-Season Report 4
(Pat Fowler stalks fish on the Mianus)

Lens Latest Pre-Season Report 5
(Early Black Stonefly on the Mianus River)

Remember, stop in and check out our amazing inventory of rods, reels, waders, boots, accessories, flies (freshwater and saltwater) fly-tying tools and equipment, flylines, and clothing from Sage, Scott, Winston, Loomis, Reddington, Echo, Simms, Aibel, Ross, Nautilus, Hatch, Hardy, Orvis, Galvin, Lamson, Patagonia, Mountain Khaki, Buff, Sci Anglers, Rio, Airflow, Regal, and many others.

And if you’re in the market for a new rod, be sure to stop in and throw the new Sage “Igniter,” Winston “Pure,” or Loomis Asquith.

That’s it for now. As always, check in every Wednesday for the new fishing report. If conditions change drastically during the week or there is updated stocking information - I’ll update changes on a daily basis. Everyone here at the shop is looking forward to working hard to make your fishing the season the best one ever!

Tight Lines,