Delaware River or bust

Sorry for the long Hiatus but I've been on a four day out of town fishing extravaganza. There will be more pics and reports to follow.

I had a great weekend, probably the best fishing weekend of my season so far. I met up with my great friend Robert Lewis of Rob's Realistic's in Roscoe. For those who don't know thats “Trout Town” USA in the heart of the Catskills, the birthplace and undisputed home of all around dry fly fishing in the lower 48. I know there are many of you who would dispute this but the storied traditions and folklore of fly fishing run deep here in the Delaware system and anyone who has spent a good amount of time here can attest to that.
Geared up and ready for saturday morning
I had come into town on Friday night and like many anglers I made Roscoe my base camp. The rivers looked great but like most of my other trips late Friday night the storm hit and turned the rivers into raging muddy torrents. I was nervous about seeing what the West Branch looked like. Rob spun into town on Saturday morning and met up with me to get things started. We got the day going by doing a casting demo for a good friend who had new fly fisherman visiting his property and than we wasted no time shooting down the road to Hancock, NY. Hancock is the base of operations for most people who fish the West Branch of the Delaware because its location is in close proximity to most of the the good boat launches on this system.
Heading down to the casting demo
When we got our first look at the river we were happy to see we had about eight inches of visibility as long as you stayed within three feet of the bank and we both knew the game immediately. These are prime conditions for streamer fishing, and in my opinion the best time to fish this water. The big browns that made the D famous are giant, aggressive, nasty, mean spirited fish that love to eat giant chunks of meat and when the water is like that it pushes them into the banks where they are easy to fish to.

Muddy Water
I knew the day was made withing 200 yards of the launch. I was putting flies up on the bank as close as I could get them and I was doing a pretty good job when I got the first freight train hit within sight of the truck. I managed to land the fish which actually turned out to be only nineteen inches but he was a solid fish with the biggest shoulders I have ever seen, he was a brick shithouse. 

Big Fish 200 yards from the launch
Releasing the monster
The rest of the day was tough but Rob stayed on the oars and I stayed on the stick and we worked hard to move a few more fish. After about four more hours I decided to cast to the center of a riffle in a very wide section of the river because of a slight change in visibility in a small spot that was redirecting the sediment flowing downriver and SLAM. My fly which is huge by the way got hammered by a nice fish which than jumped at least three times. He turned out to be only around 17 inches but again, big and full shouldered more so than most fish I have seen in this system. This fish also had beautiful colors and the most pristine fins I have ever seen on a fish.

2nd Nice fish
In the end we worked hard all day and picked off two nice fish and it felt great to be rewarded. The next day we woke up to bluebird skies, calmer wind and really good water clarity. Our friend John drove up to fish with us and we figured the great conditions would turn on the dry fly bite that's been sporadic so far. Needless to say the wind ended up not cooperating and the bugs never happened for us, I think we saw two rises in a 7 hour float. We did manage to move a few fish on nymphs but no connections. For me all that did was make the first two all that sweeter. I love the streamer bite and I fish them a ton now. You really feel rewarded when you stick a fish and when you do, he's going to be a serious specimen.
Beautiful day on Sunday
Great pool for dries, but it never happened

Golden Stone
Croton River report to come...

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