River Report/Conditions

Fall/Streamer Fishing On The Upper Delaware.

September 27, 2018, Author: Patrick Cook
Fall on the Upper Delaware
The latter half of this summer has been one for the books. We’ve been blessed with a lot of rain, and there is plenty more in the forecast. The streamer fishing has been exceptional as of
late. My go to patterns have been primarily black with some hints of darker colored flash within. My streamer set up consists of a fast action 6 wt with the Sci-Angler Titian Floater. I then adjust my sink tips according to the flows and clarity. The darker and higher the water, the deeper I try and go. I do however try and keep my streamers above the fish. Trout are ambush predators and like to come from underneath their prey to feed. I also believe in the theory that prey do not swim towards or at their predators. As far as the speed at which I

strip my flies, I let the situation determine that. I always start off with a medium pace and try to adjust from there. I do believe if you’re fishing from a boat you should be stripping your flies at a speed at which your flies stay perpendicular or in front of the boat. I do not like stripping my flies downstream. Again, prey do not

swim towards predators. Of course, there are always exceptions to any rule. Sculpins being a perfect example, fish tend to eat these head on because of their bulbus hard heads. My pattern selections for streamers usually consist of Wooley Buggers, Dace imitations, Wooley Buggers, Trout imitations, Wooley Buggers, and various other medium to light weight streamers. Oh yea, and Wooley Buggers! I also generally fish two streamers at once. From the end of my Poly/Versi leader I attach about 4-6ft of 10-12lb Maximum Chameleon. I than add another 20’’ section of the same diameter Chameleon using a triple surgeon being sure to keep the bottom tag long, usually 4’’ or so. I than attach the smaller of the two flies off this tag utilizing a clinch knot. I’ve found that too much movement on the dropper tag can cause tangles and fouling with the main line of your leader.  On the bottom end I’ll attached the larger of the two using a non-slip mono loop knot.  I like to think this gives the illusion of 2 smaller fish fighting for territory, which in turn gets a much larger fish to take an opportunity at a hearty meal.
Dry fly fishing on the Upper West has still been the most consistent day in and day out. Sulphurs, Olives, Isonychias, Cahills, green caddis, and tan caddis have been the primary hatches. On the lower West and Upper Main its primarily been a Cahill, Iso, and Olive game. Pepacton has been spilling for some time now which is causing the temperatures on the Upper East to reach unsafe fishing temperatures. September on the Upper Delaware is one of my favorite months. The temperatures cool, the reservoir flips, and fishing can be had throughout the system. The Iso’s, Olives, and various Caddis start to take way again making for some great dry fly opportunities. The sun also sets sooner this time of year making day trips easier to manage seeing how you’re not getting off the water at 10pm. Another positive (although this year it hasn’t been much of an issue) is the algae dies down making subsurface tactics much easier.
We have some exciting things coming up the end of this summer and next spring so mark your calendars! On September 22, 2018 we will be partnering up with Cross Current Guide Service to offer an intro to Trout Spey and tactics to use them on the Delaware. This will be a free event with lunch provided along with free casting lessons. We will go over the basic terminology used in Spey and Switch rods. The tackle and how it applies to on the water situations.
We will be working with FUDR to bring you a Spring 2019 extravaganza. The event will take place the Saturday of the One Bug which will be April 27,2019. More details to come on this so make sure you plan accordingly. I can promise that this event will be one you do not want to miss! If you have any questions about the river, fishing, or up coming events be sure to give the shop a call.
-Frank Rosata, Store Manager, Whitetail Country Fly Shop

comments (2)

  • avatar image
    Hey Frank When you say unsafe temps.. you mean too cold? From reservoir release? Thanks Mike

    Michael Dineen

    August 27, 2019 Reply
    • avatar image
      Hey Mike, This was last year but Pepacton was spilling over which was warm water due to it being on the surface. The water spilling over was negating the bottom release and causing high temperatures. The success to the Upper Delaware relies on the bottom released cold water, particular in the summer months. - Frank

      Frank Rosata

      August 27, 2019 Reply

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