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West Branch Delaware

Joined:
2006/9/11 10:32
From Berks County
Posts: 484
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I'm heading up to Hancock on Friday to fish the West Branch. I have only fished it a few times so I am pretty much a novice up there. Anyway, Hancock is supposed to get anywhere from 1-2 inches of rain the next couple days. I have one simple question, but I know there really isn't a simple answer. Normally, with high water, will hatches still come off and will fish still rise?

On Friday, it should be on its way down, but I'm sure it will still have some color. I guess I just want to know if it will still be worth heading up. I will be wading, not floating. I really don't expect to have a banner day or anything, but I just don't want to waste my time or money. The rain could be a bust, but right now I'm planning like the flow will be high. I know the west branch has been talked about a lot lately. Sorry for bringing it up again. Thanks!




Posted on: 6/24 9:54


Re: West Branch Delaware
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2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
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If the flow is too high to get a reasonable drift (that is less than 4 feet per second), the fish will not rise (except directly behind rocks or in back eddies).

Water that looks dirty to humans peering in on the surface, is fairly clear for the trout in the stream. Of course their range is shorter-- they wont be charging a #32 midge from 6 feet away. Therefore, fish accordingly.

I would not hesitate to fish a "muddy" stream, so long as the wading and drifting is not so treacherous.

Plus, you can always tie on a meaty streamer in dark colors.

Posted on: 6/24 10:03
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Re: West Branch Delaware

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2006/9/11 10:32
From Berks County
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I know streamers would be an option, but I want to go for the dry fly action. I also know that everything depends on the mood of the fish. I guess I just want to know I won't be wasting my time. This time of year I like to fish dries. I nymph and streamer fish a lot during the rest of the year, but I want to be able to have a chance fishing a dry. Thanks!

Posted on: 6/24 10:16


Re: West Branch Delaware

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2010/2/18 8:57
From SW PA
Posts: 737
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Troy, we had very good dry fly action at 4500+CFS. Go fishing! You never know if you don't try. If there is some color, Deposit and Stilesville may still be clear. It'd take a lot of rain for the lake to start spilling, but if they do... Streamers to the bank!
Good Luck!

Posted on: 6/24 10:30
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Re: West Branch Delaware
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From Monessen, PA
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Replying:

Wasn't trying to patronize, I just thought the answer was that until you assess conditions on the stretch you plan to fish, you won't get an accurate answer. That assessment cannot come through speculation, but rather observation. Until the rains come, a good answer was already given.

Posted on: 6/24 10:43
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I don't like scrambled eggs, and I'm glad I don't, because if I liked them, I'd eat them, and I just hate them. --Hank


Re: West Branch Delaware

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2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 4269
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Yeah - as DaveS said - move closer to the dam if the lower part is brown. During this very rainy spring, I've been able to find clear water below dams in quite a few places this year.

I would also add that wading the WB could be a concern at high flows.
I like it to be 1,000 CFS or less. Although I have waded it up to about 1,500 CFS in a few spots where the water is spread out more

Posted on: 6/24 10:48


Re: West Branch Delaware

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6/18 20:59
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If they get a gully washer, you'll need to get above Ocagua dumps in. You will share it with all other waders though.

If you have 3"-6" of clarity, they'll rise. They know what's hatching and will be looking for that food source. Some of the best dry fly fishing I've had has been while it's stained.

Posted on: 6/24 11:04
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Re: West Branch Delaware

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2006/9/11 10:32
From Berks County
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Quote:

JackM wrote:
Replying:

Wasn't trying to patronize, I just thought the answer was that until you assess conditions on the stretch you plan to fish, you won't get an accurate answer. That assessment cannot come through speculation, but rather observation. Until the rains come, a good answer was already given.


I know you weren't trying to patronize. I knew the replies were going to be pure speculation. I just wanted to hear what some others thought who might have a lot more experience up there than me. I guess I just wanted to hear someone say "go for it" and not someone saying "don't waste your time".

Thanks everyone!

Posted on: 6/24 11:10


Re: West Branch Delaware

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2006/9/9 22:44
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1" of rain equates to 5% of reservoir storage. Unfortunately, it seems like the WEst Branch gets turned to mud very easily. But the watershed is big, and one stem might be blown and other drainage might be fine.

Unfortunately, you will have to wait and see, and roll the dice whether to hit it or not. I could see the rain potentially causing Cannonsville to spill, and then that would trigger a release. But like others have said, that release and spill water should be clean.

Also, I don't trust the reports up there. Their idea of 'stained' is my idea of dirty. Just like ski reports - its always powder/packed powder up there, even when it is frozen granular. LOL

Posted on: 6/24 11:18


Re: West Branch Delaware

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2007/6/9 10:11
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I'd go and fish beadheads in the riffles earlier but stake out a spot for evening when things have been happening. If they start that splashing with sulphers on the water trail a little beadhead. Buckingham looks like big water but it can be very good into the dark. Either way fish late. The Italian place in Hancock is open late as is the west branch angler bar till ten I think for food.

Posted on: 6/24 20:33


Re: West Branch Delaware

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6/18 20:59
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Little Italy open til 11 on weekends.

Posted on: 6/24 21:57
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Re: West Branch Delaware

Joined:
2009/10/15 13:45
From Eastern PA
Posts: 10290
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Quote:

Troy wrote:

I know you weren't trying to patronize. I knew the replies were going to be pure speculation. I just wanted to hear what some others thought who might have a lot more experience up there than me. I guess I just wanted to hear someone say "go for it" and not someone saying "don't waste your time".

Thanks everyone!


Troy, listen to krayfish and ignore input from the other side of the state. Seriously, shoot me a message and I will filter it through kray who actually knows what he is doing.

My guess is they will eat yellow bugs.

Posted on: 6/25 3:04


Re: West Branch Delaware
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Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 8961
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Actually, Jack is spot on. I just got back from fishing there last night. The River is in great shape. There may be or may not be severe T-storms today......you'll just have to wait and see. Check the gauges and the DRC and WBA reports. How and where to fish the D is always a game time decision.

Fishing was tough during the day, but things happened right at dark with the sulphers. Iso's here and there all day along with small olives and tan caddis. We fished the lower west. Most of of the floaters reported more bugs on the middle west.

Good luck on your trip.

Posted on: 6/25 7:43


Re: West Branch Delaware

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2009/12/3 14:56
From Cato, NY
Posts: 991
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I don't care what the reports say I was just there and you better have sz. 20 sulphurs in amber and yellow.

Posted on: 6/25 8:58


Re: West Branch Delaware

Joined:
2006/9/11 10:32
From Berks County
Posts: 484
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Thanks everyone, but all I really wanted to know was if the fish normally still rise during high and stained water. I want to fish dries and if the river shuts down during high and stained water, I was going to go elsewhere. I don't feel like nymphing or using a streamer. Some stream's fish and hatches completely shut off during high flows. I was hoping the WB wasn't one of them.

I'm going to go regardless of the rain. Like I said, I guess I just wanted to hear someone tell me to "go for it" and not to hear "don't bother". I know it is all speculation. Thanks again!

Posted on: 6/25 9:10



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