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Delaware Trip Report - Get schooled, Get spooled JAM

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 10/10/2019 (216 reads)
I went up for Krayfish's Get schooled, Get spooled JAM the first part of October. Kray was very gracious to give me the lay of the land and host me on the water for a couple of days in his drift boat. There were a few other guys up from the PAFF to give the Delaware a try that week including: Krayfish2, DaveS, Pittsburgh Don, Istimey, moon, flyswatter Brooklyn Morgan, Cosmic Frank and Cody.

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Krayfish with a Brownie


I had a great time with the guys and enjoyed some fine meals at Frank's house in Deposit. DaveS cooked up some killer fillets the first night. Being the newbie to the group, I enjoyed hearing previous war stories about the one that got away and learning a little more about the region.
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West Branch Delaware, Deposit, NY


A little bit of a backgrounder for those like me to the region. The Delaware is really three rivers in this area and can be very different in each one depending on conditions. The lower West Branch flows out near Deposit, New York and is controlled by the Cannonsville Reservoir. There doesn't seem to be a lot of notice or reason for the releases that happen from the dam. The East Branch has flows from the Beaver Kill branch and upstream controlled by the bottom released Pepacaton Reservoir. The West Branch and East Branch meetup just below Hancock, NY and then form the mainstem of the Delaware. Some of the West Branch and all of the mainstem are shared by New York and Pennsylvania. These river systems offer some world-class wild trout and incredible bug life that make for some great fly fishing opportunities.

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This was the first time for me to fly fish in these waters and really enjoyed the fall colors starting in the trees. The weather was a good mix of clouds, drizzle and sun while on the river for two days. The air temps were a good mix of the mid-'50s to maybe lower 80 on Tuesday. Some really nice days for fishing with a distinct feeling of fall in the air and seen in the mountains.

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The big challenge was the water due to the release from the Cannonsville Reservoir on the West Branch. The water was up at about 1200 CFS and at about 60 degrees. This made for a great float, but Cannonsville Reservoir is a bottom release and the water was pretty turbid from the West Branch down to the mainstem both days.

Moon on Delaware
Moon getting into a rainbow


We fished hard the first day on the West Branch with streamers getting plenty of hits. Not a very buggy day, but plenty of eagles and migrating ducks all around us.

The second day we went to the mainstem and covered the river with everything in our fly boxes: streamers, nymphs, emergers and dry flies. More rises seen and we went after any rise we saw. We had some #18 Blue Winged Olives in the afternoons as well as a few Isonychia during the day. This was a lot of fun and Cody kept us in line. At the end of day we had a spinner fall coming down and the caddis were coming off in droves. We anchored into a nice stretch of risers and I was happy to throw on my favorite B-52 Rusty Spinner. I hooked into a nice bow, but he showed me who was boss.

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Cody providing barking out orders


I ended up staying at the renovated Troutfitter Fly Shop and Inn.

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The fishing was very difficult, due to the release, but I had a great time seeing everyone and really appreciated Kray's services getting me onto the Delaware for the first time.
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