‘More eagles than people!’
He suggests his fly-rod clients throw clousers, zonkers, woolie buggers, poppers and gurglers. For spinfishers, he also likes Heddon Torpedos, or Storm Chug Bugs and the Rebel Pop-r. For soft baits, he recommends Sinkos rigged regular or wacky (hooked in the middle) style, and Kei-Tech rubber grubs fished with a 1/16- or 1/8-ounce jig head. Sixty- to 80-fish days are not unusual. The whole Upper Delaware from Hancock to Port Jervis is good fishing. Ritter likes to target three floats: Callicoon to Damascus, Narrowsburg to Ten Mile River, and Ten Mile River to Zane Grey’s. All are great producers, provided you focus on shallow oxygenated water at a depth of two to six feet.
There is even more to this story. The smallmouth fishing remains strong through September and even into the first couple of weeks of October. After all their foraging on the shadlings, the bass have put on a growth spurt. They will be in prime condition and have “shoulders.” Late-season bass are spectacular fighters.
These float trips offer far more than great fishing. The views and scenery are spectacular, and this time of year the river is uncrowded and pristine. It’s not uncommon to “see more eagles than people,” says Ritter.
I’ve never taken a river float when I wasn’t dazzled by the river’s beauty right in our own backyard, and you will be too. You don’t even need a rod in your hand to enjoy and appreciate it.
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