For this year’s FISH magazine, I asked six of our top Delaware River guides to share experiences and tips that will help you on the river.
Baxter House River Outfitters owner Ken Tutalo’s article about the insects on which the trout of the Upper Delaware feed should help you select a set of flies for your box. Mike Padua of Sweetwater Guide Service gets us set for the great smallmouth fishing that will carry through into the heart of the summer.
The fabulous fishing on the Upper Delaware means sometimes crowded conditions, making etiquette all important. Joe Demalderis of Crosscurrents Guide Service sets out some rules of the road (or river).
Patricia (Sam) Decker, one of the Delaware’s first female guides, tells us how she got started, and offers tips for ladies who are tempted to take up fly-fishing—as more and more do every year.
John Miller not only guides for the West Branch Angler Resort, but also is a remarkable photographer. He shares his tips for taking better photos of your catch—and his photographs grace not only the cover of this year’s magazine, but a number of the articles. In particular, look for his exquisite fly photos in “It’s all about the bugs.”
Finally, my longtime research partner Jim Serio, retired Delaware guide and leading real estate broker in the Upper Delaware valley, reflects on strategies for protecting its vulnerable ecosystem and fish.
I must echo Jim’s suggestions and add that it is vital that we all work to make sure that the politicians who control the flows on the river give due consideration to the fragility of its aquatic habitat. As we go to press, the Upper Delaware is facing a unique threat, principally from New York City and New Jersey, who if they fail to agree on water allocations will take us back to the water release policies of 1983 as of June 1. That will imperil our beloved trout by reducing releases from the New York City dams on the Delaware’s headwaters. That cannot be tolerated.
— Peter J. Kolesar