During the summer months, everything about the river environment happens at a much slower pace. Every year by our current date the insect hatches and the trout’s behavior fall into a very predictable daily routine. In stark contrast to the slower trout fishing, it is prime time for pursuing smallmouth bass with the fly.
Ramblings of a River Guide
Summer is here, and the big insect hatches of spring are just about over. For us fly fishermen, summer fishing is a much more laid-back time to fish. The choices for trout fishing are far more limited than during the cooler months, and the insect hatches are much less diverse.
For fly fishermen who chase trout in the Upper Delaware River system, the first week of June has always been referred to as “Bug Week.” In most years, this week will offer the season’s most diverse selection of different active insect species.
For us fly fishermen a sure sign of spring is Hendrickson duns floating down our favorite trout streams.
The 2018 trout season is now open in New York State (Pennsylvania will have to wait a bit longer, until April 14). As is normally the case, our local rivers are running a bit high and very cold. These conditions should continue for a while since there is rain in the forecast and some snow still melting off.
The recent polar vortex had its grip on the Upper Delaware River and the entire region. Most of our rivers are now iced in, and fly fishing is out of the question without distant travel. It will be a long time before we wade again and scan the Delaware’s pools for rising trout.
This year’s transition from summer to winter has been stalling out for over a month now. Thus far, we have had very few nights below freezing and daytime temperatures have been very warm. This type of weather has been great to be out on the water, but the unseasonable warmth has kept the cool-weather, blue-winged olive hatches behind schedule.
This is one of my favorite months to fly fish the Delaware River and its branches. The mountains are lit up with color, and it is very pleasant time to spend a day in the outdoors. The autumn is also a time when many outdoorsmen are torn among multiple activities, so our rivers have little pressure.
This autumn is shaping up to offer us fly fishermen some great opportunity. Our recent weather has been cooler, with daytime highs in the 60s. This is a great time to be outdoors and for us fly fishermen, this is a time of plenty.
For fly fishermen, the month of August is normally a pretty tough time to pursue trout. For those of us who simply can’t wait until the cooler weather returns, we’re lucky to have two top quality tailwater fisheries right in our backyard.