Hook, Line and Sinker: April 28, 2010

Fishing conditions these past two weeks have been more like mid-May than mid-April. The trees and flowers have also followed suit. We’ve seen several flowering cherry trees along Route 17 on our way to Binghamton. Also out are the tiny but perky Coltsfoot, whose cheery yellow flowers are open around the same time that the Hendricksons hatch. On the Beaverkill and lower East Branch, the Hendrickson hatches have been regular and have produced good fishing, as well as on the West Branch Delaware between Bloomville and Delhi. Above the Pepacton Reservoir, however, the hatches on the East Branch of the Delaware have been spotty, according to Dave Budin, who points to high water and heavy snowmelt that may have disturbed the insect life in that part of the river.
The Juneberry, or Shadbush, which usually put forth their delicate blossoms around the first of May (that also coincides with the spawning run of the American Shad up the Delaware River, thus the moniker Shadbush) have been blooming since April 15, a full two weeks early! On a fishing trip to the East Branch of the Delaware and the lower Beaverkill over the weekend, we enjoyed good fishing, catching rising fish during waves of a caddis hatch that looked suspiciously like the shad fly. There were also some Hendricksons and other mayflies on the water, and rising fish seemed to have a lot from which to choose. We were successful in catching some hefty 16-inch to 17-inch browns with small (size #16) Olives.
The name shad fly also coincides with the time of year that the American Shad run up the Delaware. The “shad fly” is a dark colored caddis, normally a size #12, although most of the flies we saw looked to be a bit smaller, size #14, but they had that distinctive green egg sac that is so apparent on your windshield while driving along the river, especially between Fleischmanns and Arkville.
Local children are happy that area rivers and streams have been stocked, judging from the wide smiles on the youngsters’ faces in last week’s paper. Fishing anywhere around the bridges and easy access sites has been very productive, with the trout taking ‘most anything.’ Dave Budin reported that his mother Antonia gave young Noah Budin, from Oneonta, a couple of Blue Fox lures at their Del-Sports store and Noah caught six nice-sized trout within an hour’s time.
Sonny Somelofski of the Tremperskill Country Store reported that fishing in the Pepacton Reservoir has been pretty good so far. Pepacton fishermen have been catching a lot of fish on the upper end of the reservoir. Trout fishers have been coming to the Pepacton from “all over.”
A number of good trout have been caught using one-quarter-ounce and one-half-ounce Snapper Zappers as well as on rainbow-colored Phoebes, spinners, and bait. A nice seven-pound brown trout was caught Friday by “Buddy” Gross of Clifton Park (below).