Hook, Line and Sinker: August 24, 2011

August fishing has proven to be quite productive this year. Al Carpenter of Al’s Sports Store in Downsville, reports better-than-average fishing for the month of August, especially for anglers who are trolling. Most successful Pepacton Reservoir trout fishers have been using plugs, Rapalas and Thundersticks, along with Sutton Spoons and Stingers and are doing a bit better with those lures than with bait. The catch rate is “better than average,” according to Al, with most fish being located at about 35 feet. In addition to the good trout fishing, the bass are also hitting well, near the shoreline.

Members of the Clancy family, of Roscoe, had excellent fishing this past week; the teenaged brother-and-sister team of Dan and Paige Clancy were fishing with their father and brought in some beauties. At the beginning of the week, Dan was trolling with Rapalas when he caught a beautiful rainbow trout. At the end of the week, his older sister Paige, who just graduated from Roscoe Central School, was also trolling Rapalas when she bagged a beauty of a brown that tipped the scales at 10 pounds, eight ounces.

Over the weekend, water levels on the East Branch of the Delaware River were normal; however on Monday of this week the city started releasing water in anticipation of the impending hurricane Irene.

Candy Chin of the Tremperskill Country Store reported some good catches as well. Ken Stalter of Andes had good luck fishing recently despite the fact that he wasn’t feeling terribly ambitious. Candy related his story, saying, “he didn’t want to go out early, and he didn’t want to go out late. So he moseyed out to the reservoir at about 12:30 in the afternoon. He didn’t feel like taking his boat out, so he fished from shore.” And within an hour, he caught a nice catfish that weighed three pounds, two ounces! And another customer, whom she refers to as Mr. Dave “Furface,” from New Windsor, was fishing in Pepacton at about 7 a.m. and managed to catch a nice six-pound, 24- inch trout.

River fishing has also been productive. Al reported that last Saturday he went to pick up a canoe rental out by Corbett, and saw a flyfisher catch two nice trout on a dry fly within five minutes of each other, one measured 16 inches.

Fortunately the cooler nights we’ve been enjoying have kept river temperatures favorable for trout fishing. My son, Lee, who was visiting from New York City, wanted to take me out fishing for my birthday last weekend. Our time was limited, as I had a work commitment, and we were only able to get out late in the day for a couple of hours.

When we arrived at our destination it was during the warmest time of the day, at about 4 p.m., and the air temperature was 83 degrees. The stream felt cool enough, however, and I took a water temperature and found it was a fishable 67 degrees. The air was crisp and clear, with strikingly blue skies punctuated by a few fluffy white clouds.

We noticed some rises in one of my favorite pools, but decided to move slightly upstream in the shaded area under the bridge, as the trout seem to work better when the sun is not on the water. A very few sulphurs were out and about, in small sizes, #18, that the trout might have been rising to. We also thought that they could have been taking something under the surface. Lee immediately hooked into a nice fish, but it got off just as he got it to the net. The fishing was challenging, as they didn’t seem very interested in our offerings of tiny Adams, Sulphurs, Olives, etc.

I finally tied on a black ant with a tiny red spot on its back and was successful in catching a beautiful wild brown. I gave Lee a small black beetle, and in a short amount of time he netted a nice brown as well.

As the sun shifted, we moved back down toward the tail of the pool and were successful in hooking a few more, during which time we saw a dark mink scuttling along the shore. He slipped into the water and came up shortly with a silvery fish, which he carried crossways in his mouth before disappearing into the bank. It was a nice way to celebrate a birthday, sharing a pleasant afternoon’s fishing with my son on a picture-perfect summer’s day, enjoying the wonders of nature and feeling fortunate to live in this beautiful area we call home.