Hook, Line and Sinker: July 2, 2008

The first official week of summer has come and gone and it left wonderful memories, not only for the great fishing over the past week or so, but also for our family with the marriage of our son Lee to his beautiful bride, Natasha. The wedding took place on the grounds of the Catskill Fly Fishing Center on June 21. It was a perfect evening, the longest of the year, and was a great way to celebrate!
A call to Mike Cornwell of Al’s Sports Store in Downsville on Monday morning revealed the winners in the Pepacton Trout Derby for the month of June. In first place was Dan Smith of Walton with his 11-pound, six-ounce brown trout that measured 27 inches. Dan caught his prize-winner while trolling. In second place was Nelson McCutchen, for his big brown that weighed 11 pounds, four ounces. What was important with Nelson’s fish is the length, it measured 29 inches. In third place was Mark Roberts who just got into the contest on Thursday. He brought in a trout of identical weight, 11 pounds, four ounces, but his trout was 28 and-a-half inches in length.
Mike reported that fishing on Pepacton Reservoir this past week has been very productive. Trout fishermen at the lower end of the reservoir were finding fish anywhere from about 18 feet down to the surface. Most successful anglers were using sawbellies.
The biggest fish of the season was brought in last week by Jerry Usher of Forest City, PA. Jerry was fishing early in the morning with sawbellies when he bagged a beauty of a brown that weighed 12 pounds and measured 28 inches in length. Young Nick Underwood from Walton was proud of his recent catch, a beautiful brown trout that weighed seven pounds, nine ounces. And John Bock from Roscoe caught a nice nine-pound, 13-ounce brown last week
Sonny Somelofski of the Tremperskill Country Store said that trout fishermen at the upper end of the reservoir also caught a lot of fish this weekend, early in the morning. Steve Haenel, Bernie Blakely and Charlie McNeal told Sonny that Sunday was one of the best days they ever had fishing. Charlie had a fish that weighed eight and-one-half pounds and measured 25 inches long. Steve kept two fish, one of just over 15 inches and one about 24 inches. Then, he caught seven trout that were over 24 inches long in a span of maybe three hours. Steve said he put one back that was over 10 pounds. Most successful anglers at the upper end of the reservoir were catching a lot of big fish using sawbellies and found the fish in between 20 and 30 feet of water.
Dave Budin of Del-Sports, Inc. in Margaretville reported that trout fishing in the East Branch of the Delaware over the past week or two has been limited to later-evening fishing. With the water levels so low (as opposed to the Esopus, which has good flows and temperatures due to the water releases) temperatures are beginning to warm. Dave has found his best fishing to be between 8:30 and 9:00 p.m. When no flies are seen on the water, he suggests an East Branch Special cast upstream as a dry fly. Dave also recommends using a Royal Wulff dry fly when no hatches are apparent, especially at and just after dark. While one would expect Light Cahills and Sulphurs to bring some fishing success, the trout seem to prefer a Royal Wulff or East Branch Special. Other flies that are selling well are the terrestrials, especially beetles and ants.