Hook, Line and Sinker: July 25, 2012

The last week has brought us showers and thunderstorms, with some much-needed rain. Our vegetable garden shot up appreciatively and lawns looked somewhat less parched. However, even the three inches of rain that fell last Sunday and additional inch or two this past week didn’t seem to do much as far as bringing up the water level in the Beaverkill and other free-flowing streams.
Despite days of rain showers, the Beaverkill at Cooks Falls, as of early Tuesday morning, was flowing at just 124 cubic feet per second (cfs). That is below the average flow of 149 cfs over 98 years of record keeping. The highest flow recorded on this date was 7,230 in 2008; the lowest recorded flow was just 44 cfs back in 1965.

The East Branch of the Delaware River was flowing at 292 cubic feet per second. This is below the average flow on this date of 357 cfs over 57 years of record keeping. The highest flow on the East Branch during this period was 10,900 in 2008; the lowest recorded flow was 72 cfs in 1964.
According to the NYC DEP website, our Catskill reservoirs are at about 87 percent capacity as of July 23. The average or “normal” capacity for late July is 91.9 percent. Our average rainfall for this past June was significantly less – just 2.16 inches as compared to the historical average of 4.10 inches; and July seems to be following a similar trend with the average rainfall so far being 2.19 inches as compared to the historical average of 4.16.

Reservoir levels
The Pepacton Reservoir is 92.3 percent full, while Cannonsville Reservoir is just 76.3 percent full. Recent releases from Cannonsville over the past week have averaged in the 500-cubic-feet-per-second-range, as opposed to the 700 cfs-range of the previous week.

Al Carpenter of Al’s Sports Store in Downsville reported that the fishing in the Pepacton Reservoir is still spotty, and although a nice fat fish was brought in that is currently leading his Pepacton Trout Derby, most of the trout taken have been very skinny.

The derby is in its final week, and the fish taken by John Bock of Roscoe is in the lead. John was trolling with Sutton Spoons and caught “a whole bunch of fish” that day, the largest being an eight-pound, 14-ounce brown that measured 25 and-a-half inches.

Holding second place is Joe DiBlasi from downstate whose seven-pound, seven-ounce brown measured all of 28 inches. (It’s amazing when you look at the numbers to realize that Joe’s trout weighed about one and-a-half pounds less than John’s, while at the same time was two and-a- half inches longer!) Joe was also trolling when he caught his trout.
Currently in third place is Chris Stanko from New Jersey with a brown trout that weighed seven pounds and measured 27 inches. Chris used a sawbelly to catch his fish.

Al remarked that, “the bass are biting on all kinds on bait -sawbellies and shiners” and seem to be concentrated, along with the trout, at about 32 to 40 feet.

The East Branch was fishing well this week, with Trichos hatching in the mornings and Sulphurs in the afternoons and evenings. Some nice 16- to 18-inch trout were reported being caught using those flies below Shinhopple. Flows on the East Branch have been down around 132 cfs since last Sunday’s rain.