Hook, Line and Sinker: May 16, 2012

Recent rains have brought river levels up, as the USGS website revealed on Tuesday morning. The Beaverkill at Cooks Falls was flowing at 1,920 cubic feet per second. Average flow for this date over 98 years of record keeping was 525 cfs, with the highest flow recorded of 4,460 cfs back in 1937.

The lowest flow recorded occurred in 2001 when just 149 cfs trickled past the gauging station.
On the East Branch at Fishs Eddy, the gauge showed a reading of 2,010 cubic feet per second on Tuesday morning. This was higher than the average flow of 960 cfs taken over 57 years of record keeping; the highest flow was 5,980 cfs in 1990; the lowest recorded flow was 280 cubic feet per second in 2001.

Al Carpenter of Al’s Sports Store in Downsville reported that fishing on the Pepacton Reservoir was slow this past week. The few fish that were reported were taken in 20 to 25 feet. The good news is that they trout are “beginning to look fat again.” Fishing from shore, one lucky angler caught a nice four pounder, followed by a six-pound brown by the dam.

Dave Ellmauer of Downsville managed a nice five pounder on a night crawler. Word is that fishing in the evening, from 5:00 p.m. on, has proven to be more productive lately. And although the bass season has not yet begun, bass have been ‘biting like crazy.’ Many trout fishermen have been enjoying catching and releasing bass while in their pursuit of trout, especially near the upper end of the reservoir

The East Branch of the Delaware has seen light fishing activity, despite the fact that the river has been in beautiful shape. Hatches are a bit more sporadic than they’ve been, with some March Browns being seen and a few fish taken on March Brown imitations as well as fishing below the surface with large dark streamers.

Tom Phillips of Pepacton Bait & Tackle reported that at the upper end of the reservoir, “the guys have been doing pretty good every night on sawbellies - trolling in the evening and early morning.” His customers have been doing well trolling with Thundersticks and Suttons as well as with sawbellies.

Kenny Williams of Halcott did well while trolling, managing a couple of brown trout of eight and nine pounds; and three New York City fishermen ‘limited out’ while fishing three days in a row last week.

Candy Chin of the Tremperskill Country Store in Andes had some interesting fishing news to contribute. Aaron Engel, from downstate was fishing one of the big sawbellies he bought at the store earlier in the day and caught a huge channel cat that tipped the scales at eight and three-eighths pounds.

A couple of fishing buddies who traveled up from Virginia had a nice day’s fishing. The elder of the two came back very happily with a nice-sized brown trout he caught while fishing with one of the sawbellies he’d purchased that morning.

Leading the May Pool is Dean Close, with a six and one-quarter-pound brown trout that measured 26 and-one-half inches.

And lastly, we are reminded how important it is to be aware of the fishing regulations on each and every body of water you fish. A New Jersey reservoir fisherman caught and released a gorgeous 10-pound-plus walleye, while fishing with a companion. When asked why he released such a prize, he admitted, somewhat sheepishly, that neither he nor his companion were aware that walleyes were in season!