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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Salmonflies
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
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This discussion is about Willowemoc Creek.

Willowemoc Creek in New York
Willowemoc Creek, Powerline Pool in New York
The trout streams of the Catskills are often beautiful and clear, but unlike spring creeks they are prone to dramatic flooding at times.  This picture shows flood-swept vegetation fifty yards from and several feet above the normal channel.

From Willowemoc Creek, Powerline Pool in New York
Willowemoc Creek in New York
Adirman
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Apr 11, 2012April 11th, 2012, 2:38 am EDT
No surprise here considering we had virtually no snow this winter in the catskills but man, is the water low for this time of year!! Hard to sneak up on 'em and I'm seeing very few bugs!! Anyone see whats hatching up here in the catskills? I'm VERY worried that by July, the rivers will be dried up!!
PaulRoberts
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Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Apr 11, 2012April 11th, 2012, 8:07 am EDT
Scary.
Wbranch
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York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Apr 11, 2012April 11th, 2012, 2:58 pm EDT
I fished in the western Catskills last week for three days (Tue - Thu) It was very windy all three days and the water was very cold but there were awesome hatches on Tue and Thu and a good emergence on Wed.

Tue I floated and I can say with certainty that it was too far a float (seven miles) with a strong upstream wind.

Put in around 11:30 and around 2:00 I started to see some Hendricksons. By 2:30 the middle of the river was just littered with thousands of duns but the incessant wind pretty much knocked the fish down. Whenever the wind stopped the trout immediately began to rise. I landed ten fish, two browns and eight rainbows all on #14 thorax Hendricksons.

Wednesday it was cooler and windier but around noon there was a very good Paralep emergence and while I wade fished I found many more rising fish and they were pushovers. Locate a rise, cover the fish, hook the fish, hang on! I landed fifteen good fish.

Thursday was colder still (if that was possible) and I wore a cotton T-shirt, long sleeve UA shirt, 100 weight fleece, flannel shirt, 200 weight fleece jacket and my Gore-tex rain jacket and of course ear muffs and fingerless gloves.

The Paraleps were really epic and at one point there was a flat rock at my feet that was out of the water. I looked down on it and at least 100 duns were on it drying their wings. Again when the wind stopped, even if for just a minute, you needed to be ready. Not dicking around tying on a fly or lighting a cigarette but ready to throw accurately to a target. Cover the fish and it would eat. I caught less fish but targeted larger fish I'd seen the day before. Landed eight including two I actually measured (opposed to guesstimating) and one was 18 1/2" and the other 20".

I saw very high numbers of Paraleps, Ep subvaria, and good numbers of Apple caddis. All of these at least three weeks early relative to more normal temperature years.

The water is terribly low for this time of year. Thank God the early warm temperatures are over and the water is still very cold. As soon as a warming trend hits the area those low waters are going to warm very quickly. Water levels as of earlier today were;

EB @ Harvard - 125 cfs - a joke for April 11; too low to get a float
EB @ Fishs Eddy - 460 cfs - still fishable
WB @ Stilesville - 174 cfs - very low but there are bugs
WB @ Hale Eddy - 277 cfs - unfloatable but very wadeable and there are bugs
Main @ Lordville - 1010 cfs - Floatable but will scrape in some areas
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Adirman
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Apr 12, 2012April 12th, 2012, 4:11 am EDT
I'll bet casting was a chore in all that wind!!
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Apr 12, 2012April 12th, 2012, 7:08 am EDT
Beats staining the house, re-finishing the decks, building a retaining wall, cleaning the chicken coop, cutting and stacking firewood, ...
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Apr 12, 2012April 12th, 2012, 7:31 am EDT
Yes, but as Paul mentions it is better than many things - besides when the going gets tough the tough get going and I caught two dozen wild fish when other guys were cry babying about the wind.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Apr 12, 2012April 12th, 2012, 8:03 am EDT
I have a rule about weather, and fishing partners...

Go anyway, you are often surprised. If you don't go, you get what you expected. This past fall I hunted in 75mph winds that toppled trees in the forest -I could hear em going over. I hunted the lees and took a buck late in the day.

As to fishing partners... If we agree to meet at, say 4am, and then they are not there, I do not call or knock on the door. I'm gone.

Both these things are not bravado -they are simply what's required to meet quality whereever and whenever it may present itself.
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Apr 12, 2012April 12th, 2012, 11:38 am EDT
Paul wrote;

"If we agree to meet at, say 4am, and then they are not there, I do not call or knock on the door. I'm gone."

I agree wholeheartedly! When I was a young man, maybe 18 or 19, I told my still best friend I'd be at his house at 4:30 and to be waiting for me outside as I wouldn't beep the horn or knock on the door. He wasn't outside and I left. He was never late again.

Now with new occasional fishing acquaintances I tell them the same thing - if you want to go with me be prompt or go with someone else who isn't anxious to get there.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
GldstrmSam
GldstrmSam's profile picture
Fairbanks, Alaska

Posts: 212
GldstrmSam on Apr 12, 2012April 12th, 2012, 1:44 pm EDT
...cleaning the chicken coop, cutting and stacking firewood, ...


Thats sounds like what I did do yesterday and will be doing later this month :)
There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm. ~Patrick F. McManus

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