Jump to content


Photo

early season forecast PLUS


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 dead drift

dead drift

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 187 posts
  • LocationCatskills

Posted 15 February 2013 - 11:06 AM

This should be another early season as was last year. There is little to no snow pack on the southwestern slopes of the Catskills. Barring 60 or more inches of snow( or its water equivalent) and or 7 inches of rain between now and May( very unlikely), there will be Hendricksons again in early April and the need, again, for cool damp weather ( or good reservoir releases where applicable) throughout the coming year to maintain the fisheries. In my opinion the 2 greatest threats to the Delaware system ( Beamoc - Neversink-The 2 branches of Callicoon Creek and the East and West branches as well as the main stem Delaware; is illegal fishing practices and Japanese Knotweed.It amazes me how unimportant the Catskill rivers are to the State of NY. The State of NY has the weakest regulations, concerning cold water species and the overall protection of its fisheries, in the country. Its attitude is to collect license fees, stock mostly dink fish, send out a handful of DEC officers( not the DEC's fault) and be totally oblivious to its resources. If your attitude is put and take fisheries then you will create put and take fisheries. Fisherman can not control most of the states regulatory problems but what they can do is when they see someone keeping fish in a No-Kill or practicing illegal " trotline" type fishing or illegal bait fishing or illegal and unethical thermal refuge fishing or the keeping of fish over the keep limits or undersized fish: stop what you are doing and at least call the DEC and give them a description as to what you are seeing including a description of the persons involved and or the license plates or plates of the " skells " (look it up). Have a good season and be sure to tip your guides, waiters and barmaids well. Support those who support your sport. Regards,deadrift

#2 fly14

fly14

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 283 posts

Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:01 PM

Its hard to summarize any of the 5 major catskill rivers as "put and take fisheries". I agree that the DEC presence could be better, but at the end of the day we are fortunate that so many of the angler base in the catskills are fly fisherman, who take it upon themselves to police the rivers. The catch and kill crowd largely subsides after early may and while you'll still see a group of clowns out after that, its not as bad as you make it out to be.
As for the snow pack, the tailwaters won't be as affected by the snow pack as will the freestones. The tailwater rivers depend on reservoir capacity, not snow. As of now, the NYC res. storage website states that total capacity for all the resevoirs is 6% higher than average. Thats a good thing.
I agree that the freestones depend on snow, and as of now the snow pack is not where anglers would like it to be. Rain can fix this, but its always nice to enter a season knowing the ground water storage is charged and there to replenish atleast into June. We'll see how things go, lets not get all doom and gloom in the month of february.
Bugs will be a bit early this year, but not because there is no snow. Hatches were a month early last year, which will surely have an effect on this year's hatching class.

#3 dead drift

dead drift

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 187 posts
  • LocationCatskills

Posted 23 February 2013 - 11:33 AM

Fly 14, I respectfully disagree with some of your responses to my post. I am on the catskill rivers more than 125 days a year and often times I am floating the WB and Main stem. I am in roscoe for 7 months. Snow pack is more important than rain for the early part of the year as it is a better "slow release reservoir" of cold, clean water. Rain as a means to fill up the reservoirs is good but it comes with a cost of silt and chemicals from farms and golf courses especially above both the Cannonsville and Pepecton reservoirs. We know what comes into the Ashokan reservoir; Pure clean fresh Catskill "clay and mud" from the portal. The Rondout reservoir receives good runoff from snow pack and it also receives all the water slated for the croton system from the cannonsville, pepacton and neversink reservoirs. The Neversink reservoir receives the best snow and rain water as the reservoir is closer to its source and has limited agriculture on both its branches before they enter the reservoir. The Neversink reservoir is more dependent on snow and springs than the others in the early season. It was not uncommon to have 8" of water stored in snow pack in past years. After the early season it is then important to have cool wet summers. There is nothing wrong with non fly fishing angling in the Catskill rivers as there are no laws that prohibit it. I do not consider many of these fisherman "clowns". I have seen my share of "clowns" toteing all kinds of fishing and other types of equipment for many years. Bait and lures fished with spin, spincast , baitcasting as well as fly rods along with centerpinnig, switch, spey and Tenkara rigs, in the hands of the right fisherman, are all highly effective ways to catch fish. The Neversink, Rondout and Esopus rivers are fished mostly by non fly fisherman throughout the season and I would estimate that 90% of the fish caught by them are kept. Of the 10% of fish released I would estimate that at least 20% of those fish die prematurely. On the other rivers I would estimate that 80% of the fisherman fish flies and 80 to 90% of those fisherman practice catch and release. I further estimate that at least 10% of those fish released by fly fisherman die either at once or within a week of being caught because of mishandling. None of that is as important as the fact that there is an ever increasing influx of fisherman that kill every fish they catch regardless of creel or size limits and those numbers would amaze you. Many catch fish using illegal methods at illegal times and in illegal places such as the Horton thermal refuge area in August. These fish caught are for meat and are also sold in the NY metropolitan area. Ask any other guide in Roscoe or Hancock about illegal and unethical fishing practices. Other than the WB and Main Stem, the fish per mile counts of fish over 14 inches are very modest on our rivers. If the DEC did not stock 15 " fish and fish over 15 inches were not stocked by private clubs and landowners, the rivers would be pretty devoid of the good fishing we have enjoyed for the past few years. regards dead drift Ps I am not gloom and doom as I am an optimist as well as a realist

#4 fly14

fly14

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 283 posts

Posted 24 February 2013 - 01:09 AM

I think the Upper east, Lower east ,West branch, Mainstem, and Neversink between Woodbourne and Rockhill are all areas where you will commonly catch fish in the 15-18'' range, and many of them being wild. The Beaverkill and willow are the exception to the rule, which no doubt rely on the stocking to provide the larger 2 year stocked fish. That being said, if you fish the lower Beaverkill a file miles below Sunoco pool, you'll see many more rainbows and large holdover/wild browns that really don't get pressured. Of course, this is a seasonal thing and those fish seek out the upper east/tribs as temps warm. End of the day, if you look for the big fish you'll catch them. If you simply cast to risers and don't think about which fish you want in the group, you'll catch a more mixed bag of fish, and not as many over 14'' in length. Personally, I'm looking for those rain drop rises on the bank. I'll let the splashy rises mid river go in the hopes that a better opportunity for a large fish will present itself.

#5 dead drift

dead drift

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 187 posts
  • LocationCatskills

Posted 25 February 2013 - 10:39 AM

Mr. Fly14, I agree with everything you said in your latest post. Your our search for "bb shot" rise forms against the banks is what makes my heart beat. Send me a private message on this forum and maybe we can share a little information. I have either floated or walk waded extensive sections of the rivers this new year anticipating new possibilities from dead falls and other stuff. regards dead drift




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users