Team 7x spent 3 days in mid July in the upper Delaware River area. We had a cabin directly on a semi-private (limited public access) section of the East Branch, below Downsville. Water temps were a consistent 46 degrees! The hot, muggy air produced fog most mornings and late evenings and the flow was around 200 cfs, below normal for this time of year but very clear. We experienced sulphur hatches beginning in mid afternoon till evenings like you can't imagine! After a morning rain, the sulphurs, PMD's covered the water throughout the long clear pool just in front of the cabin. Occasional isonychia's and a steady hatch of BWO's complicated matters. We managed some beautiful wild browns on emergers in the 17" range, but the catching was difficult with the huge number of naturals on the water. The water was slow moving and clear and this particular area was loaded with big fish clearly visible in the long pool. Trout would occasionally take a dun from the surface but were concentrating on easy pickings; emergers, floating nymphs and stillborns just under the surface per usual.
I've witnessed a huge hatch of sulphurs (PMD's) after a rain on Depuy's spring creek outside Livingston, MT a few years back, but this day on the East Branch topped even that!
In chatting with Craig Matthews of Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone during that trip, he confirmed that the rain will produce incredible hatches of the PMD's on most days.
A quick visit to the West Branch was unproductive. Not much surface activity in the Gamelands area during a hot afternoon. Team 7x has arranged exclusive access to this particular area of the East Branch by recommendation, and can help with rentals, etc. Talk to us if you're planning a trip to the Upper Delaware. Some speculate that the big browns have moved into the upper East Branch from the Beaverkill seeking the cooler water; the Beaverkill is just now returning to fishable levels. Contact Dennis at Catskill Flies for updated info and daily river reports.
The upper East is a challenge; maybe that's why we had much of the water to ourselves. With incredible numbers of wild browns and prolific hatches, casting your offering on a long leader into the parade of naturals is a crap shoot! We love the challenge and we'll be back!!