Avoiding Thunderstorms


Before our latest blast of rain, I managed a day escape to the West Branch of the Delaware.  It’s been a tough, unusual season on the WBD.  Up to the past few days, water levels were low and the temp was hovering on the high side.  This makes insect hatches inconsistent.  There hasn’t been enough stable, insect biomass to get trout active and comfortable on the surface.  While nymphing the riffles has been a highly viable option (the low and warm water has forced many fish to migrate into the riffles of the WBD), it’s the dry fly allure that merits attention.  As has been much of the case this season on the WBD, cooperative fish were stingy.  While I missed a few shots IMG_3965early on, it took me until 3pm to hook and land my first nice fish.  Even though I enjoyed a large stretch on a famous pool to myself, there weren’t bugs and therefore, a scarcity of risers.  The clockwork sulphers and olives weren’t around.  Ironically, it was overcast all day and it appeared to be one of those textbook bwo days!   IMG_3959My success came on a # 18 rusty spinner variation.  One of the fish must have taken pity on me and decided to make some interesting rises to catch my attention!  Just as things began to look promising, an aggressive storm front moved in and dumped buckets of rain.  I hunkered down amidst the lightening and sideways wind, but things never settled down.  Within two hours, the river was on the rise and turning into chocolate milk.  I’d also experienced enough pounding from rain and hail.  It was tough to bail out early, but it was wisest to lick my wounds and head home.  I know how great that fishery is and it’s potential.  Yet, the WBD promise has been evasive this season!

Recently, I also took two nephews fishing.  It’s great to support and witness their progress with fly fishing.  Now is the time to take kids and adolescents fishing.  Even with our swollen rivers, many ponds are still fishable.  Find that local bass or panfish pond and help them create outdoor memories.  It’s fun to be on the water with them and they appreciate learning about fly fishing.  I can’t wait to take these guys out again!



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Craig Dennison

This is Craig and I host Fly Fisher's Workshop. My fly fishing experiences include plenty of travel (Montana/Florida/North Carolina/Maine) and a few years part time guiding for trout. While I primarily target trout and steelhead, I still manage to chase warm water species and enjoy chasing stripers and bluefish. I'm a 3rd generation fly fisher trying to share the passion with my two sons!

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