Windows of Opportunity


Several days ago we made a successful trip to the West Branch of the Delaware.  Since it’s a tailwater, there’s been consistent water.  A steady release of 600 plus cfs water at 48 degrees also means steady insect activity and reliable trout fishing.  We were fortunate in that our trip coincided with overcast conditions and periods of rain.  It was nice to get a break from the bright sun and heat.  In addition, sometimes trout feed more heavily during overcast periods.

IMG_5852We anticipated great baetis/olive hatches.  Yet, olives were sparse, despite the near perfect drizzly, dark, damp conditions. That said, the sulpher hatch was strong.  At this point in the season, WBD trout become highly selective and accustomed to feeding upon #18 and #20 sulpher naturals.  Thousand and thousands float by.  It’s easy to see why WBD trout grow fat and quickly.

Our party managed to stick a couple of fish on dries.  The fish were snotty spooky and tough to fool.  Fortunately, we stuck a few.  Jessie even managed to fool two, nice 18″ plus browns on an oversized attractor.  One of those same fish previously snubbed my myriad of sulpher patterns and olive imitations.  Go figure!  Sometimes, you just have to present to them something different.  Even more curious, that same oversized attractor pattern couldn’t buy a fish the next day!  Perhaps, it was a particular window of opportunity…

The highlight of my fishing came during periods of rain.  I abandoned my 5wt floating rig and pulled out the sink tip 7wt.  Tossing and prospecting with an articulated olive- Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, I managed several nice browns.  They absolutely hammered my streamer.  A highlight was a hefty brown porpoising on my streamer as I lifted my rod tip and picked the fly out of the water.  The takes were anything but timid.  When chucking streamers, it can become very situational.  I really like rising water, dark clouds, drizzle or a steady rain.  You may need to cover lots of water to find a few cooperative fish, but they tend to be worth it.  On this past trip, twice there were two 30′ zones of water that gave up several fish.  If you can find that water zone and combine it with the weather-window of opportunity, streamer fishing can become magical!  The aggressiveness of those browns and their acrobatic jumps has me itching for more streamer fishing.  Now, we just need the right conditions to create that window of opportunity.  Stay cool, happy Summer and tight lines!IMG_5857


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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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