Cold Front About to Grip Catskills

Over the next few days the Catskill Region and Upper Delaware River System will see extreme winter temperatures. What will this mean for the Delaware River System? Let’s see…

Seven Day Forecast

Catskills Winter Weather

Over the next seven days we will be lucky to get the mercury over the freezing mark. It feels like the sun has had its mask on for about a month now. The sky is gray and the ground is hard and icy.

As the winter temperatures fall you will see the rivers “lock up” a bit. The edges will freeze and runoff melt will seize. As you will see looking at the flows charts, any new runoff that was destined for the river will freeze. Shelf ice is inevitable with these extreme winter temperatures. .

What does this mean for fishing?

Fishing will get very very tough for the angler. The ice on the tip of the rod will make it tough to fish for a long time. The fish will drop into the deepest holes and be glued to the bottom. Indicator nymphing deep slow holes with an indicator is your best bet.

Best Delaware River Articulated Streamer

My good friend and mentor George Cherundolo and I experimented with Kelly Galloup’s Boogieman Streamer over the past decade. Together George and I have tested many articulated streamers on the Delaware River System and this my friends is it!

Why the Boogieman Fly?

The Boogieman is the perfect eastern river streamer. Tied with lead eyes to get the fly down fast when slapping banks is crucial. However making it dance is the second part of the equation. To be blunt, this fly gets down and dances very quick.

Boogieman Fly Best Delaware River Streamer

George and I have dubbed the fly above the “green machine.” As George would say “this fly is a killer.” We will usually start with green and mix it through the color spectrum. Sometimes darker in the brown and black and sometimes lighter in the white to tan areas.

Boogieman Fly in White, Best Delaware streamer

Size of Fly

The size of the Boogieman is also perfect. From 3.5” to 4.5” it will almost get chewed on by any size trout. We have landed fish at or above the 24” mark and also have taken smaller fish with a big appetite.

How to Fish It

When fishing these from a drift boat in high water it is essential to hammer the little pockets and back eddys. Upon your fly arriving in the spot, one big mend allows the weighted fly to sink into the strike zone without leaving the bank. Upon mending the angler will strip the fly back with the tip of the rod in the water. This will almost create a fool proof way of streamer fishing. With aggressive strips away from the bank the trout will most often set themselves due to the force of the strip. As long as your rod and line are not bowed from the current, the angler will have a direct connection to the fish.

History of the Boogieman Fly

Kelly Galloup introduced the Boogieman in 2010. This fly will catch almost any fish that eats other fish and has been a staple in many guides boxes since its inception. This fly closely imitates the Heifer Groomer however has a few minor tweaks. The lead eyes and wool head give it profile and weight, while the cactus chenille and barred feathers make it come alive in the water.

Male Hendrickson Red Quill by Dave Brandt

Dave Brandt Hendrickson Fly, Red Quill
Dave Brandt Red Quill photo Tom Mason

The Female Hendrickson has been thoroughly explored recently. Let’s move to a different riffle where we find the male Hendrickson hatching. This is a Red Quill tied by master Catskill Fly tier Dave Brandt. Loved to chat and watch Dave tie but for some reason the sign in on his table always said “Free Flies Tomorrow”. When I questioned this Dave’s response was “we will burn that bridge when we come to it”.

-an excerpt from Tom Mason my good friend and neighbor on the East Branch is the Delaware.