This winter has been a roller coaster for weather. We had some snowfall earlier in the winter but each storm passing was faded away by a warm spell or rain. Up until last week we haven’t had any snowpack here in the Catskill Mountains. As we all know a good snowpack can contribute to a year full of water in our trout streams.
Last week we got hit by 2 substantial east coast snow storms. The local Catskill Mountain ski resorts have all dubbed it the Miracle of March. As much for them as it is for us fisherman we should be just as happy. Up at Plattekill Mountain for the past week skiing has led to 18″ inches last week and potentially 20″-30″ today into tomorrow. This will not only bring our snow total to our yearly average but it will provide great spring snow pack.
The West Branch starts in Stamford NY while the East Branch begins in Grand Gorge-Roxbury. Each valley and connecting valleys are currently under 10″-12″ inches in the valley and over 30″ in the high peaks.
The reservoirs have also filled out nicely after a drought 2022 year. Expect there to be a reservoir or two that spill this year possibly providing an ale wife April. See below for your rivers current source level.
I predict that we will have a great spring with both rivers being floatable through May. We hope to have a gradual melt with no big long stretches of warm weather. Big rains can also hurt us as well. If you have a camp along the river make sure your insurance bill is paid. Although it’s lining up to be a drift boaters dream that also brings the possibility of big spring floods.
We have a few prime days left on the books. Feel free to shoot me a text anytime regarding conditions or questions about the system. 8452248650
Have a safe snowy week -Matt
Catskills Fly Fishing Overview
The Catskill Mountains have some of the worlds best trout fishing rivers. Just two hours north of New York City can put you in some primes fly fishing areas. The Beaverkill, Willowemoc, Delaware and Esopus rivers all have ample Catskill Fly Fishing opportunities. Overlooked by many because of the proximety to the tri-state region the Catskills is the home of American Dry Fly Fishing.
Where in the Catskills?
Simply put if you want to fully experience Catskills fly fishing you’re going to have to head to the western Catskills. Livingston Manor, Roscoe, East Branch, Hancock and Deposit are the towns that run through trout county. Many clients choose Air BNB’s around these towns or rent riverfront or mountainside cabins or lodges. We also offer our own lodging as well.
The only river not in the Western Catskills on our list is the Esopus. The Esopus is a small short river that has murky water and small fish. It is a pretty river but the state put a portal in that messed up the water flow and clarity. This ultimately hurt the bug hatches. If you really want to experience Catskill Fly Fishing you’ll have to head more west. Many anglers stay away from the Esopus.
The Beaverkill and Willowemoc are the best rivers to learn on in the Catskill Mountains. We offer guided wade fly fishing trips and beginner lessons on these famous rivers. It is not uncommon for us to fish 4-5 spots in a single day on a guide trip.
The Catskills also contains the “Upper Delaware” which consists of 3 rivers all connected that originate in the Catskills. They flow 390 miles south and empty into the Atlantic Ocean. We fish and guide the headwaters of this system in the Catskills. The Upper Delaware System is comprised of the East Branch, West Branch, and Mainstem.
Catskills Fly Fishing Gear
In the Catskills if you are targeting trout fish nymphs or dry flies you can’t go wrong with a 9 foot 5 weight rod. Make sure the line is newer without any kinks.
We rent waders, boots, rods and reels, nets if needed. Please contact us to learn more.
Catskills Species of Trout
In the Catskills the most common is Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Brook Trout.