River Predictions for 2023

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

Roscoe Ice Fishing

New Years brought us a good time and some hard ice. The ice was here for a few days on the shallow ponds while some deeper lakes have yet to get safe. Roscoe has a few ponds and lakes that are great for ice fishing. Here is some New Years fun on Lake Muskoday. The Yeager’s had them dialed in before the warmer weather came in. It is not recommended to go out on the ice until the temperatures drop for a sustained period of time.

Catskill Mountains First Snow Melt

Yesterday I has my first trip with three awesome guys. We had an uncle with nephews in town and they took advantage of the warm temps and sunny skies. This winter there were parts where it seemed the sun had a mask on. It was depressing and there was no hope. Yesterday was the hope lol and with daylight savings this weekend ahhhhh it feels good.

Catskill Snow Melt

Earlier this week when looking at the weather I thought the snow would release from the hills faster than it did. On yesterdays trip, the water was “perfect” looking. However, the temp was still winter cold. Every year since I was about four I always trick myself with optimism on that first warm day. Regardless of fish to hand it was nice to be in the sun.

It was a rewarding trip in the fact that the two younger nephews (who were smart as all hell) picked it up fast. We focused on the slow moving water with depths around 2-5”. The boys learned the indicator cast mend and cover water method. Before we made our first cast we checked the rocks to see what was active. I was proud of how they handled hooking and losing fish and the determination to keep going. We hooked 3 early on before we grasped the line management. If those boys hooked them in the end of the day when their skills were peaking it would have been a wet net day.

After we wrapped up I drove past the upper west branch. It was just after 5pm and Quagua Creek and the Deposit spiller were both shooting mud. I realized then that the first thaw was upon us. After checking the charts it was true. See the graphs below. This is the next day March 12 at 4:30pm.

As you can see all of the rivers both freestones and tail waters shot up. The Beaverkill and Willowemoc are chocolate. This should slow down as the cold nights come back upon us. As for the tail waters the melt hasn’t even really begun.

Today I drove around Walton, Margerettville and Andes. The snow pack is still thick in the hills above the reservoir. THIS is the snow you should be planning on during the warm spring days. The state dropped the Pepacton and Cannonsville reservoirs about a month ago. This should catch the estimated snow pack in the hills and allow for a safe release downstream of the Downsville Dam.