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.

Beaverkill Winter Fishing Regulations

Winter brook trout beaverkill


Winter Beaverkill fishing is open in certain sections of the river in the winter months. The opportunity to get outside and fly fish for trout is still there. However, it may be a little tougher.

Beaverkill Winter Fishing Access

The Beaverkill River from the Sullivan County/Delaware County line downstream is open. From the county border west for 2.5 miles down river is one Beaverkill River Section open for winter fishing. If you take a left at the blinking light in Roscoe and continue down old 17 you will reach the county border about a mile or so past Roscoe Campsite Park. From the county line the river is open for 2.5 miles for catch and release winter fishing.

The second location to fish in winter on the Beaverkill is around Iron Bridge in Horton, just upstream from Horton Brook. Fishing access is available all year and in winter from 1 mile upstream of Horton’s Iron bridge to 1.6 miles downstream.

Winter brook trout beaverkill

Safe Winter Fishing Practices

In the winter time when fishing the Beaverkill River please do not take the fish out of the water when air temperatures fall below freezing. This could freeze the gill plates of the trout and harm the fish.

Winter Obstacles

During the snowy months businesses in the Roscoe area shorten their hours. When headed to the river make sure to check hours of local businesses. If you’re looking to spend the night, also make sure to reserve a room. Some towns are more active than others in the cold months.

If you would like to book a winter guided fishing trip click here to learn more.

For the best winter nymphs click here.