Last week was generally summer-like and cooler. Gone seem to be the dog days of summer. There was even a hint of autumn in the air on a few mornings. The river valleys were foggy and evenings have been cool. And no one seems to be complaining.
Bot those fly anglers who like to chase summer bronze are a little disappointed right now. One local angler chimed in on the subject recently claiming the last time he caught smallmouth bass was while trout fishing on Owego Creek! Unless one turns to the stillwater fishery, smallmouth bass fishing on our local rivers has been a rarity due to high turbid water. It seems like every time the rivers are dropping and clearing, another front descends and drops heavy rain. The ground is certainly dryer than it was in June, and this has helped reduce the impact to river levels, but we are still not in the zone. Currently the Susquehanna in Vestal is back up to 4,000 CFS. As reported previously, the river needs to drop below 2,000 CFS for good wading and fishing.
Aside from the disappointing smallmouth action, fishing has been otherwise good to very good. Trout anglers are continuing to enjoy all the water we’ve had. Hatches have been good with sulfurs, BWO’s, Iso’s,, light cahills, and charcoal and tan caddis in relative abundance. The two Catskill tailwaters – the East and West Branches of the Delaware and the main stem have been flowing nicely and fishing well. The Beaverkill and Willowemoc, on the other hand, have been marginal due to higher water temps and low flows. Ponds and lakes are offering typical summertime fly fishing with topwater working well during low light conditions. Smallmouth anglers will need to continue to wait another week or two before most rivers are in the zone. One exception is the Chemung which is flowing nicely. As rivers clear remember to fish darker or very bright contrasting colored flies to beat the murkiness of the water.
The week ahead looks pretty decent in terms of weather. Daytime highs will be pleasant for most of the week with temperatures ranging from the low to mid 70’s. The early part of the week will have lows in the 50’s. There is a chance for isolated thunderstorms later in the week and showers possibly for Friday. Let’s hope these don’t kick warmwater rivers up again. Meanwhile, Tropical Depression Dorian is apparently re-forming off the southeaster United States but projections show it most likely heading off to sea and not being a significant threat to our area.