West Branch of the Delaware [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: West Branch of the Delaware


FrankF
08-20-2006, 09:34 AM
Had a family reunion up at the West Branch of Delaware on 8/17-8/19. In between visiting, I did a little fishing. caught a small brown on an ISO emerger. Decided to paddle down from Deposit to Hale Eddy with my nephew Jim in kayaks on our last day. Put in at 7am in Deposit. River was very cloudy. Silt is still being released from the reservoir as a result of the floods from a month ago. The West Branch Anglers Reort lost many cabins.

Did not see many fish rising but once we entered the no kill zone the action picked up. Snagged and lost my weighted white zonker so I switched to a white lefty's deceiver.

Cast to a fishy spot and a huge brown blew up on my fly. My heart was pounding. Saw some small fish rising under the trees on the River Rd side. Cast the deceiver at them and one bumped it hard but no hook up. Paddled down to where the river forks to the left and saw a bigger fish rise on something in the middle of the river. Cast the deceiver and a fish hit it immediately. It was a good fish... It pulled my kayak upstream. I yelled to my nephew who was further upstream and he came to help as I did not have a net. He lifted an 18 inch brown out of the water and I removed the deceiver from its lip. An incredibly beautiful fish. Jim put the brown back in the water and it swam off. By the way I caught some stripers on the same fly several weeks ago in Cape Cod. The West Branch is a beautiful place to visit.

flytyer
08-21-2006, 05:09 PM
Frank,

Although I haven't fished the area you spoke of since I left Northeast Pennsylvania and moved west in 1979, I have many very fond memories of fishing from Deposit to Hancock on the West Branch and from Hancock to Callicoon on the Mainstem.

Thanks for taking me back down memory lane.

FrankF
08-21-2006, 06:42 PM
Flytyer:

Glad to oblige.

You would be amazed at how the river has changed in the past 15 years. Along with the West Branch Anglers Resort (which I misspelled in my prior post) many log cabins have popped up along the river. My wife and I used to canoe down the river back in the late seventies and the water flow was very inconsistent. You had to portage over rocks in many spots. It seems a lot more steady now except for Mother Nature's storms. There is legislation that requires that water be released from the Cannonsville Dam on a regular basis to hold back the salt water intruding the Philadelphia area. The water is ice cold in the fifties. When you paddle the river you flow through air that can be quite chilling, probably from water that was released from the resevoir, then you get a welcoming warm breeze and you're back to regular air. My legs got numb just getting in and out of the kayak. If you swam in it, it would take your breadth away. That is good for the trout. Funny thing is, when I went to the river back in the seventies, I rarely fished it and then only with spinning gear. I didn't take up the long rod until ten years ago. It is a wonderful place to visit. Route 17 around Deposit NY used to be designated a "most scenic highway." The very helpful fellow in a fly shop said a woman took a 30" brown on the river last year and the record is a 33" brown.

Frank

Greg Pavlov
08-21-2006, 11:05 PM
Flytyer:
Route 17 around Deposit NY used to be designated a "most scenic highway."
Frank
I've been riding up and down 17 for 40 years and have always loved it.
(and for all of those years I've been telling myself that "one of these days"
I'd come down and fish along it for a week or so....)

flytyer
08-25-2006, 11:06 PM
Frank,

We used to fish it at night for the big boys and during the day for the normal up to 20" trout. I've seen many fish over 30" caught on moonless nights in summer. We used very large flies at night (flies in the #2 4xl to #3/0 salmon iron range) that were tied to move water. One of our favorites was George Harvey's NIGHT FLY tied on a #2/0 salmon iron. There is nothing quite like the thrill of hooking into a monster brown at night while wading in the West Branch Delaware to get your blood pumping because you know you can't' follow him down river, due to the very real danger of drowning in the cold, swift, deep water.