Joe and I(Tim S.) were invited to guide in the FUDR.org One Bug Tournament this weekend and were more than happy to help. I arrived a little early on friday(the 23rd) with intent to fish but arrived to find that my trailer plug had worked its way loose on the road somewhere, making repairs necessary. I talked to anglers at the friday night festivities and the consensus was that the massive clouds of caddis that I plowed through on my way up Rt. 191 were untouched by the Upper D trout which were focusing on Hendricksons instead.
Saturday(the 24th) was beautiful, the weather was perfect. Decent numbers of Hendricksons, BWOs, and Blue Quills hatched throughout the day. Joe and I were stationed on the Main Stem from Stockport to a private take-out at Equinunk Creek which proved to be tough from the heavy pressure that it has been receiving, I saw about 30+ anglers at Knight’s on friday and cars were parked at every access point on the Main. Nevertheless, fish were caught before the official start time(uncounted) and missed during the tourney. Long casts were critical as most fish shut down when the boat got within 50 feet of them. Lighter tippets(5x) produced fish but they broke off easily. Anglers above and below the three boats on the Stockport-Equinunk stretch reported better activity.
Sunday(the 25th) wasn’t much better on the same stretch for us.A nice fish was hooked below Buckingham but got loose after 10-15 seconds. Sam Decker landed a small bow with a Hendrickson dry near Equinunk and Joe had one trout landed in his boat for the day. Success was better above and below us again today. It was cold and wet and the bugs all came on in waves too short to generate consistent activity.
Monday(the 26th) I floated by myself. Some sluggishness from a few friends floating in another boat delayed my launch until late in the day, the float was Lordville to Long Eddy. I floated at least a mile before seeing any consistent activity. I put plenty of good drifts over risers with a P. Adams before switching to a Blue Quill Unusual which resulted in a landed fish very quickly, small fat bow about 14″. Another fish or two were missed on the same pattern within a half hour. Because of the cold and driving rain, the transition from drift boat oar to fly rod was rough, if I had someone to switch off with I would have expected better results from being able to spot risers quicker and get a better position on them and be able to cats better. I worked on another pod of fish in the early evening for a few minutes but had only misses, on the same Blue Quill Unusual. I tried several other flies and saw no reaction from the fish. Out of five hours on the water I probably spent at least three rowing.
A few March Browns, Grey Foxes, and little Dorothea Sulphurs were seen on the water throughout the weekend, it’s way too early for these hatches so don’t get too excited but I expect anglers will be reporting them in the coming days/weeks.