The Upper Delaware has a reputation for a few things. Excellent water quality and temperatures, prolific mayfly hatches, and large trout. Fat, Rainbow trout and huge Brown trout have thrived in the river for many years and fly anglers from around the country have come to this river to test their skills on this wild trout fishery. The Upper Delaware trout fishery is made up of over 75 river miles of the East Branch, West Branch, and Upper Main Stem.
Most fishing is done with rods of 9′ or longer, in line weights from 5wt to 7wt. Floating lines are most useful for all around fishing while some prefer sink tip lines for wet fly and streamer fishing. Leaders can range in length from 7′ to 10′ in sizes from 2X to 6X depending on the type of fishing that you’ll be doing on any given day. A good reel with a smooth disc drag and 100yds of backing can be important if you hook into a Delaware trophy. An assortment of attractor and general use flies such as Copper Johns, Wooly Buggers, Pheasant Tails, Royal Wullfs, CDC Caddis, Stimulators, Parachute Adams, etc. will work most of the time with a decent presentation but sometimes a more hatch specific pattern is necessary for consistent action.
Fishing the Delaware River during an excellent hatch can be a real treat and a good chance to catch a real trophy on a dry fly. Some of our favorite hatches include the Slate Drake, March Brown, Grey Fox, Sulphur, Cornuta, Blue Winged Olives(BWO), and all of the awesome caddis hatches that happen throughout the year. The occasional strong stonefly hatch can get the fish feeding on stones during breezy days on the Delaware River. One good rainbow or brown on this river and you’ll be hooked for life!