Last evening I fished the Beaverkill River between Cooks Falls and Horton and the number of bugs hatching was nothing short of epic. The air was alive as thousands of grannom caddis hatched and migrated upstream along with Hendrickson duns and spinners, Blue quill duns and spinners, Blue-winged olives, and midges. A glance into the clear flowing water revealed all of the empty nymphal shucks of these newly hatched insects in the drift. It was awesome to be in the midst of.
The weather was also unusual for this time of year in the Catskills. The air was 86 degrees F at 6 o'clock, and with all of the hardwood trees having only mouse-ear sized leaves, it was quite a contrast - summer time heat without any shade. The water was a refreshing 65 degrees F and very clear. It would have seemed the perfect evening for dry fly fishing, and it was, except the trout must have been doing most of their feeding below the surface on the easy prey of the struggling nymphs and pupa ascending the water column to hatch.
A few trout did rise along the opposite bank, but only for brief periods before disappearing back down among the rocks. I was fishing the lower end of a long, flat pool, and once a spotted a rising a fish, I would carefully wade into casting position. By the time was ready to drop a fly in the fishes feeding lane, it would have stopped rising. But given the situation and knowing the fish would again start to rise shortly, I would wait it out and sure enough it would start rising again. I saw only two fish rising, and with each I had to do the aforementioned dance before catching them both on caddis imitations.
It was a wonderful evening to be on the river, and although I expected to see many more rising fish with all those bugs coming off, I had a great time. Half of me was immersed in a cool, clear river that was teaming with life, and my other half was soaking up the sights and sounds that can only be found among a free-flowing mountain stream on a warm spring evening.
Time for me to go fishing; the boys already have a good two hours on the water morning and I have some "catching" up to do. I almost forgot to mention, I've got Douglas and two of his friends from the US Youth Fly Fishing Team staying here at the cabin. They got here just before dark last night and still managed to catch a few from the fast water below the house. I'll have more on their ventures in a later post.
Sharpen your hooks!