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Southern tier fly fishing: Fall fly fishing, Upcoming events

Recent rains have put some variability in the West Branch Delaware River flows.
Recent rains have put some variability in the West Branch Delaware River flows.

The Labor Day weekend was generally nice. Saturday ended up to be a mix of sun and clouds. Sunday brought some heavy morning rain but the impact to local streams and rivers was minimal. Daytime highs were more summer-like. Look upon the hills and one might see some trees already taking on fall colors. These are the golden days of summer, for sure.

Fall fly fishing traditionally begins with the passing of Labor Day weekend. The weather may remain summer-like, but fishing definitely begins to transition. For one, the salmon run has started up north. Granted, it's a trickle right now. The Douglaston Salmon Run reports anglers seeing some small pods of salmon in the lower river. There have been hook-ups and some fish landed.

Trout fishing remains in late summer mode. The Labor Day weekend was a bit of a roller coaster in terms of flows for the West Branch of the Delaware. It settled for a bit but as of now, flows are up again. The rest of the Catskill Rivers are also flowing steady. Hatches are still the same - olives, stenos, iso's and perhaps some caddis. Flying ants and other terrestrials are also about.

Smallmouth bass fishing should get better. But recent rains murked up local warmwater rivers and cooled river temps down and the weather forecast in the next 10 days looks like it could be a mix of dry and warmer days along with some potentially heavy rain days. Give the rivers a few days to clear up but always keep an eye on the USGS charts.

Pond and lake fishing should remain good. Bass and panfish will continue to actively feed as long as temps stay relatively warm. Once air temps begin to drop, look for turnover to start, particularly on smaller waters. For now, topwater fly fishing in the morning and evening can work well. In deeper waters, make sure to fish a popper that makes some noise.

September is the traditional start-up of fly fishing events after a short summer break. Local fly fishing chapters will be starting up their monthly meetings and holding other events, as follows:

  • The Broome County Federation of Sportsmans Clubs will be holding its 2014 Kid's Fishing Derby on Saturday, September 6 at Cole Park in Harpursville. The event runs from 10 am to 2 pm and is free for kids from 1 to 15. The rain date for the event is Sunday, September 7.
  • The BC Flyfishers chapter of IFFF will be holding another evening on-the-water event on either Tuesday, September 9 or Thursday, September 11 depending on river conditions. This will be another warmwater river outing where the chapter will be on the hunt for those great-fighting smallmouth bass. See the chapter's website calendar for more information.
  • On Tuesday, September 19th, the Al Hazzard TU chapter will be holding their first monthly meeting after a two month summer break.

It will be an odd end-of-the-week weather-wise. Temps will remain in the mid-80's through Friday. Look for a front to pass through on Saturday with a high chance of rain / thunderstorms. After Saturday, temps will moderate into the mid-70's and rain will be scant until mid-week.

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