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Southern tier fly fishing: Fly fishing report, early July events

Wild Delaware River rainbows provide terrific sport on a fly rod. This one took an isonychia nymph in a fast riffle.
Wild Delaware River rainbows provide terrific sport on a fly rod. This one took an isonychia nymph in a fast riffle.
Bob Bruns

The Southern Tier is fully into summer now. The hills are as green as they'll get, the mayflowers are gone, and fields are starting to brighten with daisies. The heat is slowly cranking up as is the humidity. It's feeling a lot more like smallmouth bass time but the warmwater rivers are pretty much blown out thanks to torrential rains last week on Wednesday afternoon and evening. Fortunately, there are always choices - we are very lucky to be blessed with so much fly fishing opportunity in our area.

Fly fishing continues to be good as we shift into summer mode. For starters, ponds and lakes are providing fly anglers with great sport. Panfish are leaving their nests and and are on the feed while largemouth bass are on the nest. Throwing a popper as the light fades is getting better and better as water temps warm. As mentioned above, the warmwater rivers are recovering and settling after heavy rains this week. Right now the Tioughnioga and upper Susquehanna look to be close to fishable. Remember that moderate murk or a little stain in the water can be overcome by fishing bigger flies in dark colors. If you can see your feet in knee-deep water, the clarity is good. The Catskill rivers pretty much got the same high water treatment as the warmwater rivers with the exception of the West Branch of the Delaware which is currently flowing well. Hatches are decent with caddis, sulphurs, and isonychia in the mix.

July is traditionally a slow month for events. Many clubs and fly fishing chapters take a summer break as anglers head off on family vacations. A July calendar update will be posted in the coming week,. In the mean time, here's a summary of events for early July:

  • July 2nd, 6 pm - 9 pm. BCFF evening fly fishing at the Whitney Point dam face. Meet at the Parking lot at the trail head just north of the school (see BCFF calendar for map). No waders are needed, just plenty of poppers, streamers and a few large mayflies. Fly fishing only and catch and release will be practiced. This is about the time to start fishing for small mouth bass in the evening. Walk the paved trail or the trail through the woods and then fish along the dam face or the shoreline. All are welcome, but please send a note if planning to attend to
  • July 8th, 6 pm - ???. BCFF fishing buddies program for fly fishing a private pond. Meet at 6:00 pm at the Dollar General store in the town of Maine. In order to go, you must email John Trainor and be put on the list. Open to first 8 people to sign up, IFFF members have first choice. See the BCFF calendar for more details.

The week ahead will be characterized by pretty typical summer weather. Look for a warming trend into the low 90's through Wednesday, with a 20 - 30% chance of isolated thunderstorms every day. Come Thursday, temps will drop roughly 10 degrees as a front passes. Thursday may be pretty rainy, but the July 4th weekend will be sunny, with temps in the low 80's and cool evenings.

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