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Water, water everywhere - area rivers blown out

The West Branch of the Delaware River crested late yesterday at 8,000 CFS and is now dropping.
The West Branch of the Delaware River crested late yesterday at 8,000 CFS and is now dropping.
USGS

Water, water, everywhere will be the theme this weekend. Thanks to a big front carrying a lot of moisture, the Southern Tier received a lot of rain. The rain started yesterday morning and lasted a good part of the day, leaving most creeks, streams, and rivers high and muddy. Rainfall total in Binghamton for yesterday was 1.4" with the area's month-to-date total at 3.4". To put yesterday's deluge in perspective, the average month-to-date precipitation is 1.7".

All area creeks, streams, and rivers are high, unfishable, and unwadeable. Creeks and smaller streams and rivers have crested and are now on the way down. The larger rivers, particularly the warmwater rivers such as the Susquehanna, however, are still receiving a lot of water from their watersheds. In general, use the USGS water gauges where possible to assess flows before heading out. Best bets right now are the headwaters of creeks and some tailwaters. The Salmon River, for example, is flowing decently at a little over 1,000 CFS.

What's a fisherman to do? For this weekend, ponds and lakes are best bets. Small creeks might be fishable as well with some of the Catskill tailwaters a possibility tomorrow or Monday. But conditions like these also offer other flyfishing-related options:

  • Check tasks off the "honey do" list. - this clears the calendar ahead for fishing.
  • Clean fly lines, check / change leaders.
  • Clean sunglasses.
  • Go through fly boxes and organize.
  • Tie flies.
  • Clean rods and clean / lubricate reels.
  • Sharpen hooks.
  • Practice casting.
  • "Recon" new places to fly fish.

Remember a big part of any successful angler's game is a preparation. When fishing conditions are good, it's easy to get caught up in the fishing, forgetting some of the activities listed above. One last way to spend fly fishing time is to visit your favorite fly shop, hang out and talk shop.