The Upper Delaware is an all-year-long fishery in select locations but generally speaking, we are serving our customers with quality fishing from April through October. We are available for those who wish to take advantage of ideal winter conditions when midges and stoneflies reveal themselves.
Orvis rods/reels are always on board for customers' use if desired. In addition, all terminal tackle such as leaders, tippets, flies, etc. are provided.
The Upper Delaware System is unique in that it is comprised of both freestone rivers and tailwaters. The freestones (Beaverkill and Willowemoc) are small-to-medium rivers and are walk/wade ventures where driving from spot to spot is a necessity. These rivers are constructed with a variety of river terrains, from bouldery pocket water to long, glassy flats with nice runs in between. The East and West Branches of the Delaware are tailwaters that form the Main Stem and are considered medium-to-big water and is conducive to float fishing its many miles. These rivers offer a variety of public access points if the customer chooses to walk/wade and get a taste of the easy wading opportunities these rivers afford. The most favored method of fishing these rivers is a combination float/wade where we access the river by driftboat and fish the length of any one of the various stretches utilizing the boat for transportation/fishing and wade fishing at select spots when river levels allow. For the most adventuresome, the Neversinkwith its 45 minute hike inis a spectacular smaller river with a variety of pocket water, runs, and pools.
Spring fishing (April and May) can be unpredictable, with weather ranging from mild to snow, rain, and wind; however, the Upper Delaware is known for its famous springtime hatches regardless of the weather. June, July, and August are typical summer days ranging from the 60s to the 90s with occasional afternoon thunderstorms. September and October start cooling again with air temperatures ranging from the 40s to the 70s with occasional rainfall. Water temperatures throughout the region are stable through the spring and generally into the first part of June. The West Branch maintains an all-season-long coldwater fishery with water temps ranging from the low 40s to the low 60s depending on location. The upper East Branch also provides much of the same. The lower East Branch and Main stem are a bit more temperature sensitive and generally fish the best in the spring through early summer and again in the fall. The freestones can be temperature sensitive based on the air temps and water levels as the summertime conditions set in, but cool back down rapidly with favorable weather conditions.
All full-day trips include lunch and soft drinks and are a minimum of 8-9 hours with start times generally varying between 9-11am, depending on the time of season. Start times are also flexible based on customer requests. Our lunches are very thoughtfully prepared and respect the dietary needs or restrictions of our customers. Half-day trips include snacks and soft drinks and are 4-5 hours of fishing with start times based on customer needs, flexibility, and/or fishing conditions. Since the river system has many unique qualities, and can fish differently under changing conditions, our meeting paces will vary accordingly. We seek to provide the best fishing quality based on water levels, bug hatches, and current fishing conditions in general, so being flexible is key.
The Upper Delaware is known for its spectacular bug hatches and cold water so fly fishing for wild brown and rainbow trout is an all-season event. Hatches are numerous from Hendricksons and blue quills to March browns, drakes, sulphurs, caddis, and isonychias. All aspects of fly fishing are implemented: dry flies, nymphing, streamers, and wet flies on the swing, using both traditional fly gear and as well as Spey-casting gear. Mid-summer through fall also provides opportunities for smallmouth bass fishing on a fly or light spinning tackle.
Customers should bring their rods, 8½-foot through 10-foot 4-, 5-, or 6-weights, with matching reels and lines, waders, and long wading underwear or pants to protect against the cold water, heavy socks, rain jacket, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, fishing vest/pack, terminal tackle, camera, and extra clothing regardless of the season.
Q. Where are you nearest airports?
A. The nearest large airport is Binghamton, New York, approximately 40 minutes from the Delaware. For those arriving on a small commuter plane, Sidney, New York has a nice facility just 20 minutes from the Delaware.
Q. Is there lodging in the area?
A. There are multiple lodging facilities in the area, including our own Lighthouse Lodge, located right on the bank of the West Branch.
Q. How to gratuities work?
A. They are not expected but graciously accepted.