Last year, Spring and Summer came early, throwing off the timing of hatches and the pre-planned trips of many a diehard angler. This year, we attempted to replicate the early success we had last year, if only we could time it right. During mid-April of 2012, we had outstanding dry fly fishing in the heart of the Catskills. This April, we waited an extra few weeks to experience some more great dry fly fishing. Mother nature threw us a curve ball, but we nonetheless had a great time.
On the morning of day one, we hiked almost two miles into the gorge where we saw the conditions we'd be facing for the rest of the day. With the overnight rain, the tailwater was higher than expected, and the color of chocolate milk. Throughout the entire day, there was not a single rising fish, which put a damper on any hopes of throwing dries. Instead, we broke out the streamer boxes and sink tips for a phenomenal day of streamer fishing.
We relocated on day two and again hiked into the river. With the waters levels still high and the water now clear, we expected some Hendricksons or Caddis to start popping. It never happened. Instead, our streamers proved to be the best bet to entice the brown trout from their lairs. The fishing wasn't as good, but the action was still hot. In the clearer flows, the fish often gave chase but veered away at the last second. There were so many heart breaking refusals.
The two days were not without their difficulties. The long hike into the river was actually the easy part. The rigors came stream side, crossing the raging torrent where a single step could take you from 1 to 5 ft. and a swim. Two of us took the plunge at the end of day one. The water was 42 degrees, and we had a 2 mile hike uphill to the truck. Well worth it considering the gold rush we received throughout the first day. Despite our struggles on day two, the promise and potential of a fat wild brown was more than enough to keep our spirits high and yearning to take a peak around the next corner.