The windy weather we’ve experienced this past week seems to be more like March than April; and was a bit difficult to accept given the April-like balmy days we enjoyed back in March! High winds are not the fly-fisher’s favorite of conditions in which to fish, nevertheless the incredible numbers of flies on the water brought many out to try their luck, despite the challenging conditions.
It seems as though fly hatches are two and even three weeks ahead – with sightings of Blue Quills, Quill Gordons and even Hendricksons reported in good numbers on the water along with various caddis flies. Fly-fishers have been successful in raising trout, although fishing with nymphs below the surface is more the norm for early April fishing.
Area rivers and streams remain at low flows, as there has been no rain since “opening weekend” and the ground is drying rapidly, also due to the high wind conditions.
The Beaverkill at Cooks Falls was flowing at 284 cubic feet per second as of Monday April 9; this was less than half the average flow of 1150 cfs for this date over 97 years of record-keeping. The highest flow recorded on this date occurred in 1940, with a volume of water measuring 7170 cubic feet per second; the Beaverkill has now surpassed the lowest recorded flow on this date of 346 cubic feet per second recorded in 1995.
The NYC Department of Environmental Protection’s website shows that the Catskill reservoirs are at about 91.5% capacity; the ‘normal’ capacity for this time of year is about 96%. Current reservoir levels, as of last Friday, are as follows: Cannonsville, 95.7 billion gallons, or 90.6%; Pepacton, 140.2 billion gallons, or 88.5; Neversink, 34.9 billion gallons, or 90.8%; Rondout, 49.6 billion gallons, or 97.1%; Ashokan, 122.9 billion gallons, or 91.9%; and Ashokan, 17.6 billion gallons, or 83.35% capacity.