The rains of May have helped leaf out all the greenery, trees and shrubs here in the Catskills, and on a sunrise walk along the river with our beagle this morning we were treated to the sweetest fragrance of the honeysuckle blossoms, that lit up the foggy morning with their bright pink, cream and white spiky flowers.

    It seems as though we’ve missed some major hatches - notably the Shad Fly - possibly due to the late winter, high water and weather conditions, but have seen some good rises in the pools and fast water.    Also missing was the appearance of the hemlock pollen, that coats the ground, cars and decks with its carpet of yellow - this phenomenon usually occurs in mid- to end- of May.

    A check of the USGS website on Friday afternoon showed that East Branch Delaware River is receding to a more fishable “normal” level, being recorded at 815 cubic feet per second this afternoon, as compared to the average flow of 699 cfs,  based on 63 years of record-keeping. Water temperatures on the East Branch this past week ranged from a low of 56 degrees F this morning to a high of 70 degrees F this past week.

    The West Branch Delaware River is also approaching  a more fishable “normal” level, being recorded at 552 cubic feet per second this afternoon, as compared to the average flow of 487 cfs,  based on 54 years of record-keeping. Temperatures fluctuated from 48 degrees Fahrenheit to 60 degrees F over the past week. 

    The Beaverkill at Cooks Falls is at a great level, flowing at 407 cubic feet per second, which is just above the average flow for this date of 375 cfs over 104 years of record-keeping.    Water temperatures this past week ranged from a low of 56 degrees Fahrenheit to a high of 68 degrees F this past week.

    Pepacton reservoir fishing has begun to heat up. Dave Richards, at Al’s Sports Store, Downsville, reported on the winners of the May Trout Derby: First prize was awarded to Bill Flood, with a huge brown trout that weighed 12 pounds, six ounces and measured 29 1/4 inches in length. Second place was taken by Vin Perry, of Kingston, with a nine-pound, five ounce brown that measured 26 1/2 inches. In third place was Dennis Ziober, of Pennsylvania, who bagged a nine-pound, one-ounce brown that measured 26 1/2 inches in length.

    Don’t forget to sign up for the June Trout Derby at Al’s Sports Store, Downsville - for a $10 entry fee you get $1 of for each $10 you spend in the store this month!