Recent rains have added much-needed water to our rivers and streams. On Wednesday morning the Beaverkill at Cooks Falls was registered as flowing at 462 cubic feet per second; this is above the average flow for this day of 349 cfs over 100 years of record-keeping. Cooler daytime and evening weather has kept water temperatures in the 50s in the mornings.
A variety of flies are hatching during the day and in the evenings – watch for Blue Winged Olives, assorted Caddis flies and Sulphurs, some remaining March Browns and Gray Foxes. On the lower river a few Isonychias may be making their appearance.
Some terminology – with mayflies, there are two adult life stages that have specific names – Duns and Spinners. When the flies first emerge from the water after exiting their nymphal shucks, they are called Duns (not to be confused with the color “Dun” that is a brownish-gray color commonly used in tying flies.) The scientific term for “Dun” is “Sub-Imago”. The second adult life stage of the mayfly occurs after molting – usually on land. They molt into a fully mature stage called the “Spinner” stage (the scientific name for this stage is “Imago”) during which they mate and deposit their eggs on the water. Afterward they become weak and then eventually die. Most spinners fall to the water in the evening, which is where the term “evening spinner fall” is derived.
With water levels as good as they are, fishing should be productive all during the day; typically the best fishing during this time of year will be in the evenings up until dark. Remember to choose a fly that is similar in size, shape and color to those that are hatching or on the water.
In addition to the flies listed above, Beaverkill favorites include the Adams in sizes #16 - #18 and the Elk Hair Caddis in size #14 in the faster water. If you’re using flies in sizes #14 or #16, use a 5X tippet. For sizes #18s, tie on 6X and make your presentation the best it can be.