Fishing Report November 27, 2017
At this writing, 11:00 Monday morning, November 27, the Beaverkill at Cooks Falls was registered as flowing at 316 cubic feet per second, below the average flow of 487 cfs based on 103 years of record-keeping. The maximum flow recorded during this time period was 6800 cubic feet per second in 1980 and the minimum flow was 92 cfs way back in 1923.
The East Branch Delaware at Fishs Eddy was registered as flowing at 591 cubic feet per second, which is below the average flow of 890 cfs based on 62 years of record-keeping. The maximum flow recorded during this time period was 11,500 cubic feet per second in 1980 and the minimum flow was 305 cfs back in 1961.
The West Branch Delaware at Hale Eddy was registered as flowing at 280 cubic feet per second, which is below the average flow of 339 cfs based on 53 years of record-keeping. The maximum flow recorded during this time period was 2500 cubic feet per second in 1987 and the minimum flow was 74 cfs in 1965.
Although the last day we traditionally would expect to fish to rising trout is November 11, Veteran’s Day, (in the No-Kill Catch-and-Release areas) we were pleased to find trout rising in the Willowemoc over Thanksgiving weekend in the afternoon. Pictured is the pool below Hazel Bridge - for those who are familiar with fishing this great pool, you can see a nice rise just downstream of the base of the bridge abutment, as well a small rise toward the middle foreground of the photo. Most likely the fish were taking tiny blue-winged olives, which traditionally hatch in the afternoons during this time of year.
On a ride along the upper Beaverkill near the Covered Bridge we looked over the bank and were able to see some trout redds, or spawning beds. If you look at the photo below carefully you should be able to see the redd - located in the center of the photo just above the branch. Redds are made by the female trout, which hollows out the gravel in an area on the stream bottom with her body, and lays her eggs. The male trout fertilizes the eggs, which the female then covers over with the gravel. This disturbance results in the gravel having a cleaner appearance than the surrounding stream bottom, making redds more easy to identify.
The reason there are seasons set for trout fishing is to provide protection for spawning fish. Brook trout and brown trout spawn in September, October and November. Rainbow trout spawn in the winter and spring. Traditionally the trout fishing season in New York State began on April 1 and ended on September 30, prior to the majority of brook and brown trout spawning; however in recent years the season has been extended in some areas to October 15, and others as late as November 30, which provided trout fishers extra weeks of fishing. However, trout are spawning during this time, and those who do continue to fish in the “No-Kill” or Special Fishing Areas should pay close attention to watch for redds and spawning fish and try not to wade through them.