Thanks to continued rain showers, evening temperatures in the 50s and daytime temperatures in the 70s, we are heading into the last half of August with rivers and streams in a favorable state. These …
Thanks to continued rain showers, evening temperatures in the 50s and daytime temperatures in the 70s, we are heading into the last half of August with rivers and streams in a favorable state. These conditions provide a welcome boost for the trout, especially considering that at the end of May into June we experienced extremely dry conditions, followed by record-breaking heat waves all across the country; water temperatures reached the mid-80s down on the lower Beaverkill, and the trout were in stress from heat and low water.
Thankfully, the higher water levels and lower temperatures of August will provide the young-of-the-year trout and last year’s fingerling trout a good opportunity for increased growth rather than just survival, as can often happen during the heat of typical summers, and can also present a greater chance of survival to older holdover fish.
The NYC Catskill Reservoir system is also in good shape, with total storage as of August 11, 2023 registering 92.7% of capacity as compared with the “normal” total storage of 87.8% capacity during this time of year. This was thanks to heavy rains in July – when we received 8.1 inches of precipitation as compared to the historical average of 4.57 inches.
For August, we are well above the historical average of 1.35 inches – during this mid-month we’ve already received 2.02 inches of rain.
It is generally concluded that the preferred water temperatures for trout growth are between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit – and during the heat of summer, when water temperatures exceed 65 and head upward of 70 degrees, trout will feed less and can become stressed; this is why trout fishers should carry a water thermometer and check the water temperature before beginning to fish.
August weather is typically not conducive to good trout growth, as when streams are low and water temperatures stay up in the 70s, the fish will not be concentrating on feeding, but rather simply on survival, seeking cooler waters in which to remain comfortable. However, with the favorable water temperatures and higher flows of these past few weeks, the trout are thriving and are growing.
Fingerlings (young-of-the-year fish) will experience more vigorous growth and face a better chance of survival as well.
Fly hatches during mid-August should include the smaller Trichos and Blue-Winged Olives, along with Sulphurs, Light Cahills, various Caddis flies and Isonychias. In addition, terrestrials such as ants, beetles, grasshoppers, and inchworms are a good choice during and after rain showers – fly fishers will have plenty of flies to choose from.
With the welcome volume of water comes the opportunity for fishing again with 5X tippet and slightly larger flies than we usually use in mid-August.
This past weekend, Saturday August 12, Dette Flies in Livingston Manor was the place to be – as Joe Fox and Kelly Buchta and staff hosted their Summer Open House with Jerry Coviello on hand as the guest fly tyer in the shop, live music, a Pig Roast, food and games to celebrate the shop’s 95th year of operation.
Established in 1928 by Joe’s great-grandparents Walt and Winnie Dette, Dette Flies is claimed to be “the oldest family run fly fishing shop in the world!”
It was a great celebration, with an afternoon chock-full of fun; dozens of fly-fishing and fly-tying enthusiasts attending, meeting under the pavilion behind the shop.
In addition to deliciously roasted pork with all the trimmings, prepared by the staff of Dette Flies including Joe and Kelly, Joe’s mom and Seth and Bessie Cavarretta, there was live music provided by Stu Spector & Friends and games involving casting, cornhole and a cakewalk – a musical chairs-type game where participants walked around a circle in time to music, which then stops – a number is called out and the person standing on that number wins a cake as a prize!
Joe and Kelly, the Dette Flies staff and family did a great job in preparing for this enjoyable event, capped off by a delicious 95th Anniversary cake, and everyone had a wonderful time.
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