A CDC by the author

Guest Blogger: Brandon Sausner

I like to fish the West Branch of the Delaware River in and around Deposit New York in July. The river is known for selective trout, clear water, drift ruining micro currents and so many hatches it’s hard to pick a fly. July is not seen as prime season so the lodging rates are a little better and the people a little more sparsely spread throughout the river. I recommend staying at the Dream Catcher lodge and doing two to three floats a day from the Cow Pasture pool above town, down to the Dream Catcher pull out. If you’re having a solid go of it you will only get in two drifts; stopping frequently to play with rising trout. I know not everyone has a drift boat and the river is often suitable for wading; but beg, borrow, and steal to bring your own boat. Some times when my father and I fish it we bring an old bike to stash in the weeds so that the trailer is waiting for us at the end of the evening. I ride the bike back up to my dad who is waiting with the gear to start our drift. If we are doing a single drift we just choose a longer stretch of river and do one big float. The Cow Pasture pool to Hale Eddy can be great, and we have our favorite spots along the way.

I like to stay a few days and do recon on the river between drifts. I always have my best luck on the later drift with flies I’ve tied that day. I think its key to bring gear for tying both CDC and regular comparaduns. Be ready to blend dubbings and steal ideas from the local fly shops. Most of all go down to the water and look at the hatches. Last time on the river it was a blend of pink and grey dubbing with a CDC wing that brought in the 20+ inch brown on a size 18 dry.

I was coming through a popular pool and this monster is wrecking natural after natural with a John Lee Hooker type of rhythm. I chat up the guy on shore who was camped in front of the fish and he tells me that he can’t wade deep enough to reach the fish and would love to see someone put a fly over it. This was a rare attitude on the often smug and tight lipped Delaware River. I hooked the fish on my first cast with a fly I tied that day on a spot in the river that can only be reached from a boat. I think that fish reached in boat-only spots get a little less pressure and the boat put me in perfect casting position. The guy actually cheered me on as I fought the fish. It was the fish of the trip for the entire crew and I never could have gotten that fish without the off stream work and the drift boat.

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