Ridiculous dry fly action and wild brown trout ONE hour from NYC.August 22, 2016
There I was, this past Saturday, unpacking my golf gear from a family trip to Ireland (I cannot more highly recommend a trip to this great country) and I was overcome with an urge to go trout fishing. This summer has been brutal on our rivers, little rain and exceedingly high temperatures have warmed all the freestone streams and stressed our trout populations. It is imperative that anglers NOT fish for trout when temps exceed 68 degrees. The exception to this problem is our tail-waters, and there are plenty of them within a few hours of NYC.
The most famous, and possibly my favorite river in the USA is the Delaware. Both the West and East Branches of the Delaware River are tail-waters and fish well through the hot summer months,but the main stem can warm. It is a long drive however, as is the Farmington River. The Farmington is just incredible and you can catch fish on dry flies during every month, in fact its a goal I have set for myself there.
So here is the good news; there are several tail-waters just an hour driver from NYC in the Croton Watershed. The West and East Branches both have tail-waters as there are a plethora of reservoirs constantly supplying cold water to the rivers which connect between these vital water sources.
I made my way up there Sunday morning for a few hours and I was rewarded with constant dry fly action on ant and beetle patterns. Some of the strikes were super aggressive which the fish leaving the water after grabbing the fly. The large pools all held great fish, as did the pocket water and slower runs. I can only imagine in higher water there would be a chance of landing a 14 inch + fish in this stream...especially given the size of the crayfish carcass I found on a rock. Big food ==> Big fish.