West Branch Delaware River Fishing Report

Many anglers consider the West Branch of the Delaware host to the best trout fishing in the Catskills, and some of the finest wild trout fishing east of the Rocky Mountains. And, most also agree that action in the West Branch really begins at the Cannonsville Reservoir and continues on the 11-mile tailwater that follows. The dam controls most of the Delaware releases and typically sends enough cold water into the stem to support year round fishing. This constant water flow gives the trout an extended growing season, which may account for their large size, population density and ability to sustain a challenging fight.

Below the dam the river first flows through a few rapids, then around a series of small islands and eventually opens to a wide main channel with long pools and short sections of rifles. One of the river’s main attractions is that it can be easily waded (at times from shore to shore) and has a relatively level bottom. 

While most of the fish in the West Branch are brown trout, there are also brookies and rainbows. All of the fish are wild although a two of its tributaries are occasionally stocked, and in theory it’s possible for these fish to enter the main channel. What’s most important to anglers is that the West Branch has more trout per acre than either the East Branch or the Delaware proper.

Access to the river is excellent with over a dozen well marked public points of entry and parking. One word of caution –sections of the riverbed are privately owned and may need to be floated to fish. On the upper river there is a 2-mile section limited to catch and release. Trout here average over 12 inches although fish up to 18-20 inches are not uncommon. Browns over 20 inches are plentiful and locals will be the first to tell you that many trout over 30 inches have been pulled from these waters.
 
Additional Information
Tributaries:
Trout Creek, Bagley Brook
Source:
Unnamed pond in Schoharie County, NY
Mouth:
Confluence with East Branch of the Delaware
Length:
90 miles
Seasonal Conditions
Season
Hatches
SpringBrown & black stoneflies, little black, gray, tan and olive caddis, BWO, quill gordon, Hendrickson X, red quill, midges
SummerGrannom, BWO, Slate Drake, midges, terrestrials
FallBWO, Slate Drake, midges, terrestrials
Game Fish Opportunities
Current Forecast
Water Flow
River Water Temperature
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Fishing Quality
Scenery
Access
Water quality