Steamers & nymphs was our game plan from the start as we hadn't seen any surface activity. My brother and I tried our best to fish streamers along deep undercut banks. We tight-lined & indicator-fished nymphs along seams, nothing was working.
Before we knew it was 2PM when the Hendrickson’s showed up. We stuck with our streamers and nymphs in hopes that the trout would take notice of the dry flies just riding along the current. We stopped in a large pool anchored down & waited, ready to switch to dries at any moment. There was literally hundreds of Red Quills & Light Hendrickson on the water, an early season feast was eminent.
The air was 33 degrees @ 12PM when we launched the Stealthcraft on the Wild West Branch Delaware. The gauge read 6.21ft w/flow rate of 1540cf/s. The water was stained red and 42 degrees after two days of Catskill rain and snow melt. The "Upper Upper West Branch" as we call it is very narrow and has many wild bends in comparison to the more well known West Branch Delaware below the town of Deposit. At these flow rates it can present quite a rowing challenge.
My dog had never ridden in the boat and I wasn't sure how it would turn out. He is not exactly built for the water like a duck retrieving Labrador. I was concerned he would leap over the side and I'd quickly find out how good of a swimmer he is. He's a very well behaved Frisbee chasing Border Collie who likes getting wet, but I've never tested his cold water swimming skills. Thank goodness he's well trained.