Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide for the East Branch of the Delaware New York
The East Branch flows from the Pepacton Reservoir dam. In its upper section, this section of
the Delaware River has a low gradient and slow flows. During the summer there are huge beds
of weeds and wading can be tricky in parts of the stream. Parts of the river are too deep to
wade. Many prefer to fish the upper section of the East Branch from a boat. It is better suited
for a canoe and as a result, there are a lot of recreational boater and canoeist. The upper part
contains some Brook Trout, mostly in the mouths of its small tributaries. It looks much like a
spring creek. Farther downstream, brown trout begin to dominate. There are some sections of
riffles at Shinhopple, otherwise the river remains fairly slow flowing above the confluence of the
The Beaverkill adds a lot of water to the flow. It joins the tailwater about 17 miles below the dam
or about the middle of the East Branch. It also changes the appearance of the river. It looks
more like a freestone stream and closer to the West Branch and Main Stem of the Delaware
than its upper East Section. Above the Beaverkill, the water temperatures almost never exceed
70 degrees. Below the Beaverkill, water temperatures have reached as high as 80 degrees in
the hot summer. In other words, the East Branch can become too warm in its lower section
during the hot summer. While the upper East Branch is mostly populated by brown trout, its
lower section contains mostly rainbow trout. The trout population in the upper and lower
sections of the East Branch is supplemented by the state with stocked brown trout. There are
plenty of wild rainbows in the river but they are forced to migrate a long way during the hot
summer months. The lower part of the East Branch is more suitable to floating than wading. It is
often too high to wade during the Spring. The first few miles below the Beaverkill is all private
property. The last few miles above the confluence with the West Branch has some public
access and is frequently floated by drift boats during the cooler parts of the year.
The timing of the aquatic insect hatches on the East Branch varies with the different water
temperatures. The upper cold water hatches occur at slightly different times than they do in the
lower section and there are some differences in the species that inhibit the water in the
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