Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Hatches and Trout Flies for the Delaware River New York
The above images of Hendrickson mayflies show what is considered by many anglers to be
the most important mayfly species that hatches on the Delaware. They hatch in large
quantities and produce some excellent dry fly fishing. The Delaware River has one of the
largest populations and widest varieties of aquatic insects of any Eastern trout stream we
know of. Matching the hatch can be essential and difficult. Many of our Perfect Fly trout flies
were developed on the Delaware River. It's one of our favorite trout streams. Keep in mind
the discharges affect the hatch times as well as the particular section of the river you are
The most consistent and longest hatches of mayflies are the Blue-winged Olives. There are
several species that hatch from about the middle of March through the middle of May and
then again from about the first of July through November. Much of the season, you can find
some BWOs hatching at some point in the system.
About the second week of April, you can expect to find both Quill Gordons and Blue Quills
starting to hatch. Both hatches last about six weeks or until near the middle to the end of May.
Eastern Pale Evening Duns (Ephemerella invaria) , called Sulphurs by many anglers, start
hatching about the middle of April and last for up to two months. The smaller Sulphurs
(Ephemerella dorothea) start hatching about the last week of May and last through the middle
of July. Both are present at times.
Gray Drakes hatch in some of the slow water areas from the second week of May through the
middle of June. Both Brown and Eastern Green Drakes start hatching in some of the slow
water sections the first three weeks of June.
From about the middle of May through June, you can find hatches of March Browns and Light
Cahills in the fast water areas or riffles. From the first of June through the middle of August,
you can find hatches of Gray-winged Yellow Quills.
From about the middle of July, all the way to the middle of October, you can find hatches of
Tricos in the smoother, slower water. From mid August to mid September, you may find some
hatches of White Drakes, or the White Fly.
Little Black Caddis (Grannoms), and locally called similar Apple Caddis, hatch from about the
last week of April through the first three weeks of May. The little Short-horned Sedges start a
week or two later and last almost two months.
From about the middle of May through most of June will find hatches of Spotted Sedges and
their Little Sister Caddisflies. Starting about the same time are the very similar Cinnamon
Sedges. They will hatch all the way into the first of July.
Dark Blue Sedges are very abundant and hatch from the middle of May through the middle of
June. Green Sedges start at the same time and last from about six weeks. The larvae of
these, called Green Rock Worms, are available for trout to eat all year.
Little Brown Stoneflies hatch from the middle of March through the month of May. There are
several species, a few of which are almost black. You will find all of the stoneflies in the faster
sections of water. The Golden Stoneflies and the Giant Black Stoneflies both start hatching
about the first of June and last into the first week or so of July.
Terrestrial insects are important beginning about the first of June through most of September.
Imitations of ants, beetles and grass hoppers work good during this time, especially during
late July, August and early September. Watch for flying ant falls during June.
Craneflies are plentiful on the Delaware River and although trout can be caught all year long
on their nymphs, the adults are more plentiful from June through October. Midges are present
year-round and provide some of the few opportunities to catch trout during the cold months.
Minnows, sculpin and baitfish are present year-round. The large brown trout prefer them in
many cases. That means streamers are important flies to have on hand.
Many of our "Perfect Fly" trout flies were developed on the Delaware River. We used its tough
to match the hatch waters for a testing ground for some of our flies. We not only have the
most realistic imitations you can purchase, we also have the most effective trout flies you can
use. If you haven't tried them already, please do. You will be glad you did.
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Thumbnail Images: Click Image to
Female Hendrickson Spinner
Male Hendrickson Dun
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us with the dates you will be
fishing this stream and we will send
you a list of our fly suggestions. Please
allow up to 24 hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will
help you decide which flies you need.
3. Call or email us with a budget for
flies and we will select them and get
them to you in time for your trip.
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