Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide for the Main Stem of the Delaware River
New York
The East and West Branches of the Delaware River flow together at Hancock New
York to form the main stem of the river. Although it isn't fished as much as the East
or West Branches, it contains some of the largest rainbows in the system and
provides some of the best fly fishing opportunities. There are some brown trout,
moreso in its upper section near the Junction Pool. The rainbows in the lower and
middle sections are highly migratory. They strictly depend on the cold water
releases from the West Branch and that has a history of being very erratic and
undependable. The main stream trout waters extend downstream for about
twenty-seven miles from Hancock to Calicon.

The main stem is a large, wide river. It has long deep pools some of which are
close to a half mile long. There are some large rocks and boulders and steep
dropoffs. Much of the main stem can be waded but it can be too strong and deep
depending on the discharges of the dams. Many anglers prefer to fish it from a drift
boat. It is difficult to access in some places and is rarely fished by those anglers
new to the Delaware River. It is bordered by beautiful wooded mountains on both
sides of the river. It is a part of the National Park's Wild and Scenic River systems
and is mostly undeveloped. Over the years, it has received little attention from the
media compared to the West or East Branches.

The upper part of the Main Stem has a low gradient, consisting of very large pools
with short sections of connecting riffles. The lower one-third of the Main Stem has
more riffles. Most of the wading done in the Main Stem is done in the very
uppermost section near the Junction Pool. There's easy access and the water is
more suitable for wading than it is downstream. Even so, it's a highly popular float
section. It also contains a higher trout population that the lower section.  

Like anywhere else on the Delaware River, and most any tailwater for that matter,
obtaining and becoming familiar with the discharges and stream levels is of critical
importance, especially on the Main Stem.
Free Shipping Continental U. S.
100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
Delaware River
New York