Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Hatches and Flies for the Esopus River New York
The Esopus River, or Esopus Creek some call it, has many of the normal Catskill aquatic
insect hatches but nymph fishing is usually the most productive fishing technique. Dry flies will
catch fish, especially in the upper section of the river, but not over long periods of time. Like
most tailwaters, the varying water discharges through the tunnel affect the fishing in the lower
section quite a bit.
Stoneflies are the main insects to focus on when you are nymph fishing. There are also lots
of mayfly nymphs and caddisfly larvae, but the stream is well suited for stoneflies. Winter
stoneflies, Little Brown Stoneflies, Little Yellow Stoneflies and Golden Stoneflies exist in the
Blue-winged Olives, both the little species and larger Eastern Blue-winged Olives, are present
in the stream. They hatch in the early part of the season and again in the later part of the
season. The Eastern Blue-winged Olives usually hatch during the month of June. Blue Quills
start hatching in mid April and can last a month. Quill Gordons hatch starting about the
middle of April and last until the first week of May. The Gray-winged Yellow Quills follow right
behind them. Hendricksons hatch the last of April into the first part of May. American March
Browns are very plentiful and hatch about the middle of May. There are a few Sulphurs that
hatch in June. Light Cahills are quite plentiful and hatch in June and into August. Slate
Drakes hatch over a very long period of time starting in June and off and on through most of
the month of October.
Caddisflies can be important especially in the upper section. Little Black Caddis hatch in April.
Cinnamon Caddis are around for most of the summer starting in June and lasting into
September. Green Sedges are also important. The larvae, or rock worms, are great flies you
can use during late spring and early summer. Midges are plentiful, especially in the lower
section of the river. They can be very important when nothing else is hatching. Never forget
about streamers. The water is often very cloudy and sometimes stained. Bright yellow and
white streamers work often in the off colored water.
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