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High temperatures, cool respites

Judy Van Put
Posted 6/25/24

It’s been quite a week of weather! With the “heat dome” settling over this part of the country for at least a week, temperatures warmed higher and for a longer period of time than …

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High temperatures, cool respites


It’s been quite a week of weather! With the “heat dome” settling over this part of the country for at least a week, temperatures warmed higher and for a longer period of time than other Junes in recent memory. Water levels in our “freestone” rivers and streams were well below the average flow for the past couple of weeks, at about half the normal level for this time of year.

With the low water and heat, water temperatures over the past week were also very warm - too warm to fish - with the Beaverkill at Cooks Falls registering about 83 degrees late Thursday.

What do trout do when water temperatures rise so high? Generally, when water temperatures rise higher than 75 degrees, the trout will seek out cooler waters. Under these conditions they will be in distress, either from insufficient oxygen or high water temperatures (the higher the water temperature, the less oxygen it is able to carry.) The trout are very vulnerable at these times, and should be left alone. 

Unscrupulous trout fishers who continue to fish when trout are lined up near the tributary mouths or spring holes are taking advantage of the fish in this vulnerable state, and can deplete a stream or river of its trout. Even if they are returned to the water after being caught, the trout will most likely die from the stress on their system.

Thankfully the rain and thunderstorms over the past weekend have added some much-needed volume. On Sunday afternoon, June 23, 2024, the Beaverkill at Cooks Falls was flowing a bit higher than the average flow, at 368 cubic feet and rising, as compared to the median average flow of 241 cfs based on 110 years of record-keeping. 

We are hopeful that the forecast of more rain and storms by Tuesday will improve water levels. And with the thunderstorms comes a break in the heat - this week looks to bring more typical early-summer weather in the 70s rather than in the 90s, which will provide some respite for the trout.

And so, with all the heat and humidity, and minus the opportunity to head to a favorite river or stream, what can avid trout fishers do in order to enjoy their favorite sport when it’s too warm to fish? Head to your local air-conditioned fly shop, such as Dette Flies, Trout Town Flies or the Beaverkill Angler, or check out the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum for some good camaraderie.

The Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum offers their Saturday Fly Tyers Series in partnership with the Catskill Fly Tyers Guild. The Series began on Saturday, June 22, with Chuck Coronato tying flies in the Museum during the day. Fellow fly-fishers and fly-tyers, as well as those new to the sport were entertained and learned by watching a master tie up some of his favorite Catskill patterns. 

Chuck, a retired math teacher, has been tying flies since the late 1980s. He teaches fly-fishing lessons at Ramapo College’s Upward Bound Math-Science program, as well as teaching fly-tying and fly-fishing to disabled veterans for Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF). Chuck is the Secretary of the Catskill Fly Tyers Guild, and is the Editor of the Gazette, the newsletter of the Catskill Fly Tyers Guild.

The series continues on Saturday, June 29, with next weeks’ guest fly-tyer Mike Stewart. Mike is a custom fly-tyer and instructor, and has been tying since 1982 when he taught himself the craft. 

Mike teaches fly-tying out of his home in North Granby, CT, and is a regular “Guest Tyer” at the CFFCM and at Dette Fly Shop. Upcoming fly-tyers in the month of July include Tom Mason, Phil Street and Christina Muller, with John Apgar and Seth Cavarretta coming up in August.

The Catskill Fly Fishing Center, its Museum and Wulff Gallery are an exciting destination for all who love fishing and for those who would like to learn. And a wonderful opportunity is coming up for those who have never visited and would like to: this weekend is Sullivan County Museums Weekend, “a collaborative event to encourage Sullivan County residents to engage with their history and visit cultural touchstones in the area.” 

The Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum is a participant in this special event, offering free admission to Sullivan County residents.

For more information and to learn about all that the CFFC&M have to offer, please visit their website at https://cffcm.com


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