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NY W. Branch of D., Stilesville - Fishing

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Lat: 42.074154
Lng: -75.407486

Marker owner: Xray

Average user rating for this marker: 4.67

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(3 ratings)

NY W. Branch of D., Stilesville
Marker Description: Stilesville Access Area

The first public fishing access below the Cannonsville Dam is the Stilesville Access. You can fish upstream for approximately ¾ of a mile up until you reach the weir dam. Fishing above the weir dam is prohibited. The area above the weir dam is part of the reservoir system and is currently restricted to access.

The upper reaches of the West Branch of the Delaware maintains low water temperatures due to the releases of cold water from the reservoir. You can expect water temperatures to range between 40 and 50 degrees, even in July and August. Brown trout predominate the upper reaches of the river. The fishing regulations currently allow you to keep fish. I myself return the fish to the water, to allow myself or another fisherman to catch them for another day. These are wild fish produced from a self-sustaining population. When I have the appetite for a couple of trout, I myself will fish where the state regularly stocks trout.

There is room for several cars to park at the Stilesville fishing access. This is wadeable water and you can reach many of the areas with careful wading. The water can have great clarity, but this can be deceiving. The water can be deeper than it looks, and the current swift. This area is a great place to fish a hatch. The Sulpher (also known as the Pale Evening Dun) hatch normally runs from June until the end of August.

Upstream of the parking area you will find a few good pools and some excellent dry fly water. The Delaware River system does receive a fair amount of fishing pressure, so the fish become educated. Long leaders and a stealthy approach will many times be required. The topography of the river bottom is subject to change from year to year. The water release from the dam above the West Branch can go from a couple of hundred square feet per second to a couple of thousand. So where there was once a pool one year, there may not be the following year.

Directly in front of the Stilesville parking area is a wonderful pool. Do not miss the opportunity immediately off the bank as you witness rising fish near the center of the pool. It is always a good idea to find a spot on the river bank and take a few minutes to merely observe.

Approximately 150 yards down river from the parking area, the aforementioned pool tails out, and starts an excellent riffle. This riffle is an excellent location to try your hand at nymph fishing. Trout have a tendency to feed below the water’s surface about 80 percent of the time. When you fish with nymphs, it is usually more productive to fish with two flies on the end of your line. Simply take a small piece of tippet material, and tie it on at the bend of the hook. At the other end of the piece of tippet material, tie on another fly.

Fishing with two nymphs helps the trout see the fly(s) in terms of visibility. If you need to add split shot weight, do so but above the first fly up the leader. If you add split shot to the tippet material between the two flies, you end up with more knots in your fly rig. You may wish to add a strike indicator as well, to aid in your detection of fish strikes.

Visitor Comments

Re: NY W. Branch of D., Stilesville Posted by dnorris Fri. August 31, 2012 07:02 pm
Went up to fish the west branch near Stilesville yesterday, olives started to hatch and hooked up to a few decent fish, one beaut of a wild brown @ 21 inches.
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