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So Where are the Best Fly Fishing Areas in Delaware?
New stocking programs commenced in September 2009 in the Maryland region and this saw Delaware benefit from it.
A few years back, the state procured large 3 to 5-pound rainbows from West Virginia to stock in the Delaware trout waters.
Their spring season at that time saw the waters receive over 400,000 rainbows.
Delaware fully relies on the funds raised after selling trout stamps so as to stock the streams.
The state freshwater fisheries management is working effortlessly to provide anglers with excellent fishing opportunities within at least half a dozen streams.
However, it is proving to be a challenge.
The brown, rainbow, and brookies that are stocked in the Delaware waters are procured from the Pennsylvanian hatcheries.
Stocking is however done in specific streams two weeks prior to the opening date of spring fishing.
More stocking is done within a one-month period.
So far, the areas on the trout stocking schedule in Delaware are Beaver Run, Christina Creek, Mill Creek, Pike Creek, Red Clay Creek, White Clay Creek, Wilson Run, Tidbury, and Newton Ponds.
The stream temperatures here are marginal.
White Clay Creek
White Clay Creek is one of the most popular trout fisheries in Delaware.
Anglers sometimes don’t love the limitations and special regulations on many watersheds.
However, it is for the good of the fishery and the continuity of the sport.
It will gladden their hearts to know that the stretch from Pennsylvania line heading downstream on Paper Mill Road is a put-and-take section.
They are free to fish with whichever tackle gear you have. You will often spot fly rods and spinning rods in this stretch and the bubbly anglers always never seem to get enough.
They keep elbowing each other because of the privileges here. So, if you are looking for more space and waters to yourself, head further from this stretch.
There is a restricted area for fly fishing only commencing from the Thompson Bridge on Chambers Rock Road down towards the Pennsylvania line.
The fish limit per day for each person is four fish and anglers are allowed to fish with artificial flies only.
You can only use single-point hooks here. Also, you are forbidden from using two flies on one fly line.
Using natural bait, plugs, lures, spoons, rubber, wooden, metallic, or plastic spinners is not allowed.
In the White Clay Creek State Park with proximity to this watershed are other freshwater offerings like the Cattail and Millstone Ponds with all-year-round fishing opportunities for crappie and bluegill.
You can also catch largemouth bass here though on the catch and release method.
Season: First Saturday of April to two weeks before opening the trout season
Main Species: In the creek: stocked brownies and rainbows. In the ponds: bluegill, largemouth bass, and crappies
Fly Patterns: Baetis, attractor dry fly patterns streamers of size 10 to 12, Hare’s ear nymphs, PT, midges, San Juan worms, BWOs, little black stonefly
Summer brings a lot of fishing at the Southern Market Street Bridge.
Especially night fishing enhanced by the beautiful lighting that sparks the Christina River drawing the insect life closer for you to enjoy catfish and striper fishing.
Stripers thrive to over 22 inches and fast-reeling flies like streamers and leeches will not disappoint.
Carry your depth finder to the Chery Flats which is in the northern part of Delaware Memorial Bridge.
It has a depth of 7 feet and homes big stripers and these chaps can grow to more than 52 inches.
White perch fishermen can try the Port Penn Spillway. You can choose to fish on the spillway or the Delaware River.
White perch, catfish, stripers, and blue crabs gather here.
South of the intersection point of the Christina River, Red Clay Creek, and White Clay Creek is the Hale Byrnes House.
Anglers can fly fish for bass, huge sunfish, and stripes.
Becks Pond is very large with numerous deep holes that are home to pickerel, bluegills, yellow perch, black crappie, white crappie, largemouth bass, and invasive snakehead.
You can choose to fish from the shore or from a boat.
Augustine Beach is found where Delaware River enters Delaware Bay and will be ideal for fishermen looking for rockfish at the shores or white perch, crabs, and catfish in the deeper waters.
Years back a state record largemouth bass of 13 pounds 13 ounces was caught in the Lums Pond.
So you can imagine the fly fishing potential in this place that can be exploited from the shores or a boat.
You can check other locations like;
Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes,
Brandywine Creek in Wilmington,
Delaware Seashore State Park in Indian River Inlet,
Woodland Beach in Smyrna,
Moore’s Lake in Dover,
Ingram Pond in Millsboro,
Derby Pond in Woodside,
Silver Lake in Dover,
Masseys Mill Pond,
Tips for Successful Fly Fishing in Delaware
The trout fishing regulations in Delaware aren’t as strict even with only a few watersheds with trout.
There is no minimum size limit for caught trout.
However, the bag limit per person is 6 fish daily except in the restricted streams which allow a maximum of 4 trout.
If in a day you possess the six trout, you are not allowed to fish for trout in any designated trout stream again until the end of the day.
After possessing the four fish which is the limit when trout fishing in trout-restricted areas, you can continue fishing as long as you catch and immediately release the rest of the fish with minimal or without injury.
There are designated stretches and fisheries for fly fishing only.
This means that there are regulations regarding the choice of flies and other tackle that you should follow to the letter.
Most access to trout streams is on and through private land.
All anglers are advised to respect the privilege of getting access to avoid being banned from fishing in the area.
No fishing is allowed in any trout stream in the first two weeks before the opening day of the trout season which is usually the first Saturday of April.
On the given opening day for trout fishing in spring, the starting time is 7 am.
From there, anglers can fish trout earlier before sunrise.
However, you are to stop fishing for trout an hour after sunset.
FAQ’s – Questions on Fly Fishing in Delaware
Q) What is the age requirement for having a fishing license in Delaware? A) Anyone, whether a resident or non-resident of Delaware who wants to access the state waters for fishing and is 16 years of age and above must have a valid fishing license before doing so.
Q) Must I have a trout stamp to fish for trout in the state? A) Yes. This applies to both residents and non-residents from 12 years will need a trout stamp to fish for trout from the first Saturday of April to 30th June and or from the first Saturday of October to 30th November.
Q) How do I know that my trout stamp is valid? A) A trout stamp is valid if it is signed in ink across its face
Q) Which fish are there in the Woodland beach? A) You can catch white perch, yellow perch, and rock bass here.
Fishing in the First State will be a worthy experience.
The state like a few others might not be having very many trout waters to sample but the few that exist make the trout anglers here go after them in masses when the season opens.
We can also see from research done online that the state receives a good number of visiting fishermen.
This is a sign that in a few years to come with more stocking programs put in place, Delaware will match states like Alaska, Connecticut, and the likes that are havens of trout fishing.
The few that are in Delaware are majorly stocked with rainbow, brown, and brook trout.
It will be a good idea to challenge yourself and plan a trip to fly fish in Delaware for trout, walleye, perch, sunfish, crappie, bluegill, rockfish, and other fish species that reside there.
There are both opportunities for freshwater and saltwater anglers.
Once you have identified the places where you intend to wet your lines, know the right tackle gear that you need for a stress-free experience.
We have a buyer’s guide section that educates anglers on the best tackle, equipment, clothing, apparel, and accessories that they can purchase.
The products are in different price groups meaning that there is something for everyone regardless of their budget.
Identify the best that you need and await a delivery prior to your journey.
Have you fished in Delaware waters before?
What tackle did you carry?
And the fish-which did you catch? What were your challenges?
Share with us your fishing experience in the first state and let us know if there are spots that deserve a mention but weren’t included in the article.