Up until a few days ago, this summer's been too dry, and the rivers and streams have been extremely low, making for less than ideal fishing conditions.

The water is really too warm for fishing.

Last week, I went to the Au Sable River near Lake Placid. The fly fishing was very slow. Like the guides in the area said, "It's summer!"

One evening, I drifted a few flies in a section of the river below Monument Falls. I tried to entice a hungry trout up from the depths, but it didn't work. With few flies hatching, there was absolutely no activity.

The lone successes among our friends came as a result of fish caught on worms in the deep pools below Au Sable Falls and Whiteface Mountain. That area is not governed by the artificial lures only regulations.

The fish seemed to hold at the base of the falls in the foam and bubbles. The tumbling water releases more oxygen, attracting the trout. After all, trout are cold water fish. When water temperatures increase to about 68 degrees, the fish do not fare well.

Warm water puts stress on fish once they're caught. Trout are somewhat fragile creatures. If you catch one, you have to avoid fighting it for very long and release it as quickly as possible.

It's probably best to stay home and give the fish a break.

The water problem received a reprieve this week, when we got the tail end of that tropical storm off the Atlantic. Today, streams are running full, but before this week people were advised to avoid fishing for trout except during early morning hours when water temperatures are cooler.

The Delaware River system faces an extremely serious situation. Lack of water and overly high temperatures threaten tailwater fishing. With the large volume of cold water at the bottom of the reservoirs, a regular release of the colder bottom water would solve the situation. The problem is the New York City Water Board. They don't much care about fish or upstate fishermen.

The Department of Environmental Conservation finally reached an agreement with New York City to have planned releases from the Popacton and Cannonsville Reservoirs to save the delicate Delaware fishery.

The Catskill rivers have spectacular fisheries, attracting many sportsmen who help the upstate economy. Thankfully, with the cold water the fishing will improve. Huge browns are just waiting for you.

What's Happening?

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Banquet will be held at 4 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Meadow Links Golf Course north of Cooperstown. The banquet raises money for a fantastic organization that does so much for America's wildlife and habitat. For tickets or more information, call Randy Hoose at 607-547-6174.

Rick Brockway writes a weekly outdoors column for The Daily Star. E-mail him at robrockway@hotmail.com.

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