Sunday, June 23, 2013

Camping in the Catskills

I just returned from a great weekend of camping on the Beaverkill near Roscoe. This was a family trip for my wife and I (and our dogs) so not a lot of fishing to report about this time. We had a great weekend just hanging out on our scenic little campsite right on the river, grilling food, and spending time together. Hearing the sound of the rushing water right outside while we slept was amazing. I was ever watchful for any kind of hatch on the water below us and had a rod strung up and ready to go. For some reason there was surprisingly little bug activity where we were on the water. Maybe my wife wisely called ahead and pulled some strings to minimize distractions. We did hit the stream together one afternoon for a bit and she picked up casting almost right away. We didn't catch anything, but seeing her casting and even mending line like a pro was better than any fish would have been. Still, it would have been pretty great to see her land that first trout. We also brought our new dog Pete to the river and I was happy to see how comfortable he was just hanging out on the banks while we fished. I've been really wanting to bring him fishing with me and it looks like that's fine with him too.

I was able to squeeze in a short session on a different part of the Beaverkill late one afternoon. I was given some expert tips on where and what to fish from a friend in the know. The area I went to was beautiful- but intimidatingly big water. I'm really a small stream guy at heart. Catskills rivers seem endlessly wide and shallow to my untrained eye. Definitely not my comfort zone. With no rises in sight, I first tried nymphing in any small runs and around rocks I could find but had no success. The water was still gin clear in the setting sunlight. With no perceivable hiding spots or holes in sight, I imagine it's very difficult to sneak up on these pressured trout. I switched to a dry and prospected around the shadows of the far bank and anywhere that looked promisingly. I had a few tentative takes, just tiny little splashes but couldn't connect. I headed back to camp for dinner. Fish or no fish this time- this is a beautiful river and a breeze to wade. And the scenery is just unbeatable. It was a challenging taste of Catskills fishing and more than a little humbling. Clearly I have some homework to do before my next visit.