Fly Fishing in the Catskills
Guest post by by Dave DiCerbo, Owner of Destination Backcountry Adventures.
The Catskills are home to over 1,500 miles of diverse trout streams; from bubbling mountain brooks a few feet across, cold even in the summer, to wide, wadeable rivers. These pristine waters are born deep in the protected wilderness of the High Peaks, then cascade down to and converge in valleys to form some of the finest trout fishing streams in the world. So it’s no surprise that these legendary waters are the birthplace of Fly Fishing in America--soon after this specialized technique made its way from England, the area became famous for “Americanizing” the sport--developing native patterns and techniques that would serve as the foundation of American Fly Fishing as the technique spread throughout the continent.
Brook trout are native to the Catskills but their sensitivity to heat means they may be found only the coldest water, typically near the headwaters of small streams at higher elevation. In the early 1880s, non-native populations of rainbow and brown trout were introduced and with a greater tolerance for warm waters, they thrived in the lower river environments that were too warm for native brook trout.
The protection of the Preserve in 1885 resulted in the preservation of clean, cold waters for the native brookie populations at higher elevations and this, combined with the establishment of brown and rainbows lower in the rivers means that today, we may enjoy endless opportunities for backcountry and “big water” fishing throughout the year!
Join the Opening Day tradition of making your first cast at the famed Junction Pool, the confluence of the Beaverkill & Willowemoc! Then, we suggest the legendary waters of the Rondout, Esopus, and Neversink for classic “big water” fly fishing. When you’re ready for the close quarters casting and hiking required to reach the best spots for backcountry brook trout fishing, scores of higher elevation tributaries that feed these rivers await you!
HOW TO START FLY FISHING IN THE CATSKILLS
STEP 1: LEARN
Check out the community at the annual Trout Tales Fly Fishing Festival (2016 date: March 26)
Learn the history at the Fly Fishing Museum
STEP 2: FIND A GUIDE
For New Yorkers with no car Destination Backcountry offers guided fishing adventures with transportation
For instruction from beginner to advanced, check out Catskills Flies for everything from fishing to casting classes.
STEP 3: GET OUT THERE!
Check the fishing report from the Beaverkill Angler
Find driving directions to your favorite spot: Catskills Flies Maps / Directions
Start the season: Opening Day tradition of making your first cast at the famed Junction Pool