This past weekend I took a few extra days off work to go fish the Catskills. It’s open season as of April 1, and I had heard a lot of encouraging stories about how good the fishing can be in the spring. I visited for the first time over the summer, and was in awe of the natural beauty of this part of New York. All the streams remind me of western streams and have a wide and wild look to them. As a trout angler, I’m especially fond of the dedication to trout that’s evident in the “Trout Town” of Roscoe.
I’ve read a lot of fishing literature about Theodore Gordon’s early pioneering of American fly fishing in this region, and wanted to take in the history as well as catching trout. I have to say that the Catskills Fly Fishers did an excellent job of adding roadside signage for the most famous pools, riffles, and runs. I enjoyed reading about the history of the location on these signs.
I fished a few spots throughout the day, taking wild guesses at where there might be fish. I’ve always loved fishing small streams more than any other type of water, and it’s easy for me to start to feel overwhelmed fishing larger bodies of water. I fished all the promising looking riffles, pools, and shady stream sections I came across. I wasn’t having much luck, but there were several other anglers out and no one was catching anything.
I eventually drove back towards Roscoe to grab some lunch, and noticed a sign for the famed “Junction Pool”. A few anglers were leaving the spot, so I thought it was a good chance for me to give it a whirl. After fishing for a few minutes, the clouds were forming overhead and I noticed a couple of faint rises towards the end of the pool. I had to squint, but it looked as though a few blue winged olives were starting to appear. As quickly as the rises arose, so did the first rain drops, and in a matter of minutes I was on my way back to the car to go ahead with my plan of eating lunch. If the weather cleared up after lunch, I decided I’d head back to the Junction Pool to see if I could catch a few rising trout on a dry fly.
The weather did end up clearing up, so I drove back to the pool. Sure enough, after a few minutes, the trout started rising again. I had already prepared a blue wing olive imitation, and added a size 22 rainbow warrior nymph as my dropper. The pool looked incredibly deep (maybe north of 10′?), so I tied the dropper about a foot under the dry to be in the range of the surface feeding fish. After a few casts, my dry fly took a noticeable drop, and I set the hook. It was a feisty brown trout, and took a couple of good runs before I safely got it to my net.
I had a good day of fishing, but I still have a lot to learn about fishing the Catskills and the Beaverkill. I hope to one day be able to learn the ins and outs of it. As for the Junction Pool, it was fun to fish for the experience and history associated with it. I can’t say it was as beautiful and wild as the other sections of the Beaverkill, simply because it’s so close to town. I was disappointed to see a few empty worm containers left behind at this spot, but that seems to be the unfortunate case at a lot of rivers this close to civilization. All said, it was a nice trip and while the Junction Pool wouldn’t be a destination for me, I was happy to have caught trout in a place with a rich fly fishing history.