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December 08, 2016
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Preserving and reinventing tradition

Joe’s Quill Gordon fly tied in the Dette tradition. This fly has a 100-year-old unbroken lineage to its originator, Theodore Gordon.
Photo by Joe Fox

Open season for trout on the upper upper Willow is April 1st through October 15, but the stretch of the upper Willow below the Parkston Bridge and a section of the Beaverkill are open till November 30. A section of the lower Beaverkill below Roscoe and the section of the Willow between Roscoe and Livingston Manor are open to angling all year.

Eight years ago, Evan Lavery bought another long-standing fly shop in Roscoe, The Beaverkill Angler. Founded 40 years ago, the shop features a wide array of equipment, gear, clothing and accessories in addition to flies and tying materials. Evan believes that one of the hidden treasures of the area is “the legitimate two to three months of fall fishing, well into November. While you won’t find the proliferation of hatches like the spring, utilizing a variety of tactics, you’ll find plenty of voracious trout.” At a time when avid anglers are trekking to Montana or upstate to fish for steelhead, there is much less pressure on the streams and you may find yourself alone on an entire run.

Evan advocates using new, or rediscovering old, fishing techniques for fall fishing. “When the fish aren’t feeding on the surface, try contact nymphing, popularized in Europe,” he says. To this end, he is sponsoring the 2013 Troutoberfest on October 12 and 13. In addition to a two-day fly fishing tournament, which Evan believes leads to innovative new techniques and equipment, there are a series of classroom and on-water workshops designed to improve the skills of all levels of fishermen. George Daniel, author of “Dynamic Nymphing,” will lead a class indoors and on-water on contact nymphing. Acclaimed fly tiers from all over will demonstrate their techniques, as will others showing various sub-surface fishing skills. For more information, see

The Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum (CFFCM) located below Livingston Manor on the Willow has been preserving, documenting and sharing the traditions of fly fishing in the Catskills since 1978. Now with three buildings including a gift shop and museum on more than 50 acres, the CFFCM offers something for everyone in the family.