Some stories are harder to tell than others. They can be harder to write, too. This is one of those stories.
Ramblings of a Catskill Flyfisher
Listening to angler friends toward the end of each season, one hears some interesting dialogue about the changes in trout populations. Most of the commentary centers around theory, not fact. Yet some of the speculation does have merit and is based on common sense, logic and what anglers observe while fishing.
Fall in the Rocky Mountain West arrives early, especially at elevations above 5,000 feet. So it was no surprise to find aspens along the banks of the Henry’s Fork in southern Idaho ablaze with yellow when we arrived in Island Park. It was mid-September.
A long time ago, when I was a 19-year-old lad, I pounded the Hound all the way from White Plains across this great land to Missoula, MT, where I enrolled at the university there. My adventure began when a high school chum stopped to visit over Christmas and explained he was a student at the university there.
This story is about the little sulphur May fly, Ephemerella dorothea, and all of the frustration it seems to create for Catskill anglers. But before I tackle that dilemma, it would be good to discuss all the flies that are called sulphurs.
On Monday, July 9, I was outside tending morning chores, when the phone rang and the answering machine picked up. I didn’t think much about the call at the time, but when I checked the caller ID, I knew. Lisa had left the message. Roger had passed.
My friend called this morning to see if I was loose to go fishing. He said the flows had dropped significantly, and the river was fishable for the first time in weeks. We talked and set a time to meet. On the way he asked where I wanted to fish. I said, “How about that section on the lower river, where we just obtained permission?
There is a magical place, high in the eastern Catskills, where crystalline waters flow to form the “Blue Hole.” It is part of the upper Rondout watershed in the Town of Denning and is fed by Rondout Creek, which flows along Peekamoose Road.
I’ve always wished there was enough free time and adequate resources to take the month of May off and just go fishing. Most of us can’t do that, but we can fantasize.
Opening Day. The words opening day mean different things to different people. For example if you’re a Yankees fan, it means opening day at the ball park. But if you are a trout fisherman, fly fisher, or otherwise, it means only one thing: winter is over, and it’s time to load the car and head to the river.