TRR photos by Ted Waddell

Hardy Boys: Capt. Nick Rubicco, “The Catskill Angler” of Roscoe, is a guide and custom bamboo rod builder. He is pictured with Herb Brooks of High Mount, NY.

Talkin’ trout and other fishy tales

LIVINGSTON MANOR/ROSCOE, NY — It was a day for taking about trout and all things fishy that lure them into the net and creel.

On Saturday, April 7, the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum (CFFCM) of Livingston Manor presented its annual host of events marking the start of the trout fishing season in the Empire State.

Technically, the season kicked off on the first day of the month, but as April 1 fell on Easter Sunday, the powers-that-be delayed the opening day festivities for a few days.

First up was “Come Meet Your Maker,” a demonstration of the classic bamboo fly-fishing rod at neighboring Roscoe Central School.

Traveling upstream a bit from his hometown of Long Valley, NJ was Chris Andrus, who brought along a couple of his favorite old-time classics constructed by the likes of Jim Payne and Fred Thomas.

A bit closer to home was Bob Taylor of the R.D. Taylor Rod Company from Hobart, which gained literary fame as Hobart Book Village.

He is a veteran of some 50 years building bamboo rods, and first picked up a fly rod from his uncle as a 16-year-old.

He said his uncle told him, “You’re a natural,” recalling catching a fish on his first-ever cast.

“The Beaverkill is one of the best [rivers to catch trout] in the Northeast. Oh, yeah!,” said Taylor.

Legendary fisherwoman Joan Wulff was on hand with her husband, Theodore “Ted” Rogowski of nearby Lew Beach.

Wulff is widely revered as the “First Lady of Fly Fishing” for her development of modern fly-casting techniques, while Rogowski was instrumental in formulating the legal teeth behind the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act.

Other highlights of the event: folks had a chance to experiment with gyotaku, a form of Japanese printmaking that dates from the mid-1800s; an exhibit titled “The Forged Fly” of fly-fishing-themed metal sculptures by Matt Hart: fly-tying demonstrations by members of the Catskill Fly Tyers Guild; decorating trout-shaped gingerbread cookies by members of the Beamoc Chapter of Trout Unlimited; and to add to the flavor of it all, homemade soups and cookies by Agnes Van Put.

Following the day’s events, the CFFCM hosted its fifth annual Catskill Legends dinner and ceremony at The Arnold House, recognizing the contributions to the fishing world of Kris Lee, Ed Ostapczuk and Jack Yelle.

For an online story about the fifth annual Celebration of Catskill Legends, visit


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