This year David invited a few new guys along for the ride, and I was one of them.
Early Thursday morning Elwin and I drove to meet David and his son Zach, and from there we hopped on the highway to Roscoe NY where we would spend the next three days. The Perrellis showed up right around the same time we did, and Jeff was not far behind. David's son-in-law would get there later that night, and I have I think Bob got there the next day.
We were right on the river, and the cabin was just amazing. The guy who was renting it out to us, Robert, was a stone mason. He built an incredible stone patio, stairs, wall, and fireplace, and it was all beautiful and had evidently already held u to the Beaverkill's occasional minor flooding.
And the river was RIGHT in the back yard. We were on one of the best pools on the river, called m)77fug&&*hf^6%/ 7 8 hy * .. l /
Sheesh, I don't know what that was all about. Must have passed out on my keyboard. Any way we were right on the river. I threw my gear down and very quickly got out on the water. One of my first few casts with a little Royal Stimulator in this nice looking riffle, a huge brown came up and took. I set and missed I moved that fish many other times in three days, and even broke it off twice, but I could not for the life of me keep it hooked for any amount of time. Cross my heart, that fish was 24 inches.
A short time later I hooked into my first NY brown trout, a size able, fat, beautiful fish that fought like a demon. I noticed right away how good a condition it was in for being a stocked fish. I don't know exactly what NY is doing, but all of the stocked trout I caught there were just freaking stunning.
The river was low. The trout were largely hanging out in fast water. Sure, there were fish and slow water, and some of those were pretty big. Paul Perrelli had caught a really big fish on a march brown in some slow shallow water the week before. But the water most likely to produce were the riffles and pocket water, which were just full of nice little brown trout.
The first long fish I caught of the trip was not a trout. Elwin, David and I were walking back down to the way back down to the cabin when I spotted something swimming up the middle of the flat. I cast my streamer in front of it and very quickly came tight. It was a lamprey. I didn't even think it was possible to catch one on a fly until Ben Bilello sent my a photo of one he caught in the Connecticut River last week. I really don't like it when people bash native fish. I gave a couple of guys a quick lesson when I heard one say "better dead than alive" about a white sucker. ALL native fish are important. But it was pretty damn hard not to be grossed out by that lamprey. They a creepy fish.
The next afternoon I sat and watched a female lamprey working on it's nest, moving rocks around. It was quiet and peaceful, and almost beautiful they way it carefully worked in the current. I wouldn't ever want to catch a lamprey again, but seeing them working in their nests was amazing.
After a great lunch I headed back out again on the hunt for a big trout. I got one. I had on a big Royal Humpy. In about five inches of water I saw a splashy stonefly type rise. I put a drift over it and sure enough, up came an 18 inch brown trout.
After a very good battle I landed that stunning specimen of a brown, the biggest I have caught on a dry. The colors on it were just amazing.
I fished some pocket water that day, and in a fairly short time I caught about 30 brown trout, all on dries.
After having the first epic dinner of the trip cooked by the Perrellis, chicken parm, I was back on the river. Using a Royal Stimi I caught a few small fish, then hooked into a nice one. Sure enough, it was the same fish I caught that afternoon! Four hours, same fish was ready to eat again.
The next fish was the first of a number of nice wild rainbows. You can sure tell the difference just by the way they fight. They are crazy! I had one about 14 inches darn near take me into the backing the next night, just an unbelievable fight.
On Friday morning, it POURED. The rain didn't last long though, and when we got out for the bulk of the fishing day it was just amazing.
I started out with a streamer. I had what should have been a banner morning. I moved some big browns, some over 22 inches, but my hookset was just awful. It doesn't matter how aggressive the fish are when you can't pull the trigger well enough. Eventually I found myself at a big slow side pool where I spotted some nice smallmouth. Sight fishing to them was pretty easy.
I was able to get a sucker to take as well, one of the prettiest of the species I have ever caught.
That afternoon I did some real damage with a nymph. I caught somewhere in the mid teens by working the fast runs very carefully. I got a few gorgeous little wild browns too.
That night was the craziest caddis hatch I have ever fished. I sat and watched the pool for a while but not much was happening. Then I walked back into the woods to relieve myself. I was gone maybe ten minutes because, as usual, I wasn't carrying TP. when I got back that pool was boiling with trout and there was caddis everywhere. I caught 23 fish in half an hour.
Other than moving a huge lazy brown, the fishing highlight of the next day was catching a gorgeous native out of a trib. It was actually the last fish of the trip, and what a beautiful way to end the catching.
This river has bug life. Aside from the crazy caddis hatches there were tons of other aquatic insects. Stoneflies, midges, and many different species of mayfly.
Other than that brookie the fishing on Saturday was nothing special. I had a big brown refuse everything I threw at it, right down to a size 24 trico. Aside from that and a very frustrating evening during which Paul and I threw just about everything we had at aggressively feeding fish, nothing much transpired. We had a great time shooting the breeze though, and the steak dinner was terrific.
On Sunday morning it POURED. I had left a lot of gear outside and it all got soaked. When the rain quit David, Paul and I went downstream, Vin took a little while to get ready, and when he finally got down... the heavens just opened up. We all rushed for the cabin. Paul went in a hole, topped off his waders and got a good thorough soaking. We all had a good laugh when we got back. Soon, it was time to go. We stopped at the Fly Fishing Museum on the way out, but there is a fee now so we didn't go in. I'll be looking forward to next year, thank to everyone for making it such a great trip.