Wednesday, June 7, 2017

10 Days in the Catskills (Part 2)

Before the Perrellis came to pick me up on Tuesday morning I got out for one last morning in that beautiful stretch of water below Cook's Falls. I caught a few nice browns, on dries of course, as a fair well to my home for the last four nights.

After I sat and chatted with another camp regular for a while, I started to pack mt gear up. It was about time for the fun part of the trip to begin. The convoy rolled in about 15 minutes early. We were on the road to the cabin and my favorite stretch of the Beaverkill in no time at all. 

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After we figured out where we would all sleep and got our stuff inside, food in the fridge and cupboards, and explored a little bit of our sweet temporary digs, Paul and I quickly turned our thoughts to the water. We fished the riffled pocket water downstream from camp without much luck. I pulled up a little rainbow and got some misses, but after a while decided the sun was putting the fish on alert. I gave up first. Paul stayed and eventually worked his way up to the slow water behind the cabin. From inside a few of us watched him hook what we at first though was bottom. That turned out not to be the case, it was a big brown! 

Now I couldn't wait until that magic evening Beaverkill rise. But first, dinner Perrelli style. These guys know how to eat. This night was sausage, onion and pepper grinders. 

After eating about half my body weight it was time to go fishing again.  The drakes had begun to trickle off at a modest pace. I worked my way upstream to some pocket water that held dig fish last year. After missing a few big fish and catching one small one I came back down to the slow water, where chaos was about to unfold. 

After I got out of the egg laying caddis blizzard and got down to the slow water I found a bunch of rising trout and the best drake hatch I have ever experienced. It was just a mayfly blizzard. It took some work, these fish were not easy, but I eventually fooled one. It was sitting in less than a foot of slow calm water. The take was magnificent. From the hookset on until I could get it into the edge water it was a tooth and nail battle. There is a lot that can go wrong when you combine shallow rocky water with a big wild brown and light tippet. But, as I like to say, I eventually won. This was the 2nd fish over 20 inches for the trip. It made going to sleep that night a little bit harder.

The next day dawned cold and clear. We went into Roscoe for breakfast at Casey's. The make a mean bacon egg and cheese sandwich. My waders had developed a toe leak two days before, so I ran up the street to see if the Beaverkill Angler had a patch kit. They did. I then waited for the adhesive to dry in mid afternoon to do the first fishing of the day. While Paul and Paul Michael were out floating with Ken (Baxter House) on the main stem we stayed at the cabin. I hike upstream, carrying both my 8wt streamer rod and my 5wt dry fly rod. I almost immediately broke off a big fish on a green drake I had just bought that morning. 

After thoroughly working a short section of water an not seeing the kin of fish I knew were there I dropped the dry rod and piccked up the full sink and the gnarly articulate fly. One little wild brown was not enough. I was looking for big fish.

It took three casts for a 23 inch brown to go ape on my fly. I wasn't in a very good position to set the hook and so failed entirely. But it's all about the eat in streamer fishing, and that was a good eat! I continued my way upstream without so much as a look, when finally I got a grab and a solid hookset. I landed an 18 inch brown an was pretty stoked. Two casts later a bigger fish came out and just wrecked my fly. This time I was completely ready. The front hook got goo purchase an the fight was. one. The fish actually reacted to the hookset by tail-walking across the run, twice. That's not something I see browns of this size do a lot of. Even with an 8wt rod this fish was not a push over. It took line from the reel, which was locked down pretty tight since I fish streamers with 20lb tippet. When I did land him I was literally jumping up and down on the bank an cursing like a sailor. What an incredible fish from the Beaverkill! 

After I released the biggest wild brown trout I'd ever caught, I went back to the cabin for burgers and dogs. I fished that evening but it was not impressive enough to overshadow the afternoon streamer bite. 

The next day was our last full day at the cabin. I fished on and off throughout the day but it wasn't particularly productive until the evening. I caught 6 or 7 nice browns on dries again, this time all but one were wild fish and fought incredibly well. Mostly we just chatted, enjoyed an excellent steak dinner, and played cards. On a long fishing trip good company is a necessity, and I was with a good crowd here. 

In the morning, after fishing a bit an cleaning up the place, Rik showed up. We all said our goodbyes and I was off on the next leg of the trip. Thanks everybody, I had a great time. See y'all next year! 


  1. This place is in my bucket list! Those hatches are incredible. It's no wonder the trout look so good. This place is paradise. So glad you had a great time. I truly enjoyed your stories and photos.
    Tie, fish, write and photo on...

    1. It should be on everyone's. It's the birthplace of American fly fishing.

  2. What a great trip! Thanks for taking me along via your great report and photos! My gosh you caught some beautiful trout and lots of them.

    Regards, Sam

    1. Really, numbers wise, this wasn't the best trip. Last year I would get 20 or more a day but they were small. One night I caught 30 trout in 45 minutes. But I take quality over quantity any day so this trip was far better in my opinion.