Hudson-Catskill Newspapers

Anglers Shun Trout Opener

By Dick Nelson

New York’s trout fishing season opened on Tuesday, and if my observations were indicative to the number of people who celebrated the occasion, the turnout of anglers was lighter than usual.
I don’t know if it was because the season opened on a Tuesday, the high cost of fuel, or the turbulent waters that kept fishermen from wetting a line, but there were definitely fewer fishermen casting flies or dunking worms then there were in previous years.

Weather-wise Tuesday morning was surprisingly nice. Despite a steady drizzle of rain that fell throughout much of the morning, the temperature was quite comfortable and by high noon it reached a balmy 60 degrees.

My day began along that section of the Kaaterskill Creek where it intersects with High Falls Road and Route 32, but I spent most of the day traveling around the region checking area streams, stopping every now and then to see if I could entice a hungry trout into hitting a wooly bugger or one of a dozen garden worms I had stashed away for emergencies.

And in case you're wondering, no, I didn't stick the worm on the end of the fly line. Not that I haven't done that before. I used a spinning outfit, mostly because I wanted to see how the new Super Caster 180 XL reel I picked up a few weeks ago would perform.

Manufactured by U.S. Reel, the reel performed every bit as good as the manufacturer said it would, and while it was designed mostly for drop-shotting and finesse fishing largemouth and smallmouth bass, it proved its worth on trout.

A mere 6.9 ounces, the reel is a pleasure to cast, and the wide diameter spool allowed for greater casting distance. Spooled with Sufix Elite Camo pattern 4-pound test line, the two trout I brought to the net never had a chance.

Those two fish were caught along the Schoharie Creek, where surprisingly I never came across another fisherman anywhere between Hunter and Prattsville. In fact if I hadn't bumped into Charlie and Susan Doriguzzi of Catskill, Tim Martin and Diane Kozel of Kiskatom, earlier that morning, I would have thought I was the only one fishing.

Fishing below the High Falls Road Bridge, Charlie Doriguzzi held up two nice brown trout when I asked him to pose for a picture -- one a shade over 18 inches.

A little while later I spotted a couple of other successful anglers along the Kiskatom Brook, and while each said they had landed a couple of “small ones, both invoked their fifth amendment rights when it came to identifying themselves. The way I figure it, they must have called in sick.

By noon, the only other two people I seen in my travels were Paul Rappleyea of Lexington and Pete Petrou of Ashland. And I shouldn't even count Petrou since he wasn't fishing.

Much the same as I did, Petrou, whose family owns the Garden of Eden Cafe on Route 23, parked in front of the James F. Corty VFW Post to see how Rappleyea was doing. He wasn't.

With so few people fishing in this area, I pointed the Jeep in the direction of Roscoe to see what was happening along other waters. Although I did see a few bodies along the West Branch of the Delaware River, it wasn't until I reached the Beaverkill, where about a dozen people were tossing a variety of lures and bait into the hallowed waters of Junction Pool, that I came across a significant number of anglers.

At 37 degrees the water temperature along the Beaverkill wasn't much warmer than elsewhere, and even though the DEC deposited 75 brown trout into Junction Pool the day before, I was told that only two had been caught. Actually, things were as quiet here in Trout Town U.S.A. as they were elsewhere. But with Saturday's ceremonial First Cast at Junction Pool at 7:30 a.m., I suspect both the streams and streets of this tiny village will be swarming with people.

Hosted by the Catskill Fly Fishing Center, this year's guests included DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis and television and movie actor Olek Krupa.

Following the opening ceremony, and a round of breakfast pastries and other goodies, the festivities move to the Catskill Fly Fishing Center, where from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., you can mingle with some of trout fishing notables, and sample some of Agnes Van Put's famous soups. Later you can join Mike Canazon and the Bamboo Guys for the 2nd annual Cane Casting Clinic at the Livingston Manor High School Gym. The day ends with the annual Two Headed Trout Dinner at the Rockland House, beginning with cocktails (cash bar) at 6 p.m., followed with a six course prime rib dinner at 7p.m.
The cost of the dinner is $45 per adult and $12 for children age 10 and younger, and includes a pancake breakfast the following morning, at the Rockland Fire House from 8 a.m. - noon. For more information call 607-498-5765.

News and Notes: In response to public requests, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have extended the public comment period on the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment to Wednesday, April 9th.

You may submit your comments by regular mail, email or fax to Beth Goldstein, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Westgate Center Dr., Hadley, MA 01035. Fax: 413-253-8564, E-mail: . (Place “Wallkill River” in the subject line).

Dropping anchor ‘til next time.

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