NYC Weekend Angler

The Beaverkill River

My first trip to the Beaverkill was like a fly fisherman's dream come true. Two of my angling friends and I arrived in"Trouttown, USA" (a.k.a. Roscoe, NY) late one Friday night without motel reservations at the beginning of fishing season. We hadn't planned on staying in Roscoe, and as we drove past the first two motels in town, we saw those ominous words in front of them both: "No Vacancy." As luck would have it we found one place with a room to spare — turns out finding lodging without a reservation is no small feat late on a Friday night during fishing season. We toasted our good luck at the bar and hoped it would hold for the remainder of the trip.

During the rest of the weekend, my friends and I were witness to some of the most incredible Mayfly hatches we had ever seen. Insects came off the Beaverkill three times a day in unbelievable numbers. There were two hatches a day, just as one would expect, but then there was another regular hatch at midday. They don't call these "blizzard hatches" for nothing — there were times when we could not see across the river. After talking to some locals, we learned that while the hatches were always strong on the Beaverkill, this was really unusual. We truly felt as though we were witnessing something special.

The fish were less impressive than the Mayflies, but with so many naturals to eat, we could hardly blame them. We did catch some nice fish on hendricksons, pheasant tails and similar nymphs. They were all brown trout between eight and fifteen inches. Occasionally we would get a fish to swipe at a dry fly, but with so much going on, it was hard to concentrate on the drift and we missed most of the surface strikes.

The water was gin clear and easily wadeable even though there had been quite a bit of rainfall earlier that week. Access was surprisingly easy and the crowds (at least that weekend) were easy to elude. Routes 17 and 206 provide numerous pulloffs and if you venture down one of the dirt roads near the river and pay attention to the posted signs, you can find sections of the river that roadside anglers don't visit.

All told, Roscoe is a truly angler-friendly town with motels and fly shops easily accessible. Don't count on your luck like my friends and I did, thoughmake a reservation.

Take 9 out of New York City to 287 West, then head straight up 17 North until you hit the town of Roscoe. The closest train is at Brewster, which is near the Croton.

Adams, Sulfers, Hendricksons, blue winged olives, and lots of caddis. Bring these flies in sizes 10-20 and bring nymphs, emerges, dries and spinners. And you can always call ahead.

Roscoe has numerous motels, some better than others, but all of them angler-friendly.

There are several flyshops in Roscoe. The largest and easiest to find are right across the street from each other on the main drag—Catskill Flies (607-498-6146) and The Beaverkill Angler (607-498-5194).

Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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