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CATSKILL-DELAWARE Spring 2017

A Special Section of the Sullivan County Democrat

How to fill your net in the Delaware Dining • Real Estate • Fishing • Shopping • Wildlife


CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2017 • 1

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Contents The Guiding Life on the Upper Delaware River .8 By Tony Ritter Once ‘the Secret Fishin’ Hole’ of favorites and summer residents, the Upper Delaware River is now a premier fishing destination enjoyed by thousands of anglers annually, many of whom angle with the 66 licensed guides who now show them how to catch fish. Tight lines!

A history, heritage exists at Dette Trout Flies . .22 By Joseph Abraham Nearly nine decades of artistry in tying flies has made the Dette family a legend in flyfishing. Although now you can order their primo products online, a pilgrimage to the site where it all began in Roscoe almost a century ago is the revelation of a unique American success story.

Fishing opportunities abound year round . . . . .30 By Andy Boyar Think there’s a time of year when fishermen don’t even think of fishing? Andy Boyar tips us off as to how inveterate anglers find opportunities to fish – or prepare for fishing – no matter what the season is. If you live and breathe fishing, there’s always something to be learned.

Solaia brings Northern Italy to Monticello . . . . .40 By Kaitlin Carney The dining room at Solaia is warm and welcoming, the atmosphere set for a Northern Italian cuisine experience. From the Carpacio di Manto to the Scallopini alla Funghi, to the homemade Tiramisu, a delicious meal to suit your tastebuds awaits you!

Journey of our American Shad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 By John A. Punola Spring is the beginning for a new generation of Shad on the Delaware River. John Punola steps us through their incredible life cycle: from their fresh-water birthplace to the near-600 mile journey to the Bay of Fundy where they’ll live until it’s time for them to return here to spawn, reviving the cycle of the Shad for another generation.

From knives to chainsaws: Paul Stark creates . . .64 By Autumn Schanil Imagine using common woodworking tools to transform wood into massive works of art. Now the third generation of his family to work with wood, Paul Stark has created amazing tableaus that can be seen in familiar nightspots around the county — and around the world.

A tale of a pretty mouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .74 By Kathy Daley Deer mice aren’t mighty, but as Kathy Daley tells it, they have attributes not common among their kind. Learn what’s to like about these tiny creatures – even if they live with you.

Sections Arts/Entertainment . . . . 49 Auto. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Callicoon . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Delaware County . . . . . 70 Dining . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Fallsburg. . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Honesdale/Wayne Cty . . 16 6 • CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2017

Jeffersonville. . . . . . . . . 73 Liberty . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Livingston Manor . . . . . 36 Lodging . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Monticello . . . . . . . . . . 56 Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . 32 Roscoe . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Wurtsboro . . . . . . . . . . 62

CATSKILL-DELAWARE PUBLICATIONS, INC. Publisher Frederick W. Stabbert III • Senior Editor Dan Hust • Editor Carol Montana • Sports Editor Joseph Abraham • Editorial Assistants John Punola, Anthony Ritter, Kaitlin Carney, Kathy Daley, Autumn Schanil, Andrew Boyar • Advertising Director Liz Tucker • Advertising Coordinator Janice Vooght • Advertising Representatives Cecile Lamy, Barbara Matos, Susan Panella, April Spruill • Telemarketing Coordinator Michelle Reynolds • Classifieds & Circulation Janet Will, Linda Davis, Kohloa Zaitsha • Production Associates Ruth Huggler, Rosalie Mycka, Elizabeth Finnegan, Petra Duffy, Nyssa Calkin, Claire Humbert • Business Manager Sue Owens • Business Department Patricia Biedinger, Margaret Bruetsch • Distribution Billy Smith • Phil Grisafe

Catskill-Delaware Magazine Published by Catskill-Delaware Publications, Inc. Publishers of the Sullivan County Democrat (845) 887-5200 Callicoon, N.Y. 12723 February 24, 2017 Vol. CXXVI, No. 73


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Snowshoe Red Quill Spinner

Once the secret fishing hole of locals, the Upper Delaware is now a famous fishery of the Northeast, thanks to guide like Tony Ritter. Read all about how he did it in...

The Guiding Life on the Upper Delaware River! STORY AND PHOTOS BY ANTHONY RITTER, NPS AND NYS LICENSED GUIDE his season marks my 23rd year offering guided fishing trips on the beautiful Upper Delaware River. Many folks, local and out of the area, are surprised to learn that the river, from Hancock, N.Y. south about 75 miles to Port Jervis, is managed by the National Park Service, and currently has 66 licensed guides under permit to guide for hire. That’s correct – 66 guides! That’s quite a number of registered guides, in

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8 • CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2017

fact, this region is second only to Acadia National Park, near Bar Harbor in Maine, and we have very close to the amount of guides in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming! When I got started back in 1994, there were about 18 guides. Since then, due to the amount of positive publicity about our region – specifically, the wild trout fishery and cool tailwater flows along with other great fishing for many species framed in a backdrop of a big Western type river, spectacular scenery, bald eagles and close proximity to the New York/New Jersey


metro area – the guiding / outfitting business in the Catskills has taken off. Guiding on the Upper Delaware River has also become tightly regulated and competitive. All licensed guides that ply our waters are not only under permit from the National Park Service but also by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. All guides must pass written exams, take CPR, Basic Water Safety and First Aid courses, as well as be insured. Some guides, like myself, are independent, and others work for a shop or outfitter. In this article, I have chosen four other guides that work the Upper Delaware River and Catskils, all of whom I have had the pleasure to work with and consider my colleagues and have asked them the same five questions about guiding. The common denominator that I found from reading their responses was that they all like people and consider themselves teachers to the art of angling. Hands down. It’s a people business! Each day, in a guide’s life, the curtain goes up. There are many elements that you have no control over. Wind, weather, water level, cold fronts – the list goes on. You might have spent the last five days on the

water, but your customer has not, so you have to go all out with energy and enthusiasm to make their day special and hopefully, one to remember. Yes, you have to know the ins and outs of the river’s mysteries which only comes with time on the water and you have to be experienced when it comes to insects, where fish lay and overall technique. But, to be a great guide, one who constantly puts their “sports” onto fish and who can build a continual trusting guide/client relationship over the years – so that repeat customers come back and tell their friends – you have to like people while at the same time being patient with both the neophyte as well as the experienced angler. So without further adieu, please let me introduce you to four great guides that I have had the pleasure to know and fish with for many years. To my readers, I wish you great fishing in Catskill – Delaware country for the 2017 season and remember to practice C-P-R which is Catch, Photograph and Release. As noted angler and conservationist, Lee Wulff, once said, “A gamefish is too valuable to catch only once.” Tight lines and I hope to see you on the river! Anthony Ritter is a NPS and NYS licensed guide out of Narrowsburg, N.Y. His website can be accessed at: www.delawareriverfishing.com and www.gonefishingguideservice.com

On the Cover: In the net! What it's all about! Dry fly fishing on a beautiful river for big wild trout!

CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2017 • 9


Upper Delaware River Guide Profiles Jeff White Delaware River Club; Hancock, N.Y. thedelawareriverclub.com How long have you guided: Twenty years. My first trip was 1996 on the Davidson River in Brevard, North Carolina. Why did you become a guide: Love of fishing and being outdoors- hatred of cubicles and large groups of people and meetings. I really dislike meetings. What is your favorite fly pattern: Corn fed Caddis #18 A helpful fishing tip: Absolutely nothing will increase your skill level more than time on the water. Don't make decisions based on the weather report or fishing reports. Fish every chance you get. Best part of being a guide: No one in the world has a better office than me.

Big smiles for Mike Silfen who caught and released this dandy wild brown trout on top in the Callicoon Pool on the Upper Delaware River at dusk. It just doesn't get any better than this!

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Michael Padua Sweetwater Guide Service; Tyler Hill, Pa. http://www.sweetwaterguide.com/ How long have you guided: I’ve been fishing the waters of the CatskillUpper Delaware region since the late 1960s. This year I will be starting my 23rd year as a full time licensed fishing guide. Why did you become a guide: Turning folks on to the scenic beauty, the wildlife and the unique fishery that exists on the Upper Delaware is doing something I love. What is your favorite fly pattern: The “Sulphur Unusual” in sizes 14 through 20. The brown and rainbow trout really love this one. Don’t leave home without them. A helpful fishing tip: “Fish what you see.” It sounds simple. Carry a bug net and inspect the insects on the surface. Observe the feeding trout. My offering is always one size smaller than the naturals that are present.

John Pellegrino with a gorgeous river smallmouth. John caught and released this beauty south of Narrowsburg, NY and it was one of over thirty fish that John caught on his half day river float. That sure is great fishing!

Best part of being a guide: That’s easy. Seeing the smiling faces of my sports when they catch a nice fish. Especially if they are kids. Also, I really like my office!

CONTINUED ON PAGE 12

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11 Tony Ritter Gone Fishing Guide Service; Narrowsburg, N.Y. www.gonefishingguideservice.com

How long have you guided: 2017 will be my 23rd year guiding on the Upper Delaware River. I started in 1994. Why did you become a guide: I fell in love with the beauty of the Upper Delaware River and spent every spare moment that I had poking around up and down the river in a beat up 10foot aluminum johnboat back in the mid 1980s. Even though I was in my mid thirties at the time, I felt like I was a teenager ! Every river trip was an adventure so I figured I would try to pass that enthusiasm about the outdoors and fishing on to others as a commercial guide.

What a nice fish for John Creegan! John fished the Big D during the Hendrickson hatch and was rewarded with this beauty. That sure is a nice wild brown trout!

What is your favorite fly pattern: I’ll give you two. One is a Snowshoe Rusty Spinner that I tie which I use in size 10 through 14. A great fly at dusk when the trout are delicately sipping in slow moving pools. The other would be a Hackle Stacker which was designed by the late Western tier, Bob Quigley, and can be tied to imitate any mayfly – Hendrickson, BWO, Sulphur , Quills that is on the water at the time you are. The fly sits flush in the film and imitates a vulnerable bug. The wild trout gobble them up.

Best part of being a guide: The best part of guiding throughout the years is spending time on this beautiful resource which is the Upper Delaware River and have the opportunity to teach, instruct and pass on my love and enthusiasm to newcomers as well as veteran anglers that have fished all over the world. It’s gratifying to know that customers who booked a trip many years ago with me with their teenage son or daughter are now, themselves, adults with their own kids and you’ve been part of their journey. If you can make their day on the Upper Delaware a day to remember, you’ve done your job. 12 • CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2017

Above: It's always a pleasure to fish with Drew Alexander. Here's Drew with a big feisty river bronzeback caught and released near Ten Mile River on the Main Stem Upper Delaware River.

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A helpful fishing tip: Too many anglers can’t wait to get IN the water and start fishing. Slow down. My advice is to OBSERVE the scene before fishing – just like a heron would do. Big river? Break down the picture into sections so that you’re not overwhelmed. Observe the insects present, observe the feeding lanes, observe the color changes in the water and try to make your presentation look just like a natural would. Lastly, blend in, be patient and always be ready to strike.


Rich Hudgens Beaverkill Angler; Roscoe, N.Y. www.beaverkillangler.com How long have you guided: This coming year will be my 11th year guiding on The Upper Delaware River. Why did you become a guide: To provide extra income for my family while doing what I'm most passionate about. At 26, with my first child on the way, I knew I had to make some tough choices. Instead of climbing the corporate ladder in my day job, I concentrated on building a career guiding. I worked both jobs for nine years before leaving the comfort of a steady paycheck to guide full-time. What is your favorite fly pattern: Big. Nasty. Streamers. Tough to pick just one, they all have a place and time. Circus Peanuts, Sex Dungeon, and the Drunk and Disorderly, are definitely some of my favorites. Fished with an erratic retrieve, these patterns draw some aggressive and heart stopping strikes. A helpful fishing tip: When rising fish are present, try to ignore the fish feeding in the slow moving pools and concentrate on the moving water at the head of the pool

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 or up into the run. These fish may be harder to find but will be much easier to fool with a dry. You can always work your way down to the fish feeding in the pool if the faster water was not productive. Best part of being a guide: Listening to people's stories. Fishermen tend to get pretty chatty during a long day on the river and their stories rarely disappoint. Some strange tales get told on a driftboat. From hilarious, to embarrassing, to highly illegal, everyone seems to have a good story.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 17

CDC Delaware Caddis

Veteran river angler, Alan Kaufman of Long Island, knows almost every rock on the river and when he fishes, better watch out! Here's Alan with a trophy 20 inch smallmouth bass caught south of Narrowsburg, NY on the Big D.

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14 Ken Tutalo Baxter House Outfitters; Roscoe, NY www.baxterhouse.net How long have you guided: I started to guide part-time in 1997 and went full-time in 2000.

What is your favorite fly pattern: Although I have been tinkering with fly patterns for decades, there is one pattern that stands above all others in the Upper Delaware River System. My go to pattern is a Hackle Wing Rusty Spinner. I carry them in size six through 18. A helpful fishing tip: The best advice that I always want to

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Those wild rainbows love the fast riffly water and Jim Parilli was at the right place at the right time! Here's Jim with a sweet looking wild 'bow caught and released near Hankins, New York on the Main Stem.

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17 leave with my clients is to slow down and watch before you start casting at a rising trout. A few minutes of observation can reveal a lot and stack the odds in your favor. Make sure you know where the fish is holding or is he cruising, where exactly is his food coming from, what is the current speed and where does your fly need to land. Having this information and then executing an accurate cast will keep your rod bent. Best part of being a guide: The best part of guiding is hands down the people. After close to two decades of taking anglers out on the water, I have become friends with some amazing people. I consider myself lucky to be able to share the river with these fellow anglers every season.

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Veteran angler, Albert Yee of Westchester County, caught and released this wonderful wild rainbow trout on his river float near Callicoon, NY. Great fish Albert!

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Not to be outdone, here's Lily Yee, with a handsome wild brown trout that she caught and released near Long Eddy, NY on the Upper Delaware River.

CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2017 • 21


The founders of Dette Trout Flies, Walt and Winnie Dette, with their daughter, Mary (middle), who eventually took over ownership of the shop. Joe Fox, Mary’s grandson, became the owner three years ago when she retired.

A history, heritage exists at Dette Trout Flies

STORY AND PHOTOS BY JOSEPH ABRAHAM ocated on practically the same Roscoe street for the past 89 years, Dette Trout Flies, the oldest family-run fly shop in the United States, offers years of knowledge and history about fly fishing. Dette Trout Flies also has several products to fulfill anglers’ needs, whether they stop by the shop on 68 Cottage Street or go to the store’s website, www.detteflies.com. The shop offers a wide range of American-tied fishing flies, various rods, reels and tackle items, guide trips, waders and more.

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22 • CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2017

History of the shop Dette Trout Flies has been open since 1928. It was started by Walt and Winnie Dette. Walt went to fly-tyer Rube Cross in 1927 to learn how to tie flies, offering Cross $50 to teach him. Cross refused, so Walt purchased $50 worth of flies. He and Winnie untied them, then reconstructed them and then reverse engineered them. They were very influenced by the Cross and Steenrod styles of fly tying. Sometime a year later, Winnie suggested they turn it into a business, because they enjoyed doing it so much, and they were tying so much more than they could use.


Dette Trout Flies Owner Joe Fox concentrates while fly tying.

‘You can make it as simple or as complicated as you want in terms of how you fish and what you do. It offers an incredible amount of satisfaction through many parts of your life.’ Joe Fox Owner, Dette Trout Flies |

Dette Trout Flies, like several fly shops started around the 1920s, was the beginning of the modern day fly shops. Before then, there were only big outdoor stores in New York City, which offered some fly fishing materials. Dette Trout Flies has been in its current location since 1969. Before that, it was in a house at the end of the same road, and at one point was located inside the Esso gas station on the corner of Old Route 17 in Roscoe. When Walt and Winnie’s daughter, Mary Dette, was in her early twenties, she started tying flies

for extra money. As her children got older, Mary started coming back to the area during the season, as she had she moved to Long Island after college. Eventually, Mary moved back to the area and took over the business from her parents. Mary’s grandson and the shop’s current owner, Joe Fox, grew up in Long Island and moved to Sullivan County 10 years ago to attend college at SUNY Sullivan. He then started to become more involved with the shop. Three years ago, Mary retired and Fox took over ownership. On what appealed to him about fly fishing, Fox said, “I don’t know. That’s the weird part about it. It’s an interesting sport. You’re standing in a river, waving a stick with imitations made of dead animal parts and bent steel. There is something. I don’t know if it’s a combination of being connected to nature and the technical nature of it. You can make it as simple or as complicated as you want in terms of how you fish and what you do. It offers an incredible amount of satisfaction through many parts of your life. “The other part is the people who also do it,” Fox added. “You tend to develop a lot of good CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2017 • 23


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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23

friends, and I really like the people who come in, so the social part of it is quite nice too.” In addition to Fox, Dette Trout Flies has one other full-time employee, Bryn Bode, who manages the shop’s internet business and serves as a guide.

Daily reports Another service Dette Trout Flies offers are daily reports. Walt Dette started the reports in the ‘70s. During that time, people had to make a phone call to see what the conditions were, because anything they read would have been a week old. Some of the papers in New York City would report on the conditions, however, because of their distance from this area, there wasn’t a significant amount of information available to anglers, and oftentimes people didn’t know what you were going into. “We wanted to make sure people did not waste their trips,” Fox said. The daily reports give people an idea of what’s been happening with hatches, have people been catching fish, what the water levels are like, and more.

The shop still has a call-in report during the season from April to October, which is accessible by calling 607-498-5350. Dette Trout Flies also has an online report, which goes into more detail about the current flows, as well as a few anecdotes and observations beyond the quick call-in report. The data is retrieved in a few different ways. A large amount comes from anglers who are out fishing. “We have a small group of people, that we really trust and have confidence in, who give us a heads up of what the condition was like and what they were seeing,” Fox said. The reports also use data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which has flow stations along the river. Fox has it set up so UGGS data goes straight to the Dette Trout Flies website.

Years of information In addition to the daily reports and products offered, the shop’s history and heritage offers a lot to anglers. “I think the bigger service we offer is information,” Fox said. “Outside of the fishing report, CONTINUED ON PAGE 29

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when people come in the shop, there is a conversation to help them catch fish better, because fly fishing is a sport of discovery and learning. You need some kind of mentorship to push you in the right direction. There is so much to learn. When you get that little hint and you go out there and try it, you either learn from it or you don’t, and get another piece of the puzzle. So when people come in looking to learn something, I think is where we can really excel.� Whether it’s information about the hatches, the bugs themselves, their behavior, how to imitate it and more, the answers can be found at Dette Trout Flies. “The real joy and satisfaction comes from helping a customer when they come in,� Fox said. “I think the customer service end of it is where I get a lot of satisfaction from. I also just really like the business. You really have a connection to customers when it comes to everything. Even on the Internet, there is always a back and forth conversation.� The shop is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call Dette Trout Flies at (607) 498-4991.

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CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2017 • 29


Josh’s first fish was a wee perch out of Highland Lake, more than 30 years ago. He went on to catch and release just about every trophy fish in the South Florida and Bimini waters.

Fishing opportunities abound year round “For everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” STORY AND PHOTOS BY ANDY BOYAR very fisher knows, as it is written in Ecclesiastes, there is a time to fish and there is a time to prepare and plan to fish. For those who are tuned in and passionate about fishing, there is always something to do. This year, 2017, has been a “beaut” so far. Ice fishing contests have been cancelled, some because there’s not enough ice, too warm; oth-

E

30 • CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2017

ers because of artic blasts and “Nor’easter” storms, too cold. Early on it was a safer bet to go to an indoor event, like the Flyfest at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum or even the huge Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, N.J. The Fly Fishing Show is billed as the world’s largest and it is always a good time to tune up your casting or fishing skills. Also they have scads of vendors, artists, book seller’s and guides booking dates for the coming season.


Late winter may also be the time to go over your equipment and gear or if all is in good order, to just catch up on your reading. More books and articles have been written about fishing than just about any other subject. Our Delaware River watershed has been a favorite focus of so much of that literature. There is always a new river or stream to explore or technique to try out. Theodore Gordon, the fly-fishing legend wrote, “The great charm of fly-fishing is that we are always learning.” There is always something new to be discovered or another skill to be learned. Then, of course, you get the itch to try them out. Mercifully, spring is on the horizon. Winter will lose its grip and the trees will once again begin to bud and leaf out. Keep an eye on those growing leaves as when the shad bush flowers or the tree leaves are the “size of a mouse’s ear” the shad run is soon to be on. Shad, as we all know, are an anadromous fish – they journey from the salt up the Delaware to spawn. They move in groups and congregate in known holding locations before continuing their journey up river. If they are in “thick,” it is sometimes hard not to catch them. Your dart or fly needs to be near the bottom and not much action needs to be imparted by the angler. Often your lure merely waving in the current works just fine and is better than one fished “too hard”. April means “Trout Season.” The cold water of early April means a bit of lethargy in the trout; metabolisms are slow and trout can’t afford to spend much energy chasing food. You’ll want to fish “down amongst them” with nymph imitations such as beadhead Hare’s Ear, Prince Nymphs, Pheasant Tails or with slowly and deeply worked streamers like a Black Ghost or the ever reliable Black Wooly Bugger. As water temps rise, the Brown, Rainbows and Brookies will begin to surface feed more

47829

“Mercifully, spring is on the horizon. Winter will lose its grip and the trees will once again begin to bud and leaf out.”

CONTINUED ON PAGE 33

CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2017 • 31


Fishing the Lackawaxen River, Josh Boyar, a Master of the Flyrod. pages 32-34

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actively. It has long been doctrine that the mayflies come out in the same sequence every year. If you can’t remember the pattern of succession (Quill Gordon, Hendrickson, Red Quill, March Brown, Grey Fox, Light Cahill, Green Drake, Isonychia, Blue-Winged Olive), you can simply pluck a natural off the surface and put the closest imitation from your fly box on your leader. Capturing a mayfly from the surface of moving water can be tricky and an aquarium net does the trick and is easy to carry in your flyfishing vest. Some anglers practice “less is more,� and simply use an Adams or a Sulfur colored fly, like a Light Cahill. You’ll want to match the size of the natural as close as possible, so sizes 12-18 would be good to carry in with you. May is peak season, prime time for trout fishing but you can fish for them throughout the season, provided water temps remain in the 60’s. Smallmouth fishing on the Delaware is a marvel. Smallies can be aggressive feeders and just CONTINUED ON PAGE 34

Josh Boyar landing Tarpon from shore.

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 33

about anything you can toss in the hole below the rapids with spinning rod, bait caster, or fly rod will give good results. Summer is time for Largemouth Bass. Every bass fisher has had his or her favorite lure (or favorite dozen). Pickerel, perch and crappies are likely bi-catches and are all good eating. For flyfishers, the fly that is all the rage today are the mouse patterns, fish it slowly, or drag it off a lily pad. Trophy hunters always look forward to the fall. Game fish have been feeding aggressively all summer and are in prime condition. Nature has its way to prepare them for the leaner times to come; trophy fish want to eat and fall is the time to target them. Again, mouse patterns are the “in thing” for flyfishers. All this boils down to “When is the best time to fish?” This can be answered with certainty. The best time to fish is whenever you have a child, grandchild or any youngster who wants to give fishing a try. Never pass on this opportunity 37029

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Here is an example of observing what is on the surface for the clue to what the trout are eating. Andy Boyar caught this monster brown at dusk on a #14 Sulfur, an imitation of the naturals on the water (foreground).

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to take a kid fishing. Nothing fancy required. Any rig will do. When a child catches his or her first monster (it might be a wee sunny or 10” perch) it will be a trophy for that new angler. Be sure to take lots of photos, the images captured will bring a smile to your face when winter sets in once again. Author’s Note: I was blessed to have more than 30 years on the water with my son, Josh. For years, I taught him and then for years I learned from him. Our last day together was on January 6 and we could have not have had a better day. I’d give anything to fish once again with him, and I hope I shall.

At left, Josh Boyar, on the Delaware River, with sweet Rainbow.

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47547

CATSKILL-DELAWARE FILE PHOTO

The author, Andy Boyar, in 2012, gave some pointers to then-11-year-old Johannes Mason at the First Cast event on the Willowemoc near the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum.

CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2017 â&#x20AC;¢ 39


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utside of the hustle and bustle of Monticello proper is one of the area’s newest fine dining establishments – Solaia. The restaurant, completely rebuilt and renovated, opened in April of 2016. A meal at Solaia, where the featured cuisine is Northern Italian, is truly a dining experience. Patrons enter the restaurant through the bar, which with its comfortable waiting area or spot for an after dinner drink, sets the tone for the experience. The dining room is your next stop. Each table is dressed with crisp white table cloths and napkins to compliment the earthy warm tones of the walls. A selection of the wine list is displayed throughout the dining area, accompanied by oil-on-canvas paintings from local artist Robert Pasternack of Forestburgh. CONTINUED ON PAGE 45

40 • CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2017

CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2017 • 41


Solaia brings Northern Italy to Monticello STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAITLIN CARNEY

O

utside of the hustle and bustle of Monticello proper is one of the area’s newest fine dining establishments – Solaia. The restaurant, completely rebuilt and renovated, opened in April of 2016. A meal at Solaia, where the featured cuisine is Northern Italian, is truly a dining experience. Patrons enter the restaurant through the bar, which with its comfortable waiting area or spot for an after dinner drink, sets the tone for the experience. The dining room is your next stop. Each table is dressed with crisp white table cloths and napkins to compliment the earthy warm tones of the walls. A selection of the wine list is displayed throughout the dining area, accompanied by oil-on-canvas paintings from local artist Robert Pasternack of Forestburgh. CONTINUED ON PAGE 45

40 • CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2017

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 40

The chilled seafood salad is a special offering with calamari, octopus and shrimp lightly dressed and mixed with celery, onions, and olives and served on a bed of radicchio and sliced cherry tomatoes.

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Start your experience with a cocktail or glass of wine to go with the soppressata and cheese plate served with breadsticks, fresh bread and olive oil. Head waiter and maître de Reggie and his wait staff are attentive to every detail and informative while presenting specials and desserts or suggesting menu items, ensuring diners have a comfortable, enjoyable experience. Specials include appetizers of burratta – a cheese that is fresh mozzarella on the outside and creamy soft cheese on the inside – served on sliced tomato with roasted red peppers and basil. The chilled seafood salad special is expertly seasoned calamari, octopus and shrimp on a bed of radicchio. Carpaccio di Manto, thinly sliced filet mignon served with arugula salad and shaved parmesan, is offered on the regular menu along with delicacies of tuna tartar, crab cake, and Aragosta con brie – baby lobster tail with brie cheese in a Grand Marnier orange sauce. CONTINUED 0N PAGE 46

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 45

In between appetizers and main course, try a pasta like the homemade veal ravioli (type varies by special) in a gorgonzola cheese sauce, or the colorful mixed green salad lightly dressed and served with shaved parmesan. Special salads can be an alternative, with roasted beet being a favorite. The pasta course could also include pappardelle Bascaiola – pappardelle pasta with mushrooms in a Mascarpone cheese sauce, Orecchiette con Pancetta, or Risotto Mare e Monti – Italian rice with porcini mushrooms and jumbo shrimp. Main courses are served with vegetable and potato and satisfy the range of tastes from chicken to veal, beef, and seafood specials. The Scallopini con funghi – veal scallopini with mixed mushrooms in a cognac sauce – and the baby rack of lamb, cooked to your specifications and served with mint jelly, are two favorites. Seafood specials range based on market, but may include Branzino, filet of salmon, or seared scallops. Although there are so many delectable menu items, it is advised that you save room for dessert to cap off your Solaia experience. Reggie will tell you which homemade desserts are available, including cannoli, Napoleon, homemade gelato and sorbet, ricotta cheesecake, tiramisu, and crème brulee. Pair anything with an espresso or cappuccino and an after-dinner drink. Solaia offers a full bar and wine list (by the glass or bottle) and house-made Limoncello and Grappa. The homemade tiramisu: lady fingers soaked in espresso and layered with mascarpone cheese, is dusted with cocoa and

The dining room at Solaia is warm and welcoming. Decorated in earthy terra cotta and browns and accented with crisp white tablecloths, with soft music playing in the background, you would never know you are on a busy state road.

served with fresh berries. Paired with a double espresso, you will be delighted you saved room! Solaia, located at 3317 State Route 42 in Monticello, can be reached at 845-513-4282. They offer a fine dining experience daily from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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The bar area is where Reggie and the wait staff welcome patrons, or see them out at the conclusion of their meal. It also a great place to enjoy an aperitif or after dinner cocktail.

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Homemade ravioli is a great appetizer or pasta course. Flavor varieties vary by special, but the veal filled pasta in a creamy gorgonzola cheese sauce is a favorite.

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A robust, healthy Shad arrives in the Upper Delaware River.

Journey of our American Shad

STORY AND PHOTOS BY JOHN A. PUNOLA he journey of our American Shad begins once the Shad arrive each spring and settle into special locations where they will spawn, thus introducing a new generation of Shad into the cool, clean waters of the Delaware River. Once the new hatch is born it initiates the first stage of its life in the Upper Delaware River. This amazing story of a life cycle has been in process for centuries and was a prominent factor in the lives of the first settlers who arrived, and was the beginning of the population of our original colonies. American Shad were a stable natural product which provided food and they were used as fertilizer after farmers discovered that a small amount of it greatly increased the crop yield. Two species of Shad enter the Delaware River, the American Shad (arrives in large numbers each spring, and arrive anywhere in the Sullivan County area from mid-April to May 1) and the Hickory Shad, a smaller fish that arrives in small

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54 â&#x20AC;˘ CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2017

numbers. Once the water temperature stabilizes at 55 degrees, the Shad eggs are maturing and spawning occurs in traditional Shad spawning locations. The schools of Shad are usually 65 percent male, and 35 percent female. The spawning is one male, one female and both perish soon after. Eagles, bears, and raccoons then feast on the fresh abundance of Shad. Now we still have the 35 percent of the males cruising around waiting for additional females to arrive, but no further shad reach the upper Delaware River. These males will continue to stay in the area, and although some of them will adapt to the river and find acceptable foods to survive, a large number will continue to die. When they are dying, they will still be in small schools swimming about or near the surface, and easy pickings for eagles and ospreys. The newly hatched Shad will now be abundant and continue to grow through the summer. CONTINUED ON PAGE 57


American Shad Spawning and Migration Routes In September, juvenile Shad travel to Bay of Fundy, Canada to mature. Each Spring mature Shad return to the river of their birth. Shad mature in 3 years.

CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2017 â&#x20AC;˘ 55


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By August, they will have attained a size of 33.5 inches and will begin to move downriver until they reach Delaware Bay, just downstream from Trenton, N.J. The tiny shad will pause for a day or two, then continue into the Atlantic Ocean. Once in the ocean, the juvenile Shad will head for Canadian waters, eventually arriving at The Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia. They will stay there for three years, then return to the Delaware for spring spawning, completing their life cycle. This is an amazing feat and a mystery of Mother Nature. Consider this, once the 3.5-inch juvenile Shad enter the Atlantic Ocean how do they know which direction to swim? There is no food for the Shad in the Atlantic? How is it possible for them to swim a couple of hundred of miles without food? How do they know they must reach Bay of Fundy, which is strictly managed to protect them? No one has been able to agree, but it probably has been happening for hundreds of years. For many years, I wondered about the life

cycle of our Shad in the Upper Delaware River, and was told they migrated from the warm waters of Florida and moved North, entering rivers along the way, including the Delaware and Hudson Rivers. I had maps and charts from various states that showed spawning waters for Shad and they were pretty much in agreement about the spawn migration, and I believed it, until I caught a big female American Shad that contained a brightly colored plastic tag. The Shad had been tagged in St. Andrews, New Brunswick by a Canadian Fisheries team. I was able to make contact and soon made plans for a trip to Canada to learn more about their Shad tagging project. The roe-laden Shad I caught was 26 inches, and tipped the scales at sixpounds, six ounces. I scheduled a trip to Canada and learned a lot about shad from their fishery biologist staff. I found the Canadians had been tagging American Shad for a number of years and gave me an analysis of the activity for the female CONTINUED ON PAGE 58

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 57

Shad I caught in the Delaware River. My mature fish was tagged and released by the Canadians and it promptly headed South, closely following the coastline. The Shad skipped past the Delaware River and headed further South, where it was caught and released as it entered an unnamed river in North Carolina. The person who caught the Shad did not remove the tag, but noted the information, and contacted the Canadians who had inserted the tag. Later that same fall, this fish returned to Bay of Fundy and was netted again and safely released by the Canadians. The following spring, the Shad carrying same tag, chose to join a large school destined for the Delaware River and about late April, near Port Jervis, I caught this Shad. By now the tag was loosely attached and came free while in the landing net. Fortunately, the tag fell near my boot and was saved. The Canadians had no explanation how the Shad found its way to North Carolina, or why it

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entered the Delaware River the following spring. Now I felt I had conclusive proof that Shad spawning in the Delaware River were maturing in Canadian waters, not coming up the coast from Florida. The following spring, I received an inquiry from Yesheva Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s New York campus, CONTINUED ON PAGE 60

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 58

Noted author and fisherman John A. Punola is an expert on the life cycle of the American Shad.

asking if I could assist one of their biologists, who was anxious to conduct scientific studies on the American Shad during its annual appearance in the Delaware River. I was agreeable since I felt this was a source of more scientific Shad data, and the Shad were present and about to spawn. I met the biologist in Port Jervis where we discussed our game plan for the day. The Shad were about to spawn and we only had one day to carry out the needed tests. Before I started fishing, the biologist tossed a handful of coins into the river, she said it was a ritual for good luck. We were at a convenient location near Port Jervis where I knew I could easily catch the Shad and the weather was sunny and comfortable. The student and I carried the testing machines to waterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s edge, and while she set up the minilab, I started catching Shad. Blood samples were taken from the shad as well as skin and scale samples, plus removal of certain internal organs. I learned that all Shad that spawn are endowed

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with a genetic implant that links the Shad to the Delaware River. Every river results in a separate implant ID and Shad moving down the coastline are looking for their destination river based on the implant data. Biologists believe not only do the Shad enter the precisely correct river, they will return to the exact location where they were hatched. We only needed a half-dozen Shad to complete the work and that was accomplished in about two hours. The saga of the American Shad is truly a miracle of Mother Nature because from the day of hatching, newly hatched Shad face peril and survival every moment. A fully healthy female can deposit thousands of fertile eggs, which is an essential element to the continued numbers of the Shad schools. From the moment of their birth, the infant shad are under attack by rainbow and brown trout and all through their early growth they are tasty fare for large numbers of smallmouth bass in addition to the trout. As the juvenile Shad steadily grow, they are even bigger targets for the predatory fish and large numbers are eaten. Eventually, they rush down river in the Fall to reach Delaware Bay and they are under attack all the way there, then its off to the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, Canada. The return of robust, healthy Shad in the spring presents different problems. As Shad move down the coast they will stay close to the shoreline where they can fall victim to accidental netting from commercial fishing fleets. By law, American Shad are protected while in the ocean, but in their quest for other food fish, many tons of Shad are caught in the commercial nets. The law stipulates that the netting of shad is classified as “by catch” and is supposed to be returned to the ocean unharmed. A monitoring system is being developed to reduce the number of Shad killed as the result of “by catch” netting. The Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council has made Shad and River Herring stocks a priority and are dedicated to the increase of Shad. Current estimated population numbers along the East Coast have low numbers of Shad in the historically active rivers. The Delaware River is a notable exception because annual

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 61

spring arrivals continue to rise, and Shad fishing is permitted, with a daily limit of three Shad. Herring are fully protected and no fishing until further notice. Herring and Hickory Shad are generally confined to the lower part of the Delaware River and seldom venture as far upstream as Sullivan County. No fishing is allowed for Hickory Shad. Shad roe is considered a tasty dish, but remember you can only keep three Shad, any size or combination. Three fish per day pretty much dictates a catch and release policy for Shad fishing, which is not a bad idea. The Shad depend upon the angling public to help it maintain its annual spawn and it’s important that you treat them to a gentle release as quickly as possible. Shad are not a stocked fish, we are dependent upon a healthy spawning season to maintain and increase the number of Shad reaching the Upper part of the Delaware River. More Shad spawning equals thousands of additional mature adult Shad returning in three years. In 2008 there began to be an

upward increase in Shad reports and the trend continues to show large increases. The spring of 2016 was a banner season for the Upper Delaware Shad spawn, which is great news for the future. In 2014, I was appointed as an active member of the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, serving on the River Herring and Shad Board, and was glad to contribute my expertise and efforts towards the overall improvement of Herring and American Shad entering our rivers. The 2017 American Shad run will soon be arriving in upper Delaware River waters and if you are a Shad angler, I am sure you are already counting the days before the schools arrive. If you have never experienced the sporting thrill of catching these silvery fighters, make this the spring you catch your first Shad. Shad fishing is a short lived season. But it’s an easy, short trip to the Delaware River. Visit your local sports shop, purchase your fishing license and stock up on shad lures and supplies. You need either a New York or PA. fishing license, and ONE license permits you to fish both shorelines or from a boat.

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Paul Stark uses a body grinder to help sand and smooth the wood.

From knives to chainsaws: Woodworker Paul Stark creates STORY BY AUTUMN SCHANIL PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF PAUL STARK

T

he buzzing sound of a chainsaw fills your ears. The smell of pine and cedar permeates your nose and the sight of sawdust flying through the air holds your gaze. Born in San Francisco, California, woodworker Paul Stark has called the Catskill Mountains his second home every summer since 1993. “For many years I traveled all over the United States creating pieces for a lot of different clients,” Stark said, “I came to the Catskill Mountains and loved the beauty and the friends

64 • CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2017

“The first thing that attracted me to chainsaw carving was that I could take a piece of a tree, and within hours see a form take shape and come to life.” Paul Stark Woodworker |

I made, and found a second home in Bethel.” Stark has pieces of his woodwork on display


in some familiar places here in Sullivan County, such as the Dancing Cat Saloon, the Catskill Distillery, Stray Cat Gallery, the Beekman House across from the Fat Lady Cafe in Kauneonga Lake, Riverhouse Gallery, and a number of pieces inside private homes throughout the Bethel area, including the Chapin Estates. “I started carving with knives and chisels at about nine years of age,” Stark said. “My father was a woodworker, a cabinet and furniture maker, and my grandfather made furni-

ture as a hobby, on which he carved beautiful floral designs. Watching them, I fell in love with working in wood.” Stark worked with his father until his early twenties when he decided to apply for a scholarship to The Museum Art School in Portland, Oregon, which is now called the Pacific Northwest College of Art. He attended the school for two years while selling small carved pieces at street fairs. CONTINUED ON PAGE 67

Paul Stark in front of his underwater piece that was first carved with a gas-powered chainsaw, followed by several other tools to achieve more detail and shape. CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2017 • 65


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Shortly after, Stark met Chester Armstrong, a woodcarver from Oregon who used a chainsaw as a tool for carving. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I worked with him for two years, sanding his pieces and learning the process and tools for this art form,â&#x20AC;? Stark said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The first thing that attracted me to chainsaw carving was that I could take a piece of a tree, and within hours see a form take shape and come to life. It frees your artistic spirit. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like life drawing with charcoal on paper, only youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re holding a powerful and dangerous instrument.â&#x20AC;? Starkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s process begins by choosing the right piece of wood. He prefers to work with pine, cedar and black walnut. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m also asked to carve trees still rooted in the ground that either had to be fallen or have died. I always prefer trees that are called â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;standing dead.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; This means that the moisture has left the tree, making it easier to sand and finish.â&#x20AC;?

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When Stark works with clients he prefers to meet with them first, to get to know them and from there he can sketch ideas of what they want until they have a piece they will love. And the tools he uses to begin his process of carving? “First a gas powered chainsaw, then a smaller

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Starting to apply finish to his carved piece, Paul Stark uses a small paint brush to ensure all parts are covered.

electric chainsaw,” said Stark, “then a large version of a Dremel called a die grinder.” A die grinder is a handheld power tool that, in terms of woodworking, is used for engraving and general shaping of the wood. “The sanding is then done with a body grinder and by hand,” Stark continued. “The finish I put

on the wood depends on the type of wood, and where the piece will reside, whether inside or outside and so on.” Stark has pieces of his work in almost every state in the U.S. and even in several foreign countries. For woodwork inquiries you can get in touch with Stark via email at paulstrk23@gmail.com or call 541-815-4792.

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CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Deer mice possess large eyes and ears, keen noses, and whiskers for perceiving their environment. They relate to one another by grooming, posturing with their bodies, emitting scent and making squeaky noises. When they perceive danger, they often drum their front paws up and down.

A tale of a pretty mouse that climbs, swims and sings BY KATHY DALEY ot long ago, a deer mouse made me weep..I live in a pre-Civil War house in Jeffersonville, and I’d adopted the rationalization that the rodents were here before I was. But when I glimpsed a gray mouse making a brazen dash across the dining room floor, our cat looking on disinterestedly from the sofa, it was time to lay down the poison.

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74 • CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2017

The cellar was the place they got in, I figured, so I tossed around some nasty green pellets that would send the little buggers through the dark tunnel into the light of Paradise. Some weeks later, I indeed found a dead mouse on the cellar floor. But it was not a yucky gray mouse. This was a beautiful little fawn-colored creature with a pure white breast and a slim body. Her vibrissae – the bookish name for whiskers – stood out from her face,


her eyelids were shut. I burst into tears. I knew what she was. No regular old house mouse. I’d killed a deer mouse. Years ago, I’d become enamored with deer mice after reading a piece by naturalist Sally Carrighar on a day in the life of peromyscus maniculatus, the small native mouse named for its tawny fur. The writer Carrighar had endured a troubled childhood and was beset by depression for years. I encountered her work after my own college graduation, when I felt adrift and disoriented. Carrighar’s intense study and beautiful writing about the lives of animals, which eventually saved her, saved me. “As she crouched in the shadow of the log, some delicacy of pose, or soft wildness in her eyes, gave her the unreal look of fawns,” wrote Carrighar of a deer mouse she watched and studied. “She was a small, brief union of breath, pulse and grace, yet the apparent nothingness of her, the hint that she soon

would vanish, if she had not already, actually was her strength.” Poor deer mouse on my basement floor. This white-footed, white-bellied rodent is less common inside homes than the mostly gray house mouse, but somehow the pretty creature had gotten into our place on Maple Avenue. So here’s the story of her and her kind. It seems only fair.

They’re everywhere With her rusty-blond pelt and ermine underside, the deer mouse is considered the most beautiful and abundant of mice, making her home throughout the U.S. northeast, midwest and west all the way from Alaska to Mexico. Outdoors, the mouse prefers to nest around tree roots, under logs, in tree stumps, wood piles or in squirrel or bird nests. But deer mice CONTINUED ON PAGE 76

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Deer mice are so-called because the coloring of their fur resembles that of the white-tailed deer: dark on the back and white on the legs and underside. The tail is also dark on top and white underneath. Babies are born gray-colored, turn to a yellowish brown and then to the adult tones. CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2017 • 75


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 75

are also known to set up housekeeping in sheds, garages and abandoned cars. They are good climbers and can build nests in trees up to 50 feet aboveground. Weaving ball-shaped homes of leaves, grass and other plants, the deer mouse will line its nest with fur, feathers and shredded plant matter. The animal rests in a nest during the day, and the nest is also used by a female to rear young. Depending on locale, deer mice breed from March to October, raising numerous litters each year. Ground-level nests may be accompanied by a nearby burrow with a food chamber and a latrine room for waste, experts say. Sporting large ears and prominent, dark eyes, the deer mouse is mostly nocturnal, feeding at night on nuts and seeds and storing food for leaner times. She consumes insects, berries, seeds, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets and caterpillars, locating food mostly by smell.

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“Since the early 1900s, various naturalists and scientists have noted the ‘singing’ of deer mice, a four-note song that sounds like the plaintive rise and fall of a whale’s voice.”

Sing me a song The tawny little rodent benefits from sharp hearing, good eyesight and the ability to swim. She communicates with other mice by visual posturing and mutual grooming. Deer mice can also shriek, squeak, trill and make sharp buzzing noises. Since the early 1900s, various naturalists and scientists have noted the “singing” of deer mice, a four-note song that sounds like the plaintive rise and fall of a whale’s voice. The deer mouse’s bi-colored tail, covered with fur, acts as a tactile organ. When climbing, she steadies herself by wrapping her tail around twigs or branches. Deer mice do not fear the cold. Even in winter, they skip along the ground from tree to tree on the darkest nights. If snow covers the ground, though, they spend a good deal of time beneath the white stuff, where the temperature is warmer than in the open air. In extreme cold, they cut down on activity, often snoozing for days huddled together underground with others in their basic social unit: a few adult females, several young and an adult CONTINUED ON PAGE 78

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CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Deer mice can live up to five years in captivity but only about a year in the wild due to predators such as foxes, coyotes, snakes, owls and hawks. Some people keep deer mice as pets, though the mice can host Lyme disease and hantavirus and must be checked for such diseases.

male. Then in spring, slim and hungry, they begin feasting once again on insects and berries and, notes writer Carrighar, being certain to keep themselves scrupulously clean. “The Mouse licked her forepaws and scrubbed the pink tip of her nose,” Carrighar wrote of the deer mouse she saw in her cabin. “Taking each hind foot in her forepaws, she turned it and washed it. With the hind feet she smoothed her shoulders, and she washed her sides and back. Even her striped furry tail she cleaned. A quick shake then, and her pretty coat, white below, oak-leaf brown above, was smooth. “She seemed hardly at all like a house mouse, more like a toy doe, and so similar in color that it was clear why human beings had named her.”

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Catskill-Delaware Spring 2017  

Spring is on its way! For the latest in dining, real estate, fishing, shopping and wildlife, spend some time with our Spring 2017 Catskill-D...

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