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Priceless

CATSKILLDELAWARE A Special Section of the Sullivan County Democrat

Spring 2016

Canoeing the Delaware: A sixty-year tradition Fly fishing: Not just for the rich and famous Big fish galore swim in the New York City reservoirs

Outdoors • Dining • Calendar • Shopping


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Contents Defining the Region: Landers River Trips . . . . . .8 By Dan Hust With just 10 canoes and a love of Narrowsburg, New York, Bob and Joan Lander began Lander’s River Trips, a place for families, friends and fun. Six decades later, the atmosphere has not changed and continues to bring joy to all adventure-seekers and employees alike.

Our Historic Shad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 By John A. Punola A Spring visitor to the Delaware River, Shad continue to be an abundant food source since early settlers came to America. Learn their interesting history.

Fly Fishing: What are you waiting for? . . . . . . . .32 By Matt Nelson If you’ve been thinking about trying fly fishing for the first time, but have just never got around to it, perhaps these answers to some common hang-ups will help shed some light on the sport and get you motivated to hit the water!

Catskill-Delaware Wildlife: Woodchucks . . . . . .40 By Kathy Daley The woodchuck, or groundhog, earns headlines each February 2 – Groundhog Day – when it makes its way out of hibernation. But February 2 is not all there is to this stubby legged creature. Find out more from Kathy Daley about the fat, furry creatures and their amazing way of life.

The Pickled Owl lands on Main Street . . . . . . . .46 By Kaitlin Carney Hurleyville has a new Gastropub! Offering high quality, comfort and pub food, The Pickled Owl offers traditional standards reimagined and something new to try. It’s a place to have fun, have good beer, good vibes… something for everyone.

The bounty: the Catskill-Delaware region . . . . .58 By Anthony Ritter Our region affords the angler all types of fishing from small streams to Western-style rivers and from local farm ponds to deep crystal clear reservoirs. There is something for every palate.

NYC Reservoirs: Not just for drinking . . . . . . . .68 By Adam Bosch Although the NYC Reservoirs are considered the “Champagne of the Catskills” they are not just for drinking water. Some of the best fishing in the Northeast can be had from the many reservoirs. Along with a particularly serene environment, these reservoirs are an angler’s paradise.

Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77

Sections Arts/Entertainment . . . . 56 Auto. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Callicoon . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Delaware County . . . . . 60 Dining . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Fallsburg. . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 Honesdale/Wayne Cty . . 26 6 • CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016

Jeffersonville. . . . . . . . . 71 Liberty . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Livingston Manor . . . . . 38 Lodging . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Monticello . . . . . . . . . . 62 Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . 12 Roscoe . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Wurtsboro . . . . . . . . . . 43

CATSKILL-DELAWARE PUBLICATIONS, INC. Publisher Frederick W. Stabbert III • Senior Editor Dan Hust • Editor Carol Montana • Sports Editor Ken Cohen • Editorial Assistants Willow Baum, Kaitlin Carney, Kathy Daley, Alex Rau, Richard Ross, Jeanne Sager, Autumn Schanil • Advertising Director Liz Tucker • Advertising Coordinator Sandy Schrader • Advertising Representatives Cecile Lamy, Barbara Matos, Susan Panella • Telemarketing Coordinator Michelle Reynolds • Classifieds & Circulation Janet Will, Linda Anderson • Production Associates Ruth Huggler, Tracy Swendsen, Rosalie Mycka, Elizabeth Finnegan, Petra Duffy, Nyssa Calkin • Business Manager Sue Owens • Business Department Patricia Biedinger, Joanna Blanchard • Distribution Billy Smith • Richard Stagl

Catskill-Delaware Magazine Published by Catskill-Delaware Publications, Inc. Publishers of the Sullivan County Democrat (845) 887-5200 Callicoon, N.Y. 12723 February 26, 2016 Vol. CXXV, No. 73


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Stream & Lake Map of New York

LOST STREAM MAP The STREAM & LAKE MAP OF NEW YORK resembles another map-known to Pennsylvania anglers as the “Lost Stream Map.” It was completed in 1965 after a 30 year effort by Howard Higbee, a former Penn State Professor. Professor Higbee painstakingly plotted by hand, the location of 45,000 miles of streams onto the map. It sold extremely well - until the printer declared bankruptcy and hauled Higbee’s work to the landfill. But reprints were impossible because the maps were printed in non-photographic blue. Higbee was even offered $400 for one of his last maps. And state agencies were forced to keep their copies under lock and key. Then, at the age of 91, Howard Higbee’s dream came true. Computers made it possible to reprint the map. Then the STREAM & LAKE MAP OF NEW YORK was created.

Why every angler and boater needs this map

Professor Higbee’s® Stream & Lake Map of New York is the first and only highly detailed map of its kind. The 3.5-foot-by-4.5-foot New York map shows 65,000 miles of streams plus lakes.

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RAVE REVIEWS “It is in showing where to find out-of-the-way trout streams that makes the map such a treasure to the fisherman.” —Joe Gordon, TRIBUNE-DEMOCRAT, Johnstown, PA

“I have one of the original Higbee’s Stream Map of Pennsylvania on my wall behind my desk. It’s the best thing available as far as streams are concerned. I use it all the time for reference. I don’t know of anything more extensive and it is the most accurate map out there as far as streams are concerned.” —Dave Wolf, PA Fish and Boat Commission

LIMITED TIME OFFER -- 3 BONUSES WITH EACH MAP SHIPPING INCLUDED -- ORDER TODAY! Available rolled or folded. ALSO AVAILABLE in heavy gauge LIFETIME GUARANTEED, glass-like clear-lamination, write-on wipe-off surface, with brass eyelets for easy hanging. ____ New York 3.5 FT by 4.5 FT Rolled Paper Map(S) PLUS BONUS #1, #2, #3 ____ New York 3.5 FT by 4.5 FT Folded Paper Map(S) PLUS BONUS #1, #2, #3 ____ New York 3.5 FT by 4.5 FT Laminated Rolled Map(S) PLUS BONUS #1, #2, #3

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Sullivan County Democrat P.O. Box 308 Callicoon, NY 12723

CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016 • 7


Just as the Delaware River has defined the region over the years, so has ...

Lander’s River Trips: a place for families, friends and fun for six spectacular decades STORY BY DAN HUST, PHOTOS COURTESY OF LANDER’S RIVER TRIPS 8 • CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016


T

hrough 60 years of an ever-changing business, two things have remained constant for Lander’s River Trips: People love the Upper Delaware River Valley. And people love experiencing it through the Lander family’s and staff’s legendary hospitality. Chalk it up to a Boy Scout-turned-electrician who fell in love with the Delaware. “His heart was in Narrowsburg,” affirms Rick Lander of his dad, Bob. A New York City boy, Bob was originally introduced to the area through the Ten Mile River Boy Scout reservation, where he first arrived as a Scout, then returned as an employee. He ended up taking an electrician position with the former Concord Resort in Kiamesha Lake just to be near the camps in Narrowsburg. The day after a major flood

in 1955, Bob bought the Ten Mile River Motel – then an oversized bungalow – and turned it into a rustic retreat, complete with pool, along Route 97. Wife Joan became the cook, among many other roles. “My mom was a very integral part,” says Rick. “They were a great team,” adds Lisa, Rick’s wife and – just like Joan – a partner in the business. Soon after, Bob and Joan realized the opportunity that awaited on the nearby Delaware River – one day to become a National Park. “He handled the canoeing for the Boy Scouts,” recalls Rick. “There were tens of thousands of Scouts in the summer.” Just 10 canoes launched the Lander’s River Trips we know today, and while Bob and Joan have passed on, Rick and Lisa CONTINUED ON PAGE 12

The Delaware River is the main attraction for Lander’s River Trips, a family business headquartered in Narrowsburg, NY for the past 60 years. Well-trained staff are eager to help you experience the river’s many pleasures, including at Callicoon (above) and the uber-popular Skinner’s Falls (facing page).

CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016 • 9


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PAGES 10 - 11

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The Lander kids are all grown up now, but just a few years ago Richard and Sarah (with mom Lisa) were but specks atop an enormous array of rafts, canoes, kayaks and paddles at the Skinner’s Falls access!

PAUL D. SALZBERG, M.D. Board Certified in Family Practice Pediatric through Geriatric Medicine • Certified in Geriatrics A hometown doctor where you’re more like family than a patient Serving the local community and beyond for over 30 years PLEASE TAKE NOTICE OF OUR NEW HOURS: Mondays 8:30am-Noon TUESDAYS 8:30AM-NOON, 1PM-4:30PM Wednesdays 8:30am-Noon Thursdays 10am-Noon, 1pm-6pm Fridays 8:30am-Noon

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9

are maintaining the family tradition. “And we’ll take the third generation on, no doubt,” says Lisa, who worked for Bob before she even met and married Rick 34 years ago. Rick graduated in 1979 from Fairfield University with a degree in accounting and finance, then rejoined the family business. During their tenure, Rick and Lisa have grown

Lander’s to encompass more than 70 miles of the Delaware between Hancock and Port Jervis, featuring eight launch sites, three campgrounds, a restaurant and a gas station. (The original Ten Mile River Motel has since been sold.) “We can serve all types of adventure-seekers, from the rapids-runners to fishermen,” Lisa CONTINUED ON PAGE 15

Mark Rolston and his classmates (and their spouses) from St. Nicholas of Tolentine School in the Bronx never miss their get-together every summer at Lander’s, where they’re celebrating more than 40 (not really-so-rowdy) years!

THE BARBANTI GROUP

Sullivan County Board of Realtors® VENDORS’ EXPO 2016 Date: Tuesday, May 17, 2016 Time: 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM Location: The Eagle’s Nest, 54 Eagle’s Nest Road, Bloomingburg, NY 12721

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For further information contact: SCBR Office: 845-794-2735 or maryb@sullivanbor.com Carole Barotti: 607-498-5222 x305 or carole@elliottpomeroy.com

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The Sullivan County Board of Realtors is hosting the “SCBR VENDORS’ EXPO 2016” at the beautiful Eagle’s Nest Restaurant on Tues., May 17th 2016. This is a great opportunity for businesses in related fields to enjoy one-on-one contact with Realtors® thus providing an environment for you to showcase your existing/new products and services. • Full Table $170 (Includes Admission for 2 and Continuous Hors D’Oeuvres along with Pasta and Carving Stations) • 1/2 Table: $90 (Includes Admission for 1 and Continuous Hors D’Oeuvres along with Pasta and Carving Stations) Set Up Time: 11:00 AM - 3:30 PM Only PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS, ie: WALL SPACE, ELECTRIC, INTERNET, ETC.

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Sturdier than a tent but more open than a cabin, these lean-tos are a popular offering at Lander’s campgrounds. You’re sheltered from the elements without missing out on nature’s sights and sounds!

14 • CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016

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Pick what you want to do Lander’s River Trips offers something for everyone in the family: • Rafting – take 4-6 adults and kids out on the Delaware in a sturdy rubber raft for 2-5 hours • Canoeing – paddle your way along the Delaware with a friend (ages 10 and up) for 4-6 hours • Kayaking – try this increasingly popular way to experience the Delaware for 2- to 5-hour trips, featuring one- and two-person kayaks • Tubing – forget the paddles altogether and just let the Delaware take you and your fellow tubers where it may • Stay overnight at one of three riverside campgrounds – Skinner’s Falls is the most popular, while just down the Delaware is the largest one at Narrowsburg, followed further downstream by the quiet, family-friendly Minisink Ford • Make Lander’s campgrounds your home base and grab a shuttle to a Bethel Woods concert, the best outdoor performance site in the state (and home of the 1969 Woodstock festival) Free shuttle bus service and river instruction are offered where and when needed. Supplies like sunscreen, t-shirts and snacks are available at all launch sites and campgrounds. For rates, reservations and directions, visit landersrivertrips.com (featuring 360-degree interactive views of the campgrounds) or call 1-800-252-3925.


Bob Lander (left) was a Boy Scout himself, and his experiences at Ten Mile River Scout Reservation near Narrowsburg led to the creation of Lander’s River Trips. Wife Joan and son Rick (right) were integral as well, now joined by daughter-in-law Lisa.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12

explains of a season that spans April to Columbus Day. During the peak of the summer, Lander’s employs upwards of 100 people – from teenagers on their first jobs to professionals who have become guests’ favorite faces. “Our biggest success – and the reason we excel – is our employees,” nods Rick. CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

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CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016 • 15


Familiar faces to longtime Lander’s River Trips guests, the third generation of Landers grew up on the Delaware River. From the left, Rick, Heather, Sarah and Alex are now older and embarked on their own career paths, but proud parents Rick and Lisa are confident the family business will stay a family business. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15

That includes Office Manager Karen Rasmussen, who’s handled reservations, office management and base coordination for the past decade. “I’m getting reservations for 2017 already,” she says (don’t worry – there’s still room for 2016!). “I appreciate a small business and the relation-

Many Styles In Stock!

ship we have between the staff. ... It really is a family,” Karen explains. “I just appreciate the people I work with.” So does coworker Elaine Neiger, who understands the importance of individual attention and great customer service. She manages the Narrowsburg campground – Lander’s biggest, at 150 sites spread out along the river – as well as

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coordinating marketing in the winter. Just as enjoyable is the interaction with guests, whom she assists with everything from registration to first aid to info on local shops and restaurants. “Most of them are repeat customers,” she notes. “It’s very friendly – you just connect.” Especially when she’s guiding groups on the Delaware. “I just like being out there,” Elaine affirms. “The beauty, the peace, the relaxation.” So does Mark Rolston and his former classmates of St. Nicholas of Tolentine, a Roman Catholic school in the Bronx. “We did our senior trip up there, and I fell in love with the place,” Mark relates – a tale not far removed from Bob Lander’s. Mark graduated in 1972, and the following year, he returned on his own with friends and classmates. Their get-togethers are major events at Lander’s – so much so they’re pictured on the company billboard near Skinner’s Falls. “We’re on year #43,” he proudly shares. “We’re going to try to make it to 50, and after that, we’ll bring the walkers and wheelchairs!” You’re most likely to find Mark and the gang at

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CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

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Neither Esso nor this Narrowsburg pumping station are available any longer, but you can still get gas, groceries, food and supplies via Lander’s, thanks to their gas station, convenience store and cafe in Callicoon.

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Andersen’s Maple Farm Andersen’s Maple Farm is a N.Y. State Certified Producer of the Beef Quality Assurance Program. Now taking orders: Hereford Beef & Pork for the freezer - sold by the side or quarter. Call for quotes. Grass Fed Ground Beef Always Available. Pure Maple Syrup Products including Maple Butter and Maple Sugar. Callicoon Farmers Market All Summer Long. 845-887-4238 845-887-4817 White Tail Deer, Bear and Turkey Hunting.

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CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016 • 19


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17

the Skinner’s Falls Campground. “I have a gas-powered blender to make pina coladas. I make 200 pina coladas in about two hours,” he says. “We’re usually just hanging out and telling the same stories we’ve told for 44 years.” Lander’s loves making room for them every third weekend in July – even baking a sheet cake to celebrate their 40th trip! “We want people to love the river like we do,” says Lisa. “We can give them an experience they can’t find just anywhere.” They also give more than memorable experiences. It’s the personal service that the Lander family prides themselves on and the reputation that they have built over the past 60 years, as well as the commitment to the local community. Over the years they have always been big advocates of giving back. They were instrumental in Tusten youth group activities, the Tusten Action Committee, along with sponsoring Ambulance Appreciation Days. “We have always been appreciative of the community we live in,” said Rick, who spent 32 years as a volunteer on the Tusten Ambulance Corps, has been a member of Narrowsburg Volunteer

The late Bob Lander and his canoes were a fixture on the Delaware. Their influential legacy certainly remains.

Fire Department for the past 35 years, and served as supervisor of the Town of Tusten for seven years and a member of the school board for 14 years, and remains a current board member of Catskill Regional Medical Center, the local hospital. “It has always been a priority to be an active member of our community since it’s through community effort that we’ve become an amazing place to not only live but to have a business which others love,” Rick explained. “It’s been especially rewarding to see customers purchasing second homes in the area.”

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F

General George Washington

Our Historic Shad

and the native Indians or many cenwere friendly. The turies our immense numbers of c o m m o n Shad has Shad that came uprivbeen a spring visitor er was a bonus, and in to the Delaware River addition to being a and every spring fishfood supply, the Shad BY JOHN A. PUNOLA ermen will visit the was also an easy-tomajestic Delaware River to fish for this game- reach source of rich fertilizer. fish that arrives in the lower river in mid-March, During the American Revolution, there was an and by the end of May will be well distributed to instance when Shad played a prominent factor Hancock and well into the East Branch. Some as a food supply to the Continental Army. Shad have been caught In the Beaverkill Creek During the spring of 1778, the Continental army, as far as Roscoe, NY. Once spawning occurs in commanded by George Washington, was in May and June, a new generation of Shad will their winter quarters at Valley Forge, begin their lives, destined to return in three Pennsylvania, not far from the city of years to continue the spawning process. Good Philadelphia, and it happened to be one of the news for Shad anglers. coldest winters in memory. Food was getting When early settlers came to America and began scarce and Washington was not sure he could their colonial lives, the Delaware River was an keep his army intact thru the spring. attractive target and homes and small villages The Schuylkill River was near the Valley Forge sprouted along the shorelines of Pennsylvania, encampment, and had been frozen all winter. New Jersey and New York encompassing about Dramatically, the winter ice melted quickly, in three hundred miles. Good fertile lands close to early April the river was clear and would soon be the Delaware produced an abundance of crops, full of spawning Shad. It is recorded that in mid22 â&#x20AC;˘ CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016


The author, John Punola

April when large schools of Shad arrived the Continental soldiers gathered on the banks, and soon available horses that were healthy went into the river and herded the Shad into the shallows where the soldiers speared them with bayonets, soon to be a fresh hot meal. Afterwards, local Pennsylvania farmers arrived with wagonloads of fresh Shad, and the wagons continued to arrive. The farmers supplied the soldiers with nets that the farmers were using, and quickly the nets were placed in the river and a harvest of Shad was in progress. The soldiers continued to net the Shad and a large surplus of fresh, salted Shad was placed in storage for future consumption. The netting continued day after day until the Continental Army was stuffed with fresh Shad. By count, hundreds of barrels of Shad had been netted and salted for future use. During the month of May, 1778, an estimated 200 tons of

Shad had been preserved for use of the army kitchens. Thus the end of spring of 1778, the tired and starving Continental Army was literally stuffed with fresh Shad. The 1778 spring Shad run arrived just in time to save the Continental Army from disaster. The arrival of the Shad was also timed with the arrival of Baron Von Steuben, who offered his services to General George Washington, He proceeded to supervise the training of the Continental Army, European style. That summer the Shad and Steuben turned the army into a formidable fighting machine and the tides of war began to slowly turn in favor of the colonials. The quartermaster made good use of the surplus salted Shad. In all subsequent battles won by George Washingtonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s army the first order of business was to seize the supply trains and supplies of the British army. Tasty British army

The 1778 spring Shad run arrived just in time to save the Continental Army from disaster.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016 â&#x20AC;˘ 23


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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23

food was fed to the Colonials and the prisoners ate Shad. This lasted until an adequate food supply chain had been established. British prisoners of war hated eating Shad. Shad was not a mystery to George Washington. In the 1760s he once wrote that his Mount Vernon home had ten miles of shoreline that was an entire fishery. He often boasted the Potomac River was well supplied with various kinds of fish during all seasons, especially in the

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trap thousands of Shad, which slaves collected in baskets and passed on to waiting horse and wagons. The method was similar to the one used in Europe, except the American Shad were much larger than the European version, and much more plentiful. The freshly caught Shad were cleaned and loaded into wooden barrels, then, the proper amount of salt was added, and the barrels sealed. Shad preserved in this manner would be palatable for at least one year. Washington managed a thriving Shad business up to the George Washington, with the help of Baron Von Steuben (at left) and the time he became General of the abundance of Shad to eat, helped turn the Revolutionary war around for Continental Army. His fishing busi- the Americans in spite of the brutal winter of 1778. ness was profitable enough to replace his failing results. Unlike the Colonials who netted Shad by the hundreds of thousands, the modern day tobacco venture. Thru bad times and good, Shad continued to anglers do not have the luxury of that number of visit the Delaware River and right now we are in Shad, but there’s no army to feed, and 95 percent good times. Shad numbers continue to rise CONTINUED ON PAGE 31 every spring, and fishermen are reporting good

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You’ve always wanted to go fly fishing ... well, what are you waiting for? STORY BY MATT NELSON PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY BEAVERKILL ANGLER

O

ver the past 15 years I have had the good fortune to introduce a good number of people to the sport of fly fishing, and have found that those considering the sport have many of the same questions. If you’ve been thinking about trying fly fishing for the first time, but have just never got around to it, perhaps these answers to some common hang-ups will help shed some light on the sport and get you motivated to hit the water!

32 • CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016

Fly Fishing is Expensive

When somebody mentions fly fishing what do you picture? For many people fly fishing conjures up images of stately British gentlemen wearing tweed jackets and smoking pipes; or they picture CEOs decked out in the latest state-of-theart gear standing hip-deep in a private river that costs hundreds of dollars to gain access to. In other words, fly fishing seems expensive. While these types of fly anglers do exist, and you may run into them every now and then,


these days they are far from the norm. In fact, the average fly angler is pretty much just that – average! Like most recreational pursuits, fly fishing appeals to many different types of people, and it can also be expensive ... if you want it to be. Like golfing or skiing, you can spend top dollar to get all of the latest and greatest equipment on the market, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to. The simple truth of the matter is that fly fishing equipment has come a long way over the years. With advances in technology, materials, and engineering, many of today’s entry- and mid-level fly rods and reels are as good as the premium rods from just a generation ago. When it comes to waders, fly lines and terminal tackle there is simply no comparison; today’s gear stands head and shoulders above what used to be available. Of course the old adage of “you get what you pay for” can still apply. Big box stores and supermarts that sell sporting equipment generally stock some cheap fly rods, packed in plastic shrink wrap or flimsy cardboard boxes, but they are exactly that.

A misty evening on the East Branch of the Delaware.

Cheap. My first fly rod fell into that category. It was a Berkley Cherrywood that came in an awful maroon color with a black foam handle. In fact the only thing “wooden” about it was that it felt like a two-by-four when you tried to cast it. Come to think of it, I think it weighed about as much as one too. It worked, and I caught fish with it, but it wasn’t a fun rod to use. When people ask me for advice about buying a new rod, I always recommend they spend as much as they feel comfortable spending. I’m not saying they should spend a lot of money, just that they should consider how much they plan on using it and invest their cash wisely. Fortunately there are plenty of excellent, and reasonably priced, entry-level rods available that are a huge step up from the shrink-wrapped superstore models, and most of the more reputable rod manufacturers include a substantial (oftentimes 20+ year) warranty with them! So while it’s true that fly fishing can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be. Like most hobbies CONTINUED ON PAGE 34

CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016 • 33


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 33

there is a start up cost, but after you have the basic gear it is relatively inexpensive. Unlike skiing or golfing you don’t have to pay for lift tickets or greens’ fees every time you go, so think about how much money you can save towards your next fly rod or fishing trip!

I Don't Have the Patience for Fly Fishing

34 • CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016

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I hear this from a lot of people, and personally I think fly fishing is great for people who lack patience. Let me qualify that by saying that it’s great for people who may not have a lot of patience, but do have a lot of focus! I grew up drowning worms beneath bobbers for panfish, but by the time I was ten I was tired of sitting in the boat waiting for the fish to come to me. That was the summer I became a bonafide Hula Popper and Jitterbug tossing bass fisherman. I liked the casting, the retrieving, and the exciting pursuit that style of fishing represented. When I discovered fly fishing a few years later it seemed like the perfect fit for an avid, but sometimes impatient, fisherman like me. Although fly fishing does require some


Orvis Fly Fishing 101 classes are a great intro to the sport.

patience it can also be a very active form of fishing that requires you to be more engaged with your environment. You have to pay attention to your cast, your presentation, your retrieve, the fish, the bugs ... and where you put your feet so you don't accidently go for a swim! Patience is a part of the equation, but there is also so much more.

Fly Fishing Looks Hard

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It seems like a lot of people are under the impression that fly fishing is hard. Maybe they

saw somebody fly fishing in a movie, or on television, or possibly on the river and thought that it looked difficult. Or maybe one of us fly anglers told them it was tough so we could feel better about ourselves! The truth is that fly fishing isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hard. Not inherently at least. At its core fly fishing is nothing more than a skill. Like every skill, it needs to be developed. Nobody is born knowing how to cast a fly rod, so every one of us is starting from the same place. CONTINUED ON PAGE 36

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35

Although some people do pick up on fly casting more naturally than others, I believe that anybody can learn how to fly fish if they really want to. Fly casting relies more on rhythm and timing than on brute strength, so with practice anybody can learn how to do it. The truly skilled fly anglers you meet have put their time in on the water, or casting in their

backyards, and have developed their skills over time. Very few people are able to pick up a fly rod for the first time and become an accomplished caster in a day or two, or sometimes even a year or two, but that is perfectly fine because ugly casts can catch fish too! Part of what makes fly fishing so enjoyable is that you are constantly learning and improving, and true perfection is impossible. When people

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ask me if fly fishing is difficult I usually tell them “no, it is developing”... unless, of course, it is somebody I really want to impress.

I Don’t Know How to Get Started The idea of getting started in fly fishing can, admittedly, be a bit intimidating. Maybe you CONTINUED ON PAGE 38

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Beginning fly fishers taking advantage of a free fly fishing class offered by Beaverkill Angler. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 37

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You can gain all kinds of knowledge at some of these meetings, and you might even meet some new people to go fishing with. Local fly shops are another great resource for fly anglers of all skill levels. The people who work there are usually very familiar with the sport in general, as well as the specific area in which you are fishing. They can help you choose the right flies, and give you tips on how and where to use them. They can also help take some of the mystery out of buying a first, or new fly rod, and the good shops will take the time to really help you understand the differences between them and offer to let you try test casting them to see how they feel. Many shops also offer fly fishing classes or guided trips that can really help you get started. Even with all of these resources at hand there is one thing that only you can do when it comes to getting started in fly fishing: get out there and fish! Seriously, what are you waiting for?

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The fat, furry creature with tough teeth and a personal holiday

BY KATHY DALEY

C

hunky cousin to the squirrel and beautiful perhaps only to each other, bucktoothed woodchucks still enjoy their own sense of elan. After all, how many other animals have a special observance day set aside just for them? The woodchuck, or groundhog, earns headlines each Feb. 2 – Groundhog Day – when, legend has it, the mammal with stubby legs and grizzly-

40 • CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016

brown hair makes its way out of hibernation. If the day is cloudy, the woodchuck remains outside and the portend is for an early spring. Should the day be sun-filled, allowing the animal to see its shadow, it ducks back into the burrow to sleep another six weeks. Or so the mythology goes. Regardless of their true skills at predicting weather, woodchucks play an important role in the scheme of things. Their digging tills the soil and provides quick getaways for other critters.

Young woodchucks born in the spring remain with the mother until they are just a few months old, when they go off on their own.

Their waste is great fertilizer. “Woodchuck burrows provide cover for cottontails, chipmunks, skunks and the like,” explained Dayna Valenti-Gaeta, Community Horticulture Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County on Ferndale-Loomis Road in Liberty. “These holes also help to aerate the soil and encourage 'weathering' to form topsoil.” Woodchucks, which are the largest members of the squirrel family, themselves serve as food for the red fox and for predatory birds, Valenti-Gaeta

said.

BURROW ME IN

The woodchuck's powerful, stocky legs and sharp rake-like claws make him a great digger of his own digs. The average chuck burrow stretches about two to five feet below ground and can extend horizontally from 15 feet to more than 40 feet. The animal excavates several entrances to allow for easy CONTINUED ON PAGE 42

CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016 • 41


The fat, furry creature with tough teeth and a personal holiday

BY KATHY DALEY

C

hunky cousin to the squirrel and beautiful perhaps only to each other, bucktoothed woodchucks still enjoy their own sense of elan. After all, how many other animals have a special observance day set aside just for them? The woodchuck, or groundhog, earns headlines each Feb. 2 – Groundhog Day – when, legend has it, the mammal with stubby legs and grizzly-

40 • CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016

brown hair makes its way out of hibernation. If the day is cloudy, the woodchuck remains outside and the portend is for an early spring. Should the day be sun-filled, allowing the animal to see its shadow, it ducks back into the burrow to sleep another six weeks. Or so the mythology goes. Regardless of their true skills at predicting weather, woodchucks play an important role in the scheme of things. Their digging tills the soil and provides quick getaways for other critters.

Young woodchucks born in the spring remain with the mother until they are just a few months old, when they go off on their own.

Their waste is great fertilizer. “Woodchuck burrows provide cover for cottontails, chipmunks, skunks and the like,” explained Dayna Valenti-Gaeta, Community Horticulture Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County on Ferndale-Loomis Road in Liberty. “These holes also help to aerate the soil and encourage 'weathering' to form topsoil.” Woodchucks, which are the largest members of the squirrel family, themselves serve as food for the red fox and for predatory birds, Valenti-Gaeta

said.

BURROW ME IN

The woodchuck's powerful, stocky legs and sharp rake-like claws make him a great digger of his own digs. The average chuck burrow stretches about two to five feet below ground and can extend horizontally from 15 feet to more than 40 feet. The animal excavates several entrances to allow for easy CONTINUED ON PAGE 42

CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016 • 41


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 41

escape from predators. Usually, the main entrance is notable by its mound of fresh earth around the opening. Well-beaten paths to the entrances are also signs of woodchucks. The tongue-twister – “How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood” – is clever enough, but more amazing is the amount of substance the animal actually does chuck. The average woodchuck is estimated to move 700 pounds of soil during burrow building. A chuck will dig out several underground chambers: one for sleeping and for rearing young, a waste chamber for defecation, and a special hibernation room carved in the deepest portion of the burrow, well below the frost line. Woodchucks are among the few mammals that truly hibernate, greatly slowing their metabolism and dropping their body temperatures as they snore away the harshness of winter. Unlike bears, for example, which go into a torpor, or light hiberCONTINUED ON PAGE 44

A common pose for a woodchuck: perched on haunches to nibble grass or clover clutched in the front paws. At the first sign of danger, a chuck will dash toward its burrow, sometimes giving a loud whistle to warn others, thus earning the unflattering name “whistle pig.”

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nation, chucks sleep deeply, their bodies living off the reserves of fat stored from voracious eating in warm weather. Chuck Fergus, a naturalist with the Pennsylvania Game Commission who has written extensively about native animals, notes that a hibernating woodchuck drops its body temperature from over 90 degrees Fahrenheit into the low 40s. The heartbeat slows from more than 100 beats per minute to only about four per minute. In our New York-Pennsylvania region, woodchucks typically emerge from hibernation during late February. Soon after awakening, males will often spend time seeking out the nearby burrows of females. Researchers say the males will enter and spend the night in the underground chambers of females but that no mating takes place then. Likely, the animals are getting to know one another, awaiting the urge to mate that takes place in March. In spring females give birth to four to six babies. The young remain with their mother for several months, learning the ropes of woodchuck-hood by copying the adult before venturing out on their own.

DAILY CHUCK LIFE

Unlike their western cousins the prairie dogs, woodchucks tend to be solitary except during mating and as females rear young. They spend most of their time in burrows, rarely traveling more than 50 yards from their dens, according to the New York State Department of Conservation. Their underground homes serve as their prime method for escaping predators – a woodchuck can only run about eight miles per hour, while a hungry fox can triple that speed. Fergus of the Pennsylvania Game Commission notes that a chuck's sensory organs – eyes, ears and nose – are all positioned near the top of the head, allowing it to safely survey its surroundings from the mouth of its cozy cave. Chucks will often emit a high-pitched scream – earning it the name whistle pig – to warn other chucks of danger. Woodchucks are most active in the early morning and evening, when they leave their tunnels to feed. Relying on dew as their water source, these rodents use their gnawing teeth to munch on apples, beans, squash and tomatoes in gardens. Their teeth are important, and they are able to withstand great wear and tear by growing a sixteenth of an inch each week. During feeding, a chuck will sit up straight, nose

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quivering and small ears cocked for danger. They are herbivorous, munching on grasses, weeds, clover, fruits, berries, and garden crops like cabbage, lettuce, beans, peas and carrots. They love phlox and ornamental plants. Woodchucks enjoy good eyesight, are good swimmers and are able to climb trees. They clean their faces and their fur as do cats, and they're known to greet each other by touching his or her nose to the mouth of the other woodchuck.

THANKS FOR THE RESEARCH

For their notoriety in wreaking havoc with gardens, woodchucks have a well-earned reputation as nuisances. But they are valuable in the right setting. In the 1970s, after the Philadelphia Zoo reported a high incidence of liver cancer in its captive woodchucks, a study determined that the animals' blood contained a virus that resembled hepatitis B. Since then, woodchucks have been used as research animals in investigating the link between the hepatitis virus and liver cancer and in developing antiviral drugs to treat chronic hepatitis B infection. Chucks in Ohio are also responsible for uncovering a Native American archaeological site that reveals life among indigenous peoples 1500 years ago. Groundhog burrowing unearthed human and animal bones and pottery from a forgotten culture at what is now called the Ufferman Site, which was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. More locally are those regular farmers and homeowners who encounter woodchucks in memorable ways. “Years ago, my son brought me a baby wood-

Dayna Valenti-Gaeta, Community Horticulture Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County on Ferndale-Loomis Road in Liberty, points out a little known fact – that woodchucks can climb trees and swim.

chuck whose mother had been killed by a car,” said Jean Smith of Hemmer Road in Jeffersonville. “He was about the size of a softball and I kept him in a cage for two or three weeks, picking dandelions and grass to feed him, and giving him milk supplement with a little bread.” “He was the cutest, sweetest thing,” said Smith. “He survived and I let him go – probably so he could go dig holes in my husband's pasture!”

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The Pickled Owl lands on Main Street A Gastropub Joins the Hurleyville Renaissance

T

and coming. The Center he opening of the had the building and CEO Pickled Owl on Main Patrick H. Dollard Street in Hurleyville approached us about openwas not only an integral part ing a restaurant,” Brynn of Hurleyville’s Renaissance, explained. The opportunity but the realization of a dream for two Sullivan to be a part of Hurleyville’s County natives. Renaissance was timely, Brynn and Evan Allees with Evan’s commitment at always knew they wanted to Albert’s coming to an end. open something in Sullivan In the early spring of 2015, STORY AND PHOTOS County. Evan grew up in the idea of the Pickled Owl BY KAITLIN CARNEY Ferndale and attended was born. Sullivan County Community The couple had a vision: College, then graduated from the Culinary create a place where people could come and be Institute of America in 2008. Brynn, who was comfortable, enjoy themselves, and have homeborn and raised in Hurleyville, also graduated cooked, all-natural food sourced locally. from Sullivan before continuing to receive a Created in the gastropub styling, the Pickled Masters of Education from SUNY New Paltz. Owl offers traditional standards reimagined and The couple were settled in with their daugh- something new to try. The gastropub also offers ters Harper and Levi, with Brynn teaching mid- a wide and diverse beer selection, as well as dle school English in Livingston Manor and wines and a full bar. Evan working at Albert’s restaurant in Liberty Evan, who runs the back of house, explained when the opportunity presented itself. “With that the menu “fell into place with the beer pairThe Center for Discovery investing in the town CONTINUED ON PAGE 49 and inspiring this rebirth, everything was up

CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016 • 47


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ings. We developed a gastropub which offers high quality, comfort and pub food. This is such a blue collar area, we wanted to do something great food wise, but not too extravagant. We wanted to have fun cooking.” Brynn, who can primarily be found in the front of house, explains, “it’s a place to have fun, have good beer, good vibes, something for everyone.” The menu reflects the ideal that both Brynn and Evan espouse to be most important: good food takes time. They want diners to enjoy not only the food but the experience of dining out. Everything from the décor to the menu supports their motto. The restaurant space was a virtual blank slate, save for the original art deco bar and one of a kind plaster reliefs that border the walls of the bar area (created long ago by a former residential tenant to pay his room and board). Brynn and Evan added color, décor, hand-hewn tabletops, and refurbished the original dining room chairs. Everything is made to order, from the biscuits

The diverse beer list has a pairing for every menu item. For brunch, try the Breakfast Stout or a Bloody Mary, served with olives and okra.

that accompany their famous brined fried chicken to the handcrafted beef and veggie burgers. Evan explained that the menu starts with CONTINUED ON PAGE 50

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sourcing fresh and local ingredients to build the menu with, even trialing a variety of chickens before settling on birds from Snowdance Farms in Livingston Manor. The menu includes reimagined familiar dishes of fried chicken (24-hour brined, free range bird), meatloaf, lasagna (with a béchamel sauce), and beef or veggie burgers. Appetizers like pimento cheese, chicken liver pate, nachos, and a house-made pretzel, or hummus platter for two offer a great start for any diner. “Something we wanted to do is have people try something they’ve never tried before and enjoy it,” Evan explained. Brynn added, “People know they can come here and try some-

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thing they can’t get anywhere else.” To that end, Evan has offered specials like bone marrow, densely nutritious beef butter: high in fat, beef tongue, rabbit terrine, fried Murray’s chicken skins, a decadent and flavorful appetizer, and Chicken Cordon Bleu. “We didn’t want to do standard food, standard ways. There are buzz

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56 • CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016

The Pickled Owl’s brunch menu includes avocado toast. A toasted baguette, topped with sliced avocado, perfectly dressed greens and a poached egg is a beautiful and hearty start to the day.

11:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Check out the restaurant on Facebook or at www.pickledowl.com to learn about special events like live music, trivia night, and paint and sip. The Pickled Owl can be reached for table reservations at 845-693-5322.

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words that people can relate to … like Chicken Cordon Bleu, but we created the dish differently by pounding the chicken thinly, layering it with pork belly, cheese sauce.” No matter what you choose, make sure there is room for a homemade dessert like Snickers Pie or Chocolate Dream cake! The gastropub also offers brunch on Saturday and Sunday, with Challah bread French toast, house-made bacon and sausage, avocado toast, huevos rancheros, and sausage gravy and biscuits with fried chicken to name just a few of the offerings. Paired with a Bloody Mary, Mimosa, or one of the many draft and bottled beers, the Pickled Owl brunch is a great weekend destination. The Pickled Owl is located at 218 Main Street, Hurleyville. They’re closed on Tuesdays, and open weekdays from 11:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m., with the kitchen closed from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. for turnover from lunch to dinner. Friday and Saturday the kitchen stays open until 9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday Brunch is offered from


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An awesome roe shad caught and released by Ron Savarese north of Hankins, New York on the fly. Great fish Ron!

© 2016 ANTHONY RITTER

The bounty that is the Catskill - Delaware region

58 • CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016

BY ANTHONY RITTER NYS AND NPS LICENSED GUIDE

© 2016 ANTHONY RITTER

The crown jewel of the Upper Delaware River! It's the wild rainbow trout which has existed in these waters for over 130 years. Originally from the Sierras these fish are beautiful to behold with gorgeous colors and a very strong fighter.


pringtime is just around the corner and with the first signs of robins in flight and forsythia in bloom, signs of hungry trout will be on the prowl throughout our beautiful region of Sullivan County, New York. For the past 21 years, I have had the opportunity to charter river driftboat float trips in search of wild trout, American shad, smallmouth bass and walleye to anglers visiting the Upper Delaware River valley. Our region affords the angler all types of fishing from small streams to Western-style rivers and from local farm ponds to deep crystal clear reservoirs. There is something for every palate. The bonus is that we’re only two hours from the NY-NJ metropolis. It’s convenient to travel to our region – a mere two hours away – and affordable to boot!

S

galleries, restaurants, micro-breweries and retail shops amidst the splendor of world class entertainment and educational facilities such as Bethel Woods, Time and the Valley Museum, Catskill Fly Fishing Center or the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance and startups like The Narrowsburg Union. The Catskill – Delaware region is a wonderful place that I call home and after 33 years here, I still wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. And the fishing? It’s great! Let’s mention the three species that savvy anglers target each spring as the water temperatures reach into the 50s and 60s. They are wild brown and rainbow trout along with the American shad – also known as the “Poor Man’s Salmon” since these feisty fish are really saltwater fish that return each year to freshwater to spawn and are related to the tar-

Besides the glorious fishing, the visitor will be charmed with our scenic bucolic vistas, the river valley which changes at every bend in the river, eagles and osprey in flight and historic remnants of the Delaware Hudson canal, the Erie railroad, the Roebling Bridge and other reminders of our rich past. It’s important to acknowledge the history of the Catskill – Delaware region. Our well documented past of catering to city boarders in the late 1800s as a refuge to the city has created a renaissance of young (and not so young) entrepreneurs that have chosen our area to invest capital, raise their families and start businesses here. They have opened

pon. Once those forsythias blossom in the Catskills and their leaves turn a bright yellow which occurs in the merry month of May, it’s game on for a productive day on the river!

© 2016 ANTHONY RITTER

WILD TROUT! A wild trout is simply a fish that has been spawned in the river and feeder streams year after year. There is no stocking in the Upper Delaware River. Wild trout are a precious resource since they fight harder, grow bigger, have magnificent coloration and are beautiful to behold (and then release). The wild rainbows were originally from northern California, were CONTINUED ON PAGE 60

CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016 • 59


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 59

planted in the Catskill area streams by the railroad in the late 1800s and have existed here for over 130 years! What an incredible feat. I have found that from late April through midJune, as well as September through early November, is the time to target trout when the water temperatures range from 48 to 66 degrees. Since this river system is so clean and fertile, there is an abundance of aquatic insects which are the prime source of a trout’s diet. Mayflies, Caddis, Stoneflies and Dobsonflies – the Upper Delaware River has them all and the trout grow big, fat and healthy. Anglers can either spinfish or flyfish for them but after being on the water for many years, I can assure you that there is no better thrill than to catch a wild trout on the surface with a dry fly. You see the rise, you make the cast, your fly drifts down the water to the unsuspecting fish – and BOOM! – The fish takes and the race is on! Once a youngster, or oldster, picks up a fly rod and accomplishes that feat, they’re usually hooked for life and will never go back to a spin CONTINUED ON PAGE 62

© 2016 ANTHONY RITTER

Soft hackle Pheasant Tail. A great wet fly to be used as a dropper off a larger dry fly. Best used in the oxygenated riffles along Catskill - Delaware streams.

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Big smiles for Alan Kaufman with a huge roe shad caught and released near Long Eddy, New York this past spring. This fish went to seven pounds. No wonder they call these fish "The Poor Man's Salmon"! Terrific fish Alan!

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A snowshoe Rusty Spinner. Best used when the fish are sipping in the pools usually at dusk or on overcast days. Don't leave home without these and hold on tight!

rod. THE AMERICAN SHAD Conveniently, the shad inhabit the same time period and the same areas of river that we fish for trout. They, too, like the water in the 50s and 60s, but they take flies and lures out of aggression not feeding. Shad grow large – upwards to seven pounds. The buck shad (males) arrive on the scene first and are then followed by the females which are roe shad carrying the eggs. Since the Upper Delaware River is the longest river in the northeast without a dam – a distance of 270 miles – the shad swim upstream from the ocean unimpeded and arrive in Port Jervis in late April and Narrowsburg by early May. They continue all the way to Hancock, NY where the East and West branches meet and continue all the way up the East Branch to the Beaverkill by late June. CONTINUED ON PAGE 65

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The Upper Delaware River has a tremendous amount of caddis which hatch in May. This fly called the E/C Caddis was designed by Ralph Cutter for the Sierra wild rainbows which is the ancestral home of the Upper Delaware River 'bows. The fish have demolished this fly!

© 2016 ANTHONY RITTER

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© 2016 ANTHONY RITTER

The Upper Delaware River's bounty not only holds shad and wild trout but feisty smallmouth bass too! Here's Deb Kaufman with a chunky river bronzeback. Many of spring floats yield mixed bags for the angler - trout, shad, bass and walleye!

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Now there's a happy angler! Sy Balsen with a great looking wild Upper Delaware River brown caught at dusk on top with a sulphur Vis-I-Dun. Wild fish, great scenery, bald eagles, plenty of hatches and good friends - welcome to Catskill Delaware Country! © 2016 ANTHONY RITTER

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 62

I have found that areas of the river which funnel or pinch up are the best places to be since shad run in schools. If you catch one, stick around since chances are you’re at the right

place at the right time and there’s a few more coming upstream. If you’re a spin angler, go with a 5’9” rod with an open face reel, loaded with 4 or 6 pound test CONTINUED ON PAGE 66

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and grab a few shad darts. Darts are conical jigs in different weights with a bucktail and painted in two colors: red/white, chartreuse/orange and other variations. Remember that if your dart isn’t hitting bottom you’re not getting them down deep enough to the fish. Most times, you’ll be fishing in less than six feet of water but if the current is up, then go to a quarter ounce. If the river is low and bony, then decrease the weight to an eighth ounce. The fly angler need not be left out since these gamefish will readily grab a Clouser Minnow, Foxy Minnow or any bright colored micro jig on the fly. I’ve just scratched the surface mentioning the great fishing opportunities that await you this coming Spring in the Catskill – Delaware region and the best way to take advantage of this prime resource is to visit our wonderful area – spring, summer, fall or winter. One thing I like to stress to my fishing customers is to practice C-P-R which is “Catch – Photograph – Release” since, as Lee Wulff once said, a gamefish is too valuable to be caught just once. Also, please leave the river valley the way

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you found it for the next visitor and, hopefully, your next river adventure. If you’re a new visitor – welcome to the river valley! We’re glad you’ve chosen our region to explore and if you’ve been coming to the Upper Delaware River valley for years – welcome back! It’s great to see you again. Tight lines and I’ll see you on the river this season! Anthony Ritter is a NYS and NPS licensed guide that operates Gone Fishing Guide Service from Narrowsburg, New York. His websites are at: www.delawareriverfishing.com and www.gonefishingguideservice.com.

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Even if you’re not interested in fishing, the NYC reservoirs offer a way to enjoy a peaceful, serene day on the water.

New York City reservoirs they’re not just for drinking BY ADAM BOSCH PHOTOGRAPHY BY NEW YORK CITY DEP

ew York City’s reservoir system in the Catskills offers some of the best fishing for bass, trout, salmon and other species anywhere in the northeast. While the reservoirs are generally known for the high-quality drinking water they provide to New York City – water that is sometimes referred to as the “champagne of the Catskills” – they are also home to excellent fishing for many coldwater and warmwater species. New York City’s six reservoirs in the

N

68 • CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016

Catskills are operated by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Three of the reservoirs are located in or immediately adjacent to Sullivan County. These include the Neversink and Rondout reservoirs, both in the Town of Neversink, and the Pepacton Reservoir, which is located in Delaware County less than 15 miles from Roscoe. Combined, these three reservoirs cover more than 9,500 surface acres and reach depths as far as 190 feet.


And because their waters are surrounded by thousands of acres of untouched forests, anglers at these reservoirs are treated to a particularly serene environment for fishing. The fishery at each of these reservoirs is unique because of their depths, the quantity of cold water, and regular fish stocking that’s performed by environmental experts. Neversink is home to brown trout, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel and panfish. It is also stocked each year with landlocked Atlantic salmon – the only reservoir in the Catskills that includes this species. Pepacton Reservoir has become a popular fishery for those staying in campgrounds near Roscoe and along the Delaware River. Its fishery includes brown trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, panfish and carp. Because of Pepacton’s abundance of deep, cold water, brown trout upwards of 10 pounds are caught in the reservoir every year. Rondout Reservoir’s fishing environment is unique because it is constantly replenished with cold water conveyed through tunnels from Cannonsville, Pepacton and Neversink reservoirs. This high volume of cold water makes Rondout Reservoir a popular location for shore fishing, especially along the north arm of the reservoir where the water comes in. Lake trout up to 20 pounds have been caught in Rondout Reservoir. To further improve the angling conditions and diversify the fishery at these reservoirs, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regularly stocks New York City’s reservoirs and some of their headwaters. CONTINUED ON PAGE 70

Opening day of the 2014 season at the Rondout

CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016 • 69


This table lists all the reservoirs in the Catskills, the number of surface acres (second column) and the maximum depth of water (third column). It also lists the species of fish in each reservoir and whether the fishing for those species is Fair, Good or Excellent. The rankings are based on extensive surveys that are performed collaboratively by DEP and the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). CONTINUED FROM PAGE 69

Most of this stocking consists of yearling brown trout that average about 8 inches in length. Neversink Reservoir is also stocked with landlocked salmon. To develop stocking plans, surveys are conducted to determine the status of the fishery at each reservoir. The survival rate of stocked fish, existing ecology of the reservoirs, and forage base all play a factor in the development of stocking plans.

Gaining Access to NYC Reservoirs Fishing has happened at New York City’s reservoirs almost since the day they were built. In fact, when the New York State Legislature passed a law in 1905 that allowed the city to develop its reservoir system in the Catskills, that law required New York City to provide public access for shore fishing and fishing from approved boats. Since then, DEP has started new programs to promote and improve access for fishing at its reservoirs in the Catskills. Getting access to the reservoirs is relatively easy. Here are some simple steps to follow: • First, all anglers must have a valid New York State fishing license. • Anglers age 16 or older must also have a valid DEP Access Permit. This free permit can be obtained online by visiting www.nyc.gov /dep/accesspermit. Those under the age of 16 do not need a DEP permit, but they must be accompanied by an access permit holder who is 18 or older. • Those without Internet access can obtain a DEP Access Permit application by visiting a DEP office or police precinct, or most town halls or sports shops in the watershed. • DEP Access Permits are valid for five years – 70 • CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016

This happy angler shows just how impressive the Brown trout are in the reservoir system. Don’t forget, you need a DEP Access Permit for the angler and a boat tag for your boat to legally fish these waters.

so don’t forget to renew yours when the time comes! • Those wishing to use rowboats on the reservoirs must also obtain a boat tag from DEP. Anglers must store their fishing boats at designated storage sites around the reservoirs. All boats must be steam cleaned and registered CONTINUED ON PAGE 73


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with DEP. Some of the over 240 boat storage areas may at times be closed to new boats because of overcrowding and maintenance needs – several are currently closed. People who want to register a new boat can call the DEP office near the reservoir of interest to make a steam-cleaning and boat tag registration appointment. There is no cost for these services, which must be performed by DEP.

Questions?

Those anglers with questions can reach out to the DEP by calling 1-800-575-LAND (5263) or by emailing recreation@dep.nyc.gov. Boat tag and steam cleaning appointments can be made at the following offices in the Catskills: • Ashokan Reservoir (845) 657-2663 • Schoharie Reservoir (607) 588-6231 • Rondout and Neversink Reservoirs (845) 334-7152 • Cannonsville and Pepacton Reservoirs (607) 363-7009

Need some help? Find a Guide. In 2013, DEP began a program to allow state-

certified outdoor guides to provide professional instruction of tours in city-owned properties in the Catskills. A total of 34 guides, many of whom offer guided fishing trips on New York City reservoirs, are now registered in the program. Guided trips have long been a hallmark of the Catskills, and they are a great way for beginners to learn about angling and other types of outdoor recreation. A current list of guides registered in DEP’s program can be found on the department’s website at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/recreation/outdoor-guide-services.pdf.

Enjoy a day on the water – no fishing required

Outdoor enthusiasts can still enjoy New York City’s reservoirs even if they’re not interested in fishing. DEP administers a recreational boating program at four of its reservoirs in the Catskills, including Cannonsville, Pepacton, Rondout and Schoharie. The program allows local residents and visitors to use their kayaks, canoes, sculls or small sailboats on the reservoirs from Memorial Day through Columbus Day each year. Similar to boats for fishing, recreational boats CONTINUED ON PAGE 74

37199

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 70

CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016 • 73


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 73

must be steam cleaned by DEP or an approved vendor. They also must be registered. Boaters must also have a free DEP Access Permit. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t own a boat? No problem. A number of businesses located near each reservoir offer rental boats for day use. These boats are stored on racks at each of the reservoirs to provide easier access. Rental boats have become increasingly popular, especially among visitors to the Catskills. More information about recreational boating, including a list of local rental vendors, can be

found on DEPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website by visiting: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/recreation/expanded_boating_program.shtml.

Help protect the reservoirs

Environmental threats, including invasive species, are a concern for New York Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reservoirs and other waters in the Catskills. Invasive plants, animals and microorganisms can affect water quality, cause ecological loss, and clog infrastructure that is important to the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s drinking water system. To prevent the spread or introduction of invasive species into the reservoirs, the DEP requires

    

   

         

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boats to be registered and steam cleaned. Fishing boats must also be stored on the shores of the reservoirs where they are used. The DEP also encourages anglers to keep their gear clean and avoid dumping bait near the reservoirs. The key to maintaining high-quality sport fishing is to maintain ecosystem health. For many decades, local anglers have been the eyes and ears for protecting New York Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reservoirs and notifying agency representatives of any unusual conditions. The DEP and its partners appreciate your vigilance. If anglers observe any fish kills or other environmental issues, they are encouraged to call the DEP at 1888-H2O-SHED (426-7433) or DEC at 1-877457-5680.

Adam Bosch is the Director of Public Affairs for NYC Environmental Protection and the Bureau of Water Supply.

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The Bashakill Area Association hosts an Early Spring Waterfowl Migration at the Basha Kill on March 26, a Saturday. Meet walk leader John Haas, author of A Birding Guide to Sullivan County, at 8 a.m. Find listing on page 78 or for more information call John at 888-0240.

2016

spring calendar events to check out in Sullivan County this spring FEBRUARY

February 26 Cultural Appreciation II, at 5:30pm at the Jeffersonville Branch of the Western Sullivan Public Library. Watching The Epic Historical Film of Lincoln on screen. Bring a friend, and your bean bag, and we will provide the movie refreshments. Rated PG-13. Registration Required. Programs without 5 people pre-registered may be cancelled. Visit www.WSPLonline.org email wsplprograms@rcls.org, or call 482-4350 for more information.

February 27 Winter cooperating, the Catskill Nordic Ski Club will host an informal guided crosscountry skiing afternoon, at 1:30 p.m., at Fluggertown Road. Call Kathi and Rich for information and to verify that the session will be held, 7945650.

Auditions for the summer season performances at the Forestburgh Playhouse will be held from 1 to 6 p.m., at The Nesin Theater, in Monticello. Many roles to fill. All auditions should prepare a musical selection. For more information, visit fbplayhouse.org.

February 29 Cultural Appreciation III, from 7-9 p.m., at the TustenCochecton Branch of the Western Sullivan Public Library in Narrowsburg. Larry Siegel performs and presents a diverse musical selection of multicultural instruments. Registration required. Programs without 5 people pre-registered may be cancelled. Visit www.WSPLonline.org or call 252-3360 for more information.

MARCH March 5 Winter cooperating, the Catskill Nordic Ski Club will

host an informal guided crosscountry skiing afternoon, at 1:30 p.m., at Tusten Trails. Call Pat for information and to verify that the session will be held, 434-3841. March 12 Yulan Fire Dept. will host its 45th annual corned beef and cabbage dinner, at Yulan Firehouse, from 5 to 8 p.m. Cost is $14 for adults, $6 for children under the age of 12. Tickets can be purchased from any member of the deparmtent, and a limited number of tickets will be available at the door.

March 14 Winter cooperating, the Catskill Nordic Ski Club will host an informal guided crosscountry skiing afternoon, at 1:30 p.m., at Loch Sheldrake (ski or hike), followed by the annual dinner. Call Pat for information, 434-3841.

March 19 Grahamsville United Methodist Church third Saturday thrift sale takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the church. For info, call 292-2283.

March 20 Become a Time and the Valleys Museum guide. Come to the 2 p.m. program, to learn about how you can become a guide, or volunteer otherwise. Refreshments available. Call 985-7700 or visit timeandthevalleys museum.org.

March 26 Early Spring Waterfowl Migration at the Basha Kill. Meet walk leader John Haas, author of A Birding Guide to Sullivan County, at Haven Road, off Route 209 south of Wurtsboro, at 8 am. Bring binoculars and a scope if you have one. Boots suggested. The

CONTINUED ON PAGE 78 CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016 • 77


CONTINUED ON PAGE 78 walk lasts about 2 hours. For more information, call John at 888-0240. Sponsored by the Basha Kill Area Association, www.thebashakill.org.

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April 2 Nature Watch Training, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, at the Community Church Hall, in Wurtsboro. Become a Basha Kill Area Association Volunteer. Come to this training to learn about the birds of the Basha Kill so that you can volunteer with the Nature Watch Program. After training, you sign up for three shifts of three hours each on Saturdays or Sundays from April16 through June 19. For more details and to register for the program, call Kevin Keller at 434-6209 or Maryallison Farley at 888-0261. Sponsored by the Basha Kill Area Association, www. thebashakill.org. “Designing Gardens with Flora of the American East,” at the Time and Valleys Museum, in Grahamsville, at 2 p.m. Cost is free to members, $3 for nonmembers.” Carolyn Summers

will talk about her new book about the natural history of eastern native plants and their use in gardens. Learn why using indigenous plants is important, including helping prevent infestations of invasive plants. Light refreshments are included and books will be available for sale. For info, call 985-7700 or visit www.time andthevalleysmuseum.org. April 5 Grahamsville United Methodist Church will host a thrift sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with lunch being served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For information, call 985-2283.

April 9 Star Walk at 8 p.m., at the Basha Kill. Event very dependent on clear skies. Weather permitting, meet at Haven Road, off Route 209 south of Wurtsboro. Call Bob to register and/or check trip’s status at 498-9001. Sponsored by the Basha Kill Area Association, thebashakill.org.

April 16 The 35th Annual Basha Kill Clean-up will be held from 9:30

845-434-8890 TRUCK TIRES After Market and OE Wheels Self Service Car Wash On Premises

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78 • CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016

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April 17 Hike to Gobbler’s Knob, at 10 a.m. Join naturalist Mike Medley and enjoy views of a beautiful 650 acre Shawangunk Ridge property. The hike gains 450 vertical feet from the parking area to the Knob, almost 1,000 feet high. Wear comfortable, sturdy shoes; bring water. Trip takes two hours. Meet at the South Road (Indian Orchard Road) fishing platform, just off Rt. 163/61

April 26 Grahamsville United Methodist Church will host a thrift sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with lunch being served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For information, call 985-2283.

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MAY May 10 Grahamsville United Methodist Church will host a thrift sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with lunch being served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For information, call 985-2283.

May 14 Spring Migration Warbler Walk with John Haas, author of A Birding Guide to Sullivan County. Meet at Haven Road, off Route 209 south of Wurtsboro at 8 a.m. Bring binoculars. The walk will last at least two hours. For more information and directions to meeting place, call John at 888-0240. Sponsored by Basha Kill Area Association, thebashakill.org.

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Morningside and Mountaindale Parks & Campgrounds: Experience The Sullivan County Catskills www.townoffallsburg.com We have many activities for you and your family to enjoy this summer season. CAMPING (Season sites available with full hookups) • SWIMMING • PLAYGROUNDS • BOATING • PICNIC* AREA • FISHING • BALLFIELDS • BASKETBALL • PAVILION RENTALS • CONCESSION/KOSHER ICE CREAM We also accommodate your group affairs and school outings. Summer fun runs May 1 through Columbus Day.

Morningside Park (845) 434-5877 Mountaindale Park (845) 434-7337

37167

east of Route 209 in Westbrookville. To register or for information, contact Mike at 754-0743. Sponsored by the Basha Kill Area Association, thebashakill.org.

26469 37337

a.m. to noon. Registration and site assignments; meet at DEC parking lot on Haven Road, off Route 209 south of Wurtsboro. Picnic lunch follows, bring chair. Celebrate Earth Day! Enjoy a walk while ridding the wetlands of debris. Garbage bags are provided. Wear boots, work gloves, and insect repellent. Picnic provided by BKAA. BKAA merchandise will be on sale and door prizes awarded. Call Paula Medley at 754-0743 for further information. Sponsored by the Basha Kill Area Association, thebashakill.org. Grahamsville United Methodist Church third Saturday thrift sale takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the church. For info, call 292-2283.

CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016 • 79


Headliners By Day

ODESZA • SKRILLEX • BASSNECTAR THE CHAINSMOKERS • ZEDS DEAD • YOUNG THUG • GRIZ

GESAFFELSTEIN • TCHAMI • GRAMATIK • CLAUDE VONSTROKE In Alphabetical Order

CLAPTONE • EMANCIPATOR • THE FLOOZIES • JOHN DIGWEED KEYS N KRATES • LEE BURRIDGE • MIJA MK • MR CARMACK • OMAR S BLACK TIGER SEX MACHINE • BRUNCH BOUNCE • DIMOND SAINTS THE FUNK HUNTERS • G JONES • GOLF CLAP • ILLENIUM JUBILEE • PHAM • REZZ • SKYLAR SPENCE Also Featuring THE HEALING GARDEN • THE COMEDY CLUB TAKEOVER • SWING RIDE SILENT DISCO • FOOD FESTIVAL • AND MORE!

80 • CATSKILL-DELAWARE, SPRING 2016

AND MANY, MANY MORE!

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Catskill-Delaware Magazine Spring 2016  

Whether you love to hike, to fish, to canoe, to eat or just to visit the Catskills and Upper Delaware River, our new Catskill-Delaware Magaz...

Catskill-Delaware Magazine Spring 2016  

Whether you love to hike, to fish, to canoe, to eat or just to visit the Catskills and Upper Delaware River, our new Catskill-Delaware Magaz...

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