ANGLERS FLOCK TO HISTORIC CATSKILLS
April 13, 2008 -- THE birthplace of fly fishing in this country is nestled in the mountains of the western Catskills, an area that offers history and tradition in the sport.
The Beaverkill, East and West Branches of the Delaware River, Willowemoc and Bushkill are among the renowned trout waters that flow through Delaware County.
The area has been popular among anglers for more than a century, and every year Catskill rivers and streams attract new legions of fishermen.
The smaller streams and rivers that course through the western Catskills are only a few of the angling options. For those in search of trophy fish, the Pepacton and Cannonsville reservoirs offer excellent opportunities.
The biggest catches come from these reservoirs. When their respective seasons open, trophy brown trout, smallmouth bass and pickerel are among the species that challenge sporting enthusiasts on these waters.
The New York City DEP, which oversees these waters, has made it easy to get fishing permits for the reservoirs with online registration at www.nyc.gov/watershedrecreation. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) fishing permits are easy to get at local sports stores or at the local town clerk's office.
Seasoned fishermen recognize the way to live large while seeking the big one is to rent a private cabin with all the comforts of home - and great fishing just minutes away.
For fishermen visiting the Hancock area (where the East and West Branches of the Delaware River converge), a full-service resort such as the West Branch Angler (www.westbranchresort.com) is a great place to stay. The resort comes complete with a restaurant, an Orvis store, and knowledgeable river guides on staff.
Up the East Branch of the Delaware River, the Pepacton Reservoir and smaller, challenging streams await in the Downsville area.
Whether you're in the mood for stream fishing or trophy reservoir trout, Downsville lodging options such as Pepacton Cabins (www.pepactoncabins.com) or the affordable Downsville Motel (www.downsvillemotel.com) are favorites. Al's Sports Store in Downsville (www.alssportstore.com) supplies everything an angler needs - from gear to a private river guide.
For those visiting the Deposit area and the lower edge of the Cannonsville Reservoir, lodging options include the new Eagle Valley Cabins (www.evcabins.com) or private home rentals, such as Dream Catcher Lodge (www.dreamcatcherlodgeny.com) with one mile of riverfront access. In nearby Walton, Catskill Outfitters (www.catskilloutfitters.com) can take care of all your gear needs.
The easiest way to gather information about fishing in the great western Catskills is to contact the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, which offers a full-color, online fishing guide/map at www.delawarecounty.org.