Fly Fishing

© J.N. Urbanski

Two years ago, I wrote about Fly Fishing here on Upstate Dispatch on April 1st, the official start of trout season in the Catskills, when I reported from Junction Pool. I began with the following gorgeous quotation from Norman McLean that warrants repeating here:

“…. but when I’m alone in the half-light of the canyon, all existence seems to fade to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Black Foot River and a four-count rhythm, and the hope that a fish will rise. Eventually all things merge into one and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.”

This quotation is from A River Runs Through it. These days, a road runs through it and possibly a pipeline, but it’s still beautiful, especially with a quietening layer of snow. Junction Pool in Roscoe is where fish procrastinate while deciding which stream to take and, in their hesitation, they are easily picked off by fisherman. It’s the junction of the Beaverkill and Willowemoc Rivers and on the first day of trout season local fisherman flock to the area.

© J.N. Urbanski Junction Pool, Roscoe

The meditative art of fly fishing has hitherto evaded me still, yet I persist. It’s on my list. My hesitation is that I can’t get behind fishing or hunting for sport. I’m told that the fish don’t feel the fly in their upper lip because there are no nerve endings in that area, but I’m sure they must at least rattled when they’re tossed back downstream after being caught. I would at least like to eat what I catch.

On Monday March 20th starting at 9am my radio show on WIOX will feature Lisa and Roger Menard in The Economy of Fly Fishing. This year, we have the honor of interviewing the charming and eloquent Lisa who remained off-microphone during my interview last year with Roger, Lenny Millen and John Hoeko. On the show, we’ll find out how much you need to spend to throw your first fly and the best rivers in which to fish. Two years ago, there was at least a foot of snow on the ground on that day and fishermen were decked out in the essentials like waders and foot warmers.

There’ s usually a dinner beforehand on April 1st in the Roscoe area and on March 25th, there’s a celebration at Spillian in Fleischmanns called Trout Tales. wherein licensed guides, world-class anglers, biologists, gear specialists and the curious will be celebrating all things trout and the evening will culminate in a “fishing feast of old, around the grand table, where we’ll swap fishing tales”.

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