Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Triumphant Return - one last local trip before the Appalachian Tenkara Jam.

July 4th weekend is heaven in NYC. Everyone leaves, and you have the place practically to yourself. Driving up Park Avenue there wasn't a car on the road. What I wouldn't do for this on a daily basis...

Of course, with the weather being pretty perfect, I couldn't sit still and figured it would be worth taking advantage of the clear roads to escape for a day trip of fishing in the Catskills.

There had been a good bit of rain during the week, especially the day before my trip. That became evident as soon as I arrived. The first crossing, often a trickle, was a full blown small stream. Interesting.

The previously water-starved region was now healthy and green, emitting a buzzing energy - manifesting itself as perfect bunches of flowers, thick patches of moss and and magic mushrooms, too.

Upon reaching my chosen tributary via a mile or maybe more of trail, I was pleasantly surprised to see it running strong but not blown out. 

I had never fished all the way up the stream and chose not to walk down to the bottom, but to work my way all the way up the stream. I was immediately into some absolutely stunningly colored fish!

The casting was hard. The laurels were now fully grown in with all their new leaves to make it a real challenge. There was not much back casting room, and the bow and arrow cast was paramount on this day.

Putting the fly in the right place the first time one casts to each new pool brings larger fish to hand.

The water had some color to it from the recent rain, but the temperature was absolutely ideal, as was the flow. The fish were feeding full-on.

I sat on a rock here and fished two pools above and below the mini "falls" in the next photo.

I both lost and landed nice fish in each one.

The scenery only got more interesting as I worked my way up. It was even more beautiful than the area that I had previously fished a few times down lower.

Here's where things got interesting. The brookie that I netted below had a salamander lodged in its throat when I went to take the hook out! After thrashing around the salamander came out of its mouth and I left it as it was for this photo. 

You learn more about the food these fish eat every time you look in their mouths.

Sometimes people balk at the size of the flies I'm using... they are big, ugly, and I usually tie them with some kind of "tail."

 I found fish in pretty much every spot I would have wanted to find them.

Sometimes I landed them, other times I did not.

One brookie was so large that it took my fly and snapped my tippet. Doesn't happen very often... but the average size of the wild trout in this stream is larger than many others that I fish.

The colors are more pronounced here as well... deeper oranges, darker redds, and whiter whites.

The blue halos around the bright pink dots are certainly evidence of art in nature.

I heard loud water rushing and knew there must be a larger falls ahead. Rounding a bend the falls came into view.

There was no deep pool to fish below, but I stayed a while and enjoyed the fine mist and cool air.

On my way back down I spotted a nice hole I had missed earlier.

It held the day's first wild brown.

 But it was getting later and I was ready to head back.

One more brookie for the road? Errr... never mind that doesn't really apply here.

There's not much more to say other than that this was a triumphant return to a tributary that I have since fallen in love with. I will be back, but saving it for a "special occasion." Happy Independence Day to all. Hope to see some of you at the Appalachian Tenkara Jam this coming weekend.


  1. That stream looks like brookie heaven! Nicely done.

    1. Kiwi, you bet it does! I fished your bark-eater dry fly here and caught a few on that...

  2. Adam, those streams are awesome...pushing so much water. What a beautiful variety of brook trout.
    This summer so far has been very kind to us and those wild jewels we seek.

    1. Alan, I couldn't agree more. Rain came just when it was needed, and the temps have been perfect. Keeping my fingers crossed for a great late-summer!

  3. Klags
    Sorry to post here but I didnt know how to get in touch. I saw your post at Tenkara USA community talking about a Tenkara Club in NYC. I posted something similar today.
    If you want to pursue tthat idea lets be in touch. My email is
    Tight lines
    Nelson Garcez

    1. Nelson, yeah the forums there are a bit wonky. I'll send you an email. Thanks for posting.