Log in Subscribe

Touting trout and tiny flies

Judy Van Put
Posted 6/11/24

Recent showers and thunderstorms have added some much-welcomed water to our rivers and streams (and we hope for more to keep up the good flows.) On Sunday afternoon, June 9 the Beaverkill at Cooks …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Touting trout and tiny flies


Recent showers and thunderstorms have added some much-welcomed water to our rivers and streams (and we hope for more to keep up the good flows.) On Sunday afternoon, June 9 the Beaverkill at Cooks Falls was flowing at 282 cubic feet per second, which is a hair above the median average flow of 280 cfs over 110 years of record-keeping.

The highest flow recorded on this date was 1520 cubic feet per second in 1973; and lowest recorded flow on June 9 over 110 years was just 96 cfs back in 1936.

It’s been quite a week for trout fishers! Traditionally, the end of May/beginning of June is anticipated to be the best time for trout fishing and catching trout on our Catskill streams. The past week supported that anticipation, with scores of cars lining the banks and filling the Fisherman Parking Areas, and reports of good fishing continuing to come in. Last week, “Catskill” John Bonasera reported catching a “bunch of trout” from 11:00 a.m. till around 2:30 p.m. He saw lots of Isonychias and a few big stoneflies in the air; but took all his fish on March browns and Grey Foxes. He explained that he uses the Grey Foxes under heavy tree canopies when the light is bad, as they are a little easier to see bouncing around in the choppy water. John caught a good number of smaller browns and rainbows and one brook trout; the largest was a brown that measured 17 inches.

Even though it’s still early June, fishing seems to be the best in the evenings for dry fly fishing, probably due to temperatures and water levels.

Fortunately, we’ve had a few cool nights and some replenishing rain.

Fly-fishers are reporting numerous types of flies about now, including some remaining Coffin Flies (these are the Spinners of the Green Drakes, and very large, in size #8 and #10) along with medium-sized Isonychias, Light Cahills, and Sulphurs. Tiny Blue-winged Olives are an important hatch, as well as various caddis flies: fly-fishers have a number of flies to choose from.

Tom Mason, of Livingston Manor, was fishing on the Beaverkill with his son Chris this past week and mentioned that the river was a little low, between 250 and 275 cubic feet per second, but that the fishing was terrific.

There were lots of spinner falls in the evenings, and good numbers of fish were caught on Isonychias and Light Cahills in size #14, but “the real name of the game for the whole week was Blue-Winged Olives in sizes #22 and #24” in the morning and afternoons - and Chris was happy to experience banner fishing on both the Beaverkill and the Willowemoc.

On Thursday evening, the Wulff Gallery at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center hosted An Evening with Trout Unlimited, celebrating Catskill Conservation. Guests from our local area as well as those from hours away came together to enjoy the evening, which featured refreshments and music. Led by Jesse Vadala and Tracey Brown, the Trout Unlimited (TU) Catskill team presented an in-depth report of their 2023 Willowemoc Watershed Survey and a look at what is to come in 2024. Trout Unlimited’s CEO, Chris Wood, was also in attendance with a keynote speech.

Honored at the beginning of the gala event was Dr. Peter Moskovitz, who is Jesse’s collaborator and partner in a veteran’s service couples retreat that is hosted during the first week of June at the West Branch Angler, which brings six veteran couples out on the Delaware to share in the healing and calming powers of time spent wading and fishing for trout.

And at the end of the evening, Ed Van Put was honored as the first recipient of Trout Unlimited’s Catskill Conservation Award, a beautiful, framed award, painted by Catskill artist Steven Weinberg. Ed was selected to be the first recipient of this award based on his conservation career with NYSDEC, his exceptional accomplishments with the purchase of 52 miles of Public Fishing Rights, and his books and writings on Catskill rivers.

And to end the week, on Saturday, June 6, thousands of visitors and well-wishers descended on Livingston Manor to view and celebrate the Trout Parade. Now in its 18th year, visitors from near and far lined roadways from Old Route 17 on the hill above town, down through and past Main Street, up to DuBois Street, and out towards Route 17, and filled all the parking areas in town. Attendees were entertained by the exciting parade. 

This year’s theme was “Trout On The Range”, a “boot-stompin, fish-ropin’ good ole time” with local/civic organizations, dozens of floats, representation from neighboring Roscoe and Parksville with live music and dancers, antique tractors, Fire Department trucks, and lots of candy, beads and other treats for the kids. 

No doubt the parade was a boon to the community, with so many visitors out to celebrate trout - and frequent our local businesses after the parade.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here