Saturday, October 12, 2013

Vacation fishing report Sept. 2013

I was off the last week of September, and beat it to the cozy confines of Pantherkill Road, Phoenicia, N.Y.

An extended dry spell continued through the week. Many smaller streams, including the Woodland Valley creek, were so low it wasn't worth the trouble.

On the plus side, Shandaken Tunnel releases into the Esopus, while still cruddy, weren't as bad, and the flow was low.

This meant that around Boiceville the river was about as clear as it gets in these lax, post-modern times.

So I concentrated on the Cold Spring Road section of the Esopus, with side trips to the Rondout and Neversink, and Chichester Creek.

The latter was fun. I rediscovered an unusual formation, where the stream runs through a narrow cleft in the rock before emptying out into a pool that has a launching pad on the left bank for anglers — bare flat rock several feet above the stream.

Access to the Roundout is via some very well-developed New York state campsites, and on one evening there was a whole herd of people with New Jersey license plates at one spot, presumably indulging in devilries that require privacy.

The creek was low but fishable, and has a good population of native brook trout.

I also fished Trout Creek, which runs right into the Roundout Reservoir and is one of those mossy dark cool streams with surprisingly deep holes carved into the rock where big reservoir fish should be spawning.

But all I got there were a couple of smallmouth bass.

The Neversink was also low, but this is private water that includes the actual Junction Pool of the two branches, which I have permission to fish. And it was a beautiful day. So there.

One night I saw a fellow just starting as dusk approached. He was carrying a fly rod and a small spnning rod, and a giant contraption, about 12 feet tall, made of PVC tubing with a net sticking out the top.

This was Ernie the Night Fisherman. He is allergic to photographs.

He starts fishing when others are packing it in. He throws big streamers and nymphs out, catches big fish, uses his homemade wading staff/net (he calls it "The Lifesaver") and avoids bears.

"How late do you stay out?" I asked.

"Oh, when it's cold like this, I go back early, say one o'clock."

This was at 7 p.m., already dark and getting downright chilly.

What about the bears? he was asked.

"I had one tracking me one night," he said. "I just got out in the river. He went away eventually."

Junction Pool, Neversink. Doesn't look like much at this low flow.

Esopus Creek at Boiceville. Look, green water! Not brown!

Trout Creek, where I caught bass.

Stonefly shuck, Esopus. Stoneflies, isonychia, caddis and itty-bitty olives were the winning flies this trip.

Shot from the Launching Pad, Chichester Creek

This chute is about three feet deep, maybe more, and if you drop a big heavy fly in there you will be rewarded.

A man throwing some nymphs around upstream of Five Arches Bridge, Esopus Creek, Boiceville.

Typical Esopus wild rainbow, aka "silver bullet." There are zillions of them in the river and they fight like fish four times their size. Well, three times. 

My friends the deer. Every morning I shook the branches of the apple trees so they could chow down.

Roundout brookie

Yrs. truly,  Roundout Creek

A bigger Roundout brookie

It was nice to have water not the color of Yoo-Hoo in the Esopus.

Trout Creek

Trout Creek where it enters Roundout Reservoir.

Last night of vacation, Esopus Creek, four fish in the bag after a week of catch-and-release.

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