Guided Trip: The Delaware River

From April 18-20, 2012, I headed out to Roscoe, NY for my first float trip and my first trip to fish the Delaware. I had booked a guided float trip for the 19th with Ken Tutalo from The Baxter House and was hopeful to try out the other rivers (Willowemoc and Beaverkill) on my own at some point. Ken had told me that if I stopped by the fly shop on the 18th, the day before my float, he would point me in the right direction for some wading access points. He directed me to an easy access point on the lower East Branch of the Delaware near Read Creek. I didn’t catch any fish, but still had a good time:

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Me having a good time.

Overnight accommodations at the Baxter House were inexpensive and Ken had stocked the fridge with fresh eggs from his chickens out back, so breakfast was covered. Both nights for dinner I ate at Raimondo’s Italian restaurant in the village – good food and inexpensive – also, within walking distance. The Baxter House’s fly shop is located right on-sight and has a great selection of gear and flies.

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Baxter House fly shop.

Ken met me at the shop the next morning and reminded me to pack a lunch (oops!). Easy enough, considering you are within walking distance of the main Roscoe strip. I hit up a deli for a quick sandwich and soda before meeting back up with Ken who loaded our gear into his truck. The drive to the access point at Long Eddy was a long way away, but Ken passed the time by talking me through some of the local hatches and some of the presentations he’s given over the years. All this information was really useful. It was clear right away that Ken knows what he’s talking about – he lives and breathes this stuff. Once we put the boat in the water, Ken rigged up an 8 wt. with the below lineup for nymphing the faster water – tying on all 3 flies in a row, with that buggy scud looking creature on the bottom, about 8 inches apart from one another. We also rigged up another rod for some dry fly fishing on the slower water.

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Ken uses a Hyde drift boat, which is in good shape.

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The green looking fly on the bottom must have looked like trout candy.

This float trip was awesome and very successful in large part due to Ken’s expertise and tutelage. The largest fish that day was about an 18″ bow, which fought like crazy. I hooked up with about 10 fish that day in the 12-18″ range, taking one brown on the top with a dry. The rest were all decent-size bows from the faster water.
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The next day I hit up the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum and, taking Ken’s suggestion from the previous day, headed out to the Baxter Brook access point for one last shot at a fish before heading home. It was a success, most likely due to the fact that I had used the same rig from the previous day. This was a great trip and plan to do it all over again in 2013.

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The Bedford Sportsman Hosts: Bob Wesolowski

On April 14, 2012, The Bedford Sportsman hosted Trout Unlimited President and fly tier Bob Wesolowski for his presentation “Successful Fly Patterns of the Local Croton Watershed Trout Stream System”. Bob gave a great demo, showing a group of about 7 of us how to tie a handful of flies for use on the local watershed, including a partridge in green, an iso pattern, a pheasant tail, a “Tufts”(?), a midge pattern, an olive soft hackle emerger, an elk hair caddis ‘flymph’, and a few caddis nymphs.

Bob did a great job, but there may have been too many flies for me to learn in a two hour period! I hear he teaches the TU fly tying course, so I may sign up for that one spring.

Here are some of Bob’s flies I was able to reproduce from my notes:

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The Bedford Sportsman Hosts: Hardy Day

On April 7, 2012 The Bedford Sportsman sponsored its annual Hardy Day at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. Everyone brought something to drink and the folks from the Sportsman grilled up some grub for everyone to pick at while they tested out some rods. I was able to try out a few and loved one, in particular, which the Sportsman was able to get me a good deal on the following week. My new Grey’s Streamflex 9′ 5 wt. Love it.

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West Branch Croton

Spurred on by John Genovese’s presentation the previous day, I headed out to fish the West Branch Croton on April 1, 2012. I now understand what John had meant when he referred to the West Branch as his “church”. This was such a beautiful place to fish. The river gets prettier and prettier the farther you get from the access points. Serenity, solitude, and some beautiful fish too:

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