Intro....and advice

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stokes
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: Copake,NY

Intro....and advice

Post by stokes »

Hi all.I found this site via a link on another site.I see there are some Catskill people here and a couple names I recognize from other sites.I got my first fly rod over ten yrs ago and fished it in a lake mostly,almost exclusively.Two yrs ago I retired and have spent a lot of time,2-3 days a week fishing the Catskills,Esopus and tribs and Schoharie Creek area.I've gotten pretty good at casting as most days are just casting excercises,I cant catch fish to save my life.I have caught some fish but too few and far between.I was mostly just happy to be out in the water but last season it started getting frustrating and had me about to give it up.Till what was going to be my last outing in mid Oct when I caught a couple of fish in the Esopus by the cemetary,I usually fish above the portal.So I ended up going back 3 or 4 more times with my usual success.But I am pretty psyched up to get back out and will be heading to the West Kill on Monday.Just wondering if any of you Catskill guys have any advice about fishing this small stream.I'll be using a 2wt rod,an Orvis Clearwater.Thanks in advance for any tips,hoping to turn things around this season.

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Eperous
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Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:20 pm
Location: Catskills

Re: Intro....and advice

Post by Eperous »

Welcome... :D eastern Catskill streams are still cold, bugs just starting to move--- the season is probably two weeks behind schedule, thanks to the winter we just went through... I'm not sure a 2 weight rod for would be my first choice this time of year as you might have to chuck weighted nymphs... BUT, if you're enjoying yourself, I guess that's all that matters... enjoy, and the Esopus below the Portal is up and ripping right now...

Ed

catskilljohn
Posts: 4318
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:03 am
Location: Yardley,PA- Jeffersonville,NY

Re: Intro....and advice

Post by catskilljohn »

First things first...Welcome!

I don't have any advise about that particular stream, but I can tell you with complete confidence that sticking to it will reap some serious, long lasting memories and rewards both with fish caught and sights seen while you are out there.

If its any consolation to you, I spent my first 2 years in Catskill streams and never caught a trout. When I finally brought that first one in, I wouldn't have traded it for anything [the feeling that is!]

Keep at it, fish slow and deep and believe me, they will come!

If I can offer some advise...bead heads. Nymphs with beads. These guys here beat me up regular when I mention it, but we all know how well they work. :D CJ
"Gentlemen,remove your hats,this is it"
"This is where the trout was invented?"
"Oh he existed in a crude,primitive form in Waltons England"
"But this is where they painted spots on him and taught him to swim"

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ewpeper
Posts: 1221
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:53 am
Location: Austin, TX and Island Park, ID

Re: Intro....and advice

Post by ewpeper »

I haven't been in the Catskills in decades, so please take my recommendations with a grain of salt, but if you've been fishing the Esopus above the portal, I would suggest exploring the river further upstream as well. I'm suggesting up near Oliverea and Big Indian. I don't know what access is like up there now, but the road follows the river pretty well, and I suspect there are places where you could get in. Often smaller water is a bit easier to understand and have success on than a big river. At this time of year, I would just pop the pockets with a nymph or wet fly, probably something with a peacock herl body like a Prince or Zug Bug or a Leadwing Coachman. Those always produced for me in the Catskills in early season.

It's a wonderful part of the world. Have fun.

Eric
A mountain is a fact -- a trout is a moment of beauty known only to men who seek them.
Al McClane in his Introduction to The Practical Fly Fisherman . . . often erroneously attributed to Arnold Gingrich

stokes
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: Copake,NY

Re: Intro....and advice

Post by stokes »

Thanks guys.Ed,I think the 2 wt is fine for this stream,its quite small up near Spruceton,and the flows have been declining,down to about 15 cfps.I also have a 3wt and 4wt that I always have with me,in case I need them.Usually I'm not sure where I will fish.I go out on Rt 28 and from Shandaken I can easily head up to the Schoharie or the East and West Kills.I'm hoping the water temps begin rising next week,air temps are finally coming up and the flows are dropping.The Esopus above Big Indian have very little access,I usually fish a couple of access points along Creekside Dr.between Big Indian and Rt42.Going Monday and then again on Wed and or Thurs,hopefully I'll have good news to report.

ted patlen
Posts: 2021
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:03 am

Re: Intro....and advice

Post by ted patlen »

A 2 wt seems under gunned to me but would be okay above the portal i guess...

advice...

fish slow and observe...constantly ask why...why i caught that fish, why i missed it? why am i not catching while that guy is. why ...why then listen to yourself.

read ray bergman

but the biggest advise is make sure you are having fun

yo

stokes
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: Copake,NY

Re: Intro....and advice

Post by stokes »

Above the portal, between it and Shandaken I use my 4wt,below the portal as well.The stretch I usually hit is between Shandaken and Big Indian along Creekside Dr,fairly small water here,the 2 wt reaches everything I need to.I like the shorter,lighter 2wt as I have a couple injuries from a motorcycle accident I'm still fighting.The lighter rods allow me to stay out longer,so I tend to go to the smaller streams mostly.I love my 4wt,but it dont love me.Its pretty light,a 9' Orvis tip flex Access,and casts like a dream,but the extra length makes it tough after a couple hours.Hopefully I'll get more use out of it this season.
I like to fish mid-week,in two seasons I've only come across 4 other people fishing,so I cant say others are catching when I'm not.Just seems when I get near the water, it goes dead,I see very few fish and in all the time I spend on the water,I have never seen a big hatch of any kind.The most bugs I've seen is about 10 or so.Seems I may be jinxed,huh?

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Barleywine
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:38 am
Location: Wyckoff, NJ

Re: Intro....and advice

Post by Barleywine »

Welcome stokes. You've said that you like to fish smaller streams, and when you get near the water, it just goes dead. If this has consistently been the case, then consider whether or not you may be spooking the fish. Most trout in small streams are pretty opportunistic, and will gladly take your fly, but their survival depends on running for cover at the slightest sign of danger. When trout have been scared, they don't feed. Approach water slowly, try to keep a low profile, and use whatever structure is available to help conceal your presence. My regular fishing buddy is much better approaching water than I am, and not surprisingly, he catches more fish.

As other (and wiser anglers) have said...have fun...and enjoy the time on the water.

Chuck
"The secret to life is honesty and fair dealing. When you can fake that, you've got it made." ---Groucho Marx

catskilljohn
Posts: 4318
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:03 am
Location: Yardley,PA- Jeffersonville,NY

Re: Intro....and advice

Post by catskilljohn »

stokes wrote:Just seems when I get near the water, it goes dead,I see very few fish and in all the time I spend on the water,I have never seen a big hatch of any kind.
Like Chuck mentioned, being stealthy is the key in small water, and it doesn't hurt in big water either. The only time I don't creep slowly around a trout stream is when I am in the white water sections that have that deafening roar or when I am going back to the truck. Fish like a heron...you never see them splashing around, and if the water is small enough, don't even go in it. You make a lot more noise in the water than out of it. Trout are very hard to see in the water when they are not taking bugs on the surface, and most guys only see them when they are either spooked or hooked.

As far as bugs and hatches...the only way you have success hitting good hatches is to be on the water as often as possible. I spend a decent amount of time from May to September on the water, and still see very few good hatches. Its luck mostly, and planning your outings around the likeliest times when bugs are out.

Let us know how you do when you do get out! CJ
"Gentlemen,remove your hats,this is it"
"This is where the trout was invented?"
"Oh he existed in a crude,primitive form in Waltons England"
"But this is where they painted spots on him and taught him to swim"

stokes
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: Copake,NY

Re: Intro....and advice

Post by stokes »

I am aware of the spooking issue in these low clear streams.I didnt mean that I see action on a stream and it goes dead when I approach,just feel like I'm the kiss of death.When I approach I try to be as stealthy as I can then I sit for a good half hour and just watch.I fish working my way upstream so,hopefully I'm approaching fish from behind.I start with close casts and cover what I can until I get to my max casting distance with the small rod and then move upstream.I do enjoy just being out there,or I would have given up,but it would be nice to get something now and then.

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