What do you think?

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catskilljohn
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What do you think?

Post by catskilljohn » Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:59 pm

I was wondering about this today, and wanted some of your opinions.

If Theodore Gordon didn't "start" the dry fly craze in the Catskills, do you think the Roscoe/Livingston Manor area would be the trout mecca that it is? Walking around Roscoe, there are giant trout statues in front of gas stations, trout painted on the trash cans along the sidewalks, trout weather vanes everywhere. The Roscoe diner even has a photo of a guy flyfishing on the cover of there menu! Livingston Manor has a trout parade ...where else do you get to see that?

Do you think it would be this way if Gordon lived in Montana?

I realize Gordon wasn't the only big name in the Catskills, but did he really get the ball rolling in that area, or was the location just perfect anyway, and he was "at the right place at the right time" so to speak.

No matter what, I certainly am glad he chose our water [or did we chose his?] to do his angling. 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
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Re: What do you think?

Post by ewpeper » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:00 pm

Obviously you've never been to Ennis, MT, the town with the highest per capita ownership of drift boats in the US, and where fly fishing for trout is, well, more than religion nut also the raison detre for the town's existence. I remember Roscoe before it was "Trout Town, USA" and just a sleepy little rural burg that happened to be the focal point for a relatively small population of very intense fly anglers that fortuitously had a number of wonderful scribes: Mr. Hackle, Red Smith, Dana Lamb, Arnold Gingrich and the list goes on.

Suspect there's a lotta folks to blame for the current popularity, but I'd start with Robert Redford and Norman Maclean rather then poor old Ted.

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

catskilljohn
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Location: Yardley,PA- Jeffersonville,NY

Re: What do you think?

Post by catskilljohn » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:22 pm

I am not saying its more populated with anglers, or the biggest fly fishing destination in the country, just wondering if anyone would ever travel to Roscoe or L.M. if it had not been for Gordon. You see all the time advertisments for fishing in streams where "dry fly fishing was born", is that what draws them to the area?

There is an area in PA that has a number of streams in fairly close proximity of one another, good water from what I hear, but you dont read about it being "where American limestone trout fishing originated".

Dont get me wrong Eric, I am not saying one is better than the other, not at all, just wondering "if" ;) CJ

ps. the "movie" was most certainly what got alot of younger guys started fishing, but like alot of flash in the pan fads, few stay with it. I hear the fly shop guys saying all the time... "we need another movie" :lol:
"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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Joe Fox
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Re: What do you think?

Post by Joe Fox » Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:30 pm

Roscoe is Roscoe because it's location, just some 100 miles from New York City. Roscoe would still be "Trout Town" if there was never a Gordon, but it would have a whole different set of people in it's fly fishing history.

Joe

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ewpeper
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Location: Austin, TX and Island Park, ID

Re: What do you think?

Post by ewpeper » Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:18 am

I wasn't trying to put a yardstick on Ennis versus Roscoe; just trying to give a comparison of another town that bases its economy around trout fishing.

Roscoe is blessed (like Missoula, MT, is described in A River Runs Through It) by being at "the confluence of great trout rivers." I think this is the major factor -- far more than Gordon or others -- in it evolution to Trout Town. Gordon is IMO just one of many (primarily fly tying rather than angling) personalities that enhanced the area's appeal to anglers. The patterns that came out of the area Cecil Heacox called "The Charmed Circle" are part of the basic fly angling vocabulary of anyone who's been in the sport for more than a year or so. I know that is what originally drew me to the area back in the 50s after spending many nights with Bergman's Trout and Just Fishing. Then, once you have fished the area a few times, it is the water that draws you back.

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

ted patlen
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Re: What do you think?

Post by ted patlen » Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:02 am

roscoe happened to be in the east , where the population was when all this stuff started. it is also lucky to be a relatively short distance from most of the major population centers in america, especially during the later 19th century.

it was only logical that gordon located near there, although i believe he nestled along the neversink much more fequently.
and if gordon wasn't the key, someone else would have been the prominent figure...

roscoe/liv. manor/liberty are blessed with all the trout filled waters all within close proximity...not including the east/west branches of the delaware which were known as smallmouth rivers when gordon was around. roscoe especially because it has two in the same town, which is a parallel to missoula

if the fish are there, people will come...my apologies to kevin costner

cast cane
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Re: What do you think?

Post by cast cane » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:04 pm

i think sombody like sparse gray hackle would have just picked another person to write about and give credit to . maybe LaBranch , Jennings maybe ? I think LaBranch would be a good bet . but i do think Roscoe would be the Roscoe it is now , with or with out any those guys . and i'm not sure gordon started the craze, just the new match the hatch way of fishing rather than engish impressionistic dry fly fishing .but he was certinly one of the early dry fly fishers . I wonder who truely was the first ?
Last edited by cast cane on Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cast cane
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Location: westbrookville [neversink gorge] ny

Re: What do you think?

Post by cast cane » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:21 pm

Here a question for you , if the flows were managed better from the portal from the beginning , would Phonecia ever lost its luster and be a bigger destination compatition for Roscoe ,it's realy not much more time driving from NYC, you could even say its maybe more scenic . but its not close to the big D and its branches and that is a big appeal .

redietz
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Re: What do you think?

Post by redietz » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:47 pm

catskilljohn wrote:There is an area in PA that has a number of streams in fairly close proximity of one another, good water from what I hear, but you dont read about it being "where American limestone trout fishing originated".
No, it's usually referred to as where "American trout fishing with terrestrials originated", or that Marinaro and Fox, fishing the Letort, revolutionized dry fly fishing in 1950.

I think what you think of as the "holy waters of American trout fishing" depends in part in where you live.

I also agree with opinion expressed here that it's the location, and its relative proximity to a large population center, that made the Catskills' reputation for trout, rather than any one man.
Bob

cast cane
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Re: What do you think?

Post by cast cane » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:19 pm

just wondering, what got revalutionized , the introduction of the terestrial in dry fly fishing ? or the tranformation of the fast water fly back to the engish flat water style ?

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