Great Western Catskills Offer World-class Fishing
By Brian Sweeney
DELHI, NY - New York State's trout season opened April 1 and the
Great Western Catskills makes Delaware County the place to be for
this rite of spring.
The Beaverkill, the East and West Branches of the Delaware River,
the Willowemoc and the Bushkill are among the renowned trout waters
that flow through Delaware County. The "Birthplace of Fly Fishing"
has been popular among anglers for more than a century, and every
year Catskill rivers and streams attract new legions of fishermen.
The smaller streams and rivers that course through the Great
Western Catskills are only a few of the angling options. For those
in search of "trophy fish," the Pepacton and Cannonsville
reservoirs present great spots to "land the big one." Fishermen on
these waters will want to pack a camera, too.
The biggest catches, of course, come from these reservoirs. When
their respective seasons open, trophy brown trout, smallmouth bass
and pickerel are among the species that challenge sporting
enthusiasts on these waters. Fishing the reservoirs just got
easier. The New York City DEP, which oversees these waters, has
made it easy to get fishing permits for the reservoirs by placing
it online: www.nyc.gov/watershedrecreation. New York State
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) fishing permits are
easy to get at local sports stores or at the local town clerk's
Seasoned fishermen recognize that the way to "live large" while
seeking the big one is to rent a private cabin with all the
comforts of home - and great fishing just minutes away.
For fishermen visiting the Hancock area (where the East and West
Branches of the Delaware River converge), a full service resort
such as the West Branch Angler (www.westbranchresort.com) is a
great place to stay. The resort comes complete with a restaurant,
an Orvis store, and knowledgeable river guides on staff.
After an exhilarating day on the water, anglers will enjoy telling
fishing tales at the new Bluestone Grill (www.bluestonegrill.com).
This casual eatery serves lunch and dinner, topped off by a popular
list of homemade desserts.
Up the East Branch of the Delaware River the Pepacton Reservoir and
smaller, challenging streams await in the Downsville area.
Whether you're in the mood for stream fishing or trophy reservoir
trout, Downsville lodging options such as Pepacton Cabins
(www.pepactoncabins.com) or the always affordable Downsville Motel
(www.downsvillemotel.com) are favorites among anglers.
The conveniently located Al's Sports Store in Downsville
(www.alssportstore.com) supplies everything an angler needs - from
gear to a private river guide. When fishing time is over, the Old
Schoolhouse Restaurant (www.oldschoolhouseinn.com) is a great place
to dine and spin some fishing yarns.
For those visiting the Deposit area and the lower edge of the
Cannonsville Reservoir, lodging options include the new Eagle
Valley Cabins (www.evcabins.com) or private home rentals, such as
Dream Catcher Lodge (www.dreamcatcherlodgeny.com) with one mile of
river front access. In nearby Walton, Catskill Outfitters
(www.catskilloutfitters.com/) can take care of all your gear needs.
But, landing trophy fish is only part of the experience. The
Catskill Mountains have a special appeal that makes "just being
here" a large part of the attraction - catching fish is a special
The easiest way to gather information about fishing in the Great
Western Catskills is to contact the Delaware County Chamber of
Commerce, which offers a full-color on-line fishing guide/map at:
www.delawarecounty.org. The fishing guide may also be ordered free
of charge by contacting the Delaware County Tourism office at 866
775-4425 (or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). Website
visitors are welcome to sign up for e-mail updates at
When it's time to fish, visit the Great Western Catskills of
Delaware County and "Let the magic of our mountains move you."
~ Brian Sweeney, Arkville, NY
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