Esopus and environs 2020 edition

patrick62

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Has anyone been?

I'm stuck over here in NW Conn. Told the plumber I would be in touch next month about opening up the house. I suspect it will not be prudent or even possible to make the trip until June, as both Conn. and N.Y. are coordinating the COVID-19 efforts. Highly irritating but what can you do.

Although if I take care to bring enough supplies, so I don't have to visit the grocery store over there, I can easily get over and back plus drive around on a single tank of gas.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
 

patrick62

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Yes. That's why I haven't even ventured as far as the Farmington, all of 25-30 miles away. I've been sticking to a 10-15 mile radius of home, within Connecticut, and one phone call away from my garage and its tow truck.
 

patrick62

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I see the Town Tinker tube rental place in Phoenicia has announced they are not going to open at all this year.

On the one hand, I won't miss a flotilla of tubists floating over the spot where I was working on a nice lunker.

But the business the tubists bring to the town will be sorely missed.

I've always been able to work around the tubes, so I am putting this one in the bad news file -- a file which is already overstuffed.
 

jmckinl1

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Was in the area this weekend checking (safely) on my empty house and older family members stuck alone. Had hopes of fishing, but dashed by the inches and inches of rain....
 

patrick62

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Yeah, 1460 below portal, 550 above, not encouraging. It's much the same over here in NW Connecticut. Adding insult to injury.
 

jmckinl1

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Looked at the forecast and water levels earlier this week and determined that i absolutely needed to check in on the safety and security of my family again. So I hit the river along with everyone else in the Hudson Valley(both fisherfolk and rail trail folk). I know parts of the river really well and after watching a lot of fishing, good and bad, I just sat back and tried to squeeze in where I could. Waited for people to move on and hit my spots.

Not a ton of fish, but caught a few higher quality fish. In two afternoons/early evenings, I managed my biggest Esopus brown, came in at 22in and thick/strong, and 2nd best rainbow at 17in. The rainbow was super strong and almost all silver. Had me briefly chasing into the fast current, which is always fun. Luckily i had 4x on for quick fights and quick releases.
 

patrick62

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I am champing at the bit after reading this.

Is that trail construction finished? Including a new pedestrian bridge downstream and around the corner from Five Arches?
 

jmckinl1

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Yes. The bridge is finished. At 5pm on Wednesday, there were at least 60-70 cars in the lot at 5 arches. And probably 25-30 fishermen between chimney and five arches.
 

patrick62

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Finally went over for a couple days on Wednesday afternoon.

The mice took full advantage of my COVID-19 absence. I wish I had a cat. Or a python.

The snazzy new pedestrian bridge is impressive, as is the full parking lot. The hikers and bikers outnumbered the anglers when I was there Thursday and Friday mornings.

Which I think is the key going forward. If there was ever a place to get to at dawn, this is it.

Caught a nice slab of a brown in Chimney on a heavy iso nymph. Iso shucks and occasional stonefly were present below the new bridge, and petered out abruptly on the upstream side. Which is odd.

Decent flow above the portal and water temps were okay, I got 58-62 with a hand-held thermometer.

Back at the theme park I managed a really lovely 15 inch rainbow, a wild one that was mostly silver with just a thin red thread identifying it as a rainbow. Boy did that fish run around! Even more satisfying, I took it on a Leadwing Coachman. I remember a grizzled old-timer telling me when I was about 12 that if had only one fly to use on the Esopus it should be a Leadwing Coachman, size 10.

Water temps at Coldbrook were edging up into the danger zone by the late afternoon, according to the USGS webpage. Not surprising; it was hot and the sun quite relentless, except when it was overcast and chilly and the wind was blowing in three different directions at once.

There were a lot of anglers out everywhere between Boiceville and the portal, not just at the new and improved place.

The new place also has the best cell signal, hands down, anywhere in the Boiceville-Shandaken corridor. I wonder if they stuck a repeater or booster or whatever they're called in anticipation of hordes of duffers getting sprained ankles on the new trail.

I also caught a few silver bullets in Woodland Valley. The small stocking on private property that usually happens on Memorial Day did not happen this year. I wonder, if we abandoned that practice completely (and the state stopped stocking its bit), would the stream be full of wild bows and even a few brookies? (Thinking of the Montana example.)
 

okaloosa

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Finally went over for a couple days on Wednesday afternoon.

The mice took full advantage of my COVID-19 absence. I wish I had a cat. Or a python.

The snazzy new pedestrian bridge is impressive, as is the full parking lot. The hikers and bikers outnumbered the anglers when I was there Thursday and Friday mornings.

Which I think is the key going forward. If there was ever a place to get to at dawn, this is it.

Caught a nice slab of a brown in Chimney on a heavy iso nymph. Iso shucks and occasional stonefly were present below the new bridge, and petered out abruptly on the upstream side. Which is odd.

Decent flow above the portal and water temps were okay, I got 58-62 with a hand-held thermometer.

Back at the theme park I managed a really lovely 15 inch rainbow, a wild one that was mostly silver with just a thin red thread identifying it as a rainbow. Boy did that fish run around! Even more satisfying, I took it on a Leadwing Coachman. I remember a grizzled old-timer telling me when I was about 12 that if had only one fly to use on the Esopus it should be a Leadwing Coachman, size 10.

Water temps at Coldbrook were edging up into the danger zone by the late afternoon, according to the USGS webpage. Not surprising; it was hot and the sun quite relentless, except when it was overcast and chilly and the wind was blowing in three different directions at once.

There were a lot of anglers out everywhere between Boiceville and the portal, not just at the new and improved place.

The new place also has the best cell signal, hands down, anywhere in the Boiceville-Shandaken corridor. I wonder if they stuck a repeater or booster or whatever they're called in anticipation of hordes of duffers getting sprained ankles on the new trail.

I also caught a few silver bullets in Woodland Valley. The small stocking on private property that usually happens on Memorial Day did not happen this year. I wonder, if we abandoned that practice completely (and the state stopped stocking its bit), would the stream be full of wild bows and even a few brookies? (Thinking of the Montana example.)
Great report. would love to see some photos. The prettiest brookie with the most vivid colors I ever caught was halfway up Woodland valley on a size 14 royal coachman wet fly in 1970. I will never forget that fish. Such a beautiful a area!
 

patrick62

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No pix alas.The Nikon point and shoot which has served me well for almost eight years conked out and I'm having trouble finding a replacement. I want one that's a) about the size of a cigarette pack and b) uses AA batteries, so I can carry spares and so I don't have to fool around with yet another charger
 

dennyk

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No pix alas.The Nikon point and shoot which has served me well for almost eight years conked out and I'm having trouble finding a replacement. I want one that's a) about the size of a cigarette pack and b) uses AA batteries, so I can carry spares and so I don't have to fool around with yet another charger
Hi Patrick! I've got a Fuji Finepix XP130, while it is a the rechargeable camera, the charge lasts a long time. I've had mine for 3 years now and am pleased with my choice. it's also in the size range you are wanting.

Denny
 

patrick62

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^ Thanks

I suppose you could recharge in the car. I am often in a place where there is no electricity, which is why I am biased toward AA batteries.
 

jmckinl1

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Sounds like a great couple of days. Any rainbow on the Esopus over 12" punches way above their class.

100% agree early is better no matter where you go. Cant wait to get back to the E in a couple of weeks.

For now, I am able to make my way to the Deerfield. On the water at 6:00am and had my choice of spots. By 8:30-9:00, every pull off had multiple cars. Got to sight fish to and catch a couple of nice rainbows. But I watched a rainbow, size of a football, 5+ lbs at least, sit on the bottom and very slowly eat something coming off. Sitting pretty deep just behind a ledge so very hard to get a drift down to him. stuck on a large double bead stonefly plus split shot.....smacked him right on the nose and off he went.


Finally went over for a couple days on Wednesday afternoon.

The mice took full advantage of my COVID-19 absence. I wish I had a cat. Or a python.

The snazzy new pedestrian bridge is impressive, as is the full parking lot. The hikers and bikers outnumbered the anglers when I was there Thursday and Friday mornings.

Which I think is the key going forward. If there was ever a place to get to at dawn, this is it.

Caught a nice slab of a brown in Chimney on a heavy iso nymph. Iso shucks and occasional stonefly were present below the new bridge, and petered out abruptly on the upstream side. Which is odd.

Decent flow above the portal and water temps were okay, I got 58-62 with a hand-held thermometer.

Back at the theme park I managed a really lovely 15 inch rainbow, a wild one that was mostly silver with just a thin red thread identifying it as a rainbow. Boy did that fish run around! Even more satisfying, I took it on a Leadwing Coachman. I remember a grizzled old-timer telling me when I was about 12 that if had only one fly to use on the Esopus it should be a Leadwing Coachman, size 10.

Water temps at Coldbrook were edging up into the danger zone by the late afternoon, according to the USGS webpage. Not surprising; it was hot and the sun quite relentless, except when it was overcast and chilly and the wind was blowing in three different directions at once.

There were a lot of anglers out everywhere between Boiceville and the portal, not just at the new and improved place.

The new place also has the best cell signal, hands down, anywhere in the Boiceville-Shandaken corridor. I wonder if they stuck a repeater or booster or whatever they're called in anticipation of hordes of duffers getting sprained ankles on the new trail.

I also caught a few silver bullets in Woodland Valley. The small stocking on private property that usually happens on Memorial Day did not happen this year. I wonder, if we abandoned that practice completely (and the state stopped stocking its bit), would the stream be full of wild bows and even a few brookies? (Thinking of the Montana example.)
 

patrick62

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Arrived Wednesday 6-17 noonish and hit Esopus along Herdman Road that evening. Wet wading was a mistake. Delightful while the sun was out but after that not so much. Managed some browns and one rainbow of respectable size (12 inches) on variety of things, a Stimulator or iso dry getting a lot of looks. The iso I allude to looks like a fuzzy stick. To wit:



Thursday 8 a.m. fishing deep runs opposite RV campground. (I tried for 6 a.m. but it just wasn't happening.) Hooked something impressive on a Surveyor nymph fished deep. Ran off downstream, taking line with it, and that was that. Several browns ranging from dinker to 15 inches or so, and a couple more decent bows. Again Stimulator and iso got a lot of looks and some takes.

Thursday p.m. decided to try that bit from the Sheriff Mike LaPaglia bridge in Phoenicia up to where Stony Clove comes in. Innumerable dinker browns, with a couple of silver bullets mixed in and nothing of any size. Ended up fishing two dries, something I rarely do, a Light Cahill and a more conventional iso dun. I did get to see a guy who looked like Iggy Pop's dim-witted nephew trying to catch trout from under rocks with his hands. At least that's what I think he was doing. Perhaps he was just really, really stoned. I was glad he was on the opposite side of the river.

Had to beat it back to Connecticut without fishing Friday morning, and it's probably just as well, as the pulloffs on Plank Road and the parking area in Mt Tremper were all full of cars. The Esopus is seeing Roscoe-like numbers this season.

I am also catching bigger and better rainbows for some reason.
 
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