Fly fishing hero Ray Smith to be celebrated in Phoenicia

Phoenicia — The life of hometown fly fishing hero, Ray Smith will be celebrated at the Phoenicia Library on Saturday, March 31 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Friends and family members of Ray Smith, who passed away in 1975, will share their stories of this avid dry fly fisher in the second floor room of the Jerry Bartlett Memorial Angling Collection.  Ray was a licensed guide who was very well known in the Esopus Valley, both for his fishing and fly tying expertise. 

This informal remembrance of his life appropriately takes place on the eve of the 2012 trout-fishing season, which opens April 1.  The library is located at 9 Ava Maria Drive opposite the Phoenicia Post Office.

The angling collection was established in 1995 in memory of local angler, guide and conservationist, Jerry Bartlett and his contribution to the cold-water fishery of the Esopus.  Although the fire at the Phoenicia Library destroyed more than 800 books, some artifacts have been restored and the library is rebuilding the collection of books through donations. The lend-a-rod program is available to anyone with a mid-Hudson library card.

Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program provided support for this event.  For more information see http://phoenicia.lib.ny.us/.