Hook, Line and Sinker: August 13, 2008

The month of August has been pretty slow so far for trout fishermen, at least in the Pepacton Reservoir. Neither Al Carpenter of Al’s Sports Store in Downsville or Sonny Somelofski of the Tremperskill Country Store weighed in a trout over the past week. Reservoir fishermen will be happy to learn that Cat Hollow, which has been closed since the flood of July 23, reopened Saturday.
However, the bass fishing has been very good, according to both men. Al has seen a number of bass taken on crayfish and shiners. Sonny reports bass being caught on poppers, jigs, Fat Wraps, Rattle Traps and countdown Rapalas, in addition to live bait – golden shiners and crayfish.
With all the rain showers we’ve had, the rivers and streams are in great shape and have provided some good fishing, and we’ve enjoyed a few trout dinners over the past few weeks. Not many out-of-towners have been coming up to fish, probably due to the ridiculously high price of gasoline – since mid-July there have not been many anglers seen lining the banks, and areas that usually have well-worn paths to the river which are all overgrown.
But fortunately, we who live in these beautiful Catskill Mountains are so fortunate to be able to take advantage of our precious natural resources on a regular basis, without having to rely on expensive travel. It is good to do so, and is especially important to introduce youngsters to the great outdoors. With the economy in the shape it’s in, and no great change predicted for the foreseeable future, many have had to cancel their summer vacation plans, as mentioned by the governor in his speech last week. But while summer is still here, and the kids are out of school, why not concentrate on a vacation outdoors – from day trips hiking and fishing, to weeklong camping trips (even in the back yard) - there’s much you can teach a child that will remain with him or her their whole lives.
One of our favorite summer pastimes with our sons when they were young involved hiking up to a ‘secret’ beaver pond, high up through NYS Forest Preserve land, that was chock full of little wild brook trout. We would hike in, supplied with a picnic lunch in our backpacks, and the boys’ fishing rods, and have a discussion on what kinds of trees and animals we saw along the way. Often there were berries to pick and colorful flowers as well. There’s nothing like a picnic in a beautiful place, far from the din of traffic and sounds of civilization – where you can focus on the songs of the birds, watch a chipmunk adding nuts to his winter stash, hear the breeze as it passes through the pines, smell the fragrances of the woods and meadows.
After lunch we would try our hand at fishing, and always seemed to return home with some of those beautiful “Catskill Jewels” nestled on the moss in our basket for the prospect of a delicious trout dinner supplied by the boys themselves, a great reward for a day well spent and long remembered by all.