Hook, Line and Sinker: May 13, 2009

Mark your calendar for this Sunday. The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development in Arkville is host to the very first Public Forum on Brook Trout in the Catskill Mountain Region. The public is invited to come and learn about the Catskills’ most beautiful native fish. Topics will include information on the past and future of brook trout in the Catskills, including brook trout management, environmental threats to brook trout, and water quality indicators. A panel of experts presenters includes Barry Baldigo, research scientist of the U.S. Geological Survey; Mike Flaherty, Fisheries Manager, NYS DEC Region 3; Nat Gillespie, fisheries scientist from Trout Unlimited and Ed Van Put, principal fisheries technician, NYS DEC Region 3, and author of Trout Fishing In The Catskills. The event will be held at The Catskill Center on Route 28 in Arkville from 2-4 p.m.
Fishing has been great so far in the first half of May. Perhaps due to the record-breaking hot spell a couple of weekends ago, we’ve seen lots of hatches, and some have been speeded up a bit. Henricksons, Blue-Winged Olives, and even Shad Flies, that great caddis with the green-egg sac that usually appears around May10, were in full hatch about a week or so early.
Dave Budin of Del-Sports, Inc. in Margaretville reported fishing in the East Branch and its tributaries has been pretty good since the beginning of the season. He was happy to find good stonefly hatches as these flies indicate good water quality. The East Branch Special, one of my favorite flies, has been fishing especially well, as much on the top as below the surface, sometimes while on the retrieve.
Al Carpenter of Al’s Sports Store in Downsville reported that the Pepacton Reservoir has been very productive. Despite the fact that not many fishermen were around this past weekend, probably due to Mother’s Day, those who were, found that the fish “have been hitting pretty good.” Most reservoir fishermen have been using sawbellies and finding fish at 20 – 30 feet, and the trollers have been doing well, too.
Ken Altieri from Esopus had a nine-pound, seven-ounce brown that measured 29 inches in length – a fish that long would usually go 10 – 12 pounds later in the year. Al reported that most of the fish that came in this week are “skinny.” Ken was fishing at night with bait.
Sonny Somelofski of the Tremperskill Country Store in Andes reported that fishing has been great up reservoir and that his Pepacton Trout Derby is in full swing. Half of the total $5 entry fee goes to the NYS Outdoor Guides Association Kids to Camp Fund, which sends three youngsters to DEC summer camp. The rest gets divided up among first, second and third place. There are 10 other prizes in addition to cash.
Leading the derby so far is Mike Platt from Delhi who brought in a brown that tipped the scales at 10 pounds, ten ounces and measured 29 inches in length.
Bill Archibald of Halcott caught a 26-inch brown that weighed six pounds, one-half ounce. Bill was fishing at night down at 21 feet. Bill and a friend reported catching more than 25 fish that they threw back.
Bill’s son-in-law, Jeff Cammon from Margaretville, caught his first trout out of the reservoir, a brown that weighed six pounds, six ounces and measured 25 inches.
Mike McAdams of Andes and Tim Ritchie of Arkville did well night fishing. Mike netted a six-pound brown that measured 24 inches while his teenaged companion Tim bagged a six-pound, 13-ounce brown that measured 26 inches.
All the above-mentioned trout were taken on sawbellies while fishing at night or very early in the morning.