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Streamside returns!

Judy Van Put
Posted 3/26/24

We are less than a week away from Opening Day of the regular trout fishing season in New York State that anglers have looked forward to! It’s been a relatively easy winter, with only a few …

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Streamside returns!


We are less than a week away from Opening Day of the regular trout fishing season in New York State that anglers have looked forward to! It’s been a relatively easy winter, with only a few snowfalls that required plowing. And despite a couple of weeks here and there of frigid cold temperatures in the single digits, it was a rare day when the mercury dropped below zero.

Despite the disappointment in not being able to do much snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, the mild winter should bode well for the trout - as there has been no major flooding or ‘ice out’ with the resulting anchor ice that can seriously disrupt the stream bed, harming trout eggs and fry in the redds. In addition, there should be an abundance of aquatic insects such as mayflies, caddis flies and stoneflies that should not have been disturbed.

Fishing in the early season brings the promise of good-sized trout, as most of our rivers and streams will not yet have been stocked by April 1. This means that any fish caught will be either wild or “holdovers” - those hatchery fish that were stocked last year and grew, thrived and wintered over.

After the beginning of April, the Department of Environmental Conservation will be stocking our Sullivan County rivers and streams- with the Mongaup and its branches slated for the first week of April; the Neversink and Callicoon and sections of its branches during the second week of April; sections of the Willowemoc and Beaverkill during the third week of April.

The ceremonial “First Cast” of the 2024 trout fishing season takes place at Junction Pool on the Beaverkill on April 1, from 7:00 - 10:00 am. Although the water temperature may be too cold for most trout activity, we’ve often gone out early in the morning for the “First Cast” and then returned later in the afternoon when we’ve found better results, as on a sunny spring day the temperature may rise a few degrees.

Generally, the highest temperature of the day is between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m and on a sunny day you may even see a few flies on the surface. This can make a difference in enticing fish to come up toward the surface, especially if there is any activity such as a few midges or stoneflies hatching.

There are a whole host of activities revolving around the Trout Opener: On Saturday, April 6, from 9 am till noon, you can “Meet Your Maker” at the Mike Canazon Catskill Cane Revival, held at the Roscoe Central School gymnasium at 6 Academy St in Roscoe, NY. Tom Mason and the Catskill Cane Rodmakers invite the public to “Bring a rod or try one of ours. Bring a friend who may want to get hooked on bamboo, and we’ll put a cane rod in their hands. If you are new to cane or would like some casting tips, this is the time and place for you.” Afterward, head over to the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum for a day of food and celebration. 107-years-young Catskill Legend Agnes Van Put will be ladling out her famous homemade soups and some homebaked treats as she has every year, beginning at 10 a.m.

The Livingston Manor Chamber of Commerce is advertising their Trout About Town Treasure Hunt, hiding 8 trout-inspired boxes across town, each of which will be filled with “trout bucks” that are redeemable at participating Livingston Manor businesses. And the Roscoe Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring their gala “Two Headed Trout” weekend and Dinner, held Saturday evening at the Rockland House, where the 2nd annual Joan Wulff Excellence in Fly Fishing award will be presented to Nancy Zakon.

Over this past winter the fly-fishing community has been in mourning, having lost two well-respected and treasured friends - Mike Canazon and Mary Dette Clark.

Mike, aged 73, was an avid fly-fisherman, a beloved fishing guide, Master rod builder, conservation activist, and a devout and ardent supporter of the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum who, in 2022, bestowed on him the honor of being a “Catskill Legend.” Mike dedicated years of volunteer service at the CFFC as an educator, caretaker of the historic Garrison/Carmichael Rod Shop, and organizer of the annual Catskill Rod Makers Gathering. In addition, for many years he hosted the “Catskill Cane Casting Revival,” on Opening Day of the Trout Fishing Season both in Livingston Manor and Roscoe schools gymnasiums, giving attendees the chance to cast a wide variety of bamboo fly fishing rods, some of which he crafted himself. Mike’s commitment to the mission, people and spirit of the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and the fishing community as a whole was powerful, and he is greatly missed. A Celebration of Life will be held for Mike on Sunday, June 2 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center Wulff Gallery.

Mary Dette Clark, aged 93, was the daughter of Catskill Fly-tying legends Walter and Winnie Dette, followers of Theodore Gordon and members of the original School of Catskill-Style Dry Flies. The Dettes opened their fly shop on Cottage Street in Roscoe in 1928 and Mary grew up learning how to tie beautiful flies with her parents. Mary was known for her sunny smile and warm, cheerful personality. She was happy to share her expertise and love of tying with others, often giving advice and helpful tips. She is a member of the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum’s Hall of Fame, and received the Lifetime Achievement award from the Federation of Fly Fishers, along with many other honors. A celebration of Life will be held for Mary on Saturday, April 13 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center’s Wulff Gallery.

For more information on these and other events, please visit

https://cffcm.com/eventscalendar; https://livingstonmanorny.com/Events; and



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