• Spring Fishing in New York

    I make several trips to New York each year to visit my grand daughters but this is the first May trip in a long time. It's a great place with great eateries with live music--often blues or blue-grass, history, friendly folks and beautiful scenery. The weather forecast was not encouraging--rain, rain, and more rain. New Yorkers from this area are used to the rain--they really don't let it keep them inside so neither would I. There are a number of state parks with a lot of trails through beautiful, waterfall lined gorges full of wild flowers. The month of May in this part of New York is very much like the month of April here in KS.

    Several years ago, I met a couple of flyfishermen in one of the local Gorges who let me know that May is the best time to fish the gorge. There are a number of hold-overs from the previous year and the park is stocked in April.

    During the winter the state park I fish is closed to trail traffic due to ice, hanging ice, cliffs, and falling rocks. Each spring park personnel rappel off the cliffs to clear loose, overhanging rocks and repair trails damaged over the winter. Usually the park trails open up around the first of May. When I got to the park on Sat. morning the water was up from recent rains which I thought it might be but I was really surprised to find the trail into the gorge closed--very discouraging. I wasn't sure what I was going to do.

    There is an large hole in a small creek where an old mill used to stand. This hole, at the base of a waterfall but next to the parking lot was the first place I tried--not expecting much and that's pretty much what I got. Had a couple of hits on a nymph and on a dry but no takers. Things were not looking good. I was about to leave when I thought about heading upstream on one of the branches I had not explored before. I quickly came to this great pool below this waterfall.

    Again, I tried nymphs--caught a couple to get the skunk off. I fully expected more fish, though. With the high water I decided to try a conehead streamer....good choice. Proceeded to catch a couple more before I had to catch up with my granddaughters for the rest of the day. On my way out I realized that only the upper part of the inner gorge trail was closed. I had a rim trail that would allow me access to most of the stream for fishing--I'd try that on Sunday.

    The rim trail is a bit steep but it is worth it to get to several pools below waterfalls.

    Since the granddaughters usually don't get around in the morning on the weekend, I look at morning time as fishing time. Headed out in a steady, cold rain, early Sunday morning after a small town restaurant breakfast of eggs over hard, 3 strips of crispy bacon, home fries and wheat toast to warm me up. Water was higher than the day before since it had rained all night. I took the rim trail hoping I could connect to holes down stream. Worked like a charm. Arriving at the first hole, I again started with a bead head pheasant tail but quickly gave up on that and switched to the cone-head streamer. Good choice again. I proceeded to catch about 4 fish from each pool--consistently larger than almost all that I have caught in the summer on this stream. Naturally, I forgot my camera on this day.

    I returned on Monday morning after more rain, another big breakfast and temperatures in the mid-forties. Took quite a while to convince myself that I needed to fish--in fact I had just decided to give it up since the water was so high. That is until, I ran into a older couple walking in the upper park. As we were talking I mentioned I had about talked myself out of fishing for today. She took me to task and reminded me that any day outside is a day to cherish. Shamed, I changed to shorts and sandals so that I could wade in order to gain better access some of the holes. Today, the water so high it was just barely fishable...almost to blow-out stage. I had to be careful wading. I did not see any hikers nor did I expect to in the rain on a week day.

    I had to be cautious even relying on a handy fishing staff.

    With temperatures for water and air in the high forties wading was refreshing.

    One advantage of having such cold feet is that you don't notice that you've been grinding your winter-tenderized feet climbing in and out of the gorge in sandals. No pain.

    I fished the cone-heads all morning until I had none left. Caught a few---again they ran large for this stream.

    Walked out in the fog and rain. Magical times.

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Spring Fishing in New York started by ksbioteacher View original post
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. jeepster's Avatar
      jeepster -
      Beautiful mountains, waterfalls, plunge pools, fish, and newts. Good thing you had your high water pants. Wet wading at its finest.