Paging Dr. Boing-Boing...

After a stretch of very rainy weather and work that precluded fishing, I was able to beat it for the Catskills for a couple of days.

I wasn’t expecting much, and was pleasantly surprised to find fishable water.

On Wednesday, after a circuitous voyage through the wilds of Greene County, made more so by the invention of internet directions, I turned up at the Batavia Kill impoundment in what is described as the quaint hamlet of Maplecrest, within Windham. Maplecrest is a wide spot in the road, and it’s not that wide, either.

Some of these Catskill burgs  make our Northwest Corner towns  seem like bustling metropolises. Or is that metropoli?

The Batavia Kill sidles into the pond after winding through some fairly flat, meadowy country. The angler walks out on a grassy spit between the pond proper and the intake.

The name of the game was a long rod and longer leader, and any sort of smallish dry fly as long as it was yellow.

It’s been a while since I tossed a 50-foot cast and peered after it, trying to see my little yellow speck.

I caught a couple of medium-sized browns this way, then switched to a hopper and nailed one right off.

This pleased Gary, my host, as he was tired of peering after specks and welcomed the chance to peer at something bigger.

We proceeded upstream and tried a couple of spots with no result. Then Gary had to go do some stuff involving legal documents, so I traveled further into the interior to a trailhead parking lot, which is the headwaters of the Batavia Kill and has feisty little brook trout.

I spent a happy 90 minutes or so in there with a Tenkara rod and a size 10 Parachute Adams. The water was cold at 62 degrees, and it was a relief to get out of the sun.

Thursday Gary and I headed to the Beaverkill downstream from the covered bridge campground.

We were hipped to this by Thos., my nomadic attorney, who stayed there for a week a while back.

It was very nice-looking water, and not at all difficult to get to.

I forget what Gary managed here but I clambered downstream, caught several smallish browns on a dry-dropper rig, the specifics of which I also forget, and tickled something more substantial in a deep chute. It was a little ambiguous if I had gone past the state land boundary so I cheesed it. Besides, the sun came out and the water temp, already close to the plimsoll mark at 64, was starting to climb.

On the way out I had an encounter with Dr. Boing-Boing. This is Gary’s term for an angling-related freakout. “Oh bleep where are my keys?”  “Oh bleep I left my rod on the car roof.” “Oh bleep I...”

In my case, I dropped the nymph box and scattered about $100 worth of flies around. I recovered about half of them. I had been meaning to clean out that particular box, but not that way.

With rising temps in mind, we tried for smallies from the shore at the Ashokan Reservoir. We caught panfish on what Gary calls “Mr. Wiggly,” which is any kind of Chernobyl-type foam terrestrial fly, but of bronzebacks we saw nothing. We also encountered the wraith of John Burroughs, if John Burroughs liked to tool around with a savage dog barely restrained by what appeared to me to be a completely inadequate leash.

As I departed the ancestral estate Friday morning, Momma Turkey and her three turkeylets strolled into the yard, hoping to get outside a worm or two. Momma Turkey bid me farewell, and, probably, good riddance.

Gary Dodson deployed “Mr. Wiggly” to no avail. Photo by Patrick L. Sullivan

The headwaters of the Batavia Kill offered brook trout and relief from the relentless sun. Photo by Patrick L. Sullivan

Gary Dodson deployed “Mr. Wiggly” to no avail. Photo by Patrick L. Sullivan

Latest News

Thru hikers linked by life on the Appalachian Trail

Riley Moriarty

Provided

Of thousands who attempt to walk the entire length of the Appalachian Trail, only one in four make it.

The AT, completed in 1937, runs over roughly 2,200 miles, from Springer Mountain in Georgia’s Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest to Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park of Maine.

Keep ReadingShow less
17th Annual New England Clambake: a community feast for a cause

The clambake returns to SWSA's Satre Hill July 27 to support the Jane Lloyd Fund.

Provided

The 17th Annual Traditional New England Clambake, sponsored by NBT Bank and benefiting the Jane Lloyd Fund, is set for Saturday, July 27, transforming the Salisbury Winter Sports Association’s Satre Hill into a cornucopia of mouthwatering food, live music, and community spirit.

The Jane Lloyd Fund, now in its 19th year, is administered by the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and helps families battling cancer with day-to-day living expenses. Tanya Tedder, who serves on the fund’s small advisory board, was instrumental in the forming of the organization. After Jane Lloyd passed away in 2005 after an eight-year battle with cancer, the family asked Tedder to help start the foundation. “I was struggling myself with some loss,” said Tedder. “You know, you get in that spot, and you don’t know what to do with yourself. Someone once said to me, ‘Grief is just love with no place to go.’ I was absolutely thrilled to be asked and thrilled to jump into a mission that was so meaningful for the community.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Getting to know our green neighbors

Cover of "The Light Eaters" by Zoe Schlanger.

Provided

This installment of The Ungardener was to be about soil health but I will save that topic as I am compelled to tell you about a book I finished exactly three minutes before writing this sentence. It is called “The Light Eaters.” Written by Zoe Schlanger, a journalist by background, the book relays both the cutting edge of plant science and the outdated norms that surround this science. I promise that, in reading this book, you will be fascinated by what scientists are discovering about plants which extends far beyond the notions of plant communication and commerce — the wood wide web — that soaked into our consciousnesses several years ago. You might even find, as I did, some evidence for the empathetic, heart-expanding sentiment one feels in nature.

A staff writer for the Atlantic who left her full-time job to write this book, Schlanger has travelled around the world to bring us stories from scientists and researchers that evidence sophisticated plant behavior. These findings suggest a kind of plant ‘agency’ and perhaps even a consciousness; controversial notions that some in the scientific community have not been willing or able to distill into the prevailing human-centric conceptions of intelligence.

Keep ReadingShow less