PHWFF New City NY Catskills Trip: Late Sept 2016

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, New City New York

Catskills Trip- Late Sept- 2016

Our most recent trip to the Catskills (as our participants reading this know all too well) turned out to be a little tough fishing, a lot of low water, and a firsthand look at why we fish barbless. 😂

Fall colors and Low water

I arrived early in Livington Manor that day to check into Creekside Cabins for the guys before their arrival. I had to make sure we were all set up with the food and charcoal for the afternoon barbecue before I headed back into town to check into my own room.

Nice cabins on the Willowemoc.

If you’ve never seen these cabins they are quite nice, complete with firepits, a stretch of water outside your door and plenty of space. Here are a few photos of the inside.

View of the Kitchen
After most of our group arrived, we met atop of Hazel Bridge.

Once atop of Hazel Bridge we went over the importance of taking your time when getting to the water. Thats not a skill easily mastered, When the excitement of seeing active fish can lead you to scare them off more often than not as you hop right in. This is an excellent place to see first hand what we discuss in group!

Here we can see exactly why Its better to take a deep breath and understand the situation before hopping right in.

The sun was out and we had cloud cover on and off while we looked over the side. It was a great way to show how water visibility changes with the weather, and how it can make the fish feel a little safer when it comes to moving around for food.  Once the cloud cover darkened the sky, the trout would move a little farther for  spinners but wouldn’t go as far, and headed for cover in that low water when the sun returned.

After spending some time in our polarized sunglasses with an eagle eyed view; we went over the difference between the suckers down there and trout and how you can tell which is which.

One very  important thing we covered was the difference in what you could see from the rivers edge, compared to what you can see in a birds eye from the bridge.

Now, You wont always be able to get such a great vantage point before fishing some place, but Not taking a moment to look around is where you can make quick mistakes.

Once standing on the bank and taking the time, you could then make out across the water, the same thing in which we were seeing from a different angle above.

Disturbance and fleeing was also discussed and demonstrated. Such as, “Watching the fish from above undisturbed while then seeing what happens when someone or something creates a splash from the bank.”

Seeing How the fish take off even when you are far away from them when those “rings of disturbance” reach them, even just from a “easy” step in the water and how long it took them to get back to a feeding pattern.

So much was witnessed and taught just from watching!

The next morning before heading out to fish, we all met at the cabins and went over a few key things.

  1. “How to find nymphs under rocks and match them to whats in your fly box.”

2. How to properly handle a trout.

Some trout are more willing participants when it comes to the teachings of trout handling.

3. Anddddd… Why you should always check the side pockets of the waist pack you bought used off of someone.. since it seems that they were a huge fan of using BARBED Stone Flies.. 😂😂😂😂


After attempting to yank it out streamside and realizing that it was in there pretty deep.. and hitting a nerve.. we cut the pack off with a knife and took a field trip to the ER.

A great time to discuss the “other” reason we fish barbless. 😂😂😂

 Not just for trout! Also for ourselves!

After a quick boatload of numbing medication and a surgeon having to cut my knuckle open to get the damn thing out so it would stop scraping the bone.

We immediately resumed fishing!

😂 Yessss!! Keep fishing! No reason to stop now!

Nice evening shaping up.

We took a walk down a few paths in search of the deepest spots we could find in that cold low water.

Willowemoc in the Evening.

As the sun began to set, the guys had a few hits but no fish to the net, and You could hear us all laughing clear across the highway.

A well awaited visit!

After the barbecue was over that night and everyone had checked out the next morning, a handful of us met at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum.

If you have never been there its well worth the trip. There is so much to see and becoming a member benefits you as well as the Museum.

So much History!!
Lots to see
Leaves on the tree.

We all filled out a leaf for the Fly Fishing tree. These names are all sorted by years based on when you began fishing. Its pretty interesting to see when people started and who inspired them.

Bamboo Rod Building Shop

The rod building shop was a wonderful place to visit for everyone since we are also teaching rod building in our PHWFF group.

I love these!

Well that concludes the highlights of our recent weekend in the Catskills!

Im glad to hear that everyone had such an awesome time, and that you were finally to get a first hand answer to the one big question some of you had asked in class

“Why we tie on barbless hooks.”


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