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Fly-Fishing: The Catskill Tradition

Program Number: 2239RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/7/2014 - 9/12/2014; 9/14/2014 - 9/19/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Claryville, New York
Price starting at: $698.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Water Sports
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Low Salt; Low Fat; Vegetarian    

The rivers of the Catskills are among the most famous trout streams in the world. Experience the best fly-fishing as you join experts at the Frost Valley Fly Fishing School for hands-on instruction in breathtaking natural classrooms. Never fished? No problem! We have a date just for novices, who will learn all they need to get started during daily instruction on tackle, roll, casting and etiquette — all while enjoying the beauty of local streams and rivers. Anglers with advanced experience should enroll in the date made for them — “Five Rivers in Five Days” — where they’ll enjoy access to areas along the Neversink, Esopus, Schoharie, Willowemoc or Beaverkill rivers.




Highlights

• Try your hand at tying trout flies as pros show you the “Muddler Minnow, “Stimulator” and “Woolly Bugger.”
• Fish for brook, brown and rainbow trout.
• Benefit from expert tips on wading, fishing techniques, streamside entomology, fly-fishing etiquette and more.



Activity Particulars

Substantial walking and standing in or near rocky streams.



New York fishing license and DEP permit required.




Date Specific Information

9-7-2014

This date is for beginner to intermediate fishers. Enjoy an introduction or refresher course to fly fishing, with hands on support with everything from learning to read the water and scouting spots to fish to tying on flies and unhooking fish.



9-14-2014

“Five Rivers in Five Days” - This date is for experienced fishers. Experience fly-fishing in the Catskills Charmed Circle, as you test your abilities in areas along five different rivers over five days.



Coordinated by Frost Valley YMCA/East Valley Lodge.




Claryville

The region surrounding Claryville is part of the New York City watershed, and as such, the natural beauty of the area’s forests and waterways is preserved in order to maintain the purity of the water that eventually reaches more than half of the state’s population.



Accommodations
Turn-of-the-century former estate.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Tony Bonavist

Tony Bonavist has been teaching at fly fishing schools for more than 30 years, sharing his knowledge of trout entomology and fisheries. He holds a degree in fisheries biology from the University of Montana, and was employed as a biologist with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for 25 years. Tony has published articles in Trout Magazine, Fly Fisherman Magazine and Gray’s Sporting Journal, and is certified as a Fisheries Scientist by the American Fisheries Society.
 
Stan Marciniak

Stan Marciniak’s experience with the rivers and streams in the Southern Catskills dates back more than 30 years. His passion and skill for fishing means he knows all the active spots and has no hesitation in directing guests to the best locations. He is also an adept fly tier, teaching others when not out leading fishing excursions.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   East Valley Ranch at the Frost Valley YMCA
  Claryville, NY 6 nights
 East Valley Ranch at the Frost Valley YMCA
Type: Conference Center
  Description: Located in the pristine forests at the base of Slide Mountain, Frost Valley YMCA features nearly 6000 acres of meadows, ponds, cascading waterfalls, and world-renowned trout streams, creating an idyllic background. The East Valley Ranch at Frost Valley is a lovely renovated home situated in a beautiful field just a few feet from the East Branch of the Neversink River. The East Valley Ranch deck, right off the dining room, looks directly over the Neversink River.
  Contact info: 21 Straus Lane
Claryville, NY 12725 USA
phone: 845-985-2254
web: www.frostvalley.org
  Facility amenities: The East Valley Ranch offers a warm country lodge atmosphere in a peaceful and secluded valley. This renovated turn-of-the-century estate features small active programs, comfortable rooms with private baths, and outstanding cuisine.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Nine rooms have private baths. Two rooms share a bath which is in the hall directly outside of both rooms.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Check out time: 1:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check-In begins at 4pm. You will be staying at East Valley Ranch at the Frost Valley YMCA that night.
  End of Program:
Check Out by 1pm. You will be staying at East Valley Ranch at the Frost Valley YMCA the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Guests are required to purchase a New York State Fishing License for the week, as well as a Watershed Access permit to allow them to fish in several of the rivers that eventually feed into reservoirs. In addition they will need to complete and sign the Release and Waiver of Liability and Indemnity Agreement and Medical Form.
  Parking availability:
Ample parking located within walking distance of the lodge.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Claryville, NY
  Nearest city or town:  Liberty, NY is 30 minutes away.
  Nearest highway: State Hwy 17
  Nearest airport:  Stewart International, Newburgh, NY
  From End of Program
  Location: Claryville, NY
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Monticello

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
YMCA East Valley Ranch Shuttle
phone: 845-985-2254
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$50
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 Minutes 

   

Please contact us at least one week prior to your trip and we will be happy to schedule a staff member to pick you up at a scheduled time from the bus station.

 
Driving Directions
  From Albany and Points North Keeping track of mileage will be very helpful! From NY Thruway Exit 19 (Kingston), go 30 miles West on Route 28. Look for signs on left side of road marked "Big Indian" Turn left onto County Road 47 and go 21 miles (note: at 14 miles you will pass through Frost Valley and pass by the Frost Valley YMCA) to County Road 19 in Claryville. Turn left and follow County Road 19 for seven miles (past the "Dead End" sign). Turn right at the East Valley Ranch sign and follow the driveway.
  From Binghamton and Points West Take Route 17 East to Exit 100 (Liberty). Make a right at end of ramp, go through town on Rt. 52. Turn right on to Rt. 55 East. Follow directions from Liberty.
  From Connecticut and Points East Take 1-84 West to Route 17 (Middletown, NY). Go West on Route 17 to Exit 10OA (Liberty). At the end of the exit ramp turn right onto Route 55 East. Follow directions from Liberty.
  From Liberty, NY Take Route 55 East 10 miles to Curry. Look for sign on the right side of the road marked "Claryville." Turn left onto County Road 19 and go 4 miles toward Claryville. See white Church on right. Do NOT turn left at the Frost Valley sign!!! Continue straight ahead on County Road 19 (which is called Denning Road in Claryville) through Claryville for 7+ miles. Drive past the "Dead End" signs. The East Valley Ranch driveway will be on your right. Turn right at the East Valley Ranch sign and follow the driveway all the way around keeping left.
  From New Jersey and Points South From the New York Thruway Exit 16 (Harriman) go 55 miles West on Route 17 to Exit 100A (Liberty). Note that exit 100A will be AFTER exit 100. At the end of the exit ramp turn right onto Route 55 East. Follow directions from Liberty.
  Just a reminder We recommend against using Googlemaps or Mapquest for directions. These websites and some GPS units use longer and more complicated routes to get guests to the East Valley Ranch.
Elevation Note: The facility is at 2000 feet.

Equipment Requirements: We require participants in this program to bring their own fly fishing equipment. A packing list with details supplies will help ensure that each guest is adequately prepared for their trip. We would be happy to lend a fly rod and reel to any guest who contacts us before the start of the program.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Check In and enjoy an orientation to the program and facility Enjoy meeting the fellow anglers with whom you will be spending the week.
(Sunday, September 14)

Note: The first night is designed to let guests relax from their travels and prepare for the week.



   
 Arrive To: Check-In at East Valley Ranch will begin at 4:00pm and runs through the rest of the evening depending on each guests travel plans. We encourage that you arrive before 6:30pm so that you can enjoy time meeting your fellow Road Scholar participants for the week. Upon arrival you will receive your room assignment and will have the opportunity to settle in before dinner.
 Dinner: Conclude the day’s travel with a warm and delicious first meal at East Valley Ranch. Our private chef will prepare a wholesome selection of entrees and sides for you to enjoy. Dinners may include items such as pork loin, roasted chicken, salmon steaks or many other tasteful choices. And for the vegetarian, items such as vegetable curry, Asian style tofu and many other healthy options. In addition to your entree we provide side dishes like rice pilaf, quinoa, pasta, mashed potatoes or sauteed fresh vegetables. Each dinner will also feature a tossed salad, assorted beverages, and delicious homemade dessert.
 Evening: Relax in the living room around a beautiful fire for introductions and an orientation to East Valley Ranch and your Road Scholar program. This will give participants the opportunity to speak about themselves, their experience, and their goals for the week. In addition, the program coordinator will give an overview of the week’s schedule, provide important information, and answer any questions you might have. During the orientation your coordinator will also cover the weather for the week, and any changes to the schedule of fishing locations we will head to each day. After the orientation, many participants choose to prepare their rods and fishing equipment for the following day. We provide a room with rod holders and storage space specifically for this purpose.
   
Accommodations: East Valley Ranch at the Frost Valley YMCA
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Enjoy a day fishing on the Willowemoc River!
(Monday, September 15)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast fireside in the East Valley Ranch dining room. We provide a variety of breakfast options to ensure everyone starts the day off on the right foot. Each morning we provide fresh fruit, hot & cold cereals, toast and bagels. In addition to these continental items, our chef will prepare hot options as well which may include fresh eggs, omelets, blueberry pancakes or waffles.
 Morning: We will load our fishing gear and take a drive to the Willowemoc creek to fish for the day. The Willowemoc has been a trout-fishing paradise since it opened up to fisherman by railroad in the mid 1970’s. This creek is 26.7 miles long, and it can be broken into three distinct sections. The upper portion of the Willow ranges from 10- to 15-feet wide, with small clear pools and silted bottoms, and is perfect for the small-stream angler. Its tributaries are slow and gentle and have many fish-able pools. This section of stream is loaded with insect life and has great numbers of wild brook trout. These fish average from 6 to 12 inches. The abundance of cold springs and shade keep this section of stream cool most of the year. The middle section of river begins to widen from 20 to 50 feet. The base of this portion is made up of small boulders and gravel, with some faster-moving water and larger pools. Brown trout begin to appear in this section of the creek. The ratio of fish caught here is about one brown to every brook trout. These fish still are average-sized in the 8- to 10-inch range. The lower section of the Willowemoc becomes even wider, opening up to 100 feet in spots. This section has a good mixture of riffles and large pools that resemble the larger Catskill rivers. Most people believe that this section offers the best fly fishing, mostly due to the 2.4-mile no-kill section of river. Stocked brown trout, 10 to 15 inches, dominate this section. The hatches on the Willowemoc are consistent with the other Catskill rivers. There are good numbers of Stoneflies and Mayflies; however, the most dominant hatches are Caddis. The Willowemoc is a special trout stream because it offers fishing for both novice and experienced fishermen. It has everything from small-stream pocket-nymph fishing to big-water dry-fly fishing.
 Lunch: We allow you a bit of time to relax and let breakfast settle while our chef puts out a selection of items for you to make your own pack out lunch. By taking our lunch with us, we can spend a greater amount of time on the water to ensure the best fishing opportunities. Guests will be provided with everything they need to assemble a picnic meal including deli meats, tuna, chicken salad, assorted cheeses, granola, cookies, fresh breads, and fruits. Each fisherman can take their lunch to the river and choose the time they would like to take a break from fishing to enjoy it.
 Dinner: Once we return to the lodge we will enjoy a dinner in our dining room. Dinners may include items such as pork loin, roasted chicken, salmon steaks or many other tasteful choices. And for the vegetarian, items such as vegetable curry, Asian style tofu and many other healthy options. Side dishes may consist of rice pilaf, quinoa, pasta, mashed potatoes or sauteed fresh vegetables. Along with a tossed salad and delicious homemade dessert.
 Evening: Spend the evening relaxing by one of our three fireplaces swapping stories from the afternoon. Our chef will put out a spread of fresh fruit, crackers, baked goods and a cheese board. Enjoy these snacks and the opportunity to unwind before heading off to get a good nights sleep.
   
Accommodations: East Valley Ranch at the Frost Valley YMCA
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Enjoy a day of fishing on the Beaverkill!
(Tuesday, September 16)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast fireside in the East Valley Ranch dining room. We provide a variety of breakfast options to ensure everyone starts the day off on the right foot. Each morning we provide fresh fruit, hot & cold cereals, toast and bagels. In addition to these continental items, our chef will prepare hot options as well which may include fresh eggs, omelets, blueberry pancakes or waffles.
 Morning: We will load our fishing gear and take a drive to the Beaverkill River to fish for the day. The Beaverkill River is one of the most famous rivers in the Northeast, and flows almost 44 miles through the Catskill Mountains. The 11-mile stretch from Lew Beach to Junction Pool continues to grow in size, and this is where we will focus our fishing. The river widens from 50 to 75 feet, with the pools and riffles becoming longer and more pronounced. The Covered Bridge Pool, at the state campsite, is located in this section. The lower section of the Beaverkill begins at the famous Junction Pool, where the Beaverkill and the Willowemoc join. Here, the river almost doubles in size, which is why it is known as "Big River." This pool became famous because it unites two of the Northeast's most famous trout streams. The water in this section of the river is made up of beautiful riffles and pools that cater to the dry-fly fisherman. The Beaverkill's two-mile no-kill section, which begins at the Delaware County line, is also part of this section of the river. The beautiful water, numbers of trout, and excellent hatches have made the Beaverkill a legend that most fishermen have heard of, and that all fly fishermen should experience.
 Lunch: We allow you a bit of time to relax and let breakfast settle while our chef puts out a selection of items for you to make your own pack out lunch. By taking our lunch with us, we can spend a greater amount of time on the water to ensure the best fishing opportunities. Guests will be provided with everything they need to assemble a picnic meal including deli meats, tuna, chicken salad, assorted cheeses, granola, cookies, fresh breads, and fruits. Each fisherman can take their lunch to the river and choose the time they would like to take a break from fishing to enjoy it.
 Dinner: Once we return to the lodge we will enjoy a dinner in our dining room. Dinners may include items such as pork loin, roasted chicken, salmon steaks or many other tasteful choices. And for the vegetarian, items such as vegetable curry, Asian style tofu and many other healthy options. Side dishes may consist of rice pilaf, quinoa, pasta, mashed potatoes or sauteed fresh vegetables. Along with a tossed salad and delicious homemade dessert.
 Evening: Spend the evening relaxing by one of our three fireplaces swapping stories from the afternoon. Our chef will put out a spread of fresh fruit, crackers, baked goods and a cheese board. Enjoy these snacks and the opportunity to unwind before heading off to get a good nights sleep.
   
Accommodations: East Valley Ranch at the Frost Valley YMCA
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Enjoy a day of fishing on the Esopus River!
(Wednesday, September 17)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast fireside in the East Valley Ranch dining room. We provide a variety of breakfast options to ensure everyone starts the day off on the right foot. Each morning we provide fresh fruit, hot & cold cereals, toast and bagels. In addition to these continental items, our chef will prepare hot options as well which may include fresh eggs, omelets, blueberry pancakes or waffles.
 Morning: We will load our fishing gear and take a drive to the Esopus River to fish for the day. This is a freestone river known for its great wild trout population and the large browns and rainbows that migrate upstream from the Ashokan Reservoir during their spawning period. Some fisherman become discourages when fishing the Esopus because it’s always cloudy and muddy. The river runs muddy from red clay deposits that lay in the Esopus and its tributaries, and from silt that’s at the bottom of the Schoharie Reservoir. However, even when the water is off color, it is still possible to catch large quantities of fish. The river widens from 40-80 feet in most sections and consists of riffles and pockets, with an increasing number of pools. In addition to the large number of wild trout that populate the river, the state stocks the Esopus with hatchery browns with the average fish size being 9 to 12 inches long. The fast-moving pocket water makes this creek an excellent wet-fly stream. The Esopus has good hatches of Mayflies and Caddis and very strong Stonefly hatches. The Isonychia hatch is one of the rivers best, lasting from June through September. The release of water from the reservoir does have an effect on the emergence ties of these hatches. This is a great destination for catching large numbers of wild trout!
 Lunch: We allow you a bit of time to relax and let breakfast settle while our chef puts out a selection of items for you to make your own pack out lunch. By taking our lunch with us, we can spend a greater amount of time on the water to ensure the best fishing opportunities. Guests will be provided with everything they need to assemble a picnic meal including deli meats, tuna, chicken salad, assorted cheeses, granola, cookies, fresh breads, and fruits. Each fisherman can take their lunch to the river and choose the time they would like to take a break from fishing to enjoy it.
 Dinner: Once we return to the lodge we will enjoy a dinner in our dining room. Dinners may include items such as pork loin, roasted chicken, salmon steaks or many other tasteful choices. And for the vegetarian, items such as vegetable curry, Asian style tofu and many other healthy options. Side dishes may consist of rice pilaf, quinoa, pasta, mashed potatoes or sauteed fresh vegetables. Along with a tossed salad and delicious homemade dessert.
 Evening: Spend the evening relaxing by one of our three fireplaces swapping stories from the afternoon. Our chef will put out a spread of fresh fruit, crackers, baked goods and a cheese board. Enjoy these snacks and the opportunity to unwind before heading off to get a good nights sleep.
   
Accommodations: East Valley Ranch at the Frost Valley YMCA
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Enjoy fishing sections of the Neversink River.
(Thursday, September 18)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast fireside in the East Valley Ranch dining room. We provide a variety of breakfast options to ensure everyone starts the day off on the right foot. Each morning we provide fresh fruit, hot & cold cereals, toast and bagels. In addition to these continental items, our chef will prepare hot options as well which may include fresh eggs, omelets, blueberry pancakes or waffles.
 Morning: Take a brief shuttle ride to spend the day out fishing the Neversink River. This river runs a total of 19 miles, from its source to the reservoir. Most of the upper part of the river splits into the East and West branches which run parallel to one another, about two to three miles apart. They range from about 10 to 40 feet wide and from one to four feet deep. In the past, great storms and heavy rain continually transformed many of the river’s pools; however, this upper portion has remained more or less intact. You may find brown trout throughout both branches. Wild Brook Trout (about six to eight inches long), run up and down both branches, and a few wild brown can be found here as well. You will need to use a long, fine leader and a small fly. The river runs very clear therefore; careful casting and proper presentation of your fly are a must to get these fish. Although there are smaller numbers of trout compared to other Catskill rivers, fisherman benefit here because trout make up the highest percentage of fish in the river. With the combination of wild and stocked fish, you can still catch a good number of trout. The stream’s entomology is dominated by Caddis, but Mayflies and Stoneflies do appear on the river. These hatches tend to be a few weeks behind other rivers because of colder water temperatures. Fisherman should visit the Neversink, even if only to be part of the fly-fishing history that Theodore Gordon and George La Branche left behind.
 Lunch: We allow you a bit of time to relax and let breakfast settle while our chef puts out a selection of items for you to make your own pack out lunch. By taking our lunch with us, we can spend a greater amount of time on the water to ensure the best fishing opportunities. Guests will be provided with everything they need to assemble a picnic meal including deli meats, tuna, chicken salad, assorted cheeses, granola, cookies, fresh breads, and fruits. Each fisherman can take their lunch to the river and choose the time they would like to take a break from fishing to enjoy it.
 Dinner: Once we return to the lodge we will enjoy a dinner in our dining room. Dinners may include items such as pork loin, roasted chicken, salmon steaks or many other tasteful choices. And for the vegetarian, items such as vegetable curry, Asian style tofu and many other healthy options. Side dishes may consist of rice pilaf, quinoa, pasta, mashed potatoes or sauteed fresh vegetables. Along with a tossed salad and delicious homemade dessert.
 Evening: Spend the evening relaxing by one of our three fireplaces swapping stories from the afternoon. Our chef will put out a spread of fresh fruit, crackers, baked goods and a cheese board. Enjoy these snacks and the opportunity to unwind before heading off to get a good nights sleep.
   
Accommodations: East Valley Ranch at the Frost Valley YMCA
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Enjoy fishing some of Frost Valley's private waters.
(Friday, September 19)

Note: White Pond is a spring fed pond with no outlet that provides a unique fishing environment.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast fireside in the East Valley Ranch dining room. We provide a variety of breakfast options to ensure everyone starts the day off on the right foot. Each morning we provide fresh fruit, hot & cold cereals, toast and bagels. In addition to these continental items, our chef will prepare hot options as well which may include fresh eggs, omelets, blueberry pancakes or waffles.
 Morning: Spend the morning fishing our private spring fed pond "White Pond" for trout, bass, perch, walleye and panfish. You can also fish some of the smaller tributaries of the Neversink including Biscuit Brook and Pigeon Creek.
 Lunch: To provide guests with flexibility in making travel plans, we will pack our lunches before the day's fishing begins. Guests will be provided with everything they need to assemble a picnic meal including deli meats, tuna, chicken salad, assorted cheeses, granola, cookies, fresh breads, and fruits. Each fisherman can take their lunch to the river and choose the time they would like to take a break from fishing to enjoy it.
   
Accommodations: East Valley Ranch at the Frost Valley YMCA
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Claryville, NY Catskill Guide
For additional information, visit www.catskillguide.com
  East Valley Ranch
There are a variety of self-guided activities at the East Valley Ranch itself. For additional information, visit www.frostvalley.org
  Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce
(845) 292-8500 For additional information, visit www.catskills.com
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Trout Fishing in the Catskills


Author: Ed Van Put


Description: Ed Van Put begins this important new book with the history of native brook trout and offers little-known details about their sizes, abundance, and demise from over-fishing, the growth of streamside industries, and the introduction of competitive species. He records the attempts to restore the depleted fishery by restocking streams with hatchery-bred trout, and then the introduction of rainbow trout from California and brown trout from Europe, and their impact upon Catskill trout fishing. Throughout, this is a history of people and methods as well as rivers, and there are profiles of Theodore Gordon, Art Flick, Harry and Elsie Darbee, Sparse Grey Hackle, and more. No serious trout fisherman, in any part of the country, will want to miss this pioneering portrait of a seminal region in American angling history. Color and black-and-white illustrations throughout



Matching the Hatch


Author: Ernest Schwiebert


Description: Region by region, season by season, this update to the classic fly-fishing manual contains all of the information about the structure, appearance, and habits of the insects that signal the favorite feeding times of various fish. With commentary on dozens of mayflies, stone flies, and caddis flies as well as on crane flies, dragonflies, damsel flies, fish flies, backswimmers, and scuds, this is the ultimate resource for fly fishermen looking to understand the rivers to fish in various situations and how to identify the flies in their different stages. Along with this useful information, the guide is supplemented by large and detailed artwork of the insects as well as a review of the history of fly-fishing, thoughts on the ethics of angling, and anecdotes from the authors fly-fishing experience.





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