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Trout fishing in the Catskills - part II

Updated: Jan 3, 2023

Fly fishing for trout in Trout Town USA!

Trout Town welcome

Best fishing spots along the Beaverkill River

My experience with the Beaverkill began on my first evening, because I was camped alongside that water. Within the campground, the river was even more modest than parts of the Willowemoc, but obviously appropriate water for plenty of small, wild browns to call home. I ventured to the more expansive Beaverkill waters not far from Roscoe on my second day, including the aforementioned Junction Pool, Barnhardt Run and Cairns Pool. At times, I felt like I was fishing the South Platte River outside of Denver, with the wide runs and riffles dissecting great forest areas. It was impressive scenery at every access point.

Barnhardt's Run

Over two days, I covered quite a bit of territory contained within a stretch of only five miles – but that is the beauty of the Beaverkill. The State of New York provides a lot of access to this water and you could probably spend half a week exploring the access points that I visited in a day. My favorite access point was at Cairns Pool (I realize that is a popular fishing spot and not at all ashamed to mention it) and I caught quite a lot of trout there on a hopper/dropper set up, with a bead head pheasant tail pattern as the trailing fly. But there are many more spots that were recommended to me that I hope to return to, including the Painter’s Branch and Cooks Falls.

a Beaverkill brown

Fishing for trout on the West Branch of the Delaware River near Deposit

For the last day of this adventure, I dedicated a few hours in the morning back at Cairns Pool on the Beaverkill before making the run up to Deposit to fish the West Branch of the Delaware. It was suggested to me that I arrive around 1pm to be ready for an early hatch. So I arrived at the local fly shop, Troutfitter Fly Shop and Inn, to get advice on the best fly patterns and then headed to one of the access points that was recommended – the Pasture Pool north of Deposit.

It was still early for the hatch as evidenced by the absence of anglers, so I checked out a different access point downstream of Deposit, called the ‘Geezer’s Pool’ at the Gentleman’s Club. Here the water is gentle and relatively shallow, but further downstream this evolves into brisk riffles and even further downstream are very deep runs. There was very little hatch activity and no takes on my flies, so I returned to the Pasture Pool.

the line up for the West Branch

At around 1.30pm the angler traffic began in earnest, with about a dozen fly fisherman lining up on the opposite side of the river within 15 yards or so of the bank waiting for the hatch to begin. I began a conversation with another angler who told me that there were about three dozen anglers on the water the day before, lined up single file awaiting the hatch. By 2pm a few sulphers were hatching and fish began rising. I hooked up on a small brown and the angler to my right quickly netted two larger browns of about 15 – 17 inches – both of us on sulpher patterns. Within 20 minutes the hatch shut down and all was quiet. By that time, I was aware that I had a long drive back to Virginia and packed up.

West Branch brown

Overall the experience was excellent. I did not catch trout in epic proportions, but I was not ashamed either. I had caught some reasonable numbers, all browns in many sizes, without the help of a guide. I had also caught trout on all three of these iconic waters and had many great photos and stories to take back home from this adventure.

Tight Lines!

Note: I am not being compensated by the mention of certain establishments in this post. I am simply a happy client.

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