Headed up to the Catskills to meet up with my good friends Bill Wills, Frank Nugent, and Joe Lovas for a trip further north to the Adirondack mountains to fish the Au Sable River.
Took a layover day to relax and fish before the second leg of driving. Fished with our friends and expert trout anglers Jimmy and Murph and caught fish in both the Mongaup stream and Delaware River.
Monday, Bill, Frank, Joe, and I drove north to the Adirondacks and arrived at the Hungry Trout Lodge around 4 pm in the afternoon.
We got squared away, had a quick but wonderful dinner at the Hungry Trout restaurant, and headed to the lodge’s private trout water just on the other side of Wilmington. We were racing the setting sun but managed to catch a brookies and browns on march brown emergers and usuals.
The next day, we ate a big breakfast at the little joint next door to Fran Betters fly shop and then headed off to the West Branch of the Au Sable where we fished the Shadow Rock Pool section. Frank and Joe concentrated on the flats around the pool and Bill and I gravitated to the fast pocket water upsteam. We caught a few fish on small orange bodied stimulators and march brown emergers.
While Joe rested his knee surgery aches and pains with a well deserved nap, Bill, Frank and I headed back to the Hungry Trout’s private water where we met by Tom Roginski who lived just beyond the private stretch. He showed us a good pool where Bill hooked a nice fish, but got broken off when the fish ran under a rock ledge. Smart fish! He’s practiced that move!
Later than evening, I worked the “5th Avenue” stretch of the private water while hoards of about 10 different bugs hatched in proliferation. Caddis, mayflies, sulphers, march browns, WOW!
I ended up catching 10 nice fish up to 16” on Frank’s usual fly. They just sucked it up until it got too dark to see anymore. Bill broke another fish off, Joe got two nice 16” fish and Frank reported that he missed a lot of fish around the Island.
On our last day in the Adirondacks, we looked at a bunch of different water, but it was either too slow moving, too fast, or too narrow for all our party to wade together. We headed back to the Shadow Rock pool even thoug it was crowded. Frank and Joe spectated while Bill and I headed upstream to the provate water again. I missed a couple of nice fish on usuals and stimulators and broke one off. Unlucky, but I find pocket water fishing to be very rewarding – even when watching the missed hookups.
After lunch, we ran into Tom again and he showed us another nice pool at the tail of the private water.
I helped Bill into position and he broke off a couple of nice fish. He wanted me to fish too so I cast and missed my fair share.
Later that night, back on the private water, I opted to wade the 5th Avenue again, but was constrained by company. Not as many bugs on the water, but still some. I could not catch one riser near the near a big rock (stung him on a usual), so I called Joe down and he picked the fish up on a rusty spinner.
I leap-frogged our company and moved downstream to the pool at the end of the private water. I ended up catching a few chunky 17-18” fish, but broke off half a dozen more until it got dark. A little frustrating fishing, but still a glorious night on the river with friends. We headed back to the Hungry Trout for some dessert before bed.
We got up the next day, had a long breakfast, and checked out of the Hungry Trout and steered south back towards the Catskills. Not wanting to give up a day without a tight line, Bill and I headed out in the rowboat for some pre-dusk bass fishing. Of course Bill, at 89, insisted on doing most of the rowing and we had great fun catching lots of bass.
We celebrated a wonderful trip by getting ice cream at Kevin’s.
Couldn’t sleep that night, so snuck out at 1 am and started the 9 hour drive home. At least this way I could be home in time to meet my daughters at the school bus when they returned home. Not 5 minutes down the road a black bear crossed right in front of the truck. How’s that for an eye opener! Made it half way down the NJ Turnpike before sleep deprivation started to take my senses so stopped at the rest stop and catnapped for an hour. Got up and had an uneventful last leg through Deleware, Maryland, and home to VA.
Another very special trip spending time with Bill, Frank, Joe, Jimmy, and Murph. Memories to last!