back time on the Neversink: There’s
at least one Catskill stream where time stands still, if not goes backwards as
you wander it, perhaps in pursuit of wild brook trout.It’s the upper Neversink, actually both
branches of this legendary trout water.
One still might be able to find footprints of John Burroughs along the
West Branch.In his essay A Bed of
Boughs Burroughs wrote,“It was nearly noon when we struck the West Branch, and
the sun was scalding hot.… The scene
was primitive, and carried one back to the days of his grandfather…”
Neversink, depicted below can be found somewhere upstream of Frost Valley but
downstream of the shadows of Slide Mountain.
Burroughs, West Branch Neversink 11x14:
was no stranger to the East Branch either.
He wrote this about the twin sister, “The prospect for trout was so good
in the stream hereabouts, and the scene so peaceful and inviting, shone upon by
the dreamy August sun, that we concluded to tarry here until the next day. It was a page of pioneer history opened to
quite unexpectedly.” From personal
experience, not much has changed here all these decades later.
Budapest Hotel: Portrayed elsewhere in this blog are two landscapes of the former Budapest Hotel Public Fishing Waters (PFR) along the Esopus Creek. For some background information, the viewer needs to do a little scrolling, but for now below is:
Creek: Big Bend pool is one of the last
pools on the Esopus Creek before this legendary trout stream enters New York
City’s mighty Ashokan Reservoir. Big Bend has long been a favorite fishing spot of many anglers including the late Arnold
Gingrich who, in the Well-Tempered Angler, wrote, “…favored stretches, such as
the Esopus, from Five Arch Bridge down to the Chimney Hole….”
Bend is located on New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP)
property just downstream of Five Arch Bridge. Access can also be gained via Gate W-10
diagonally across NY 28 from the Boiceville Inn. Approaching this way one is treated to an
iconic view overlooking the Esopus Creek valley, an image that has graced the
cover of various publications including the “2013 Annual Report” of Open Space
Institute and a March 2015 NYSERDA Report Number 15-08 titled “Effects of an
Extreme Flood on Aquatic Biota in a Catskill Mountain River" pictured just below.
someday soon, a proposed Rail Trail will traverse this high bank providing its
users the views only a limited number of anglers now enjoy.
Burroughs: John Burroughs (1837-1921)
was a famous Catskill trout fisher and a renowned American naturalist; to this day his
writings still inspired those of us fond of nature. Burroughs was one of ten children, born in
Roxbury, NY on the family’s farm. And,
eventually he was buried within a short walk of Woodchuck Lodge, the family summer home, in John
Burroughs Memorial Field, now a NYS Historic Site. His gravesite is next to his favorite boyhood rock overlooking the mountains he loved and which he once wrote, "Those hills comfort me as no other place in the world. It is home there."