Five Arches Bridge: The Five Arches Bridge in Boiceville, New York has long been an iconic landmark for Esopus Creek anglers. Many a wild rainbow and brown trout have passed under this viaduct on their spawning runs upstream into the Esopus from New York City’s Ashokan Reservoir less than a mile downriver.
Numerous books and stories about fishing this legendary Catskill stream often mention Five Arches, built in 1911, by name. Perhaps one of the best stories was written by the late Arnold Gingrich in his book, The Well-Tempered Angler. Gingrich told of fishing the Esopus one cold, twenty-two degree day, on November 22nd, in the shadows of the arches, falling in and breaking his prized bamboo rod. Yes, ask any serious Esopus Creek angler where Five Arches is, and they can tell you.
Sadly plans are underway to replace the bridge as it has become a source for flooding the hamlet of Boiceville in recent years. Nothing is forever.
The landscape below was done from a November photograph of the old bridge taken while standing upstream and flyfishing the Esopus.
Five Arches aflame, 11x14: