Friday, November 14, 2014

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:


Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Pool:  Long before Ed Van Put’s excellent book, Trout Fishing in the Catskills, was published I explored, wandered, and fished the upper reaches of the West Branch of the Neversink River.  As the title suggests, Van Put's work reveals details of the history of trout fishing in these Catskill Mountains.  And with regards to one stream Van Put wrote, “The valley of the West Branch has long been known as Frost Valley and has a wild and rugged landscape that has been a deterrent to early settlement.”  And even today pristine parcels of the Catskill forest flourish while the cold, clear West Branch remains home to wild brook trout.

One such image graces a portion of the dust jacket of Trout Fishing in the Catskills.  It is a pool on the West Branch lost in the Catskill Forest Preserve, which I was lucky enough to have found and enjoy for many years now.  The seasons and time have changed this hidden treasure a little, but for the most part it's the same today as it was decades ago when I first came upon it.

Trout Fishing in the Catskills by Ed Van Put:



The Pool, West Branch Neversink, 11x14:




Saturday, October 4, 2014

B W S Road Bridge:  Not far from the shadows of New York City’s dam, and the first bridge over the legendary Neversink downriver of the reservoir, is the B W S Road bridge.  This location holds special meaning to Ed as it was the first place he ever saw the Neversink back in the early ‘70s.  Throughout all these years since, this location has not lost its charm.

B W S Road Bridge, Neversink 11x14:



An earlier variation of this landscape, titled Neversink, B W S Road Bridge can be found on this blog using the LABEL: Neversink.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

September plein air:  Lois took part in a September Landscape Workshop offered by the Woodstock School of Art and Kate McGloughlin.  The workshop emphasized September sunlight on Hudson Valley landscapes.  Once again it was a most enjoyable experience.

On September 6th students visited the Thorn Preserve on John Joy Road in Woodstock.  This sixty acre preserve is operated as a partnership between the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development and The Woodstock Land Conservancy with views of Overlook Mountain.

Thorn Preserve 8x10:




On September 7th students visited Claudia’s farm on Upper Cherrytown Road in Kerhonkson.

Hay barn 8x10:


Monday, September 1, 2014

Dividing weir:  The Dividing Weir, which is eleven hundred twenty feet in length and consists of fifteen arches, separates the west and east basins of the mighty Ashokan Reservoir.  Autumn is a time of year when walkers, bikers, and bird watchers alike can be found along the Ashokan, New York City’s oldest Catskill reservoir, enjoying the sights.


Fifteen arches, 5x7:


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Date day:  Occasionally the artist and angler/photographer of this blog get to share a day together, each doing what they love.  In the case of Lois, that would be painting while Ed prefers a cane fly rod in hand in pursuit of wild trout.  Recently they shared time on the upper reaches of the Neversink, deep in the heart of the Charmed Circle of these Catskill Mountains.

A plein air moment:





Salvelinus fontinalis, a wild brook trout, attached to a Brown Bivisible dry fly:




Flat Brook, the culvert 10x8:



The Flat Brook is a tributary to the East Branch of the Neversink.  It winds its way through the Tison Estate at the end of dirt lane flowing through a culvert under Denning Road before joining the Neversink.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Woodstock School of Art:  During July Lois participated in a workshop offered by the distinguished Woodstock School of Art.  Noted artist Kate McGloughlin taught the practicum titled Simplifying the Landscape.  It was a very enjoyable and learned experience, one Lois truly cherished.

Below are several plein air landscapes that resulted from this endeavor.


Eleanor’s cottage, 8x10:


As part of an “Arts in the Park” joint venture, on July 10th Woodstock School of Art students visited Val-Kill the National Historic Site of Eleanor Roosevelt’s cottage and her eventual permanent home after FDR’s death in 1945.


Olivebridge barnyard, 8X10:


Sunlit field, 5x7:


The little red barn, 8X10:


On July 17th students were in Olivebridge, near Tongore Cemetery, wandering the landscape of the Sanchez family farm.


The wedding barn, 8x10:


The woodshed, 5x7:


July 24th found students in Kerhonkson on Upper Cherrytown Road at Claudia’s farm, a friend of Kate McGloughlin.



Mount Tremper, 8x10:


Bearsville barn, 8x10:


Finally on July 31st, artists met along Cold Brook Road in Bearsville taking in mountain views and other landscapes of interest.