Thursday, January 28, 2016

The fiftieth state:  Sunset on a Hawaiian beach.

Lanikai Beach, Hawaii 11x14 (SOLD):

Turning 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…”

Burroughs Neversink, depicted below can be found somewhere upstream of Frost Valley but downstream of the shadows of Slide Mountain.

Burroughs, West Branch Neversink 11x14:

Burroughs 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.

Tison waters, East Branch Neversink, 11x14: 

The dock: Is there anything so inviting as a wooden dock in a summer sun?  Our grandchildren have caught many fish here.

Wittenberg dock, Kenneth Wilson SP, 8X6:

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:

Budapest Hotel III PFR, 11x14:

Catskill barns:  Is there anything more Catskill than old dairy barns, especially those found in and around the fringes of Delaware County?

Roxbury barn, 14x11:

Rider Hollow barn, 11x14 (SOLD):

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Esopus 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….”

Big 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.

Perhaps someday soon, a proposed Rail Trail will traverse this high bank providing its users the views only a limited number of anglers now enjoy.

Big Bend Pool, 11x14:

John 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."

Gravesite view 8x10: