Esopus Creek NY
Never fished it before. Did a little research, asked the wife if she wanted to spend a couple nights in the Catskills? Off we go. Found a place in Shandaken, mid- week. Was told weekends are busy and getting busier. (Fall foliage.)
Drove around, found some access points, kind of scarce at first glance, I'm sure there's more when you spend some time there. Wanted to stay below the portal that feeds the creek with cooler water. Decided to give it a shot in the morning. Turns out there was a fishy looking spot walking distance from our motel. It was so warm this week was able to wet wade. I like to euro nymph and there's lots of pocket water available. Easy to wade, EXCEPT water visibility is only about 6 inches, so I had to be careful where I was stepping. Creek is stained, but not dirty. Something to do with the soil the flow from the portal runs over.
I tried a run that looked like it had potential but got nothing until I neared the head of the pool and caught a 6 in rainbow. Moved up and hooked a few more of these. I began to call them "flying fish" because my hook set jerked them straight into the air. Finally caught a couple Browns in the 9-10 in range. Was beginning to feel a bit foolish for bringing my net.
Continued to move around and caught or hooked a few more of the little rainbows, some 4 inches. I was using tandem flies, bead head pheasant tail, and a little heavier Czech nymph. When it was real shallow, I switched to two BHPTs. Made a cast into a seam of deeper water, saw my sighter pause, and hooked into something solid. The fish moved across the stream and immediately took drag. Whaaaa? I figure it must be a carp, until it jumped. It was a brown in the 18-20 inch range! But on the second jump my leader parted. This fish caught me totally off guard.
I rerigged and recalled reading that some brown's swim up the river from the Ashokan reservoir to spawn. With that in mind, I made another cast into the seam thinking maybe there was a pair. On the second cast, my line jumped and fish on! After a nice struggle I slid an 18" colorful brown into my net. Now I was happy I had the net. Sorry, no pics, I was wet wading.
The rest of the morning, I caught a few more small rainbows and another brown of 17". At 11:30 I walked back to my motel.
The next day I tried 2 different spots and got some more small rainbows, and turned one bigger fish on the hook set, but it shook loose.
Not many fishermen around at all. Talked to one guy and he confirmed the bigger browns are spawners. Said they go back to the rez after spawning.
I'm not sure if I'll get back there this fall, but I am definitely going to try.