In Search of Illusive Catskill Mountain Trout
Navigating a labyrinth of vibrant Hudson Valley rivers with fly rod and camera in hand
When my friend and fly fishing fanatic, Ports Bishop, asked me to come along on a trip to pull some trout out of a secret river in the Catskills, I couldn’t have been happier to say yes. Growing up in Virginia I fished often, but now that I live in New York City, the number of days I get on water a year could be counted on one hand. (Full disclosure: the East River has tempted me more than a few times.)
We jumped into his brand new Subaru and headed north, soon crossing the George Washington Bridge, and made our way towards the mountains. Roughly 100 miles later we reached the Catskills, a notable range in New York's Hudson Valley, home to enumerable tributaries that all eventually drain into the Hudson River below. For the fishing inclined, opportunities to hone the craft are near limitless—and depending on the season, brook, brown, and rainbow trout abundant too.
At our chosen destination we met up the rest of the crew—a group of talented anglers who, along with sharing a love for fishing, run Neversink, a new boutique creative agency out of the region. Deep in the hills we found a particularly nice spot where the hatch of airborne insects was sure to be thick.
We made our way slowly upstream, prowling the waters for the ever-elusive rainbows, moving through rapids and over slippery rocks without pause. Our eyes trained on the water ahead, watching for jumpers or smooth areas where one could be hiding. Catch and release was the name of the game, and though the number of bites was less than anticipated, we called it a successful day nonetheless.
By the time we dragged our tired selves back to the cars the sun was long gone, and a satisfied smile had settled on each of our faces. It wouldn’t be long before any of us returned.
Jonathan Mehring is an award-winning, Brooklyn-based photographer. In 2015 he released his first book, Skate the World – Photographing One World of Skateboarding, published by National Geographic. Follow Jonathan on Instagram