Roscoe NY: Trout Town USA Been up in the Catskills for a few days. Naturally I had to swing into Roscoe NY: Trout Town USA. Ever been there? If not you’re missing out.
Considered by many to be the birthplace of fly-fishing in America, it’s neighboring waters have been drawing avid anglers for well over a 100 years. And many of those anglers were instrumental in the development of the sport including Theodore Gordon, AE Hendrickson, Rube Cross, Art Flick, Lee Wulff, Joan Wulff, The Dettes, The Darbees, Poul Jorgensen, and too many others to name. So deep is Roscoe’s connection to fly-fishing, the late great sportswriter Red Smith said “To fish opening day on the Beaverkill is like celebrating Christmas in Bethlehem.” Amen, brother.
The most notable waters near town are the Beaverkill and the Willowemoc. These two rivers, filled with fly-fishing history, join at the Junction Pool. Be sure to wet a line there. Why? In this pool resides the legendary Beamoc, a two head trout known far and wide. If you’re lucky enough to hook the beast, let it go! Otherwise the town folk will tar and feather your arse.
To my eye the town looks largely same as when I last saw it 25 years ago. One exception is the Antrim Lodge which has yet to reopen after many years. Hopefully the Antrim will be back in business soon. The other exception is the sad closing of the “Little Store”. In business since April of 1945, this variety store carried everything from clothes and boots, to archery and ammo, to muzzle loading supplies, fishing supplies, gifts, books, toys and camping gear. An amazing cornucopia. Perhaps someone with vision can bring that place back to its former glory. The “Little Store” was an amazing Catskill gem. No trip to Roscoe was complete without a visit there.
There are still more places in town to buy fly gear than bread. True! In fact there are 3 fly shops on the main drag, and the famous Dette fly shop around the corner on Cottage Street. Founded in 1928 by Walt and Winnie Dette, it is the oldest family run fly shop on Mother Earth. Eighty-nine years and going strong.
Always a treat to pick through the Dette fly bins. Believe me, great fly selection, great place, great people. Bought a few nicely tied soft hackles, one of which ( see photo below) hooked a heavy fish later that day on the Willowemoc. By the way, if you’re coming up this way the shop offers an invaluable daily river report.