Easy Access, Plentiful Fish: Fishing the Delaware’s tributaries
The Beaverkill has two no-kill areas where all fish must be returned. If you want a fish for dinner, make sure it doesn’t come from one of these sections, and please make it a hatchery fish, not a wild one. You’ll catch browns and rainbows, mostly stocked, but there are some wild fish, and sizeable hold-overs.
Willowemoc Creek flows into the Beaverkill at Roscoe’s famous Junction Pool, home of the mythical two-headed trout. It’s a bit smaller than the Beaverkill. From Roscoe to Livingston Manor, access is not a problem; above Livingston Manor you’ll find more posting and private fishing clubs. Generally, the Willow will not be as crowded as the Beaverkill. Although the Willow flows into the Beaverkill, you’ll often find that when the Beaverkill is high, muddy and unfishable, the Willow is clear. You can call any of the local fly shops (or go to their web sites) to learn current information on river conditions.
Old Rte. 17 also follows part of the Willow, although not so closely as it follows the Beaverkill, so you may have to get out and walk a bit farther to find your fishing. Generally speaking, the farther you go, the better the fishing will get. The Willow also has a no-kill section, and the same advice applies as to the Beaverkill. Don’t be fooled into thinking that all the good fish are in the no-kill areas.
The Willow has the same hatches as the Beaverkill, but it’s a little more intimate, and you may want to use a lighter rod. If you want easy access, try behind the rest stop on eastbound Rte. 17 between Roscoe and Livingston Manor, at Hazel Bridge, or in front of the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum. For more solitude, poke around away from the road.
The character of this river is affected by the Neversink Reservoir. Above the reservoir the river is largely private. Immediately below the dam, the water is very cold, and not very fertile. Downstream, fishing improves, as does access. The highest numbers of fish are in the area mid-way between Rock Hill, NY and Fallsburg, NY. The river here is easily waded in most spots, and because of the cold-water release from the dam, the fishing holds up well during the summer. Hatches of little green and yellow stoneflies provide nice dry-fly fishing here in early summer.