ROSCOE, NY — On February 26, the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum (CFFCM) held Fly Fest 2022, its annual rite of passage as the frigid grasp of winter starts to thaw, bringing forth …
ROSCOE, NY — On February 26, the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum (CFFCM) held Fly Fest 2022, its annual rite of passage as the frigid grasp of winter starts to thaw, bringing forth expectations for a new season of fly fishing.
Folks, both young and a bit longer in the tooth, gathered at the Rockland House to share memories of years past, reflect on the new year of freshwater fly fishing in the Catskills and points far beyond, and tie a few flies.
While the event is traditionally held at the CFFCM, this year it was moved to the local eatery, as the museum is currently in the midst of sorting out its extensive collection of archival materials.
As the world-renowned fly fishing center and museum was in the process of looking for a new executive director, Jill Borenstein, the center’s program and development director, stepped into the breach to talk about the newest edition of Fly Fest.
“It’s a long-time event that we’ve held at the museum, but this year we’re holding it at the Rockland House, because we’re digitalizing our archives, and Roscoe’s Ice Carnival is at the same time,” she explained, while cradling her seven-month-old daughter Sidney, a relative newcomer to the realm of fly fishing.
According to Borenstein, approximately 45 folks signed up online to attend the event, a number that increased moment-by-moment at the door, as “tons of walk-ins came in to get together after all the cold months of winter, to see who’s who and who’s tying what… a time to share.
“They’re enjoying learning about Catskill flies, various tackle, and styles from the greats here today,” she added, noting that some of the “greats” in attendance included Tom Mason, “Catskill John” John Bonasera and Seth Cavaretta.
She and her husband Matt, “an avid angler,” relocated to DeBruce from Long Island about three years ago.
Meanwhile, over at one of the tables, 13-year-old Andrew Sander of East Meredith was taught a few tricks of the art of fly tying by Joe Ceballos, president of the Catskill Fly Tyers Guild, as his proud poppa Henry watched intently.
“I’m able to reach out to young folks, the future fly-tyers, and help them,” said Ceballos of his role as a mentor, adding, “When we’re gone, it’s all over… they’re the future, and we want to get the parents involved.”
At this point, the elder Sander chimed in, “Andrew is very interested in the outdoors and likes fishing, We’re an outdoors family.”
In the words of the 13-year old fly-tyer, “I really want to learn how to tie flies. I love to go fishing in the Delaware River and in ponds.”
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