Great Western Catskills Offer World-class Fishing
By Brian Sweeney

DELHI, NY - New York State's trout season opened April 1 and the Great Western Catskills makes Delaware County the place to be for this rite of spring.

The Beaverkill, the East and West Branches of the Delaware River, the Willowemoc and the Bushkill are among the renowned trout waters that flow through Delaware County. The "Birthplace of Fly Fishing" has been popular among anglers for more than a century, and every year Catskill rivers and streams attract new legions of fishermen.

The smaller streams and rivers that course through the Great Western Catskills are only a few of the angling options. For those in search of "trophy fish," the Pepacton and Cannonsville reservoirs present great spots to "land the big one." Fishermen on these waters will want to pack a camera, too.

The biggest catches, of course, come from these reservoirs. When their respective seasons open, trophy brown trout, smallmouth bass and pickerel are among the species that challenge sporting enthusiasts on these waters. Fishing the reservoirs just got easier. The New York City DEP, which oversees these waters, has made it easy to get fishing permits for the reservoirs by placing it online: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) fishing permits are easy to get at local sports stores or at the local town clerk's office.

Seasoned fishermen recognize that the way to "live large" while seeking the big one is to rent a private cabin with all the comforts of home - and great fishing just minutes away.

Westbranch Angler

For fishermen visiting the Hancock area (where the East and West Branches of the Delaware River converge), a full service resort such as the West Branch Angler ( is a great place to stay. The resort comes complete with a restaurant, an Orvis store, and knowledgeable river guides on staff. After an exhilarating day on the water, anglers will enjoy telling fishing tales at the new Bluestone Grill ( This casual eatery serves lunch and dinner, topped off by a popular list of homemade desserts.

Up the East Branch of the Delaware River the Pepacton Reservoir and smaller, challenging streams await in the Downsville area. Whether you're in the mood for stream fishing or trophy reservoir trout, Downsville lodging options such as Pepacton Cabins ( or the always affordable Downsville Motel ( are favorites among anglers.

The conveniently located Al's Sports Store in Downsville ( supplies everything an angler needs - from gear to a private river guide. When fishing time is over, the Old Schoolhouse Restaurant ( is a great place to dine and spin some fishing yarns.

For those visiting the Deposit area and the lower edge of the Cannonsville Reservoir, lodging options include the new Eagle Valley Cabins ( or private home rentals, such as Dream Catcher Lodge ( with one mile of river front access. In nearby Walton, Catskill Outfitters ( can take care of all your gear needs. But, landing trophy fish is only part of the experience. The Catskill Mountains have a special appeal that makes "just being here" a large part of the attraction - catching fish is a special bonus.

The easiest way to gather information about fishing in the Great Western Catskills is to contact the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, which offers a full-color on-line fishing guide/map at: The fishing guide may also be ordered free of charge by contacting the Delaware County Tourism office at 866 775-4425 (or by e-mail: Website visitors are welcome to sign up for e-mail updates at

When it's time to fish, visit the Great Western Catskills of Delaware County and "Let the magic of our mountains move you." ~ Brian Sweeney, Arkville, NY

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