Catskill Rivers: Birthplace of American Fly Fishing

By Austin M. Francis

The Beaverkill, the Wilowemoc, the Neversink, the Delaware, the Esopus, the Schoharie: these hallowed trout streams have been hailed for generations as "the birthplace of American fly fishing." Painstakingly researched & beautifully told, here is a definitive study of these fabled waters & the remarkable people who created the American fly fishing tradition. Photos, maps; 272 pgs.


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ISBN: 1-62873-678-X

EAN: 978-1-62873-678-6

Binding: Softcover

Publish Date: 31/03/2014

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There is an unforgettable look at the early river industries--rafting, sawmills,tanneries, wood-acid factories--and at the early days on these classic trout waters, where George LaBranche, in Sparse Grey Hackle’s words, “adapted the dry fly to fast water and started an angling revolution.” Here are the great anglers, fly tyers, rod makers, entomologists, and publicists--“Uncle Thad” Norris, Seth Green, Theodore Gordon, Herman Christian, Roy Steenrod, Rube Cross, Hiram Leonard, Ed Payne, Louis Rhead, Edward R. Hewitt, Sparse Grey Hackle, Preston Jennings, Art Flick, Harry Darbee, Walt Dette, and a host of others. There are revealing discussions of the sociological forces that led Americans into fly fishing; the origins and customs of private stream clubs; the rivalries between owners and poachers; the controversies over imported “German” brown trout; the cult of dry-fly purists; the evolution of hatchery practices, stream improvements, and fisheries regulation; as well as the future prospects for these lovely waters. There are also penetrating historical and physical profiles of the six principal Catskill rivers, their insect life, trout distributions, stocking practices, access, angling pressures, fishing conditions, and successful angling techniques.

Catskill Rivers is a poignant journey through the annals of American angling, from its origins to the present, laced with anecdotes and stories, graced with over one hundred ten photographs and nine beautifully illustrated river maps by John Manikowski. It is a book all fishermen will treasure.

"More than a scholarly history, Catskill Rivers left me wading in nostalgia. I could smell the rhododendron blossoming on Dry Brook and even caught a whiff of the hairy armpits at Keener's Pool. Austin Francis has spawned a classic." --A. J. McClane

Austin M. Francis
is also the author of Catskill Flytier and Smart Squash. He lives in New York City.

Additional information

Weight 2.5 lbs
Dimensions 8.5 × 0.9 × 11 in


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