Fishing season is starting. I got a good deal on this old Abel Big Game Standard Arbor Pt.5 Fly Fishing Reel at the Oakland Museum of California’s White Elephant Sale.
I’ll probably use it on larger rivers with my 5 and 6 weight rods – it has a more substantial cork drag system and a little more room for backing than my 17 grams lighter Abel TR1. Now all I need to do is find a new reel seat for my Angler’s Roost 5 weight.
The Shepaug River, near Washington, Connecticut, is a tributary of the Housatonic River. The Housatonic River runs from western Massachussets through southern Connecticut.
George Black, the author of The Trout Pool Paradox: The American Lives of Three Rivers, writes about the Shepaug: “In springtime, the river is like the Platonic ideal of a trout stream, as it rushes through places called Steep Rock and Hidden Valley.”
On my drives from New York City to the Catskills to go fishing on the Beaverkill River, I always took Route 17, because it was a little more interesting.
Off the George Washington Bridge, I’d take Route 4 in New Jersey and then NJ 17 near the Garden State Plaza. Once I crossed back into New York near Suffern, the surroundings started to change from urban to rural.
On Route 17 in Southfields, New York, was The Red Apple Rest. I probably first went by there in the late 70’s. I took this photograph around 1979. The Red Apple Rest closed in 2006.
Joseph Berger at the NY Times wrote about the Red Apple Rest’s location: “What made the Red Apple so essential a summertime port of call was not so much its food as its location. Before the New York State Thruway opened in 1956, the ride up to the mountains along the old Route 17 could take four or five hours and the Red Apple Rest was almost exactly halfway. While there were three or four other pit stops, the Red Apple, watched over by its founder, Reuben Freed, became the place to go.“
(Updated February 16, 2017)
I walked over to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and photographed some rainbow trout in the Monterey Bay Habitats exhibit. The aquarium trout don’t fit into the angling category but there are a few freshwater opportunities here – you’d just have to work at it.
In Monterey, there stocked hatchery trout in Lake El Estero, located near the bay off Del Monte Avenue and managed by Monterey City Parks and Recreation Department. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife mentions fish plants there and the last one , (California Fish and Wildlife Planting Map), was January 19, 2017. I used to see people fishing Lake El Estero but it’s been a while. A couple of years ago, when I inquired at the recreation center at the lake about fishing, a woman asked me, “Why would anyone want to fish here?”
When I first moved here, I found a nice, friendly fly fishing store in Carmel, Central Coast Fly Fishing, but as of 2017, they have closed. They were most informed about trout fishing in Monterey county.
According to the California DFW, “Most Monterey County streams have their headwaters in the Los Padres National Forest. These headwater streams provide good trout angling for hikers.”
This is a link to a very long PDF entitled “Steelhead/Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Resources South of the Golden Gate, California” that will require significant wading through.