100 Best: Beaver Kill
Location: Southern Catskills
Type of stream: Freestone
Angling methods: Fly, spinning
Species: Brown, rainbow, brook trout
Supporting Services: Roscoe
Short take: Trout stream for the ages
Handicapped Access: Excellent
Closest TU Chapter: Beamoc
You cannot escape the feeling of fishing in a museum when on the Beaver Kill. From the confluence of the Willowemoc five miles down stream to Cooks Falls, river’s runs carry names – The Forks (Junction Pool), Ferdon’s Eddy, Barnhart Pool, Hendrickson’s Pool (so named after Ray Steenrood’s friend Albert Everett Hendrickson after whom the fly is also called), Horse Brook Run, Cairns Pool, and more. This is big water. Plenty of room to cast and to think about others who’ve fished here since the mid-1800s. Should you want to delve into the river’s history, get yourself a copy of The Beaver Kill: The History of a River and Its People by Ed Van Put. It’s an excellent read.
So what about the fishing along the river’s 44-mile course? New York State has acquired a number of public fishing right easements. The upper most is about a quarter mile upstream of the covered bridge on the north side of the river. You can fish at the camp ground, and there’s another downstream at Craigie Clair. Access improves as you follow the river downstream toward Roscoe. Watch the wading, though. On my last visit an angler crossing the rapids above the Junction Pool fell and drowned. He’d forgotten to belt his waders. Below Roscoe, public access is ample. However, at the height of summer, the water warms the further you downstream to East Branch you go and may be subject to closure.