Traversing from where the Midwest-transitions-into the East, my thoughts where pre-occupied with more than just catching trout. Will this work? Can I rebuild and grow Steffen Brothers? A fishing trip can be a catalyst for many great ideas, and many unrealized dreams. But... Once I stepped into the valley, these anxieties and thoughts where fleeting... It is amazing how time in nature, especially time on the water can provide the "active" space to be silent.
The valley was a real thrill. Coasting through the hamlets unlocked so many sensory curiosities; there was a collective realization that man and wilderness would soon be clashing together in the greenery of the mountains. The coordinates and intersections of creeks—streams turned rivers—set the perfect backdrop for chasing trout. But the history of the region and of the heralds of the fishing guides also echoed around us, and they served as ample entertainment for us wayward travelers.
I keep reminding myself of the rigidity and pickiness of well fished trout. They made for quite the crucible to humble my fly fishing prowess. It’s an experience, IMO, deserved to be had by any aspiring angler.
As for hospitality and food: Hands down a local experience for the ages. Fresh produce. Fresh catch. Fresh beef. Provisions perfectly executed by Chef Drew. As far as tracking hatches and off-beaten paths to trout, Phil, the resident expert, offered a quiet confidence, or rather a tenacity to solve the equation of catching fish. Midday adventures turned to late night trout-naut-ing as we steadfastly fished to catch the two-headed trout of the Catskills. Of course, the fishing was nearly outclassed by whiskey tastings, tales of conquests (both fishy and other), bespoke meals, stream-side meals, stairwell tied flies, morning neon goodness—and the most “undersold” yet phenomenal late night coney one’s taste buds have ever tasted.
Yes. I would head back to reach cast, dead drift, and with hope, get another Catskills brown to hand! But if I don’t it has made me a better fly-fisher and angler nonetheless for sharing this opportunity with you all.
Sometimes the chase, and the moments for space are the prize of a great trip. Capturing the essence of this space, will be an important ingredient of where we want to take the Steffen Brothers Fly Rod CO.