NYC Weekend Angler

Mongaup Creek

During the heat of July and August, both the Beaverkill and the Willowemoc Rivers can get too warm for consistent trout fishing. When that happens, anglers can make the short drive along County Road 82 in DeBruce and fish a smaller trout stream that stays nice and cool all summer long. Mongaup Creek flows out of a small body of water and into a deep, spruce-lined ravine. Its flows are supplemented and kept cool and oxygenated all summer long by several cold springs and cool trickling tributaries.

I can remember more than a few times when the cool sheltered waters of Mongaup Creek saved me from being skunked on a trip to the Beaverkill region of the Catskills. I have even started a few trips on the Mongaup with the intention of catching a few fish and then going to the larger, more challenging Beaverkill River. Occasionally I never make it there because I have too much fun fishing the little pockets and plunge pools of the Mongaup.

The casting can be tricky and a stealthy approach is necessary, but I find it extremely rewarding to fool a six-inch brook trout into taking a small bushy dry fly cast into a pool no larger than a kitchen sink. If I pick my position carefully, there are places on the Mongaup where I can sit down on a rock and cast to more than a dozen small pools—and take a few fish out of almost all of them. It is truly relaxing to sit amid the soft bubble of running water in the shade and smell of hemlock trees during the heat of August and cast to brook trout all afternoon.

From Roscoe take Highway 17 South to the exit for DeBruce and Route 82. Follow County Route 82 East into DeBruce and make a left turn onto Mongaup Road. This will follow Mongaup Creek for more than a mile. Access points are easily seen.

Adams (regular, wulff, and humpy), yellow humpys, hendricksons, blue winged olives, and lots of caddis. Pheasant tail nymphs are always a good choice as well as caddis pupa patterns in #16-#20.

Try the DeBruce Country Inn, located close to Mongaup Creek, between DeBruce and the village of Livingston Manor. The larger town of Roscoe has more options, but will require more driving each day to and from your hotel.

There aren't many flyshops near the Mongaup so be sure to bring everything with you. If you do need something, check out the Fin and Feather (109 DeBruce Road) outside Livingston Manor, just over five miles west from DeBruce on Route 82. Otherwise, keep going west to Roscoe.

Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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