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Gone Fishin'!


Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

NOT JUST SONS ANYMORE: At right, Greg Feeney of Roscoe give some pointers to his daughter Angel, 7, a second-grader at Roscoe Central School. At left is Bruce Huggins Jr. of Roscoe.

And Where Else But Roscoe?

By Ted Waddell
ROSCOE — April 4, 2000 -- Saturday, the first of April wasn’t a day for millennium fools, as folks gathered from all over at Junction Pool to celebrate the traditional start of New York State’s 2000 trout fishing season.
As trout touters from the American Fly Fishing Trade Association and various media types milled around in search of stories, fly casters of all levels waited eagerly for the official 7 a.m. “cast” off.
The annual outing at Junction Pool attracted fly fishing legend Poul Jorgensen, as well James Prosek, a relative newcomer to the international brotherhood of fly fishers.
Jorgensen, a noted author of eight books on the art of fly tying and the sport of fly fishing, was born in Odense, Denmark — the birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson.
“I started fishing with my father when I was a little boy,” he recalled.
After emigrating to America in 1955, he got hooked by fly fishing. For the past 20 years, Jorgensen has called Roscoe “Trout Town U.S.A.” home, a place to let his lines dry out a bit before heading off on worldwide jaunts in search of trout.
As his glasses reflected the sparkling waters of Junction Pool, Jorgensen reflected on the traditional opening day of trout season.
“This is the day when you come out of hiding and get rid of your cabin fever,” he said. “You meet your old buddies and talk fishing.
“This is God’s own country,” added Jorgensen, watching the waters of the Beaverkill and Willowemoc converge. “They are the lifelines to the community.”
Standing alongside the grizzled fly fishing legend for most of the morning was James Prosek of Easton, CT. Since taking the lure of fly fishing seriously at the age of ten, when he started tying flies, the young man has written and illustrated a book on the trout of North America.
Prosek is currently entwined in writing and illustrating another book about wily trout. This time, he’s taking several years to travel around the globe along the 41st parallel, starting from his hometown and circling the world to record how people fish for trout. So far, he’s visited such far flung places as Portugal, Spain, Italy and the Balkans.
Talking with Prosek is a bit like conversing with a Zen Master of Fly Fishing, or a “Lord of the Flies.”
“Fly fishing is getting outside and leaving the world behind for another world,” he said. “When you step into the water, you go through a transformation. The running waters of a river have an immortal quality as they head to the oceans.
“You’re sort of a terminal being, a mortal walking into this stream,” he added. “You see yourself reflected, and you lose yourself in this immortal cycle.”
Charles Victor Albano Jr. gave up a career in U.S. Naval Intelligence (1965-72) a few years ago and moved to Roscoe. Albano said he’s fished Junction Pool for the past 17 years.
“I wait for this day,” he said as he kissed his latest catch of the day on the lips before tossing it back.
Lisa Shaver-Ratner of Turnwood, was on hand to help unveil Cornell Cooperative Extension’s newest 4-H SAREP program, “The River of Dreams, Adopt-a-Trout.” The Sportfishing Aquatic Resource Education Program (SAREP) teaches kids about aquatic ecology, stream biology, fishing ethics, art/literature of fishing and river stewardship.
Earlier in the season, several local kids participated in the 4-H SAREP program. On April 1, they “graduated” by wetting their lines in Junction Pool.
Seven-year-old Angel Feeney, a second-grader at Roscoe Central School, got some help from her dad Greg as she tried to convince a wily trout to take the hint, and take her hand-tied dry fly.
“Fly fishing is kind of fun, but it’s kind of hard because you’ve got to know where your line is and you’ve got to pay attention,” said Angel.
Standing a few feet downstream of the father daughter team of the Feeneys, Nicole Bishop offered a bit of streamside advice to her daughter Alexandra, 7, who tried her hand at fly fishing.
“It’s great to see all the youngsters out here,” noted Poul Jorgensen.


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