By Rob Potter
ROSCOE April 7, 2006 Last Saturday, which was the first day of the 2006 New York State trout season, was filled with plenty of activities in Roscoe which is also known as Trout Town U.S.A.
Hundreds of anglers gathered at Junction Pool at 7 a.m. for the traditional first cast with renowned fly fishing instructor, author and teacher Joan Wulff and this years celebrity caster, film star Rip Torn.
Later that morning, the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum opened to begin the celebration of its 25th anniversary.
And, as has been an opening day tradition for many years, everyone was invited to take the chill off by enjoying a hot cup of Agnes Van Puts famous soup.
Capping of the opening day festivities was the annual Two-Headed Trout Dinner at The Rockland House. A total of 155 anglers, locals and visitors alike, enjoyed a delicious six-course meal at the restaurant.
The annual event began decades ago at the famous Antrim Lodge in Roscoe, where anglers discussed the legendary two-headed trout that swam in the waters of the Willowemoc.
In addition to the opportunity to share their experiences of Opening Day 2006, the anglers at the dinner had the opportunity to participate in a 50/50 raffle and several other drawings.
Among the raffle items were gift certificates and prizes from several local businesses such as The Fairway Inn, Fir Brook Flies, Fur, Fin and Feather, Kirchner Chevrolet, Kirchner Chrysler/Jeep, Lambrigger Realty, Raimondos Restaurant, Roscoe Lumber Yard, Stone Realty, Twin Island Campgrounds and Wildlife Gift Shop.
Attendees were also invited to bid on several items which had been donated by local individuals and businesses for a silent auction. Sandy Stone of Stone Realty was the auctioneer/emcee for the silent auction.
One of those items was a beautiful print by artist Jack Yelle which celebrated the 125th Anniversary of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The print, which is one of only 250 copies, was donated by State Environmental Conservation Police Officer Scott Steingart.
Each dinner guest also received a ticket to attend Sunday mornings pancake breakfast served by the Roscoe Kiwanis at the Rockland Fire House.
Pat Yelle welcomed everyone to the dinner, which was sponsored by the Roscoe-Rockland Chamber of Commerce. She thanked the anglers for making that mornings festivities at Junction Pool very successful.
She also thanked Ellen Skarka and Miriam Stone for serving as co-chairs of the Two-Headed Trout Dinner.
The chamber thanks all local businesses and individuals for their generosity, Miriam Stone said. It is very much appreciated.
Rip Torn spoke about how much he enjoyed visiting Roscoe and fishing during the first cast ceremony. Torn noted that he is an avid fisherman and might return to the area in the near future to receive some casting lessons from Joan Wulff.
I feel at home here, Torn said of the Roscoe area.
Proceeds from the Two-Headed Trout Dinner benefit the Roscoe-Rockland Chamber of Commerce. The chamber uses those funds to plant trees and complete other beautification projects near Junction Pool. The organization also works with the local Trout Unlimited club to stock the Beaverkill and Willowemoc with fish when needed.
Miriam Stone noted that the dinner was very successful.
This is all for the benefit of the community, she said.