Frank Rizzo | Democrat
Helping Roscoe celebrate its title on Tuesday were, from the left: Doug Fettig, Roscoe-Rockland Chamber of Commerce President Elaine Fettig, Visitors Association President Roberta Byron-Lockwood (partially hidden), Herb Clark of the Visitors Association, WFN host Mariko Izumi, County Legislator Elwin Wood, Debbie Hendrickson of Roscoe, Phil Vallone of Roscoe, Mike Sakell of Thunder 102, and Town of Rockland Supervisor Ed Weitmann.
Roscoe glories in its win
By Frank Rizzo
ROSCOE Some day, the story of how Roscoe became the “ultimate fishing town” will eclipse the “two-headed trout” legend as the hamlet’s signature fishing tale.
Tuesday was a day of excitement in the small community. At Riverside Park, by the banks of the Willowemoc Creek, representatives from the World Fishing Network (WFN) were on hand to officially name Roscoe as the Ultimate Fishing Town USA and present a shiny trophy and a $25,000 oversized check.
WFN had camera crews filming footage for a future show on the place where American dry fly fishing originated.
A segment on Roscoe earlier that morning on the CBS “Early Show” had been bumped to the next day, but it underscored the media spotlight on the hamlet of about 600.
Roscoe-Rockland Chamber of Commerce President Elaine Fettig chronicled the journey to this crowning day. The contest started with over 300 towns across the nation nominated, and a preliminary round of voting in April cropped the field to 20. The race narrowed to two places Roscoe and Waddington, NY which traded positions atop the leader board. Though Roscoe found itself behind on the final day, a final push allowed it to win in the contest’s final hours.
The voting was done by e-mail, with voters forwarding their e-mail to central locations to take advantage of the ability to vote multiple times a day.
Fettig singled out people like Roscoe’s Phil Vallone, of Rolling V Bus Company, Roberta Byron-Lockwood and Herb Clark of the SC Visitors Association, Thunder 102 Radio and others as leaders in “getting the vote out.”
“Roscoe is a very special place,” Fettig said. “It’s a small town with a lot of heart.”
To its existing tag as “Trout Town USA” Fettig proudly added, “‘The Ultimate Fishing Town’ and ‘The Little Town That Could!’”
WFN personality Mariko Izumi was in town to produce a feature for her show, “Hookin’ Up.” She related she was amazed that a town “of 600 people won the whole thing. It’s very cool, very impressive. I won’t get to fish while I’m here, but I'll be coming back,” she promised to cheers.
WFN publicist Doug Drotman hails from Long Island but admitted he knew Roscoe previously only “as a diner! I knew you could get fish at the diner, but but that’s all I knew about fishing in Roscoe.”
Drotman and many others know a lot more now, of course, including about the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum in Livingston Manor, which he planned to visit later.
Asked if, as New Yorker, he might have secretly rooted for Roscoe, Drotman smiled and answered, “I must say I rooted for all towns equally across the USA.
“We wanted the town with the combination of the best fishing and best civic pride to emerge as the winner,” Drotman said.
Looks like WFN got its wish.