By Rob Potter
ROSCOE Following a day filled with activities to mark the beginning of another trout season, hundreds of fly fishing enthusiasts ended their day in the Sullivan County hamlets of Livingston Manor and Roscoe by attending the annual Two-Headed Trout Dinner at the Rockland House.
Master of Ceremonies Phil Vallone welcomed everyone to the dinner.
“We have great fly fishing here,” he said of the Roscoe area.
Roscoe Chamber of Commerce President Elaine Fettig thanked everyone for attending the dinner as well as all of the activities earlier in the day, from the ceremonial First Cast to the surprise birthday celebration for Mary Dette at Dette’s Fly Shoppe to the activities at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum (CFFCM) and the casting clinic given by Mike Canazon and the Bamboo Boys at Livingston Manor Central School.
“It’s been a very good year for Roscoe,” Fettig said. “We received another grant award from Sullivan Renaissance for $50,000.”
Fettig also spoke about a number of upcoming activities throughout the year, including the Roscoe Memorial Day Parade and Program at the Veteran’s Memorial, the Independence Day Festival and Parade in Roscoe and the Jubilee Days at the CFFCM.
“We have a good reputation,” Fettig said. “We need to build upon that reputation and we will do so.”
On behalf of the entire Roscoe Chamber of Commerce, Fettig presented an award to Manny Zanger and Marge Zanger for all of their volunteer work.
Fettig also reminded everyone that Roscoe is one of the towns nominated for the World Fishing Network’s contest to find the Ultimate U.S. Fishing Town.
“As of this afternoon, Roscoe had 95 nominations,” Fettig said. “The voting for our region in the nomination phase of the contest ends April 8, which is Friday.”
Fettig encouraged everyone to “vote early and often” for Roscoe, which has been known as “Trout Town USA” for decades.
(For more information about the contest, visit www.WFNfishingtown.com and click on “nominate your town.”)
CFFCM Executive Director Jim Krul also noted that it was “a great day for Roscoe.”
One of the celebrity guest casters at the morning’s First Cast at Junction Pool, jazz pianist Laurence Hobgood, spoke to the crowd as well.
“I know I will be casting my vote for Roscoe,” said Hobgood, referring to the WFN contest. “This area has great fishing and a great fraternity of fly fishers.
“I recently played 15 concerts in 18 days in Europe,” Hobgood added. “I have six days at home before going back out on tour. I was here for two of those six days at home. It’s been a blast.”
Mary Dette spoke about the experiences she and her family members have enjoyed since her parents Walt Dette and Winnie Dette opened Dette’s Trout Flies back in 1928.
“I’ve seen it all,” Mary Dette said as she talked about how fly fishing goes in cycles throughout the years and decades as good fishing times are followed by bad fishing and then good fishing returns again.
“It’s a very good sport and will continue to be good for a long time to come,” she said.
The dinner also gave attendees the chance to win door prizes and bid on silent auction items. The silent auction items included two lawn tickets to a concert at the Bethel Woods Center for the Performing Arts and two adult admissions to the Bethel Woods Museum, a Ross Reel with line donated by Catskill Flies, a two consecutive night stay in a standard cabin donated by Creekside Cabins and a “Beaverkill Falls” artist print by Jack Yelle.
On behalf of the Roscoe Chamber of Commerce, Fettig thanked everyone at the Rockland House, all of the volunteers and the local businesses for making the opening day of the 2011 trout season so successful.