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The waterways near Roscoe are home to brook, brown and rainbow trout. More elusive is the legendary two-headed trout.

My District: Is Home to the Country’s Fly-Fishing Capital

By Ben Mathios | Aug. 9, 2021 | State Legislatures News | Print

Martucci

Scenic Roscoe in upstate New York—also known as “Trout Town, USA”—is widely acclaimed as the nation’s fly-fishing capital. Roscoe was named the country’s “Ultimate Fishing Town” by the World Fishing Network in 2011, but it has been a prized fishing destination for more than a century.

Conservation writer Theodore Gordon popularized the area through his famous fishing journals. The waterways Gordon and countless others fished include the Beaverkill River, Willowemoc Creek and the East Branch of the Delaware River. Using his homemade flies, Gordon caught wild brook trout, wild and stocked brown trout and wild rainbow trout. Decades later, dedicated fishers catch these same fish using flies that Gordon invented.

Roscoe kicks off the trout season with its annual Two-Headed Trout Dinner, named for a fish that, according to legend, remained where the Beaverkill River meets Willowemoc Creek because it couldn’t decide which it liked better—then sprouted a second head so it could face both.

We caught up with Senator Mike Martucci (R) of Senate District 42, which includes Roscoe, to talk about this beloved travel destination.

 

What does it mean to you and your district that Roscoe is considered the capital of fly-fishing and one of the best fishing towns in America?

Roscoe, New York, otherwise known as “Trout Town, USA,” is a hamlet located in the Catskill Mountains in Sullivan County and has become a top destination for anglers and fishermen who come to the 42nd District from all over the country. Nestled between two rivers, the Beaverkill and Willowemoc Creek, is Junction Pool, which is home to the famous two-headed trout. Additionally, in the western section of town, anglers will find the east and west branches of the Delaware River, providing visiting and seasoned anglers with amazing fishing opportunities.

Representing this historic hamlet and ensuring its economic development prospers has been incredibly rewarding. Visitors can escape the hustle and bustle of New York City and visit Roscoe’s historic downtown and unique shops and explore its campsites. Roscoe is also a wonderful place to get outside, whether that be kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing or rafting. It is wonderful to know that guests can appreciate the beauty of this district when they come to visit Roscoe.

Do you fish? If so, where are some of your favorite spots and what fish are you looking to catch?

While I am not a seasoned angler, I spent many of my summers growing up fishing in the creeks and ponds found on my family’s farm. Nowadays, when I have some free time with my children, I like to bring them back to the very spots I grew up casting lines and catching fish in. As I travel more around my district and see the amazing creeks, ponds and lakes available to fishers in the area, I cannot help but want to learn how to fly-fish and test the waters, especially in Roscoe! 

What else is great about your district? What other attractions should people see?

If fly-fishing isn’t your forte, the 42nd District is home to many historic sites and opportunities to explore the beautiful Hudson Valley and Catskills. In Goshen, you can visit the Legoland resort and explore the shows, rides and attractions with your family. If you’re into music, grab tickets to a concert held at the historic Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the site of the 1969 Woodstock music festival. In the fall, you should visit Warwick, home to one of the nation’s largest Applefest fairs, where 30,000 visitors come each year to enjoy craft vendors, live music, shop local businesses and enjoy autumn in the Hudson Valley. 

My district is home to picturesque villages and farmland. Notably, the Black Dirt Region of Pine Island stretches for miles and produces roughly 20% of the nation’s onion crop. Each weekend, guests can stop by several local farmers markets or grab a drink at one of the many local breweries, wineries and distilleries the region has to offer.

Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D) of District 100 also represents Roscoe.

Ben Mathios is an intern in NCSL’s Communications Division.

“My District” gives NCSL members a chance to tell us about life in the places they represent, from the high-profile events to the fun facts only locals know.

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