Fly Life Magazine

Fly glamping squared in the “old-timey” New York Catskills

Photo by Esopus Creel fly shop [see link below].

Fly Fishing Is the New Bird-Watching

It’s the latest “old timey” hobby to gain a dedicated new following.

By Alexandra Marvar / New York Times / October 14, 2019

Step aside, goat yoga. The chic way to unwind now is fly fishing.

That’s right. For some of the same reasons millennials recently flocked to bird-watching, this sport — long dominated by old white men — is gaining popularity with a younger set.

For those who can afford the leisure time and some rudimentary equipment, it offers a reason to be outdoors, a closer connection to nature, an avenue for environmentalism, built-in community, opportunity for creative expression, and a lifetime’s worth of niche expertise. Fly anglers who are not vegetarian nor vegan, nor otherwise bound by the code of “catch and release,” see it as an extension of the farm-to-table movement. Plus, it’s very Instagrammable, even as it encourages people to put down their phones.

A failure on Wall Street is not inspiring; here, it is, and a tweak of that almost eaten fly is the night’s spur. The angler is Todd Spire – photo Esopus Creel.

For those who can afford the leisure time and some rudimentary equipment, it offers a reason to be outdoors, a closer connection to nature, an avenue for environmentalism, built-in community, opportunity for creative expression, and a lifetime’s worth of niche expertise. Fly anglers who are not vegetarian nor vegan, nor otherwise bound by the code of “catch and release,” see it as an extension of the farm-to-table movement. Plus, it’s very Instagrammable, even as it encourages people to put down their phones.

And where millennials go, hospitality brands follow. Guided fly-fishing excursions are now offered at many trendy boutique hotels, including The Little Nell in Aspen, Colo.; Tourists, the eco-friendly lodge opened by indie influencers including the bassist of Wilco, in North Adams, Mass.; and Sage Lodge, a new nature resort just north of Yellowstone National Park in Pray, Mont., which has a stand of fly tackles and nets in its lobby, and daily “Fly Fishing 101” courses at its backyard casting pond overlooking the Absaroka Mountains.

At the DeBruce, a boutique hotel and culinary destination in Livingston Manor, N.Y., the wall art, bookshelves and nine-course tasting menu are fly fishing-themed. The banner amenity of the hotel, where rooms start at $449 a night (including breakfast and the tasting menu), is half a mile of private river; waders, rods and reels are all available for rental for $75 per day in the Tackle Room near the pool. And in the Great Room, where elegant young couples on honeymoons, babymoons and minimoons pass their happy hours, a full fly-tying station is set up in the corner.

Todd Spire, 45, a digital marketer turned full-time fly guide, has built his Catskills business on this new wave of interest. Over the past 4 years, his guiding outfit, Esopus Creel, grew steadily by word-of-mouth and Instagram, and this spring, he opened a brick-and-mortar fly shop in Phoenicia, N.Y.

Read the complete story and see the great photos . . .

NOTE: To read the story you may have to sign up to read for free – it’s worth the inconvenience.

Featured Image: The DeBruce sits on a ledge overlooking the Willowemoc Valley and its namesake river here in upstate New York’s Catskill Park. Named one of the best restaurants in America by Esquire Magazine.

Rainbow trout by award winning watercolorist and illustrator Thom Glace.

Like this Article? Share it!

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.