Award-winning columnist mails it in

By the time this edition of this award-winning fishing column is published, I will be in the middle of a week’s vacation near the Esopus Creek in Phoenicia. N.Y.

It’s a pleasant situation. The best feature of the ancestral estate is the almost complete lack of electronic communications.

We do not have cable or internet. A usable cell signal requires a five-mile drive. And every time it rains, the landline sounds like a transmission from a cold and distant star.

So no streamside updates this time. This edition is filler. Darn good filler, but filler nonetheless.

Here are some websites and bloggers I follow regularly.

Troutbitten ( Produced by Dominick Swentosky out of central Pennsylvania. Extremely detailed advice on gear, rigging, and tactics. This is the man who introduced me to the Bread and Butter nymph, which has become my go-to fly for all freshwater species.

Drew Lookn Fishy ( This guy has figured out how to spend a lot of time driving around the West fishing and camping out of his truck. Lots of dry-dropper rigs on small and medium-sized streams. Never gives directions, which is good, as these locations are mostly unspoiled. Bonus points for chanting “Hey, bear!” as he makes his way through the undergrowth, and for securing his net to the frame with zip ties.

Alvin Dedeaux ( The chatty and humorous Alvin Dedeaux is a Texas guide specializing in fly-fishing for bass. Lots of in-the-boat stuff. When I retire, I’m going to hunt Alvin up and spend a couple days on his turf, if only for the running commentary.

At the Orvis website, there is a “how to” section that has lots of good material (

The king of this particular hill is Tom Rosenbauer, who is to fly-fishing what Bob Vila is to home improvement. (I am not the first to make this observation.)

Rosenbauer has the gift, in print or on video, of making the obscure comprehensible. One video has him with Euro-nymphing guru George Daniels, who writes books I don’t understand.

When Daniels is talking and demonstrating, however, prompted by regular guy questions from Rosenbauer, all becomes clear. Bonus points for shooting this video on the Farmington River.

Let’s wind this up with Connecticut’s own Steve Culton, the courteous and popular proprietor of Current Seams (

Culton is something of a boss fisherman, equally enthused by stripers and wild brookies.

I had the pleasure of fishing with him on the Housatonic a couple years back. Neither one of us did much, which pleased me in a perverse way.

And I learned a lot. You will too.

The Esopus, like the Housatonic, is big water for an 11-mile stretch from Allaben, N.Y. to the Ashokan Reservoir. Here an angler is patiently working pockets at the downstream end, below the Five Arches bridge in Boiceville. Photo by Patrick L. Sullivan

The Esopus Creek near Phoenicia, N.Y. offers big water and a good look at the autumn foliage. Photo by Patrick L. Sullivan

The Esopus, like the Housatonic, is big water for an 11-mile stretch from Allaben, N.Y. to the Ashokan Reservoir. Here an angler is patiently working pockets at the downstream end, below the Five Arches bridge in Boiceville. Photo by Patrick L. Sullivan

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