The Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum (located on Old Route 17 between Livingston Manor and Roscoe) will host the inauguration of the 2021 fishing season this weekend – on Saturday April 3 from 10am til 4pm. In addition to all the usual great exhibits and reference materials relating to the rich history of fly fishing in our region, the Museum offers fishing access to the Willowemoc Creek, and lots of other fishermen and fisherwomen to hang with and enjoy the sport.
New this weekend is a special tribute to world-renowned master fly tier – Dave Brandt. Dave’s work desk is beautifully recreated by Cy Amundson and Bruce Concors.
Stop by this weekend, or anytime – the Gift Shop and Museum are open all season, Friday through Monday, 10am til 4pm.
As Springtime looms and the COVID (fingers crossed) subsides, we’re looking forward to more new businesses opening up in or near our town centers and riverbanks. Latest addition is “The Walk In” sandwich and coffee shop, just a bit up the road from downtown Livingston Manor (directly across the street from the Brandenburg Bakery building). Launched this year by Manor newcomers Lily Price and Erin Ellis, Lily describes where they’ve been and why they’re here….
I grew up in Savannah GA and have worked in the hospitality industry all my life. I met Erin through industry friends about 8 years ago after she had moved to Savannah and worked her way up from a salad girl to chef de cuisine of a really wonderful fine dining spot in Savannah – Local 11ten. Erin grew up in the industry as her parents owned and operated multiple restaurants in Bardstown, Kentucky. All 5 of the Ellis kids worked in the family restaurants as soon as they were of age to peel a carrot. Erin’s dad went to the Culinary Institute of America and so did she. When we started dating after a couple years of knowing each other, I was traveling very intensely and returning to Savannah every so often and told Erin that if we were going to be in a relationship, we had to keep traveling. So we decided to move to Hanoi, Vietnam in 2016 and then to Porto, Portugal in 2017. Erin was opening crew for a few restaurants in Vietnam and I was working in property management. In Portugal, Erin worked at a kick ass restaurant called Flow and I remained in international property management. We found upstate NY after moving back to NYC in late 2017. Our friend and roommate had purchased a home that year in Napanoch, invited us for the weekend, and we left on Sunday having bought our little 500 square foot abode in Loch Sheldrake. It was only natural to discover Livingston Manor soon after as this seems to be ‘The Place’.
The Walk In is how we eat every day and is representative of us essentially inviting this community to our breakfast, lunch and dinner table. The goal here is to nourish the community as we nourish ourselves, to prepare things maybe just one step more artfully than most people care for themselves at home. We went back to our absolute fundamentals to open this restaurant – my great grandmother’s biscuit recipe, tons of influences from Erin’s parents’ first place Lovin’ Oven, etc. Maybe we will do some insane fine dining thing later, but The Walk In is who we really are. Like maybe we drink Dom Perignon on occasion but really we’re just a couple of beers cooled in a riverbed. We kind of want to just become more of what we already are, just us.
The Walk In is located at 67 Main Street – Livingston Manor NY. For now you can follow their progress on Instagram @thewalkinmanor.
Welcome to the Valley, Elizabeth Hope Williams and Johnny Anderes, founders and operators of The High Meadow Project. No strangers to the neighborhood, Elizabeth spent many summers here with her family and they chose the Beaverkill Valley Inn for their wedding festivities, Elizabeth and Johnny migrated to Lew Beach from Chicago, with three offspring in tow, as the pandemic descended last year. They have since launched a fabulous addition to the area’s dining options, now housed in the legendary (and often mysterious) Lew Beach venue – The Pub. Located on the northeast corner of Lew Beach’s bustling downtown intersection, The High Meadow Project initially offered socially-distanced outdoor dining (right by the river), and has remained open four nights a week during the winter months for local take-out. We’re all looking forward to the return of on site dining, and the reopening of The Pub’s intimate bar, once the weather allows.
Chef Johnny Anderes’ interest in food stems from his grandfather, an international commercial pilot who picked up a passion for French cooking during his travels overseas. Spending long periods of time together, Anderes experienced French cooking with local produce at an early age—an influence that is unmistakably present in his sustainable and family-friendly approach to modern cuisine. Johnny was most recently the Executive Chef for the Chicago Athletic Association, spearheading the menus for the award-winning Cherry Circle Room, The Game Room, The Drawing Room, and The Milk Room.
Wishing all of our members – and everyone who lives and visits the Beaverkill Valley – a healthy and happier New Year!
The FOBC will be back in the Spring with its usual slate of activities and events to share with the membership. This year’s officers are in place and we currently have two active committees which we encourage everyone to contact and/or join if you’re interested in being involved.
For current updates follow us on Instagram – @friendsofbeaverkill.
Josh Grier - President
Chris Kissock - Vice President
Alissa Shipp - Treasurer
Steve Levine - Secretary
BEAVERKILL COMMUNITY CHURCH COMMITTEE:
Mary Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org)
COVERED BRIDGE CAMPSITE COMMITTEE
Josh Grier (email@example.com)
In compliance with CDC and New York State guidelines, and exercising an “abundance of caution” by keeping safe and distanced this season, we’ve canceled our annual Candlelight Caroling – traditionally held on Christmas Eve at the Beaverkill Community Church. We wish everyone an enjoyable holiday and the FOBC looks forward to reactivating our usual group events in 2021.
Legendary angler and renowned author Austin “Mac” Francis made a “virtual” appearance on the Willowemoc Creek on September 27. Mac was the subject of an extended interview with Peter Crosby – a highlight of the Emerging Anglers Dinner held in Livingston Manor at the Catskills Fly Fishing Center and Museum.
Watch the interview here, with the pre-imminent expert on Catskill fly fishing:
Bruce Janklow, long time Valley resident (since 1984), has found a fresh vision through his camera’s lens. Having become very competent at taking what he calls “pretty pictures” (see his image in our heading above for evidence of that), Bruce has recently been pursuing a more challenging approach to his photographic work.,
Introduced to photography at an early age by his father Leonard Janklow – an accomplished creator of op-art kinetic constructions – Bruce began snapping pictures in the mid 1950’s with a very simplified 35mm camera, a Kodak Pony. He grew up to spend his professional years in New York City, in various advertising and marketing agencies and endeavors…while continuing to hone his interest and craft in the photographic arts.
Since retiring in 2008, Bruce and his wife Ilene split their year between their house on Craigie Clair Road and a winter residence in San Miguel de Allende – in Mexico’s central state of Guanajuato. In addition to over 35 years shooting in the Beaverkill Valley, Bruce combined his passion for world travel with his full time commitment to his photography – circling the globe with his cameras. From Uzbekistan to India to the Mississippi Delta, Bruce’s journeys have produced a large portfolio of unique photos.
A small folio of Bruce’s current work – titled “Unfinished Stories” – is linked below, mostly shot in the Beaverkill Valley, this work emphasizes the more abstract possibilities of the medium. As Bruce describes the collection is “an unexplained call to the viewer to participate in exploring the mysteries of the photograph”.
For those interested in further exploring Bruce’s works – you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org Click on the link here to view the collection:
As reported, despite the pandemic, the Beaverkill Community Church held Sunday morning services from June through August. Outdoors with masks and social distancing observed. Only one week was cancelled by rain. Transcripts of five of the sermons delivered this year are linked below, all given by local FOBC members.
This past Friday (August 7), Bill Rudge (Natural Resources Supervisor for the NY State Department Of Environmental Conservation) met at the Covered Bridge Campsite with Ramsay Adams and Wes Gillingham (Catskill Mountainkeeper) and Lisa Lyons (Catskill Forest Preservation Advisory Council). Patricia and John Adams were also in attendance representing the FOBC. The meeting was to discuss the impact of the Corona Virus on the Beaverkill Valley generally, and specifically the increased use of public campsites and day use areas in the Sullivan County section of the Catskill Park.
The focus was on using what is currently available from the DEC to address the potential over-use of state lands resulting from the increased tourist traffic, plus set a plan in motion to add resources to that effort. The DEC currently provides guidelines/regulations, enforced by .State Forest Rangers, and Stewards (hired for the summer months only) to monitor and control use in some (but not all) public access day-use sites. Plus there are a few non-profit organizations such as The Catskill Center and Catskill Mountainkeeper who work alongside the DEC.
Although issues at the Covered Bridge Campsite were specifically referenced, the meeting was primarily to develop an overall approach to protecting all of the recreational areas in the Western Catskills. These areas, which for many city and suburban dwellers are important as an experience in nature, have lately become in need of an improved program of ‘crowd control .’ It was also noted that some level of back-up support from law enforcement officers is now essential for the Rangers (who maintain the public use areas by regulating the volume of visitors, clean up, and parking) to properly carry out their stewardship of the more popular day-use locations.
The meeting opened up the opportunity to raise funds and find support – to bring needed relief to the various existing lake and river parks experiencing significant increases of visitors this summer. As one component of the initiative, Catskill Mountainkeeper is prepared to organize a co-ordinated study with the DEC to identify and develop additional alternative destinations for campers, swimmers, hikers and general weekend visitors within the Forest Preserve.
The meeting was a good start on a long term plan which will prepare our Sullivan County recreational resources for increased use over the coming years. We will provide updates on this site as the planned studies are developed and implemented.
Hi all you tree huggers out there…if you haven’t already, meet Kate O’Connor. Kate is here in the Beaverkill Valley all year mapping and educating the area on the mighty hemlock tree and its imminent threat from the hemlock wooly adelgid (HWA) – an invasive forest pest native to Japan.
Kate is on a year-long assignment to our region via the Cornell Department of Natural Resources and the NY State Hemlock Initiative. A research technician and field representative, she is based out of the Catskill Mountainkeeper office on Main Street in Livingston Manor – but spends most of her time out in the field, surveying local hemlock stands, educating property owners, facilitating management strategies and scouting for biocontrol release sites. Kate works on private properties and with the DEC in their public lands and forests (e.g., the Covered Bridge Campsite, Balsam Lake Wild Forest, Willowemoc Wild Forest, Delaware Wild Forest, etc.)
As many of you know, the hemlock was an abundant and iconic mainstay of the Valley back when settlement and upstate migrations began in the 19th Century. The trees were not harvested for their wood, but for the bark – which was an essential component of the animal skin tanning process of that era. The Beaverkill Tannery was one the last to survive (still operational in the 1850s) before modernization of tanning processes began utilizing synthetic chemicals and – unfortunately – its appetite for the bark resulted in much of the local hemlock population being decimated. Only a few trees survive from before the turn of the 20th Century (the “pre-disturbance original growth”), which are now quietly protected by folks like Kate, along with her fellow researchers and forest managers. There is, however, now over a century of second growth trees – some of which have emerged from under the forest canopy to become quite large and majestic residents of the Valley.
For lots more information about hemlocks, the wooly adelgid and the biocontrols Cornell is developing, check out this website: https://blogs.cornell.edu/nyshemlockinitiative/
Also, a fine map and even more information is to be found in Michael Kudish’s book “The Catskill Forest: A History”. Available at the Morgan Outdoors shop (Livingston Manor) and on the Catskill Interpretive Center website.
You can also, and are encouraged to, reach out directly to Kate. She will gladly set up an appointment to stop by your property to examine any hemlocks you have (or think you may have) and assess what measures may be in order to keep them healthy and robust.