The Beaverkill

Ed Van Put, Editor, John Merwin, Introduction by Lyons Press $35 (324p) ISBN 978-1-55821-475-0
In the heart of New York's Catskills runs a waterway revered for its fishing. Indeed, ""troutfishing enthusiasts look upon the Beaverkill as `America's stream,'"" says Van Put, a fisheries professional with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. In this clear and concise, though not artistic, history of that celebrated river, he details the changing experiences of those living and fishing along the banks of the Beaverkill over the past 350 years. With emphasis on the personalities of the world's fly-tying legends, including Theodore Gordon, Rube Cross and Harry Darbee, as well as with a discussion of the merits of using dry versus wet flies, it would seem that the book might appeal only to angling fanatics. Its engaging presentation of the Beaverkill's environmental degradation and revitalization, however, should broaden its appeal dramatically. Van Put describes how the native brook trout were largely fished out last century, with those not caught being killed by the many polluting industries developing streamside. Happily, the advent of hatcheries, the introduction of brown trout and a recognition of basic principles of conservation biology have helped the stream recover. Seventy archival photographs handsomely complement the informative text. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1996
Release date: 11/01/1996
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-58574-691-0
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