Had a chance to visit the Neversink River with members of both the Hacklebarney and Ridge and Valley TU chapters. I’d heard good things about the Neversink, but never fished it. My guess is that its relative proximity to the Beaverkill and Delaware places it down on the list of popular fishing options. So when the opportunity came up for a day trip, I happily agreed.
One thing that contributes to its relative obscurity is that this is not an easy river to find, or more accurately, find access. I drove through a series of rural neighborhoods to reach the entry point. Luckily other members of our party arrived before me or I would’ve driven right past. No real markings or parking area.
The next consideration is that this is not a park and fish destination. It was a 30-minute downhill hike over a washed out rocky trail, and it was twice as hard to climb on the return. I heard huffing and puffing on the way back, with some of our party opting for quick rest stops.
That said, the gain was well worth the pain. This is a beautiful river that offers, riffles, runs, pockets and glassy water, much of it waist deep or less. Wading difficulty ranges from flat sandy bottom to fast water over car-sized slippery rocks, so a wading stick is recommended.
We were into fish almost immediately, and continued to catch until the early afternoon. Most of what we hooked was wild browns in the 10-12″ range. My friend Fredy caught the fish of the day, a healthy 20″ brown. Bacon!
The pic below is of the 12″ that I caught on a standard elk hair caddis. It was one of three I caught on a dry fly.
These were really aggressive fish. Here’s a comparison of how my elk hair caddis looked after catching 3 wild browns of 12″ or less.
If you’re willing to make the trek, this is truly a hidden gem. We saw no other anglers, and the stream was not littered with bait cups and other refuse. One word of advice: Bring your hiking shoes and save your wading boots for the water. Enjoy!