Ulster County Real Estate - The Esopus Creek
The Esopus Creek is located in the Ulster County section of the Catskill Mountains. From its source high on Slide Mt., it flows 26 miles to the Ashokan Reservoir. The Esopus Creek watershed encompasses hundreds of square miles and includes runoff from 21 mountains towering over 3000 feet above sea level. It is not difficult to imagine the vast stream power present during times of flooding. Visit in spring when the Ashokan Reservoir is spilling for a most impressive sight.
The Esopus has a feature that establishes it as one of the best trout streams in the east. As a link in the NYC water system, the Esopus receives a huge flow of water through a tunnel from the bottom of the Schoharie Reservoir. These 50-60 degree waters then crashes downstream over a boulder strewn bottom creating excellent runs and pocket water fly fishing for the duration of trout season.
Above the tunnel (The Portal) at Allaben, the Esopus is a natural flowing stream affected by the high-low water conditions of the seasons. Native brookies are found here joined by spawning rainbow trout in the Spring time. Summer low water conditions drive the trout downstream or to deep spring-fed spots. Much of the upper creek is posted but plenty of access is available.
Downstream from The Portal near Phoenicia, Woodland Valley Creek and Stony Clove Creek enter and the Esopus becomes a 100 foot wide river with several deep holes, some famous; Chimney Hole, Mother’s Hole, Rainbow Run, The Trestle.
Wild Rainbow trout make up 80% of the trout in the lower Esopus. Some very large trout reside here though the average size is 8-10 inches. About 30,000 Brown trout are stocked annually making the Esopus a very fishy stream. Its estimated that there are over 9000 trout per mile or 115 pounds per acre as compared to the famous Beaverkill at 75 pounds per acre. During Rainbow spawn season, mid March to the end of April, many large "bows" swim up from the Ashokan.
In the warmer months, try tubing down the Esopus. If you've never tubed before, head for the town of Phoenicia, NY. Located in the heart of the Catskill Mountains is a five-mile stretch of river that has become one of the most popular tubing courses around. There are businesses in town that will set you up to enjoy one of the most popular tubing adventures around, with courses for novices as well as experts. People come from all over to ride the rapids and drift with the current as the Esopus Creek winds through the beautiful mountains and greenery of the Catskills.
The Esopus Bend Nature Preserve is located on 161-acre preserve along the Esopus Creek in Saugerties in northeastern Ulster County, New York State. The adjacent Esopus Creek is used by kayakers, canoeists, motor boaters, and anglers. The Esopus Creek Conservancy actively promotes nature study and outdoor recreation. They host numerous guided activities including tree walks, bird watching, wildlife observation walks, butterfly walks, mushroom walks, animal tracking workshops, and kayak and canoe tours.
The Esopus Bend Nature Preserve is named after the prominent right-angled bend the creek takes here, changing its flow direction from north-northwest to eastward. Prior to the bend, starting at Glenerie Falls, the creek follows and parallels a combination of the resistant, quartz-rich, Glenerie Formation and Port Ewen through Helderberg Group shale-rich and purer carbonate beds. The bend occurs where the Esopus Creek has, after 3.6 miles, finally managed to carve a route through steeply upturned Helderberg Group geologic beds on its way to the softer shale-rich beds of the Austin Glen Formation the surround and underlie the Hudson River here. The bend is located two miles upstream of the eastern terminus of a deltaic tidal flat the projects far into the Hudson River.
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