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West branch Angler's 'Hell or High Water' brings Spring to the Catskills

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'Come hell or high water' is a well-known phrase. Usually meant to convey that 'no matter what happens, I'll be there', it's also part of the name of a Catskill fly fishing gala that's gaining quite a bit of popularity in the Catskills and Southern Tier. The event gets it's name because of its timing. This year has been a good reminder that a typical Catskill spring can mean a lot of high water. And anxious anglers...

Now in its fifth year, 'Hell or High Water' is evolving into one hell of an event, pardon the pun. The event is still true to its original purpose: to bring new people into the sport and celebrate the Catskills, the beginning of spring, and the start of a new fishing season. But this year, as there seems to be every year, there's a new twist. There will be more music, a WBA Brewfest, and even a river boat manufacturer on hand:

  • Guests of Honor are Tom Rosenbauer of Orvis and George Daniel, author of 'Dynamic Nymphing, but they won't be alone. Presenters include WBA guides John Miller, Justin Mason, Jeff Church, and Scott McClintock as well as a number of other fly fishing pros from Orvis, and Scott Fly Rods.
  • Film Tour - none other than the Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) will be shown on April 12 @ $8.00 online or $10.00 at the door.
  • Music - kick-off party at the River Run restaurant with live music by Milkwood at 9 pm. The Falconers will be on stage from 2- 6 pm on 4/12 during the WBA Brewfest.
  • Adipose Boatworks will be present - all the way from Montana. Come see what a good river skiff is all about.
  • WBA Brewfest - live music by Milkwood at the River 2 pm to 6 pm, April 12. Breweries include: Troegs Brewing Company, Binghamton's own Galaxy Brewing Company, and the Catskill region's Roscoe Beer Company and Callicoon Brewing Company.
  • Fly Fishing 101 - Orvis Company's Fly Fishing 101 clinics are back for the fifth year and will feature two women only session as well as on co-ed session. Registration is required.

As always, Hell or High Water is also about products. There are always a multitude of manufacturers reps on hand with new gear. Sponsors include Orvis, Scott, Patagonia, Simms, Sage, Hatch...

Lastly, besides all the great events, 'Hell or High Water' is staged on the famous West Branch of the Delaware. As the name of the event suggests, the Westie is currently running high - as in not wadeable high (2,000 CFS). One never knows. By Saturday, levels could be down enough for some awesome streamer fishing. But even if its still a high water event, think of all the fly fishing stuff going on just up the bank...

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