From Catskills Trout Tales Founding Partner, Catskill Dream Team co-founder Peggy Bellar…Trout Stream Retreats (A few Tips to Consider)!

All of us have “ a dream” in mind when we start searching for our perfect retreat. For people that are drawn to the outdoors and the chance to let nature work its magic in restoring our spirits, the Catskills provide a plethora of possibilities.

Famed naturalist (and avid fly-fisherman) John Burroughs said it quite beautifully I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”

Our clients and friends often tell us how when they “make that turn on exit 19” they literally feel more at peace. And when they cross the mountain at Bellearye they” feel their hearts open.” No surprise to us! Who couldn’t be moved by the mountains with their sweeping vistas, the mom and pop selling fresh eggs (with a box and the honor system to pay), fresh crisp air and the amazing variety of streams, rivers, waterfalls and reservoirs!

If, like Burroughs and countless other fisherman enthusiasts, your joy comes from stumbling around in the dark on a Saturday morning, looking for the light switch and a cup of coffee, then heading out to wade into a cold trout stream (where it has been said the zen-like experience of fly fishing can connect a man’s spirit with the physical world) well, there are plenty of places to explore! Yes, in a digital world immersed in noise, the lure of a day in solitude and quiet can coax even the reticent out of warm bed before dawn’s light – and the world may just seem a little better for it.

So powerful is this attraction that many a fly-fisherman considers looking for “that little rustic cabin on 5 acres with a stream.” The idea of having a Catskill Retreat is an age-old tradition with city folks looking for an escape into the natural world.

At the Catskill Dream Team, we have listed and sold (lots) of property with water access. And as dreamy as this sounds there are a few tips to consider:

  1. Find a real estate agent who understands the area and specifically the issues related to properties with water access.You need an agent who understands your needs and clearly understands how you want to use the property. Also, find an agent who has sold property with water access and has knowledge about local regulations in the Watershed. Make sure they can answer questions like: is there an elevation difference between the stream and the house? Is it uphill from the house, or downhill? Has the house been flooded before? Does the basement stay dry? If the stream overflows its banks, does the natural path of water flow toward the house or away.
  2. Choose a property that truly fits your lifestyle, passion and goals. You may not mind loading the truck and heading out on an early morning drive to reach that idyllic fishing hole, while others would prefer to hike down to a stream on their own land. Go ahead and make that “checklist” but be prepared to have a little flexibility. At the end of the day, the property needs to have that “this is the one” feeling.
  3. Flood Insurance can be costly.Look into this early to make sure you know what you’re getting into. Your agent should be able to provide FEMA flood maps and help you with a source to obtain a quote for flood insurance..
  4. Find out what you can do with the property.If you want to put in a foot-bridge or a real bridge, begin this process early to ensure that these alterations will be possible. “Government agencies are very strict to deal with, and you don’t want to commit to purchasing a home without knowing that you do what you really want.” Also if you are purchasing on a pond or a lake (particularly communal ones) find out what kind of activities are allowed, as some areas have restrictions on boating, fishing and swimming.
  5. Talk to neighbors.Pretty easy in our small villages! Folks are friendly and happy to share their experiences of living in this beautiful area.
  6. It’s rural up here, so look into utilities.Nearly all the properties here (unless you are purchasing in some villages) will require a septic and well. Most of our properties are serviced by NYSEG but some are on an electrical coop. And you also will want to find out what type of internet/cell access is available. This can be a little more challenging in some very remote areas.

All of us at the Catskill Dream Team love calling this area our home! We are passionate about the Catskills and we love sharing our experience. The best part of our job is helping you find your dream home and your perfect antidote to the stresses of city life…and even your perfect trout stream retreat.