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The Art of Fishing
The public is invited to the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown in Margaretville on Saturday, May 4 when writers Ed and Judy Van Put will offer a gloriously illustrated talk on artists who fished the Catskills and the art found in fly-fishing. The presentation will be held at 4 p.m. at the HSM hall, 778 Cemetery Road, Margaretville. Admission is free. This event is part of Headwaters History Days (headwatershistorydays.org) and Catskills Trout Tales (catskillstrouttales.com), celebrating the storied history of Catskill Mountain angling.

The Catskills not only attracted our country’s earliest and foremost trout fishermen, but also many of our first and finest artists. The May 4 presentation focuses primarily on the artists from the Hudson River School of landscape painters, including Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, and Worthington Whittredge. Prepare to be dazzled by many beautiful landscape paintings depicting what these artists found as they hiked, fished and traveled through the Catskill Mountains. Their paintings brought the public closer to nature and as such, spurred tourism and an appreciation of the environment. The presenters will also explain how fishing and art often overlapped.

Ed VanPut is the author of Trout Fishing in the Catskills, the comprehensive history of Catskill fishing published in 2007, as well as The Beaverkill: The History of a River and its People, published by Stackpole in an expanded edition in 2016. Both books will be available for purchase. The VanPuts are former employees of NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s Bureau of Fisheries, Judy as a fish and wildlife technician, Ed as principal habitat/fisheries technician who worked for the DEC for 40 years. The couple lives along the Willowemoc Creek. Judy is a member of the NYS Outdoor Writers Association and has written fishing columns for regional newspapers. Both are recipients of the Professional Communications Award bestowed by the NYS Council of Trout Unlimited.

Image credit: Along the Delaware" (1875) by Worthington Whittredge who stayed often in Arkville. The painting is the East Branch in the vicinity of Margaretville.