Roscoe Beer Company and The Barley Hopper

Last weekend, I was in Roscoe, New York, to participate on Saturday April 20th for the 13th Annual Fly Tyers Rendezvous, sponsored by the Catskill Fly Tyer’s Guild. It was a fun time! I arrived on Friday afternoon, passed the single traffic light in town, and drove out Rockland Road, heading west. Right before arriving at The Rockland House, I saw this sign:

Roscoe Beer Company sign.

Roscoe Beer Company sign. This was new since the last time I was in Roscoe.

Whether you drink or not might be irrelevant, but if you fly fish, you gotta love a company sign that has a leaping trout, a flowing stream, a nice whitetail buck, and fishing flies on it. And I’m guessing this image must be in the autumn, when the buck would actually have its antlers. And for that time of year, it also stands to reason the large mayfly that trout is after is most certainly a Slate Drake. But that’s just my take on it.

I had not yet phoned “Buffalo Bill” Newcomb, with whom I was sharing a room at The Rockland House Motel. Not knowing whether or not he had arrived, what room we were in, etc., and after a three-plus hour trip, I was thirsty. So I made straight for The Rockland House barroom. Lo and behold, one of the beers on tap in The Rockland House bar was Roscoe Beer Company Amber. I ordered up one of those. And then I got another nice surprise – the barmaid placed an upside down shot glass at my spot and said, “That’s a two-fer.” So two beers for the price of one, cash in the shot glass and get another beer. Nice! The equivalent of Happy Hour. This weekend was getting better by the minute.

After I ordered a beer and took a few sips, very good by the way, I thought I better contact Bill. I stepped outside and dialed his cell number, but before it started ringing, Bill came out of a second floor door at the motel and started walking across the balcony and down the steps. After exchanging pleasantries, he joined me at the bar. Not long after that, we noticed a large painting of a fishing fly in the corner on the wall. The lettering read, “The Barley Hopper.” Turned out it is part of the logo for Roscoe Beer Company.

The Barley Hopper

The Barley Hopper

As we sat and enjoyed our drinks, I noticed a hand-made sign above the bar that I thought humorous. It read:

“Caution: Tommy Shots may cause you to think you can sing, dance, and talk to girls, but remember – they’re alcohol, not Magic.” We found out that Tommy Shots are served in a plastic cup, 4 ounces. That could explain why singing, dancing, and talking to girls is the focus of the message.

Saturday at the show, even though I was prepared to tie some wet flies, I tied all dry flies; extended body Green Drake Spinners, and an extended body Coffin Fly pattern that I had just designed a couple days earlier last week. I am including a photo of the pattern here, but I am going to place the pattern on a separate post.

BXB Green Drake Coffin Fly

BXB Green Drake Coffin Fly. The inspiration for this design is the Dette Coffin Fly, with its white body, teal wings, and badger hackle. I also considered the Coffin Fly pattern from Trout, by Ray Bergman in creating my Coffin Fly version. The Trout “Coffin” pattern has a tail of pheasant fibers or black, a white floss body, black hackle tip wings, and a golden badger hackle.

Rather than mimicking a spent-wing spinner pattern, the Coffin Fly imitates the Green Drake Spinner or imago that can sometimes be seen on the water with upright wings, still fairly active before and during the mating ritual. My extended body Coffin Fly pattern incorporates these features into its design. The pattern recipe and more information on the fly will be in a separate post.

For those visiting Roscoe, New York, at any time, I recommend The Rockland House. It was also interesting to discover that Roscoe Beer Company has been in business barely three weeks as of the date of our visit. Currently the Amber is their only product, but there are plans to expand that. They are open for tours, the beer is for sale, and you can also buy six-packs of Roscoe Amber at The Rockland House.

The Rockland House Sign.

The Rockland House

8 comments on “Roscoe Beer Company and The Barley Hopper

  1. Dan Glover says:

    Like the coffin fly. Coming soon.

  2. joel stansbury says:

    Beautiful fly and great story. I will have to drive out there and try the beer!

  3. Kelly L says:

    Don, I enjoyed the whole blog today. That coffin fly is SWEET!!!

  4. Darn was just there and missed it. Brown trout were on. Going back to Roscoe soon although the town is dying. Zachs is closed and biz is down in general.

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