District Attorney Hoovler and the Orange County Veterans Suicide Prevention Coalition Thank Trout Town 

June 12, 2024

District Attorney Hoovler and the Orange County Veterans Suicide Prevention Coalition Thank Trout Town Flies Owner Joe Rist and His Guides, Ali Abate and the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum, ShopRite of Chester and the New York State DEC Catskill Fish Hatchery Staff for Guiding Several Veterans ta Successful Day of Fly Fishing Including a Picnic in Trout Town USA

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office worked with Vet Center of Middletown and Trout Town Flies to put a Group of Veterans Together for this Outdoor Adventure Fishing Trip

Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler thanks Joe Rist, Chris Gallagher, Ed Walsh, Rob Eggleton, Dennis Dimeck, John Apgar, Don Borelli, John Francis, Herb Colby, Rich Redman and Joe Doll for guiding several veterans on a fly-fishing trip to Roscoe on June 5, 2024. The day started early at Joe’s shop Trout Town Flies where the vets were all given hand-tied flies, tippet material and leaders from the shop. The vets were then issued waders, boots, rods, and reels to use for the day. Then it was off to the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum. The use of their facilities allowed the guides to use a large field to instruct the vets on how to use a fly rod before hitting the water. Two vets had fly fished many years before, the other vets were novices. The guides then let the vets practice casting in the field and offered a lot of other tips on the art of fly fishing before hitting the water. While this training session was going on Joel Murns of Vet Center and Senior ADA Matt Healy both veterans had KP duty, they set up the Catskill Fly Fishing Center pavilion and started cooking for the picnic lunch which would follow the fishing for the vets and guides. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office provided the camping equipment needed to make the meal and beverages. ShopRite of Chester provided all the food and additional beverages. 

All the guides were right next to the vets in the stream giving individual instruction and expert advice on fly fishing the Willowemoc Creek, a famous trout fishing stream. Thanks to the fantastic tutelage of the guides, it was not long before the vets were casting well, and a Marine was casting like a pro! Soon the vets started to catch Brown and Brook Trout in the stream.Many trout, mostly Browns, were caught and released during this outing. All the vets learned a lot of information from the guides about fly fishing to be used again someday. On last year’s trip Canadian fires caused a lot of smoke-filled skies but this year the weather was perfect! When the fishing was done, all the vets and guides enjoyed a picnic lunch at the pavilion.

When lunch was finished the vets went to the Catskill Fish Hatchery run by New York DEC in DeBruce and were given a tour by Joshua Laedke, a Fish Culturalist Specialist who works at the hatchery for the DEC. He explained how the hatchery works, how many fish were raised and answered questions that the vets had about the operation, fish stocking and about fishing in general. He then let the vets feed the breeder Brown Trout some of which were larger than ten pounds! The hatchery tour concluded the day’s outing, and everyone headed home. The participants all agreed the trip was a great day out. They had learned a lot about fly fishing and would do it again. Fishing is a way of helping people forget about the pressures of life at least for a little while and is a sport that can be enjoyed for an entire lifetime with friends and family.  Veterans from Trout Town Flies, Vet Center in Middletown, The VA Hudson Valley Health Care System, VA Outreach Upstate New York, Clear Path ForVets, The Orange County Sheriff’s Office, The Orange County District Attorney’s Office, The Orange County Veterans Service Agency and Heroes, Cowboys & Companions, Inc. participated in this year’s event In Roscoe, DeBruce and Livingston Manor where the trout fishing in streams is as good as it gets in New York! 

“I am very much impressed that the guides of Trout Town Flies donated so much time, effort and fishing equipment during their busiest time of the season to treat several veterans to a day of fly fishing on a historic Catskill trout stream” said Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler at the picnic lunch. “This fishing trip would not have been possible for this group of veterans without the guides’ generosity and skills.  Once again, I want to thank Joe Rist, a navy veteran having served on the USS Iwo Jima for assisting the Orange County Suicide Prevention Coalition by handing out Veteran Crisis Materials in his shop for over two years. Thanks also to Chris Gallagher for his service in the U.S. Army as well as his guiding skills. It is also a busy time of the year for guides and volunteers Ed Walsh, Dennis Dimeck, John Apgar, Don Borelli, John Francis, Herb Colby, Rich Redman, Joe Doll and Rob Eggleton who is the Town of Rockland Supervisor as well. Thank you all for your time and efforts helping our veterans. It is also a hectic time of the year at the Hatchery, and I appreciate the New York DEC taking the time to give these vets a tour of their facility on short notice. Thank you to Ali Abate and the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum for the use of your pavilion and grounds and to ShopRite of Chester for your donation to this event. Finally, I wish to thank Joel Murns and the Middletown Vet Center for their help in making this outing a great success for our vets. This outing was part of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office veteran outreach program started with the Hudson Valley VA Healthcare System back in November 2021.”

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