Another summer camping trip is in the books, and this was a wet one. With rain predicted for 4 of 7 days, we were prepared for the worst. The weather ended up not being too terrible, with only light showers the majority of the time. We did have torrential downpours one day, but we were prepared. So, for 7 days and 6 nights, we braved the weather for our annual camping trip to Mongaup Pond in the Catskills.
We were lucky that all three families got adjoining sites on the water (it took a lot of planning back in November 2017 to make this work). There are two sections of the 120 acre Mongaup Pond, a larger section toward the front of the campground where the swimming beach and boathouse is, and a smaller section back in G loop. I have always enjoyed staying in F and G loops. It is much quieter back there.
The views were lovely as always. My son, wife and dog all took their turns sitting by the pond reading or just looking out over the water, soaking in all the natural beauty.
With 6 adults and 5 kids on the trip, kids ranging in ages from 3-12, there were surely going to be wildlife found by some curious minds. Our one little resident zoologist loves to look for “treasure,” and is quite adept at finding it. From luna moth caterpillars, to newts and snails, she spent the entire trip discovering nature’s creatures. My wife even found a enormous spider that I think is an “Orb” spider and there were a few snakes slithering around as well.
Of course, I look forward to doing a lot of fishing while camping. I get up at 4:30 most every day to have coffee and get out on one of the nearby rivers to fly fish. Because of the rain, the rivers were completely flooded the first couple days of the trip, but by day 3-4, the Willowemoc Creek was in more wadable/fishable condition. I was able to land a few fish, but one in particular was a big, beautiful brown trout caught on the upper Willow, where I don’t usually see such big fish. Fishing on the pond for panfish, smallmouth bass, catfish, pike and muskie is fun as well. My buddy and I took our 0wt rods out on the pond looking for smallmouth bass. Landing a little 8 inch smallie on a 0wt rod is a lot of fun.
Setting up in light rain on Monday was no fun, but the beautiful weather Wednesday and Thursday made up for the rain on Monday and Tuesday. Friday afternoon, the heavy rain hit, torrential downpours from the afternoon until nearly 10pm. I have never seen such rain while camping before. Luckily I had a 16×20 tarp set up over the campsite to allow us some dry area during the rain, plus the canopy over the picnic table and the tarp over the tent. One thing I did not plan for was the deafening sound of torrential downpours on the tarp. You couldn’t hear anyone speak it was raining so hard. After a little fun in the rain, we all headed inside our tents to play some games and ride out the weather.
All in all it was a great trip. It ended up not raining as much or as hard as predicted, with the exception of Friday; 4 out of 7 days were nice. Mongaup Pond is my favorite campground in the Catskills, and I look forward to our annual trips there. I usually make it to Mongaup Pond twice a year. I try for a trip in June when the fishing is best, but that doesn’t always happen. My family and I are planning a short trip there in October for some fall camping. Hopefully the leaves will be changing at that time. So, until then, enjoy what’s left of summer and get outside when you can. It really does recharge the soul.