“A man’s heart away from nature becomes hard; lack of respect for growing, living things soon leads to a lack of respect for humans too.” —Standing Bear
At 15, I interned as game ranger at a castle in Denmark, dreaming of a life in the forest among the trees. Today, 27 years later, that dream is being manifest at the historic Catskills fly-fishing estate, Wintoon, in the Frost Valley of Claryville, NY.
In the late 19th century, writer and legendary fly fisherman Theodore Gordon—often considered the father of American dry fly fishing—and author John Burroughs spent nights at Wintoon talking fishing and tying new dry flies specifically for the Neversink River. Clarence Roof, the founder of Wintoon, was more interested in horseback riding, but he also enjoyed spending time on the river with Gordon and Burroughs. Together, they wrote the first chapters in American fly fishing history.
With 800 acres of forest, Wintoon offers visitors bliss, silence, and hunting and fishing on the Neversink. This is a 360° experience; our visitors learn how to filet their own fish and how to swing an ax. Guests learn the nature of cooking with different types of wood, and they are encouraged to garden alongside Wintoon’s master gardener. Visitors learn to forage for ingredients, build a perfect fire and cook their meals over it.
Take a quiet walk and listen to the wind in the trees that ring the estate. Watch the fire flicker and feel your blood pressure drop. You too will become an advocate for our natural resources, for time spent alone, and for a simpler way of life.