Fishing Eastern New York  by Spider Rybaak

Fishing Eastern New York Guide Book

by Spider Rybaak (Falcon Guides)
Fishing Eastern New York  by Spider Rybaak
From vast glacial lakes and powerful rivers, to gentle mountain brooks and city creeks where trout chase moths under streetlights, Eastern New York boasts some of the best fishing in the country. Troll for trophy salmon or muskies; fly fish for monster steelhead, brown trout, largemouth bass, and northern pike; jig for world-class lake trout and walleyes; or simply dunk worms for bullheads, sunfish, or perch. Amidst all this variety, how do anglers know when and where to fish, how to get there, and what kind of fly, lure, and tackle will reel in the catch? The answers are all here in Fishing Eastern New York. With this guide, local angler and author Spider Rybaak shares his intimate knowledge of more than 240 prime fishing sites.

© 2004 Spider Rybaak/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Fishing Eastern New York" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 78.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 78.

Located on a high meadow, surrounded by forest and marsh, the 153-acre Balsam Pond averages 5 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 10 feet. More often than not, a stiff, cold wind sweeps over the place. Surrounded by Bowman Lake State Park, which is in turn surrounded by McDonough State Forest, the 35-acre spring-fed Bowman Lake averages 12 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 17 feet. Completely surrounded by 3,254-acre Long Pond State Forest, the 117-acre Long Pond averages about 5 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 15 feet. Set in a deep valley, the 100-acre Mill Brook Reservoir averages 20 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 60 feet. Key species: Tiger muskie, largemouth bass, pickerel, black crappie, rainbow trout, brook trout, tiger muskie, pumpkinseed, bluegill, yellow perch, sunfish, and brown bullhead.
Norwich, NY - Fishing
The crown jewel of the Bashakill Wildlife Management Area, this swamp-like 800-acre impoundment averages about 4 feet deep and is loaded with weed lines, lily pads, and bog and cattail mats. Key species: Largemouth bass, chain pickerel, sunfish, and bowfin.
Monticello, NY - Fishing
Spawned in the Green Mountains of Vermont, the New York leg of this world-famous trout stream is about 30 miles long. Ranging from 80 to 100 feet wide, crossed in spots by wooden bridges, it runs through Rich Preall’s beat, carving what the state senior aquatic biologist describes as “a beautiful valley that looks like a piece of the Catskills moved north.” Key species: Brown trout, brook trout, smallmouth bass, and tiger muskie.
Shushan, NY - Fishing
Mentioned in every book ever written about fly fishing in the Catskills, and in just about every study ever done on fly fishing, this legendary river is arguably the most popular trout stream in the world. A wide, freestone stream, it is considered quintessential fly-fishing habitat. Much of the 26-mile stretch above Roscoe is controlled by fishing clubs. The 15 miles below the village are open to everyone, including members of the fishing clubs. Key species: Brown trout, rainbow trout, and brook trout.
Roscoe, NY - Fly-Fishing
Running for more than 100 miles, this river contains three distinct fisheries. The upper section pours out of the western Adirondack Mountains and supports cold-water species. The middle section, from the base of Lyons Falls to Watertown, is warm water. The lower section, from the Mill Street Dam in Watertown to the mouth, is warm water but supports seasonal runs of salmonids. Key species: Brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, chain pickerel, rock bass, sunfish, and bullhead.
Lowville, NY - Fishing
The 430-acre lower reservoir averages 100 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 125 feet. The 360-acre upper reservoir averages 100 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 125 feet. Both are filled and lowered according to power needs, and daily fluctuations in water levels can be as much as 25 feet. Key species: Walleye, smallmouth bass, and rainbow trout.
Gilboa, NY - Fishing
Tumbling down from the east slopes of the Adirondacks, the Boquet River flows for about 38 miles and feeds Lake Champlain east of Willsboro. The 643-acre Lincoln Pond averages 15 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 29 feet. Key species: Landlocked Atlantic salmon, tiger muskie, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, brown trout, and brook trout.
Wadhams, NY - Fishing
Almost totally undeveloped, the 81-acre Boy Scout Clear Pond is skirted by marsh and woods. It averages 28 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 63 feet. Meacham Lake covers 1,203 acres, averages 36 feet deep, and has a maximum depth of 63 feet. Its only development is a public campground on the north end. The East Branch St. Regis River starts in Meacham Lake, meanders for 11 miles, and joins the main branch a couple of miles north of the village of Santa Clara. Although it has some rapids, it is mostly mild-mannered, flowing through fabulous forest; it’s best float-fished in a canoe. Key species: Northern pike, splake, smallmouth bass, splake, brown trout, landlocked Atlantic salmon, brook trout, and yellow perch.
Santa Clara, NY - Fishing
This 1,900-acre lake averages 33 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 44 feet. Its east and west sides are heavily developed with cottages. Cold and clear, the 4,200-acre Otsego Lake averages 82 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 165 feet. Its shoreline is largely developed and includes Cooperstown on the south end, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Spawned by Otsego Lake in Cooperstown, the shallow Susquehanna River wiggles through south-central New York, providing canoe anglers with 150 miles of quiet pools and gentle runs punctuated by low-adventure riffles. Formed in 1907 by a dam on the Susquehanna River, the 370-acre Goodyear Lake averages 14 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 30 feet. Key species: Tiger muskie, black bass, pickerel, walleye, lake trout, brown trout, lake whitefish, cisco, landlocked Atlantic salmon, muskellunge, channel catfish, panfish, and yellow perch.
Cooperstown, NY - Fishing
The 3,170-acre Carry Falls Reservoir averages 18 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 50 feet; its shoreline is almost entirely forested. The 704-acre Stark Falls Reservoir averages 24 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 52 feet. The 710-acre Blake Falls Reservoir averages 7 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 45 feet. The large bays are relatively shallow; the deepest part is a narrow, 0.5-mile-long trench right in the middle. The 717-acre Rainbow Falls Reservoir's south shore is heavily developed in cottages, but the north shore is heavily wooded. It averages 7 feet deep, drops to a maximum depth of 45 feet, and has a huge island. The smallest of the Raquette River impoundments, Five Falls Reservoir is shallow, features vast weed beds, and has little shoreline development—characteristics that make it look more like a beaver pond than a hydroelectric reservoir. Almost entirely in private hands, the 230-acre South Colton Reservoir is ringed by cottages. It averages 14 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 47 feet. Key species: Tiger muskie, northern pike, walleye, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, and brown bullhead.
South Colton, NY - Fishing
Stretching for 60 miles, this canal averages 12 feet deep and connects Lake Champlain with the Hudson River. Key species: Smallmouth bass and catfish.
Schuylerville, NY - Fishing
Perched high in the northeastern corner of the Adirondacks in the shadow of Lyon, Johnson, and Ellenburg Mountains, the 1,606-acre Chazy Lake averages 33 feet deep, drops to a maximum depth of 72 feet, and has water so squeaky clean you can drink it straight. Spawned by Chazy Lake, Great Chazy River starts out about the size of an average trout creek and heads northeast to feed Lake Champlain. On the way, it flows through Miner Lake and swallows several tributaries. Springing out of the northeastern corner of the Adirondack Mountains, the North Branch Great Chazy River flows east for about 15 miles and feeds the Great Chazy River in Mooers Forks. Key species: Lake trout, landlocked Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, yellow perch, brown trout, brook trout, walleye, muskellunge, black crappie, and pumpkinseed.
Mooers, NY - Fishing
Built in the 1830s to connect the Erie Canal with Binghamton, Chenango Canal went out of service in 1877. Much of it has been filled in, but numerous short stretches, fed by springs and brooks, slice through central New York’s southern tier. The most popular section runs through Bouckville and feeds Oriskany Creek about 1.5 miles north of the village. Wide, shallow, lined by brush, and carpeted with waving fields of weeds, it is ideal habitat for brown trout. Oriskany Creek flows for about 25 miles through Madison and Oneida Counties and feeds the Mohawk River between Utica and Rome. Key species: Brown trout.
Bouckville, NY - Fly-Fishing
Formed by the convergence of several brooks between Morrisville and Hamilton, this stream snakes through pastures, croplands, and woodlots on its 70-something-mile trip to the Susquehanna River. Its combination of long, narrow pools, stretches of bottom-scraping ripples, and short rapids at the bends makes the river perfect canoe habitat. Key species: Brown trout, walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and northern pike.
Binghamton, NY - Fishing
The 65-acre Chittning Pond averages 7 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 14 feet. Stretching from southern Herkimer County to its mouth on the Susquehanna River at Sidney, a distance of roughly 75 miles, the mild-mannered Unadilla River flows along a reasonably level side valley between the Mohawk and Susquehanna Valleys. For most of its distance, it serves as a boundary water between counties, joining the Susquehanna at the corner where Chenango, Otsego, and Delaware Counties touch. Key species: Largemouth bass, chain pickerel, yellow perch, brown trout, smallmouth bass, walleye, pickerel, rock bass, white sucker, carp, and black crappie.
Bridgewater, NY - Fishing
Bubbling up from the heart of the island, the 6-mile-long, spring-fed Connetquot River’s route is a refreshing strip of wildness in a seemingly endless suburb. The Nissequogue River springs up from the heart of the island and flows north to feed Long Island Sound. The 229-acre Lake Ronkonkoma averages 15 feet deep and drops to a maximum depth of 70 feet. The largest lake on Long Island, its entire shoreline is surrounded by suburbia, a large county park, and two municipal bathing beaches. Carmans River seeps out of the sand and gravel on Long Island’s rural east end and weaves south for about 9 miles to feed Great South Bay. Key species: Brook trout, brown trout, largemouth bass, walleye, and rainbow trout.
Islandia, NY - Fishing
The 659-acre Cossayuna Lake averages 12 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 25 feet. Totally surrounded by a state park, the 128-acre Moreau Lake averages 32 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 50 feet. Key species: Tiger muskie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, brown bullhead, chain pickerel, panfish, and sunfish.
Fort Edward, NY - Fishing
The 6,975-acre Cranberry Lake averages 6 feet deep, has a maximum depth of 38 feet, and has so many nooks and crannies that if you straightened out its shoreline it would stretch for 55 miles. The north bay has a little development, but the rest of the lake is ringed by wilderness. Key species: Brook trout, smallmouth bass, northern pike, and rock bass.
Newton Falls, NY - Fishing
The West Branch Tioughnioga River is the outlet of Tully Lake. It flows south for about 10 miles, filling and draining several small ponds and lakes before joining the East Branch in Cortland to form the main stem of the Tioughnioga River. Fabius Brook starts out in the hills above Apulia and flows at a gentle pace for about 5 miles before feeding the West Branch of Tioughnioga Creek. Averaging only about 8 feet wide and a couple of feet deep, it is loaded with cover— from root systems and logjams to undercut banks—and gets so overgrown in summer that it’s nearly impossible to fish. Nestled in an extremely narrow valley, the 120-acre Labrador Pond averages only 4 feet deep. Hills tower 800 feet above it on the east and west sides, shrouding it in shade most of the day. Spawned by the West Branch and Middle Branch Tioughnioga Creeks merging just north of Cuyler, The East Branch Tioughnioga River winds for about 15 miles through a fertile valley. Slicing through soft soil, it’s constantly changing, moving, and rearranging riverwide logjams, digging new holes and filling in old ones. Its banks are often steep. Key species: Brown trout, largemouth bass, carp, smallmouth bass, northern pike, and brook trout.
Cortland, NY - Fishing
Springing from Winnisock Lake, just a few yards north of the divide separating the Delaware and Hudson River drainages, Esopus Creek flows for about 20 miles and feeds the Ashokan Reservoir. About a third of the way along, its volume quadruples with the water entering it from Schoharie Reservoir via the Shandaken Tunnel, locally called the portal. From here to the reservoir, the creek’s personality changes utterly, from a free-flowing stream to a managed tailwater. The 8,300-acre Ashokan Reservoir averages 47 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 190 feet. The largest body of water in the Catskills, it is halved by the “Dividing Weir,” a dam that separates it into upper and lower basins, with an 18-inch difference in elevation between them. Key species: Rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye, black crappie, and brown trout.
Phoenicia, NY - Fishing