DIY Guide to Fly Fishing Ischua Creek in New York

If you’re an angler on a budget, you don’t have to stress about spending a fortune to hire a guide for your next fly fishing adventure. This can be a great hobby and in New York, there are plenty of options for casting a line. To plan your own fly fishing trip, you just have to know where to go.

This guide on fly fishing Ischua Creek in New York will cover the creek itself, which areas are best for fishing, what catches you’ll find, the best times to go, and even what you’ll need in your fly box. That way, you’ll be able to skip the guide and spend your money elsewhere.

Fishing for trout in Ischua Creek in New York

Ischua Creek is a 20-mile freestone stream that flows into Oil Creek, starting near Machias, New York. It’s known for stocked and wild brown trout and is one of the top-rated streams in the western part of New York. Thanks to the stocking, catches are usually good in most areas.

This stream has favorable access along most of its length, with an average width of about 25 feet with slow-flowing water that is running along the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. The bottom is mostly soft silt and there are plenty of runs and deep pools that make for great trout fishing. While freshly stocked trout aren’t as picky, you’ll have to pay attention to your fly choices for the holdover and wild fish.

Ischua Creek is open during the regular New York trout season, which opens April 1. Typically, you’ll find the best fly fishing at the beginning of the season, when the stream is freshly stocked and when the weather is still cool. However, there is plenty of time throughout the year to find good fly fishing on the creek.

This creek is less busy than many because it has so much access, leaving anglers more room to spread out. 

Ischua Creek Map and Fishing Access Sites

map of fishing access spots on Ischua Creek in New York

Get directions to fishing access points and real-time stream flow data with the DIY Fly Fishing Map

Best Places to Fish Ischua Creek

At Franklinville, anglers will find a section just over two miles long that used to be regulated for artificial flies and lures only. It runs almost a mile downstream of the Cadiz bridge on Route 98 and about 1.3 miles upstream. This is a great area for finding plenty of stocked and holdover trout. The wild population is growing here, as well.

You’ll find plenty of other great areas along the creek’s 20-mile span, including just over 17 miles of fishing easements. There are some good holdover and wild trout near Hinsdale where the creek runs into Oil Creek leading into the Allegheny River, and you’ll be able to travel up and down Route 16 with access near the road in many areas.

The area upstream from Franklinville offers some great fly fishing, as well, even outside of the former special regulation area. It may be harder to access some areas that are further off the main road, but they could be worth the walk. If you want to settle in the main area, that’s fine, but it’d do you well to at least take a look around the rest of the creek.

Best Time to Fish Ischua Creek

Trout season in New York runs from April 1 to October 15, and that is when fishing is permitted in this creek. Unlike a lot of streams and rivers in New York, you cannot fish for trout year-round here. This is due in part to the attempt to re-establish the wild trout population.

Spring is going to provide the best fishing with the least effort.  Fall is also a good to fish and provides the opportunity to target some of the larger brown trout that get aggressive prior to spawning.

The summer months aren’t great for fly fishing Ischua Creek because the water gets too warm. This is a shallower creek and the silt bottom allows for warmer temperatures from the air and sun, making trout seek cooler waters during the hottest season. It’s best to plan your trip in the spring or fall to get the most enjoyment.

The good news is that you’ll never have to worry about weather conditions and access since fishing isn’t available during the winter months when those issues generally arise. April 1 through May 31 is the most popular time for fly fishing at Ischua Creek.

Best Flies for Ischua Creek

The best fly fishing at Ischua Creek is done with nymphs and streamers. You’ll occasionally find dry fly action, so keep those stocked, too. There’s a lot of baitfish, minnows, and crayfish in the creek, hence the reason streamers are effective.

Here is list of general fly pattern recommendations for Ischua Creek:

Dry Flies

  • Parachute Adams (#10 - 20)
  • BWO Sparkle Dun (#14 - 24)
  • PMD Sparkle Dun (#10 - 22)
  • Elk Hair Caddis (#12 - 18)
  • Chernobyl Ant (#8 - 12)
  • Griffith's Gnat (#14 - 22)


  • Pheasant Tail (#12 - 20)
  • Hare's Ear (#8 - 18)
  • Brown Stonefly (#6 - 10)
  • Golden Stonefly (#6 - 10)
  • Zebra Midge (#16 - 22)
  • WD40 (#16-20)


  • Wooly Bugger (#6 -12)
  • Clouser Minnow (#6 - 8)

Need flies? 

Ventures Fly Co. offers a great selection of dry flies, nymphs and streamers that will catch fish just about anywhere.  Set includes 40 high quality, hand-tied flies (see list below) and waterproof fly box. 

Dry Flies
- Adams Dry Fly
- Elk Hair Caddis
- Blue Wing Olive
- Royal Wulff
- Griffith's Gnat White
- Stimulator, Organge
- Chernobyl Ant

Nymphs/Wet Flies
- Rubber Leg Nymph, Brown
- BH Pheasant Tail Nymph
- BH Prince Nymph
- BH Hare's Ear Nymph
- Barr's Emerger Nymph
- Zebra Midge Nymph, Black

- Wooly Bugger, Black (Size #8x2)
- Wooly Bugger, Olive (Size #8x2)

Gear Recommendations

A 9-foot 5-wt fly rod with floating line is perfect for fishing dry flies and small nymphs on Ischua Creek. A tapered 9-foot leader, with tippet size 3X to 5X to match the flies you are throwing, is pretty standard.

Need Gear? 

Below are recommendations for essential gear to make the most of your time on the water.

Quality rod, reel, line and rod tube at a reasonable price. Backed by Orvis 25-yr guarantee, a brand you can trust.

High performance nylon leader, great for fishing Dry Flies, Nymphs and Streamers.

Excellent knot strength, stretch and suppleness make this the finest nylon tippet.  3-pack of the sizes you'll need the most.

Heavy duty, waterproof, yet breathable.  If you are tough on waders, these are for you. Backed by Simms Wader Warranty. If they leak, they got your back.

Most durable, yet comfortable, boot on the market.  Excellent foot and ankle support.  Great for rocky rivers. Lightweight and designed for all-day wear.

Sweet pack with ample storage. Unique harness system reduces neck strain. Sleek tapered face improves visibility - you can see your feet when wading!

Durable and lightweight. The carbon fiber frame floats.  Hooks don't get stuck in the rubber mesh bag . Extra length makes it easier to net fish.  Simply the best nets on the market.

Tough, waterproof and priced right. Hold 900+ flies in slotted foam.  If you need more storage - you have too many flies!

Simple, sharp nippers at great price. Clip on retractor keeps this must have gear at your fingertips.

Strong with a fine tip. Perfect for removing split shot and hooks. Simply the best fishing pliers.

The 580 Glass polarized lenses are super clear and somehow relaxing on the eyes.  Game changer.

Note: DIY Fly Fishing earns a commission (at no cost to you) on sales made using the links above. Thank you for your support!

Ischua Creek Fishing Report

There aren't any area fly shops or guides that regularly provide an Ischua Creek fly fishing report (that I'm aware of).

Fishing Regulations

The state of New York requires that all people who are 16 years of age and older have a valid fishing license. There are resident and non-resident sport fishing licenses available.

You can purchase a New York State fishing license and learn about the most current regulations through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Trip Planning Tips

Buffalo is the nearest major city, and those coming from out of town can fly into Buffalo-Niagara International Airport. The creek runs right along NY16 through Franklinville and Hinsdale, where you’ll find plenty of accommodations and dining for your stay.

You can also find camping options, thanks to the nearby Bush Hill and Golden Hill State Forest preserves. If you’re flying into Buffalo, you’ll want to rent a car because it’s about a 55-mile drive to Franklinville.

Looking for more places to fish? Check out our DIY Guide to the Best Fly Fishing in New York

Feature image Quiet Waters

Ken Sperry

About the author

Ken is an avid fisherman of 40+ years who loves to explore and find new places to fish. He created DIY Fly Fishing to help you do the same.

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