DIY Guide to Fly Fishing Kinderhook Creek in New York

Kinderhook Creek is a tributary of Stockport Creek that is stocked annually with over 10,000 brown trout. If you’re lucky, you’ll also see wild brook trout, as well as rainbow trout and smallmouth bass.

Tucked away in the quiet Taconic Mountains, Kinderhook Creek can be an excellent introduction to fly fishing for beginner anglers. Seasoned anglers will also enjoy the seclusion offered by the breathtaking surrounding scenery.

Fly fishing on Kinderhook Creek in New York

Kinderhook Creek is a 49 mile long tributary of Stockport Creek, which is an inlet of Hudson River. The Creek rises in Hancock, Massachusetts, and winds its way southwest through the Taconic Mountains to Rensselaer County, New York. From there, the Creek makes its way to Columbia County. Along the way, the Creek flows through numerous towns, including Stephentown, New Lebanon, Nassau, Chatham, Kinderhook, and Stuyvesant. It is fed by many tributaries, most notably Valatie Kill, Black Brook, Hollow Brook, and Roaring Brook. It has a drainage area of over 329 miles. 

Kinderhook Creek was originally known as Pasanthkack by the local Mahican Native Americans. The Mahican term for the surrounding area is Machackoesk. Since then, the Creek has been known by many names: Major Abram’s (Staats) Kill, Third Falls, and Stuyvesant Falls. It became known as Kinderhook Creek in 1845.

The name Kinderhook comes from the legend involving Henry Hudson’s arrival at Stuyvesant. He was reportedly greeted by Native Americans with many children. The Dutch word “kinder” means child, and the term was combined with the Dutch word for bend (“Hoeck”). Literally, the name translates to “bend in river where children are.”

Although the River is stocked with brown trout, you can still see some wild brown trout, as well as wild rainbow and brook trout. 

Kinderhook Creek Map and Fishing Access Sites

map of fishing access spots on Kinderhook 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 Kinderhook Creek

Access to the stream is fairly easy. You can access Kinderhook Creek from US Route 20 at the third entry point. 

There is a parking lot near Kinderhook Creek, near the bridge. The bridge is heavily marked by graffiti.  The bottom of the stream is sandy and silty. The water is also clear and greenish water. This makes it somewhat difficult to sneak up on the trout. Make sure to allow enough distance when you cast so the trout won’t see you coming from a mile away.

Best Time to Fish Kinderhook Creek

The season for fishing Kinderhook Creek is standard trout fishing season. The best time to fish is in the spring, due to the aquatic insect hatches. The fall is also a beautiful time of year to fish Kinderhook Creek and provides the opportunity to connect with holdover brown trout getting that get aggressive during spawning season.

Stream Flow and Current Conditions

Be sure to check the stream conditions before heading out to fish Kinderhook Creek. The USGS stream gauge near Stockport, NY provide a good indication of current conditions.

The graph below shows the stream flow (discharge) for the past 7-days. If flows are considerably above or below historical norms (yellow triangles on the chart) then fishing conditions maybe not be ideal.


  • Flow: 703 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 3.40 ft

Best Flies for Kinderhook Creek

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

  • Black Stonefly (#12 - 14) 
  • Brown Stonefly (#12 - 14)
  • Gray Caddis (#14 - 20)
  • Green Caddis (#14 - 20)
  • Tan Caddis (#14 - 20)  
  • Hendrickson (#12 - 14)
  • March Brown (#10 - 12)
  • Ants (#12 - 16)
  • Beetles (#8 - 16)
  • Grasshoppers (#8 - 12)

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 Kinderhook 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!

Kinderhook Creek Fishing Report

Area fly shops, guides and websites that can provide a Kinderhook Creek fly fishing report and update on current conditions are listed below:

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

The nearest airport to Kinderhook Creek is Albany International Airport. You can also travel to Bradley International Airport. Another option is to fly into JFK or LaGuardia Airport and take a train to Kinderhook Creek. You’ll want to allow time to explore the rest of the fishing streams in  the Catskill Region during your visit.

Dingman’s Family Campground is located near Kinderhook Creek, and offers a family oriented serene escape from everyday living. Earlton Hill Campground is also located nearby, and offers over 300 campsites with a camp store and onsite laundry facilities. 

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

Feature image Downstream & Downrange

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.

Get Directions to the Best Places to Fish in America!

Check out our interactive map of over 30,000 of the best places to fly fish in the US. Get directions to access points, boat ramps, and real-time USGS stream flow data. 

Get App