New York Fly Fishing 1 min read

14 Best Places for Fly Fishing Near New York City: Map & Guide

Ken Sperry

Posted by Ken Sperry

December 23, 2023

Suspension bridge over river in New York City

While many associate fly fishing with remote mountain streams and pristine western rivers, some of the best fly fishing is actually within a few hours’ drive of New York City. With its mix of rivers, lakes, and coastline, the tri-state area offers outstanding opportunities for both novice and experienced anglers.

For river fishing, the upper Delaware is hard to beat. Its limestone geology gives it excellent hatches and wild trout populations. A bit further north, the Neversink and Esopus are gold medal waters renowned for their sizable, feisty browns and rainbows. Moving east, the Farmington River in Connecticut has abundant fish and easy access. Its fly shop is a great resource for current fishing reports.

If you prefer casting to rising fish, try one of the Catskill region’s many limestone spring creeks. The Beaverkill and Willowemoc are world-class waters that protect wild trout with strict catch and release regulations.

Looking to get into saltwater fly fishing? Consider Long Island, with its Great South Bay producing striped bass and bluefish in the summer. Or explore the numerous lakes of the Adirondacks, where rainbows and brown trout cruise the shoreline looking for an easy meal.

With a little planning, any of these destinations can make for a perfect day trip or weekend getaway from the city.

New York City Fly Fishing Map

Map of the best fly fishing spots near New York City

Get Directions to the Fishing Access Points shown above with the DIY Fly Fishing Map

Best Trout Fishing Near New York City

West Branch Delaware River

DIY Guide to Fly Fishing the West Branch Delaware River in New York

The West Branch Delaware River offers fly fishermen near New York City a world-class trout fishing destination without having to travel far. Only a two hour drive from the city, the West Branch flows for over 100 miles through the rugged beauty of the Catskills.

Its waters hold healthy populations of wild brown trout and stocked rainbows that provide action for anglers of all skill levels. Mayfly hatches in the summer and fall months create opportunistic feeding fish that can be enticed with imitative patterns.

With its close proximity and quality fishing, the West Branch is a go-to destination for metro area anglers looking to escape for a day on the water. In addition to consistent trout action, the West Branch’s scenic valleys offer anglers peaceful solitude as they stalk rising fish.

Wading access is excellent throughout much of the river, though waders should use caution given the occasional deep run. With its combination of beautiful surroundings and reliable fishing, it’s no wonder the West Branch Delaware River has been a favorite of Catskills anglers for decades.

East Branch of the Delaware River in New York

DIY Guide to Fly Fishing the East Branch Delaware River in New York

The East Branch River, which flows south from the Catskills through Sullivan County, offers anglers an easily accessible trout fishery just a few hours north of New York City.

From its headwaters near Livingston Manor downstream to Callicoon, the East Branch flows through scenic woodlands and farmland holding wild brown trout.

Hatches of Eastern Green Drakes and Eastern Pale Evening Duns provide excellent dry fly fishing from late May through June. Further downstream, pocket water and long flat runs between Beaverkill and Callicoon are perfect for nymphing with small beadhead patterns like the Hare’s Ear.

With its proximity to the city and quality wild trout, the East Branch is a great option to escape the city and wet a line.

Beaverkill River in New York

DIY Guide to Fly Fishing the Beaverkill River in New York

The Beaverkill River in New York’s Catskill Mountains offers excellent fly fishing opportunities just a few hours north of New York City. This renowned trout stream flows for over 40 miles through some of the most scenic landscapes in the region.

From its headwaters near Roscoe down to its confluence with the Willowemoc, the Beaverkill River maintains a healthy population of wild brown trout. Hatches of Blue-winged Olives, Sulphurs, and Green Drakes provide abundant surface feeding activity throughout the season.

With public access areas and parking spots scattered along its banks, the Beaverkill River is a prime self-guided destination for experienced fly anglers seeking solitude and challenging sport.

Willowemoc Creek in New York

DIY Guide to Fly Fishing Willowemoc Creek in New York

Willowemoc Creek offers excellent fly fishing opportunities just a few hours drive from New York City. This Catskills stream is known for its healthy population of wild brown trout.

From its headwaters in the Willowemoc Wild Forest, the creek winds over 15 miles through dense woodlands teeming with wildlife. Hiking access points along its entire length allow anglers to explore new stretches daily. Mayfly hatches in the afternoons draw trout up from deep pools and runs.

With its remote natural beauty and reliable fishing, Willowemoc Creek is an ideal destination for self-guided anglers seeking to escape the city without traveling too far.

Schoharie Creek in New York

DIY Guide to Fly Fishing Schoharie Creek in New York

The Schoharie Creek offers anglers a scenic escape just a few hours north of New York City. This freestone stream winds through the Catskill Mountains, home to native brook trout and stocked brown trout.

From early spring through fall, fishermen will find solitude along the Schoharie’s gravel banks and deep pockets. Hatches of blue-winged olives and small midges keep trout rising throughout the day. Access to public lands allows anglers to choose their own adventure, whether fishing the creek’s lively riffles or exploring its remote tributaries.

A day on the Schoharie is sure to leave you refreshed and with memories to last until your next visit.

Neversink River in New York

DIY Guide to Fly Fishing the Neversink River in New York

The Neversink River offers fly anglers a beautiful backcountry escape just a few hours’ drive from New York City. Flowing south from the Catskills, the Neversink winds through dense forests teeming with brook trout.

Theodore Gordon, otherwise known as the father of dry fly fishing, spent years exploring the rivers in the Catskill Mountain region. He altered traditional English flies, matching them precisely to the insect hatches of the Neversink River.

From spring caddis hatches to autumn spinner falls, there is no shortage of insect activity to keep fish rising. Wading access ranges from easy streamside strolls to moderate hikes through mountain valleys. Camping is allowed along many sections, making it simple to spend a full day exploring new water.

With its secluded feel and consistent trout fishing, the Neversink is a true gem for self-guided anglers seeking solitude just outside the city.

Esopus Creek in New York

DIY Guide to Fly Fishing Esopus Creek in New York

The Esopus Creek is one of the finest fly fishing destinations near New York City. Flowing south from the Catskill Mountains, this beautiful freestone stream offers over 100 miles of water ranging from small spring creeks to wide pocket water.

Hatches of Blue-winged Olives, March Browns, and Green Drakes provide ample opportunities to catch native brook trout and stocked rainbows. Access to the Esopus is excellent, with many public access points along its length.

Whether you want to wet a line for an afternoon or plan a multiday trip, the Esopus offers fly fishers a classic Catskills experience just a short drive from the city. I hope you enjoy exploring this special trout stream.

Wappinger Creek in New York

DIY Guide to Fly Fishing Wappinger Creek in New York

Wappinger Creek offers anglers a scenic fishery just minutes from the bustle of the Hudson Valley. This freestone creek flows south for over 30 miles from Dutchess County to the Hudson River, passing through rural farmland and woodlands.

From its headwaters near Poughkeepsie, down to the village of Beacon, Wappinger Creek harbors healthy populations of wild brown trout and stocked rainbow trout. With easy access and a mix of riffles and deep pools, it is perfect for novice or experienced fly fishers looking to spend a relaxing day pursuing wild trout close to home.

Waders and a five-weight rod will serve you well on this hidden gem.

ten mile river bridge crossing

DIY Guide to Fly Fishing the Ten Mile River in New York

The Ten Mile River in southeastern New York offers excellent fly fishing opportunities just a short drive from the city. Flowing over 30 miles from its headwaters in Putnam County to Long Island Sound, this freestone river holds wild brown trout up to 20 inches.

May through October offer the best fishing, as trout eagerly rise to terrestrial insects like caddis, stoneflies and mayflies. The upper reaches near Lake Carmel hold the largest fish in deeper runs and pools. Further downstream, tiny pocket waters demand delicate presentations to wild fish.

A Ten Mile outing promises solitude and scenic beauty, with plenty of action for both beginner and experienced fly anglers alike.

Croton River Dam in New York

DIY Guide to Fly Fishing Croton River in New York

The Croton River offers fly anglers a rewarding fishery just 30 miles north of New York City. From its headwaters in Putnam County down to its confluence with the Hudson, the Croton holds healthy populations of wild brown trout.

Its riffles and runs provide excellent habitat for insect hatches like March Browns and Blue-winged Olives that the trout actively feed on. The river’s varying width, from narrow chutes to wider pools, presents opportunities to prospect with different fly patterns like Elk Hair Caddis, Adams, and Hare’s Ear nymphs.

With public access points along its entire flow, the Croton is a terrific year-round destination for self-guided fly fishing close to the urban hub.

Fishkill Creek in New York

DIY Guide to Fly Fishing the Fishkill Creek in New York

The Fishkill Creek offers anglers a beautiful fly fishing destination just minutes from the hustle and bustle of New York City. Flowing south from Dutchess County through scenic farmland and woodlands, this modest creek teems with native brook trout eager to rise to well-placed dry flies and tiny nymphs.

Access points along its lower stretches provide opportunities to cast to cruising trout in riffles and beneath undercut banks. Hike a short distance upstream and you’ll find fish rising to emerging mayflies and caddis in calm pockets.

With its close proximity yet solitude, the Fishkill is the perfect getaway for DIY anglers looking to escape the city for an afternoon on the water.

waterfall on Roeliff Jansen Kill in New York

DIY Guide to Fly Fishing the Roeliff-Jansen Kill in New York

The Roeliff-Jansen Kill is a popular fly fishing destination located just two hours north of New York City. Flowing through the scenic Hudson Valley, this small freestone stream offers anglers an escape from the bustle of the city into a tranquil Catskills landscape.

From native brook trout in its upper reaches to stocked rainbows and browns below, the Kill presents diverse fishing opportunities year-round. With public access along much of its length and no crowds even on summer weekends, independent anglers can explore new waters or perfect their craft in a classic Catskills setting.

Plan your trip to experience what makes the RJ Kill a treasured fly fishing jewel close to home.

Kinderhook Creek in New York

DIY Guide to Fly Fishing Kinderhook Creek in New York

The Kinderhook Creek is one of the finest fly fishing destinations within a few hours’ drive of New York City. This freestone creek flows through beautiful pastoral landscapes in Columbia County, offering anglers the opportunity to catch wild brown trout among scenic farmland and woodlands.

From its headwaters near Valatie, the Kinderhook meanders over 50 miles before joining the Hudson River at Stuyvesant. It remains lightly fished compared to other local streams, providing solitude as well as exciting dry fly and nymph fishing throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons.

Access is easy via public roads along much of its length, making it ideal for self-minded anglers.

Connetquot River in New York

DIY Guide to Fly Fishing Connetquot River in New York

The Connetquot River on Long Island’s South Shore offers fly anglers a hidden gem close to New York City. Just 90 minutes from Manhattan, this gentle freestone river winds through unspoiled forest filled with native brook trout eager to rise to dries and emergers.

Caddis flies in spring to terrestrials and small streamers in summer and fall, the Connetquot rewards the observant caster. With public access points along its entire length and limited pressure compared to nearby hot spots, your chances of hooking a native “brown bullet” are excellent.

Pack a lunch and spend a day exploring this lush pocket of wilderness so close to home.

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