New York's best fly fishing

We all know that finding the "where" involves a lot more than just picking any old spot and flinging a line in.  The Adirondacks are the home to over 30,000 miles of rivers and streams and 3,000 plus lakes. The West Branch Ausable in New York state's Adirondack Mountains is internationally known for fly fishing due to its steep and deep freestone river waters and plentiful pocket water sections. Fortunately, there are a number of resources designed to help "the compleat angler," whether you're looking for those pockets or faster, flowier stretches.

Our region offers diverse options for access points, creating an advantage over other locations for fly fishing. From easy pull-in locations where you can fish in a serene setting just steps from your car to trail options where you can hike a boat into the backcountry and fish a lake which holds native brook trout and lake trout, there are a range of amazing options.

The Ausable River is home to a variety of trout species that attract anglers from near and far. The most common types of fish that people fly fish for are brown trout, brook trout, and rainbow trout. These trout can be found in different sections of the river, depending on the season, water temperature, and habitat. Some of the best flies to use for these trout are the Ausable Wulff, the Usual, the Bomber, and the Caddis.

Pro tips

  • In the West Branch Ausable River the ideal fly rod weight is a 4 or 5.

  • Nymphing is very important when fly fishing in the Adirondacks with plentiful areas of pocket water.

  • Please be aware that many parts of the Ausable River are catch and release only.

  • The Whiteface Region was home to legendary fisherman Fran Betters. His famous Ausable Wulff dry fly is commonly used here.

  • Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife: On any given day you could spot a moose, bear, otter, or beavers, while the water fowl is abundant.

Two women in waders enjoying Adirondack fly fishing. One stands in the river fishing, the other perches on a riverside rock.
A man standing on a rock in the Ausable River fly fishes in front of a damn wearing wader. The camera captures part of the dark underwater scene as well.
A grinning man with a cigar in his mouth holds a fly rod and net, showing off the trout he caught.
A man wading in the Ausable river fly fishes with mountain peaks in the background

You will find an array of flies and fly shops serving the Whiteface Region, with experts on staff to talk gear, favorite spots, the latest water temps, and more. While you're planning your Adirondack trout fishing excursion, explore our waterways and fishing holes to help decide the best place for you to enjoy the awesomeness of nature, or consider hiring an Adirondack trout fishing guide

Pledge to Love Your ADK

The waters of the area are truly special but we also need to work together to keep them that way. We hope that while you're here you'll follow the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace, as well as take the Love Your ADK Pledge.

Want to learn more about what's being done to care for the river? The Ausable River Association is the go-to organization that advocates, educates, and works to protect local waters. Thanks to them, there are wader washing stations throughout the area, as well as special events.


Get Close to Adirondack Fly Fishing


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Fly Fishing Best Practices

Let’s face it: if you want to fly fish in the Adirondacks, the Ausable River is the place to be, and fishing responsibly is a huge part of the equation. Learn some tips and best practices before heading out!

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Three Fishing Spots For You to Try

If you are looking to go fishing in the Adirondacks, the Whiteface Region is an obvious choice for places to go. Anglers, get ready to wet line while surrounded by serene, breathtaking Adirondack views!

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Honey Holes and Watering Holes

We paired up our favorite honey holes with our favorite water holes to take the guesswork out of your next fishing adventure. Mix and match, or try them all yourself. Either way, you won’t go wrong!

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Adirondack Spring in the Whiteface Region

Play in the Mud "Mud Season", an affectionately used term for the start of spring in the Adirondacks, is a time that's considered shoulder season in the area. And, while shoulder season gets a bad rap, there are plenty of awesome and fun things to do...

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Fly Fishing in the Adirondacks: Not Your Grandfather’s Sport

Think fly fishing is for grandpas? Think again! Meet the sport that's exciting, peaceful, and oh so addicting.


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