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The Catskills are renowned for fishing, whether you are looking for brown or rainbow trout or bass in the deep waters of the Pepacton and Ashokan Reservoirs, or want to try your hand with fly fishing on the Delaware or Esopus. These mountains have the water for you.

Department of Environmental Conservation - Places to Fish


More Fishing Spots

Ashokan Reservoir

Pepacton Reservoir

Big Pond

Delaware River

Esopus Creek

Esopus Creek is part of the extensive reservoir system that provides drinking water to New York City. In addition to supplying the City with some of the purest water on Earth, the Creek also provides excellent angling opportunities for intrepid fly fishermen who are intent on exploring the famous Catskill Mountain region.

The pristine waters of Esopus Creek are teeming with rainbow trout, with the rainbows here averaging about ten to twelve inches in length. Here, fish can keep cool year round, because of the constant flow of cold water provided by the reservoir. Of course, the best part of this fishery might just be the breathtaking views of the surrounding Catskill Mountains. 

Esopus Creek is a 65.4 mile long tributary of the Hudson River. It is divided by the reservoir into two sections. The upper portion is more characteristic of a mountain trout stream, and is known for its shallow water and swift flows. The upper section is further divided into two segments by the Shandaken Tunnel. Below the reservoir, the water is deeper and slower moving. The Creek flows out of Winnisook Lake and empties into the Hudson at Saugerties Light.

Theodore Gordon, who is often considered the father of fly fishing, supported the construction of the reservoir, and said building the reservoir would provide “the finest trout fishing in America, if properly treated ... It will be stocked naturally from the Esopus with the rainbow and European trout of the finest quality.” Esopus is not only a popular destination for anglers, but other outdoor enthusiasts as well. Much to the annoyance of fly fishermen, white water rafters make frequent use of the Creek, along with boaters, tubers, and kayakers. However, tubers typically use the Creek during the daylight hours, so if you visit in the early morning, you shouldn’t be too bothered by the intrusion. Additionally, many anglers complain about the water, which stays fairly cloudy and muddy.

In addition to trout, you will also find walleye, bass, and crappies in the reservoir. The Creek is stocked with brown trout, and has native brook and rainbow trout as well. There is no minimum size restriction, and up to five trout may be taken per day.


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Sherrets specialty has been the location of rural recreational properties in the Catskill Mountain region and surrounding areas. Large properties and unique homes are his greatest interest and complex projects including land development are his passion.

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