Willowemec Creek Rainbow Trout

Where to Fish on Willowemoc Creek, NY (Maps, Flies and More)

While the streams and rivers of New York are well-known to be the birthplace of American fly fishing, it’s no secret that the fish are pressured, and fishing the local waters has become more and more complicated as the years progress. Thankfully, there are certain creeks like the Willowemoc that hold their historical value, but still are fishable by anglers of all skill levels.

A beautiful brown trout fly fishing
A beautiful brown trout fly fishing – Learn how in this article 👉 How to Fly Fish for Brown Trout

A Little About Willowemoc Creek

From the source of the creek all the way to its mouth, Willowemoc Creek is just short of 27 miles long. The upper portion of the creek is considered to be a section stretching from Fir Village all the way to the town of Willowemoc. The middle portion is found between Willowemoc and Livingston Manor.

Guide Pro Tip: Looking for more spot to toss a fly in New York? Check out this article 👉 The Best Places to Fly Fish in New York

The lower section, also the most popular for fishing, is the lower section from Livingston Manor where it meets up with the Beaver Kill. This lower section has great pools, riffles, and other holding areas for trout.

Plus, the Willowemoc has wonderful access, so the following three places are a few of my favorites to fish on the creek.

Stocked trout in New York
Stocked trout in New York

Willowemoc Access- Near Roscoe

This lower section of the creek near the town of Roscoe and the intersection with the Beaverkill is where anglers should start their Willowemoc fishing experience. Here, you’ll find a wider section of the creek with great wading opportunities and ideal dry fly water.

The slower-moving current as well as sections of riffles are the perfect place to fish. Be prepared to work your way downstream toward the Beaverkill. You’ll struggle to find a better access point on the creek.

Willowemoc Creek Power Plant- Another Great Lower Section Access Point

Right near Livingston Manor, anglers will find an easy access point by the power plant. Here, anglers will find a few gravel bars filled with fish. As the creek bends, the gravel piles up on either side, so it’s a great place to find fish sitting as they wait to feed.

There are some nice laydowns and debris piles in this section that have also proven to be holding areas for fish. Take along your streamers, dries, and nymphs. You’ll find that they all work well here.

Anderson Access- More Seclusion

If you want a bit more seclusion, then this access point near Anderson is a great place to find it. This section of the creek is considered to be more of the middle section.

Here, there’s a nice mix of riffles as well as larger pools. This is a no-kill section of the river, so keep that in mind as you’re fishing. This access point is right along a beautiful bend in the creek. The inner section of the bend has a great pool that always holds plenty of fish.

Why Willowemoc Creek is Perfect for Fly Fishing

Willowemoc Creek is fed by a variety of smaller streams and tributaries, so flow levels are always fairly consistent and the fish are always healthy. Both the wild and stocked fish populations thrive in the Willowemoc.

Stocked Trout
Stocked Trout

Plus, the number of hatches makes this a productive place to fish. The feeding times are fairly regulated and predictable, so even new anglers have a good chance of landing fish their first time on the creek.

One of the best aspects of the Willowemoc is the amount of access available to anglers. Many creeks and rivers in this section of the state have a significant amount of private water, but the state has done a good job of protecting the Willowemoc.

It’s the ideal creek for anglers looking to experience the world-famous New York Fly Fishing. Regardless of your skill level, anglers have a great chance of landing a trout.

What Stream Flow is Best for Fishing Willowemoc

Anglers will have plenty of success fishing the Willowemoc when it’s flowing anywhere 100 CFS and lower. At times, it’ll spike and flow at 125 or 150 CFS, but this is still plenty manageable. Throwing streamers and heavy nymphs when it’s flowing faster is a great strategy to help you land some more fish. Up-to-date stream flows are easy to find on the Willowemoc.

Willowemec Creek Stream Flow
Willowemec Creek Stream Flow – image credit USGS – link to real time – HERE

What Fish Can You Catch on Willowemoc Creek?

Anglers will find stocked and wild brown trout, wild rainbow trout, and wild brook trout. The New York Division of Fish, Wildlife, and Marine stocks around 18,000 brown trout per year in Willowemoc Creek. It’s an easy place to find healthy fish. Throughout the 26 miles, there are numerous ideal holding areas. Finding fish is the least of an angler’s worries.

Favorite Flies for Willowemoc Creek

Blue Wing Olive Fly Pattern
Parachute Blue Wing Olive Fly Pattern
Stonefly Pattern
Stonefly Pattern
Stimulator Fly Pattern
Stimulator Fly Pattern

Blue Winged Olive- Size 22

Early in the season, anglers will find massive hatches of Blue Winged Olives. When food is in surplus in the spring, look to throw those tiny BWO dry fly patterns. Start with the smaller options and then move larger as you figure out what the fish want.

Tunghead Stonefly- Size 10

As the warmer temperatures arrive, the heavier stonefly nymph is exactly what you want. Before the hatches occur, throwing one of these deep in the pools works well. Otherwise, you can bounce them along in the riffles and have success.

Stimulator- Size 10

Finally, if you aren’t quite sure what’s hitting and want a good search pattern, a size 10 Stimulator pattern is a good choice. It’ll attract any aggressive fish in the area.

Hatch Chart for Willowemoc Creek

Fly NameSizeTime of Year
Black Caddis16April 1-May 15
Blue Winged Olive18-24April 1-October 1
Brown Stonefly12-14April 1-May 15
Slate Drake12-14May 1-October 1
Sulphur16-18May 15-August 1
Light Cahill14May 15-August 1
Golden Drake12June 15-August 1
Terrestrials18-20June 15-September 1
Dark Caddis16-18August 1-October 1
Trico24August 1-September 1

Fly Rod and Reel Setup for Willowemoc Creek

Anglers will have success with a 3-weight or 4-weight 8’ to 9’ fly rod. You’re going to be throwing small streamers, nymphs as well as dries, so you want enough power to handle a variety of flies as well as fish.

Wind can also be a bit of an issue on the Willowemoc, so the added power from a 4-weight isn’t a bad option. Also, make sure the reel you use matches the weight of your rod.

Foundation Fly Rod Combo
Foundation Fly Rod Combo 👈 Link to Amazon

Sage Foundation Fly Rod and Reel Combo

Are you ready to up your casting game? Looking for a rod that casts a little farther with more accuracy? The Foundation Setup will to step up and deliver. Plus when your buddies see the Sage name you’ll get those jealousy looks.

Read my review Here and watch my on-water review of the Foundation HERE ON YOUTUBE

Check out the link below for more reviews and current pricing.

Guides and Fly Shops

Hackett Fly FishingIf you want some knowledgeable and experienced guides, the folks at Hackett Fly Fishing are the perfect option.

Trout Town FliesLocated in Roscoe, this full-service fly shop has everything you need to fish on Willowemoc Creek.

Last Cast for Willowemoc Creek

It’s not often we get to be a part of history as fly anglers. The Eastern United States gives us a chance to see the same water as the American fly fishing founding fathers experienced. Willowemoc Creek has everything an angler would want regardless of your skill level, so make sure you visit.

The aggressive fish, open casting lanes, and plentiful access are exactly what anglers want. Plus, the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum is even located on the creek, so make a quick stop there as you’re working your way along the creek.

Are you looking for some great How To Fly Fish Articles? Checkout this list:

Danny Mooers is a high school English teacher in Arizona with a love for fly fishing. Growing up in Minnesota gave him the opportunity to experience all types of fishing and grow his skills. After living out in the Western United States for several summers in college, his fly fishing obsession grew. Having the opportunity to share in his passion for fishing through writing is a dream come true. It’s a lifelong hobby and he strives to make it understandable for people of all skill levels

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