Living in Michigan and I’ve always thought that the “Au Sable River” was the recognized birth place of fly fishing. I’ve found a contender for the title – The Beaverkill River in New York some major fly fishing history and still a fantastic fishery. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaver_Kill
About the Beaverkill River
The Beaverkill River is located in the South-Central part of New York State. One of the bigger villages to key into is Roscoe where it meets the Willowemoc Creek. It’s one of the most famous rivers in the Northeast, it flows almost 44 miles through the Catskill Mountains until it joins the East Branch of the Delaware.
The upper 27 miles of the river are known as the Upper Beaverkill. This part of the river is narrow, steep, and very rocky. The first five miles are from 5 to 25 feet wide. This section consists of small pools and pocket water. The Upper Beaverkill is well shaded and has many cold springs, which keep its deep bedrock pools cold all year round.
Guide tip: New York State has some great waters. I’ve got a complete article describing where to go. Read it -> Where to Fly Fish in New York
Where to Go Fly Fishing on the Upper Beaverkill River
It’s important to check the regulations with the Beaverkill, it’s heavily managed given that the brook trout populations have been rebuilt since the mid-1800s.
The next stretch of the upper part is from the Balsam Lake outlet down to Shin Creek at Lew Beach. This 12-mile stretch is from 20 to 60 feet wide. Here, there are more medium-sized pools that are separated by shallow riffle sections. Jones Falls is the most prominent feature in this section of the river. It is located about two miles above Turnwood, where it plunges 30 to 40 feet into a deep pool.
Guide Recommendation: Many of the pictures you see here were provided by Beaverkill Valley Inn. Kaitlyn and the team really understand and cater to fly fishers. I highly recommend, check them out with this link -> Beaverkill Valley Inn
Places to Fly Fish Down River from Lew Beach
The 11-mile stretch from Lew Beach to Junction Pool continues to grow in size. The river widens from 50 to 75 feet, with the pools and riffles becoming longer and more pronounced. The Covered Bridge Pool, at the state campsite, is located in this section.
Beaverkill Campground – A Great Spot with River Access
The park has 52 camping sites and the Beaverkill flows through the whole park. Amenities include: firepits and grilles, hot showers, phones and dump station. Check out more on the campground HERE.
The lower section of the Beaverkill River begins at the famous Junction Pool, where the Beaverkill and the Willowemoc Creek join. Here, the river almost doubles in size, which is why it is known as “Big River.” This pool became famous because it unites two of the Northeast’s most famous trout streams.
The water in this section of the river is made up of beautiful riffles and pools that cater to the dry-fly fisherman. The Beaverkill’s two-mile no-kill section, which begins at the Delaware County line, is also part of this section of the river.
Guide Tip: DOWNLOAD This map that details where you have public access on the Beaverkill River – DOWNLOAD.
Horse Brook Run and Carin’s Pool are both famous sections of the Beaverkill’s no-kill water. Horse Brook Run is regarded by most as 1/4 mile of the finest pocket of water on the river. This section can be very difficult to wade, so fishermen must be careful. Carin’s Pool is a long, deep, clear pool that holds a tremendous number of fish. This pool and its fishermen are visible from one of the overpasses on Route 17.
The last 10 miles of the Beaverkill are made up of long, shallow riffles and pools. Painters’ Bend, Cooks Falls Pool, and the Flats are popular areas to fish in this section. About nine miles below the Cooks Falls Pool is the Horton no-kill section, which contains some excellent trout water. Stadel’s Run, Cemetery Pool, Freeman’s Flat, Horton’s Pool, Acid Factory and Railroad Run all fish well when the water temperatures are good.
Below the Horton no-kill section, the remaining six miles of the river are wide, and a slow-moving, shallow section of water. The only exception is where Trout Brook joins the river. The Beaverkill ends at Keener’s Pool, which is known for its large trout. The beautiful water, numbers of trout, and excellent hatches have made the Beaverkill River a legend that most fishermen have heard of, and that all fly fishermen should experience.
What Fish are in the Beaverkill River
Cold water temperatures and clean water mean trout habitat. The State stocks the Beaverkill, but natural reproduction sustains the trout populations. You’ll find brook trout, rainbow and brown trout throughout the watershed. The upper reaches (above Lew Beach) is perfect brook trout water.
What Flies to Use on the Beaverkill River
These trout are pressured and smart. Stealth and accurate casts are the name of the fly fishing game here. Heck, the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum is located close to the waters I suggesting. If you’re looking to test your dry fly skills here are the flies.
The trout season is strictly observed, heck I see you, I’ll report you.😎 Opening day is usually April 1 but check the regulations for the waters your fishing. Here’s a LINK to the fishing regulations.
Hatch Chart for the Beaverkill
|Fly Name||Size||Start Date||End Date|
|Quill Gordon||14||April 1||May 15|
|Hendrickson||14||April 1||May 15|
|Red Quill||14||April 1||May 15|
|Green Drake||16||April 1||May 15|
|Early Brown Stonefly||12||April 1||May 15|
|Light Cahill||14||May 15||July 15|
|March Brown||12||May 15||June 15|
|Green Drake||10||May 15||June 15|
|Green Caddis||16-18||May 15||June 15|
|Brown Drake||12||May 15||June 15|
|Gray Fox||12-14||May 15||June 15|
|Trico||24||July 15||September 15|
|Golden Drake||12||June 15||July 15|
|Caddis||14||July 15||September 15|
Guide Tip: A lot of the flies called out in the hatch chart can be found in the 122 Fly Collection from Ventures Fly Co. Here’s a short cut link to Amazon to check prices -> Ventures Fly Co 122 Fly Collection
Where to Stay When Fly Fishing on the Beaverkill
I’ve got two recommendations. The first is if you really want to experience the Beaverkill at its finest. Image PRIVATE water casting to rising trout within a short walk to a hot coffee and breakfast. That’s what the Beaverkill Valley Inn is like. With over a mile of private water within steps of the front porch.
Beaverkill Valley Inn
Beautiful pocket water and easy wading. No need for a guide, just wade quietly and make your first cast count. The Inn has 19 rooms and rates are slightly over $300 per night. A breakfast, pool, ice cream parlor and full bar are just some of the amenities.
Contact Beaverkill Valley Inn HERE. Book early because the fly fishing season is short and rooms fill fast.
Beaverkill State Campground
If your want to fish the Beaverkill on a budget look at the Beaverkill Campground. This is a State run campground with plenty of conveniences, but still small enough to be rustic.
Here’s a link to the website -> HERE during the bigger hatches the campground fills fast so make your reservations early.
Guides and Fly Shops in the Beaverkill River Area
Hackett Fly Fishing
Matt and the team at HACKETT FLY FISHING have been guiding folks on the Beaverkill and Upper Delaware River System for years. When you grow up chasing trout on the same waters that you guide on the getting clients “on fish” is almost instinct.
Hackett Fly Fishing is one of those “go to” fly fishing guides that books early and is know for putting folks on the fish at the right time during the right conditions. They offer wade fishing, but specialize in float fishing from drift boats.
Highly recommended and super knowledgeable, feel confident booking with them.
Check out Hackett Fly Fishing HERE.
Beaverkill Angler – Fly Shop
The Beaverkill Angler is located and “the center” of all the fishing in the area. Located in Roscoe, NY they are a full-service fly shop with flies, guides and insider “intel”. Check out the fly shop online HERE.
Be sure to say Hi to the owner Evan. Originally from Michigan so you know he’s a good guy and has fly fishing in his “blood”. 😉 https://beaverkillangler.com/index.html
Are you looking for some great How To Fly Fish Articles? Checkout this list:
- How to Fly Fish for Bass with Poppers with 👈 Easy to catch and fun to fight, fly fishing for bass is amazing!
- How to Fly Fish for Bluegills 👈 These amazing fish are all over the USA. I like to call them the “Gateway Drug to Fly Fishing”
- How to Fly Fish for Brook Trout 👈 Find the cleanest, coldest, most beautiful streams and I’ll bet Brookes are present.
- How to Nymph Fish 👈 Step by Step details for setting up, presenting and catching trout with nymphs.
- How to Fly Fish for Salmon 👈 Image hooking into a +25 pound King Salmon in a river and your Fly Rod breaks! Seriously this happened to me on my first trip.