Located in Northwestern New Jersey, the Big Flatbrook
is one of the State's finest rivers. It hosts many fish
throughout its entire stretch, and is a favorite of many
New Jersey anglers. Running through a beautiful scenic
stretch of wilderness, the Big Flatbrook ultimately dumps
into the Delaware River near Flatbrookville.
Above Route 206, this river is a small stream with
much pocket water and small pools. It averages 15-
to 30-feet wide throughout the upper reaches, and is
well shaded by the trees that line its banks. Tumbling
riffles and runs create ample oxygen, and provide cover
for the abundant trout in this section of river. Casting
here, however, can be challenging in spots, due to
the tight cover surrounding the stream.
Beginning at the Route 206 Bridge, and extending four
miles downstream to the bridge on Mountain Road, you'll
find a Fly Fishing Only area.
This great stretch of water offers plenty of pools and
riffles-enough to keep any fly-rodder happy. Here, the
river opens up to some 20- to 40-feet across, and a short
distance south of Route 206 is where the Little Flatbrook
dumps in. From the spot the Little Flatbrook enters,
the Big Flatbrook takes on more personality.
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The river widens a bit more, and gains strength thanks
to the added shot of water. The pools become deeper,
and the runs become more defined. This stretch, all the
way to the Delaware River, is very productive. At times,
the Big Flatbrook even holds Delaware River fish that
travel up in search of food and cooler water temperatures.
Access along the Big Flatbrook is fairly easy. County
Route 615 follows the bottom half of the river, with
the middle half of the river followed by County Route
640. You'll find plenty of places to park and fish, especially
along the Fly Fishing Only stretch. If the water is high,
it's a good idea to try fishing above the Route 206 Bridge.
Hatches on the Big Flatbrook are quite prolific. Some
of its better hatches are Blue-Winged Olives, Light
Cahills, Sulphurs, and March Browns. Many other species
of Mayflies hatch on the river, along with varieties
of Caddis and Stoneflies. The Big Flatbrook provides
great angling throughout most of the season. You'll
find brook, brown, and rainbow trout in the river.
The excellent water quality makes this one of New Jersey's
The next time you're in Northern New Jersey, stop
by the Big Flatbrook and give it a try.