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FLY FISHING THE UPPER HUDSON RIVER IN NEW YORK

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The upper Hudson River is mostly a freestone river scattered with various, inlets, springs and pocket water. It is sometimes hard to believe that this is the same river that flows south to New York City. In some sections of river near the towns of North Creek, Minerva and Indain Lake, one could easily throw a rock from one bank to the other. The main species in the upper stretches are brown, brook, and rainbow trout along with the occasional small mouth bass. The upper Hudson is often accessed in the Town of Indian Lake. Most kayakers and drift boats gain access to the Hudson via the Indian River. From this junction the Town of Indian Lake releases water from their reservoir which allows the boaters to drift the river with a higher flow and less exposed rocks and boulders. Most water releases are around 10 am weekdays and weekends during the fishing season. The Indian is known for its big browns, but one must be very careful in this river when water is being released. It is a good idea to try fishing it in the AM before the water comes up, or fish it after the water goes down with terresterial patterns or flies that imitate bugs that would have washed in from the high water.

From the Town of Indian Lake the Indian flows towards Hudson River for a few miles and eventually dumps in. From this junction one can float another 15 miles to the town of North Creek. The water in the interim is covered with long sections of pocket water and intermittent pools. These pools are very deep and in order to fish them effectively, you should fish them with some weight on your fly. The best areas for finding brook trout are near the springs that wash in along banks.So,if you are hoping to catch a tri-vecta you can not pass up these parts of the river. Some of the springs come into the river around "Elephant Rock" and near "Virgins falls."

The Hudson eventually flows down to a junction with North Creek. This is the common take out for both white water rafters and fishermen. There is minimal river access from points in between, giving good reason why so many people drift the river fishing as you follow the bubble of water released from above. South of North Creek, the river flows to Lake George and South to Troy. Trout water is mostly from the Indian River to North Creek. River access is mostly off Route 28, in the town of North Creek. When traveling north on 28 there are a number of river access points on the left side of the road, along the river. Most of the sections of fishable water in this area are riffles and long runs. Your best bet is to try fishing large streamers down and across, or fish a dry fly and nymph at the same time. Common dry flies are Elk Hair Caddis in a size 12-16, Royal and Ausable Wulffs both in size 12, and droppers are commonly Hares ear nymphs, Pheasant tail nymphs and Green Weenies. You may run into a stonefly hatch so be prepared with some small Yellow Sally stoneflies in size 16 and some big stimulators in sizes 12-14.

The water is fairly cold and extremely hard to wade. Dry fly fishing is ok if there is a really good hatch, otherwise stick to streamers and nymphs. They should produce some nice fish throughout the river. There is probably no other place in the state where you have a better chance of catching a rainbow, brown and brook trout, all within 100 yds of river. From the west the easiest way to access the river would be to head east on 28 from Blue Mountain Lake. Or travel the New York State Thruway to Amsterdam and North up 30 until you reach the junction of 28 in Indian Lake. You can also follow Rte. 8 North from Utica to Weavertown. Bring along your camers. There is beautiful scenery and some really good fishing in the Spring and Fall. Make certain your fly box has a few size 14 Tan Caddis, a few Prince nymphs, various Woolly buggers and some Yellow Muddler Minnows. Anything with a hot orange head or body also works well, so those of you who tye, be creative.