The Catskills of Ulster County boast some legendary fishing, thanks to an abundance of lakes, rivers, and creeks, along with ideal weather conditions (trout, we are talking to you finicky bunch). This fishing is an irresistible draw for anglers from all over the world. But which spot is right for you?
Consider these spots when planning your next fishing trip in Ulster County!
Esopus Creek - Whether you like trout or bass fishing, you can find both here.
Trout are picky about the water temperature. The 26 miles of upper Esopus Creek leading into the Ashokan Reservoir has cool water trout love. And with the available public access, prime fly-fishing exists even in the dog days of summer. With the plentiful brown, brook, and rainbow trout, you can see why it's a favorite stretch of waterway for fly-fishers. As you go lower down the creek, the water begins to warm for panfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass and common carp. Access this lower stretch via the Village of Saugerties Park, where there is shore access and a boat launch for anglers.
Ashokan Reservoir - Right outside Kingston, you’ll find a fisher’s paradise! So good that a NYC DEP fishing permit is required. Restocked with brown trout every spring, they join the already abundant wild brown and rainbow trout in the water. There is also plenty of smallmouth bass, common carp, and white perch as the water warms downstream. If you're lucky, and we know a lot of anglers who attest about walleye or largemouth bass, although not as common. But when you do find them, they're usually trophy-sized (we think they are being sneaky)! The reservoir is easy to access, whether you're fishing from a boat or from the shore. Don’t forget your camera because it’s a great place to snap some gorgeous pictures!
Rondout Creek and Reservoir
Rondout Creek -
Some parts of this tributary are perfect for fishing in the summer because of the colder reservoir release. Public access for fishing in the stream is limited. However, there's this stretch between the Hudson River and Rondout Reservoir that's easy to get to. And it's a great spot to catch herring, smallmouth bass, and walleye!
There are more options as well. Float lazily downstream in a kayak, troll with a fishing boat, relax on the shore or wade in with your trusty rod-and-reel. There are some regulations you need to be aware of with boats (steam-cleaned by the New York State Department of Environmental Protection), but if you want to fish there, it’s 100% worth it. They've got brown trout, lake trout, smallmouth bass, and more. It's a majestic spot, even with some rules to follow.
Wallkill River is a great place to catch walleye, smallmouth bass, and carp. Sure, it's slow-moving and a little murky. But the truth is, it's actually one of the best spots to fish in the county. If you can’t stare at all the fish clearly in crystal clear water, they can’t see you either!
There are three hand launch spots for electric boats between Rosendale and New Paltz, so it's easy to hop on the water. And if you prefer fishing from the shore, you’re covered there too! There are also miles of shoreline open for fishing.
What Sturgeon Pool lacks in actual sturgeon it makes up for in an array of other fish like smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, chain pickerel, common carp, bluegill, black crappie, white perch, yellow perch, and rock bass. So, if you are in the fishing game, it's worth checking out even if sturgeon aren't the main attraction!
You can fish in the Hudson River all over Ulster County! Leave the tributaries behind and discover the wide variety of fish teeming within its waters: shad, striped bass, perch, catfish, and even American eel.
There are plenty of boat launch sites all around the county to get you on the river, but some great ones are at Sleightsburg Park in Esopus and Charles Rider Park in the town of Ulster. They're perfect for getting your boat in the water and getting your line in the water ASAP. If you're up for some Hudson River fishing, Ulster County has got you covered!
Ulster County Boat Rentals
Hudson Valley Watersports - Kingston
Saugerties Marina -Saugerties
Rondout Yacht Basin – Connelly
Tippin Scales Charters - Connelly
Gear shops, Outfitters and Guide Services
Reel Easy Charter - Accord
Hudson River Striper Charter- Kingston
Rip Van Winkle Fly Fishing - Phoenicia
Esopus Creel Fly Fishing - Phoenicia
Catskill Outfitter - Phoenicia
Kenco Outfitters- Kingston
Dicks Sporting Goods - Kingston, NY
Tractor Supply - Lake Katrine
Olive Country Store - Shokan