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 at Esopus Creek. 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 Ashokan Reservoir, a fisher’s paradise! But, there are some regulations you need to be aware of with boats (steam-cleaned by the New York State Department of Environmental Protection), and a NYC DEP fishing permit is required. 

Ashokan means “Place of Fish” and given the fishing here, it's aptly named! Restocked with brown trout every spring,  wild brown and rainbow trout are also abundant in the water. There is also plenty of smallmouth bass, common carp, and white perch as the water warms downstream. If you're lucky, we know many anglers who encounter 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 registered and approved row boat or the shore. Don’t forget your camera because it’s a great place to snap some gorgeous pictures!

Rondout Creek

The Rondout Creek, which is actually a slow-moving tidal river, is perfect for small boats. The gravel ramp boat launch off Creek Lock Road makes for easy access to good fishing for bass, walleye, and panfish. There are also plenty of spots to fish from shore in this wide stretch that empties into the Hudson River to catch herring, smallmouth bass, and walleye!

There are more options to enjoy on the Rondout 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.

Wallkill River

Wallkill River, located in Shawangunk, 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 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.

Drop a line at Sturgeon Pool, a section of the river in Rifton, which lacks actual sturgeon but makes up for it 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!

Hudson River

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 Sleightsburgh 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

If you’re looking for a boat rental or guided fishing tour, Ulster County has a variety of options with something for everyone. Browse our options and start planning your trip today. 

Gear Shops, Outfitters and Guide Services

Need gear or a guide for your Ulster County fishing trip? You’re in luck! Ulster County is home to many outfitters shops and guide services. No matter where you’re embarking on your adventure, you’ll have all the gear you need.

Start Planning Your Ulster County Fishing Trip

Ready to plan your fishing trip? As you’re planning your trip to some of New York’s best fishing spots, be sure to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations and monitor weather conditions ahead of your trip. 

We’ll see you soon in Ulster County!