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Fly Fish the East Branch of the Croton River

Brewster, New York


Added by Jessica Cho

Enjoy the peace and quiet of this wooded area while fly fishing the gently gurgling waters of the Croton River.

If you're craving some time away from the bustle of everyday life to enjoy some silence, broken only by the babbling sound of water flowing over small boulders and the occasional crunching of leaves-- you'll find many spots along the Croton River to satisfy your desire for stillness. 

The Croton River system includes three major tributaries, fifteen reservoirs, and a number of smaller branching waterways. This impressive system covers roughly 387 square miles and attracts anglers from all over as it is located within an hour's drive from the bustling streets of New York City. The East Branch of the Croton River, in particular, boasts the most varied terrain and runs for approximately 1-1.5 miles. The average width of the river is 20-25 feet. 

For many fly fishers, the East Branch is one of the best and most popular streams for brown and rainbow trout. A freshwater license, however, is required to fish here. The entire length of the East Branch is a special regulation area and is open for fishing year round. Anglers are not permitted to use live bait-- flies and artificial lures only.  The river is stocked every Spring and sometimes there is an additional stocking in the Fall. In addition to trout, perch, blue gills, sunfish, and large and smallmouth bass can be caught depending on the season and conditions. The average fish size right after stocking in the Spring is 7-11 inches long. By the time Summer rolls around, fish are typically in the 8-11 inch range. But, there are always 12-15 inch fish hanging out in the river, though they may be hard to find!  

The East Branch starts at the Route 22 overpass and continues along Sodom Road into downtown Brewster. There are a number of access points along the river and you'll find several spots where you can pull off the road to park your vehicle. Note that these parking areas are quite small, so it may be necessary to time your trip well, especially during peak fly fishing season. The last three access points and pull-off spots are located along Route 22, just South of where Route 6 splits off to the right toward downtown Brewster.

Regardless of the time of year or how successful your day of fishing turns out to be, wading the waters, taking in the beauty of the overhanging trees, and listening to the river's swiftly moving currents will grant you a sense of peace in a way few other activities can. 

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