Trout Fishing in Upstate New York’s Ausable River

Few rivers in North America are as easily accessible and offer as good a trout fishing experience as does New York’s infamous Ausable River. Like a scene reminiscent of 1992’s classic movie, “A River Runs Through It”, the Ausable River is a hot spot for the casual fisherman, and fly fishing enthusiasts alike. Coming down from the Adirondack Mountains, this beautiful river is marked by steep gorges and many spring fed tributaries that eventually empty into Lake Champlain. A historic part of New York, many visitors make it a point to stop by Ausable Chasm, a two mile long gorge and year round tourist attraction. For the fishing enthusiast, trout is the species of choice for this long winding river.

Ausable River has Brown, Speckled and Rainbow Trout

The river has large, territorial brown trout, fast moving rainbow trout that congregate at the mouth of rapids, and the diminutive but fantastic tasting speckled trout. The river is easily accessible along its 39 mile length, and roadside access allows for pick nicks, fishing excursions, and even the occasional canoe trip. Camping spots are abundant along the river side, and the state takes great pride in maintaining a clean environment for its tourists and residents. For vacationers looking for more amenities, the Ausable River region and surrounding Adirondacks, offer a number of beautiful cabins, and rustic motels, as well as wonderful local shops and restaurants.

Sections of the Ausable River are Designated Fly Fishing Only

Likely the most attractive part of the Ausable’s lure for fly fishermen, is the fact that large sections of the river are designated fly fishing only, and most portions encourage catch and release. Sportsmen typically accommodate each other and allow for considerable separation, so overcrowding is never a concern. Enthusiasts have plenty of options for locations, and the local fly fishing shops have plenty of streamers, dry and wet flies to choose from, in addition to plenty of advice. If guides are needed, there are plenty available with years of local fishing experience.

The Ausable River is an Excellent Light Tackle Fishing Destination

For those fishermen less inclined to fly fish, the River is an excellent opportunity for light tackle. Using a Colorado spinner with a worm is an effective approach, as is the use of a smaller Panther Martin spinner. Make sure to match lures to tackle when fishing these waters and have the right drag set to ensure a trout doesn’t take off downstream too far and break the line. An early morning fishing excursion, followed by a nice breakfast, some swimming or a stroll into town, is a recipe for a perfect day.

When fishing the Ausable river, respect the environment and certain sections of the river where the current is fastest. Most fly fishermen enjoy the Ausable for its beauty, long stretches of open water, and the beautiful backdrop provided by the Adirondack mountains. Fishing for trout often means working pristine waters, free from pollution and overcrowding. Every tourist that visits this river understands the importance of respecting the environment and cleaning up after themselves. As long as this continues, fly fishing will continue for years to come.


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