Copyright 2019 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Willowemoc Creek New
The Catskill Mountains in New York have several good
trout streams and Willowemoc Creek is one of the most
popular ones. It is actually a tributary of the Beaver Kill
but its a rather large stream over twenty-six miles long.
One reason it is a popular destination is that is has
more public access than the Beaver Kill. All in all, it is
probably easier to catch trout in Willowemoc Creek
than it is in the Beaver Kill.
The lower sections of the Willowemoc is a fairly large
stream, more like a river than a creek. It is one of a few
streams in New York that does not have a dam located
somewhere on it. It has been a fly fishing destination
since the 1800s. At one time there were large resorts
in the area where anglers would stay and fish. That
has changed over the last fifty years.
The upper section is a small brook trout stream. You
have a basic choice of fishing a small stream for small
fish or the larger section near the Beaver Kill with
larger trout. Some areas of the creek offers both
The fish probably only average from nine to twelve
inches but there are plenty of them and there are
some larger ones mixed in. Browns are occasionally
caught up to 18 inches. I don't think you could
necessarily count on catching one that large, but you
always have the opportunity.
Willowemoc Creek is a beautiful trout stream in a lovely
area of the Catskills. I doubt anyone visiting for first
time would only choose to fish Willowemoc. Most
everyone would at least add the Beaver Kill to their list
of places to fish. It is just around the corner so to
Willowemoc Creek Fly Fishing Guide:
The methods, strategies and techniques used to fly
fish the Willowemoc will vary depending on which part
of the stream you are fishing and of course, with the
seasons and hatches. The upper section of the
Willowemoc, from Fir Village down to the little village of
Willolwemoc, is a small brook trout stream. It has
several small tributaries that also hold brook trout.
They are very plentiful and fun to catch but the stream
probably only averages about ten to fifteen feet wide. It
is very clear and is feed by several small springs that
help keep it cool.
What is normally called the middle section, flows from
Willowemoc down to Livingston Manor. There is a great
deal of public water in this section along with private
water. You have to pay attention to where you are
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Photo Courtesy of Dennis
Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 &12 ft., 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 71/2
ft., 3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five or
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
The fishing season doesn't close in the no
kill section and you can catch trout on all
but the coldest days.
Late spring means lots of aquatic insect
hatches and some good dry fly fishing. It is
probably the best time to fish Willowemoc
There is also a "no kill" section. The fish
here are a mixture of brown and brook trout.
This part of the stream ranges from twenty
to fifty foot wide and has some faster areas
of water. It has several small tributaries. It is
the pool, run, riffle type of water with rocks
and small boulders but not what you would
call fast, pocket water by any means.
The lower section from Livingston Manor to
the Beaver Kill at Roscoe, is larger water,
and as I said above, more like a river. It has
a lot of large pools with riffles and runs
between them and gets up to eighty feet
wide in places. It has a no-kill section about
two and one-half miles long. Most anglers
consider this section the best.
Willowemoc Creek Hatches and
Our information on aquatic insects is based
on our stream samples of larvae and
nymphs, not guess work. We base fly
suggestions on imitating the most plentiful
and most available insects and other foods
at the particular time you are fishing. Unlike
the generic fly shop trout flies, we have
specific imitations of all the insects in
Willowemoc Creek and in all stages of life
that are applicable to fishing. If you want to
fish better, more realistic trout flies, have a
much higher degree of success, give us a
call. We not only will help you with
selections, you will learn why, after trying
Perfect Flies, 92% of the thousands of our
customers will use nothing else.
Willowemoc Creek has just about all of the
Catskill hatches of mayflies, caddisflies and
stoneflies. Blue-winged Olive hatch from mid
March to the end of May and then again
from about the first of July to the month of
Blue Quills and Quill Gordons also start the
middle of April. The Blue Quills and last for
about a month and a half and the Quill
Gordons less than a month.
From just past the middle of April to about
the middle of May, the Hendricksons and the
Red Quills make their appearance.
Gray Drakes hatch for about three weeks
starting near the end of April.
March Browns and Eastern Pale Evening
Duns, both clinger mayflies hatch about the
middle of May and last at least a month.
Sulphurs appear about the middle of May
and last through June.
Slate Drakes hatch off and on from the
first of June until October. There are also
some Light Cahill hatches that occur from
June into October.
Tricos show up in the slower parts of the
creek in August.
The Little Brown Stoneflies hatch from the
first of April until around the middle of May.
The caddisfly hatches are not quite as
plentiful as the mayflies. Little Black
Caddisflies start hatching near the first of
April and three weeks to a month.
From May until the first of July, you will
probably see some Green Sedges.
Various species of Cinnamon Caddis and
Spotted Sedges hatch from around the
middle of May until mid July. Their Little
Sisters hatch about the last of May for a
couple of weeks. The Dark Blue Sedge
hatch from mid May to mid June.
Hoppers, ants and beetles become
important about the first of October.
You should have some streamers that
imitate the minnows and sculpin. They
come in handy when the water becomes
stained and when you are fishing for big
browns in low light situations.
Don't forget the midges. You can catch
trout throughout the year on them but they
are especially important during the cold
months of the year.
The hottest days of summer can make the
fishing fairly tough.
Early autumn can be a great time to fish.
Brown trout spawn in the fall.
Fish can be caught during the winter
months on better weather days.
Thumbnail Images: Click to enlarge
Thumbnail Images: Click to enlarge
Willowemoc Creek Fishing Report - 03/14/19
Stream levels are running a little low but okay. Trout are being caught on Midges, winter
stoneflies and Sculpin streamers.
7 Day Weather Forecast: There is a chance of snow through Sunday and again on
Monday, otherwise clear for this coming week. The high will range from 32 to 56 and the
lows from 17 to 44.
Recommended Trout Flies:
Levels: Running at a good level.
Afternoon Water Temperature: 44
Midges: Blood (Red), sizes 20/22, larva, pupa and adults
Midges: Cream, size 20/22, larva, pupa and adults
Midges: Light Green, size 20/22, larva, pupa and adults
Brown Sculpin and White Belly Sculpin, size 6
Black Matuka, Olive Matuka Sculpin,and articulated streamers, size 4/6
Blue-winged Olives: size 18 and 16, nymph, emergers, duns and spinners
Winter Stoneflies, size 16/18, nymphs and adults
Strategies, Techniques and Tips:
We still think the best strategy is to fish a tandem Midge rig under a small strike
indicator with the midge lava as the bottom fly and the midge pupa as the top fly. Fish
the adult midge only when you observe trout feeding on the surface.
Our Brown Sculpin and White Belly Sculpin and Articulated streamers are great flies to
use anytime during the year.
The Black Matuka Sculpin and Olive Matuka Sculpin Streamers are good flies to use.
Various species of Blue-winged olives nymphs are plentiful and will hatch on
warmer, cloudy days.
Winter stoneflies are hatching.
Fishing Report Updated 03/14/19
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