Fishing in the Catskills

The Catskills offer a wide variety of fishing opportunities for beginners to experts. Often called the birthplace of American fly fishing, the Catskills region is especially known for trout (rainbow, brook and brown) - the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation stocks over 2 million trout in 300 lakes and ponds and 3100 miles of streams across the state each year. For those not looking to fly fish on fast-moving creeks and streams, there are plenty of peaceful reservoirs, lakes and ponds with great fishing as well. In addition to trout, many other species can be found including Largemouth Bass, Chain Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge, Panfish, Walleye, and more.

NOTE: Fishing licenses are required for most people ages 16 and up. 1-day, 7-day and annual licenses are available for residents and visitors in person at the Catskills Visitor Center and many other locations around the Catskills, as well as online - click here for Fishing License Information.

Freshwater Fishing Regulations
Places to Fish in NY
Fishing Hotlines
NY Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife App

Start your fishing adventure at the Catskills Visitor Center!

Before you head out in the streams and fields of the Catskills, stop at the Catskills Visitor Center (open daily 9am-4pm) where you can find:

  • Sporting Licenses - purchase and pick up your fishing license on the spot!

  • Guides & Maps - we carry a wide variety of free printed materials including the current fishing regulations, maps and guides.

  • Fishing Rods - loaner rods are available for visitors wanting to try fishing for the first time (especially great for families & kids!)

  • Esopus Creek access - just across the street from our visitor center, this beautiful spot is popular for fishing and picnicking.

  • Gear - our shop is stocked with outdoor safety basics, detailed trail maps, snacks and more. We can also direct you to nearby sporting goods & bait shops.

  • Trip planning advice - need help planning your travel route, or picking the perfect fishing spot? Just ask!

  • Events - our popular annual events like Catskills Trout Tales and Outdoors Day offer great opportunities to meet and learn from experts and get more familiar with all that the Catskills have to offer. We also regularly host one-time workshops, lectures, and guided adventures on our property. Keep an eye on our events page for details.

Season Updates & Current Trail Conditions

On our Trail Conditions Blog we offer fishing season updates as well as current trail condition reports around the Catskills.