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  1. #1
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    Looking for hike-in fly fishing in NJ, NY and PA

    Hi NJFF,

    I'm new to the central NJ area (well, sort of, have been here a while but just now getting around to fly-fishing) and am looking for some good day-hike fly fishing. I'm not picky about size and just like to hike and fish, preferably in places where there aren't lots of people. I'm sure there are some jealously guarded secret spots that fit this description. I'm definitely not looking for those (in the sense that I totally understand why people wouldn't give them up, though if you're feeling generous do PM me =P), just some more well-worn stuff. I don't mind hiking, the longer the better as far as I'm concerned. I really don't know this area well and would love any suggestions you guys have. It probably goes without saying but trout is mainly what I'm looking for. Probably can't do more than 2-3 hours from the Trenton area, since this would be weekend/weekday stuff, but if there are some gems that are not so secret as to be safe to share, would love to hear about those as well. Thanks!

    Edit: forgot to say I'm basically a beginner despite having fished a while, but would be happy to try my hand at some more technical waters.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Looking for hike-in fly fishing in NJ, NY and PA

    Quote Originally Posted by bmillerd View Post
    Hi NJFF,

    I'm new to the central NJ area (well, sort of, have been here a while but just now getting around to fly-fishing) and am looking for some good day-hike fly fishing. I'm not picky about size and just like to hike and fish, preferably in places where there aren't lots of people. I'm sure there are some jealously guarded secret spots that fit this description. I'm definitely not looking for those (in the sense that I totally understand why people wouldn't give them up, though if you're feeling generous do PM me =P), just some more well-worn stuff. I don't mind hiking, the longer the better as far as I'm concerned. I really don't know this area well and would love any suggestions you guys have. It probably goes without saying but trout is mainly what I'm looking for. Probably can't do more than 2-3 hours from the Trenton area, since this would be weekend/weekday stuff, but if there are some gems that are not so secret as to be safe to share, would love to hear about those as well. Thanks!

    Edit: forgot to say I'm basically a beginner despite having fished a while, but would be happy to try my hand at some more technical waters.
    You should check out Hacklebarney State Park. It's a nice area and has a trail. Bring a light weight rod with you. There are plenty of riffles and pools you can fish.

    Hacklebarney State Park | New York-New Jersey Trail Conference

    Pictures taken before/after/during fly fishing:
    http://dcabarle.smugmug.com/Sports/F...79119552_XXeHe

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    Re: Looking for hike-in fly fishing in NJ, NY and PA

    Even the most remote of NJ trout streams is not very remote, so you can almost rule out having a stream all to yourself except for the smaller gems. But try Van Campens or Dunnfield Creek if you want to stay here in NJ. Large sections of the Flat Brook see little angling pressure. In NY, you have the more remote sections like the Neversink Gorge to try. Again, this is not Wyoming or Colorado. You're still going to bump into other anglers, but it won't be crowded.

    All that said, pretty much none of those streams are fishable right now due to our heat wave. You'll have a wait a month or so most likely before safely pursuing trout given water temps. The PA spring creeks (most, not all) and any tailwaters are exceptions, but those will not be remote and you will not be alone since they are the only game in town right now.

    A sinking fly is closer to Hell - ​Unknown

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    Re: Looking for hike-in fly fishing in NJ, NY and PA

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Spinner View Post
    Even the most remote of NJ trout streams is not very remote, so you can almost rule out having a stream all to yourself except for the smaller gems. But try Van Campens or Dunnfield Creek if you want to stay here in NJ. Large sections of the Flat Brook see little angling pressure. In NY, you have the more remote sections like the Neversink Gorge to try. Again, this is not Wyoming or Colorado. You're still going to bump into other anglers, but it won't be crowded.

    All that said, pretty much none of those streams are fishable right now due to our heat wave. You'll have a wait a month or so most likely before safely pursuing trout given water temps. The PA spring creeks (most, not all) and any tailwaters are exceptions, but those will not be remote and you will not be alone since they are the only game in town right now.
    Great, thanks guys. All three of those are going on my list and will be fished in October/November with any luck. Sadly I grew up in California but didn't really fish when I was there and it was a day's drive, so I'm still excited about the idea of being able to drive, hike, fish, and get home in time to fall asleep at a reasonable hour. Will post some (tastefully done) glory pictures if I'm successful and don't drop my phone in the river while trying to get a picture...


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    Re: Looking for hike-in fly fishing in NJ, NY and PA

    Quote Originally Posted by bmillerd View Post
    Sadly I grew up in California but didn't really fish when I was there and it was a day's drive, so I'm still excited about the idea of being able to drive, hike, fish, and get home in time to fall asleep at a reasonable hour.
    Southern California sucks on so many levels, a lack of trout fishing being one of many. My dad is from the Sierras and took me to his favorite ponds and streams out there many times when I was a kid. I'm also a transplanted CA boy...but up north in Nancy Pelosi country

    A sinking fly is closer to Hell - ​Unknown

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    Re: Looking for hike-in fly fishing in NJ, NY and PA

    Quote Originally Posted by bmillerd View Post
    Great, thanks guys. All three of those are going on my list and will be fished in October/November with any luck. Sadly I grew up in California but didn't really fish when I was there and it was a day's drive, so I'm still excited about the idea of being able to drive, hike, fish, and get home in time to fall asleep at a reasonable hour. Will post some (tastefully done) glory pictures if I'm successful and don't drop my phone in the river while trying to get a picture...
    Another place to check out is the Neversink Gorge if you're into a hike. It's a really nice place.

    Pictures taken before/after/during fly fishing:
    http://dcabarle.smugmug.com/Sports/F...79119552_XXeHe

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    Re: Looking for hike-in fly fishing in NJ, NY and PA

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Spinner View Post
    Southern California sucks on so many levels, a lack of trout fishing being one of many. My dad is from the Sierras and took me to his favorite ponds and streams out there many times when I was a kid. I'm also a transplanted CA boy...but up north in Nancy Pelosi country
    Haha, so true about Southern California. My parents would always take my brothers and I up to the Eastern Sierras in the summer. That place is so beautiful that I'm sure it's 90% of the reason I loved fishing. I've learned recently that there is some decent water up there, but I spent most of my time catching a few on lures in the super-pressured San Joaquin, then waving a fly rod around hopelessly for a couple years. Sadly not much has changed, lol. Hopefully some of this pressured Eastern water will get me good.


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    Re: Looking for hike-in fly fishing in NJ, NY and PA

    Just about any little trickle can have some trout, so look for creeks in NJ State Parks, Morris County Parks, and Mendham Parks. These have trout streams with short hikes. Van Campens Brook has an abandoned road along most of its length. Dunnfield Hollow is gorgeos, but its trailhead is right off Rte 80 and the place is packed. So go early.

    Catskill trails have some little trickles along them. Any stream in the state forest land should have little brookies.

    Much of lower Penns Creek from Coburn down to Weikert is accessed by hiking along the abandoned rail beds through the valley. This is one of PA's premier limestoners (although it gets warm in the summer in this section) so even though it is a hike you will have company.

    Poconos has some walk in fishing. The Lehigh Gorge along the abandoned rail trails, the creeks tumbling off the plateau near Hickory Run State Park, the streams running into the Delaware in the DWGNRA (Tom's Creek has special regs). The Lehigh Valley limestoners are basically in city parks some there are some nice walks you can combine with fishing (morning tricos in the summer), although they can hardly be said to be wild.


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    Re: Looking for hike-in fly fishing in NJ, NY and PA

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffK View Post
    Just about any little trickle can have some trout, so look for creeks in NJ State Parks, Morris County Parks, and Mendham Parks. These have trout streams with short hikes. Van Campens Brook has an abandoned road along most of its length. Dunnfield Hollow is gorgeos, but its trailhead is right off Rte 80 and the place is packed. So go early.

    Catskill trails have some little trickles along them. Any stream in the state forest land should have little brookies.

    Much of lower Penns Creek from Coburn down to Weikert is accessed by hiking along the abandoned rail beds through the valley. This is one of PA's premier limestoners (although it gets warm in the summer in this section) so even though it is a hike you will have company.

    Poconos has some walk in fishing. The Lehigh Gorge along the abandoned rail trails, the creeks tumbling off the plateau near Hickory Run State Park, the streams running into the Delaware in the DWGNRA (Tom's Creek has special regs). The Lehigh Valley limestoners are basically in city parks some there are some nice walks you can combine with fishing (morning tricos in the summer), although they can hardly be said to be wild.
    Thanks Jeff! Sounds like I'll have my hands full.


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    Re: Looking for hike-in fly fishing in NJ, NY and PA

    I would stay away from Van Campen's on the weekends....there is a large contingent of partiers and swimmers..they turn the place into a zoo of garbage and people...The park service doesn't give a shit so don't even try....

    "I'm not out on the river to win." -Kieth Rutherford

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    Re: Looking for hike-in fly fishing in NJ, NY and PA

    Quote Originally Posted by lightenup View Post
    I would stay away from Van Campen's on the weekends....there is a large contingent of partiers and swimmers..they turn the place into a zoo of garbage and people...The park service doesn't give a shit so don't even try....
    I've deftly set up my schedule so as to avoid weekends at all costs. Although once I caught a nice brown trout out of the Yampa in downtown Steamboat Springs with about 4 drunken tubers a minute floating by, so maybe I'll brave the garbage floats just once =P


  12. #12
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    Re: Looking for hike-in fly fishing in NJ, NY and PA

    Bear Swamp Brook (in either Mahwah or Oakland, not sure which) has a population of wild trout in the section between the Boy Scout camp and Route 202. It would be a pretty good hike to get to it even though it follows a road, but the gate is locked and there is no parking in the area. Several hiking trails reach it. I never fished it myself but I've seen people there. I saw one guy land a brookie about 9 inches. There aren't many places to cast and it's so narrow you don't need to. The people I've seen use long rods and drop the flies into pools.

    Though it might be slightly over your 3 hour limit, Echo Lake (near Woodstock) in the Catskills has trout. It's about a three mile hike from one direction and a bit longer from
    the other. In the western Catskills is the appropriately named Trout Pond. A few miles north of Cooks Falls. Actually these days the southern approach is washed out so you have to come in from the north. It's about a one to three mile hike to the pond (depending on your approach). I've caught some nice trout there. You can also camp near the pond (as long as you are 150 feet from it), or you can pull out along the access road and spend the night there as well. Also in the Catskills in the East Branch Neversink (near the town of Denning). If you take Denning Rd to the end there is a small parking area. From there it is about a mile hike to the river and an unmarked trail follows it basically to its beginning.

    Closer to home, not trout, but if you want to flyfish for bass and panfish there is Lake Sonoma in Norvin Green State Forest. It's about a mile hike either along a dirt road, or the nearby hiking trail. Road brings you to the north end of the land and the trail brings you to the south end. You should be pretty alone up there other than the occasional group of illegal four wheelers going by. There is also Ramapo Lake (not sure if it is physically in Oakland, Ringwood or Wanaque) in Ramapo Mountain State Forest. It's about a 3/4 mile hike, but it is also a very popular area, though once you reach the lake you can easily find a quiet spot for yourself. Most hikers stop at the dam.


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