Northern (New York) Fly Fishing Adventure

By Mike Holland

A few of you may know me from trips to Pulaski, New York, to fish for salmon on the Salmon River. In any case, I am a new member of the PVFF and friend of Andy Mekelburg, who I readily give the blame (and credit) for my fly-fishing addiction.

Mike on the Ausable River in northern New York.

I am originally from Malone, New York, which lies about ten miles south of the Canadian border and about 550 miles from my home in Burke, Virginia. While not widely known, Malone is also home to some fabulous fly fishing. The Salmon River (not connected to the Salmon River in Pulaski) runs right through town and on to Canada. About ten miles to the east of Malone, the Chateauguay River runs north to Canada; about 15 miles to the west of Malone, there is the St. Regis River. All of these rivers have excellent public access and are home to rainbow, brown, and brook trout; they also are stocked annually. While in normal circumstances they can draw Canadian and local spin cast anglers, especially on the weekend, there is plenty of room for those willing to get up early and/or walk.

As I usually do, I spent the week of June 29 at home in New York’s North Country. I was able to fish on four days. I spent two days on the Chateauguay River and was able to catch seven rainbows and a brown trout. I primarily engaged in nymphing and found success with a stonefly trailed by smaller nymph such as the Prince Nymph, Copper John, and Pheasant Tail. The good old Woolly Bugger in black and olive was also a winner. In fact, I used Woolly Buggers to catch one rainbow on the Salmon River and another on the world-renowned Ausable River, which is about an hour and a half from Malone.

In terms of accommodations, there is a very nice and relatively new Holiday Inn Express in Malone. There are also several nice local restaurants such as Hosler’s and King Wok. I encourage you to consider a trip to New York’s North Country at some point; the best fishing is in May and early June.