Copyright 2017 James Marsh
Fly Fishing On The West Branch
Ausable River In New York
The AuSable River consists of three main sections
including the East Branch, the West Branch and the
Main branch. It's the West Branch that is known for the
large trout. The West Branch of the Ausable River is
located in the Northeastern part of New York in the
Adirondack Mountains. It's one of the best trout streams
in the entire Eastern United States.

There are plenty of anglers that will argue that it's the
best stream in New York but that would also get a quick
response from other anglers who would disagree. It has
some very nice trout that range from ten to seventeen
inches and a few even larger There's one thing for
sure. It's one of the most beautiful streams in the East.

South Meadow Brook and March Brook flow from Mount
March and merge to form the West Branch of the
Ausable River. It's joined by several other small streams
as it flows through meadows for a distance of about five
miles. The water is slow to moderate in this section as it
twist and turns through the meadows. Below the bridge
at Route 86, the stream changes to a faster flowing river
with some pocket water and a more typical pool, run,
riffle configuration.

The river gains even more strength below Wilmington
Notch. There's a hundred foot high waterfall,
appropriately named High Falls, in this section. The
river finally settles down some with a series of pools with
more moderate flowing water but not for long. Yet
another set of high waterfalls, the Flume Falls, exist
farther downstream. It's about a mile below the Flume
Falls before the river begins to settle down again but
only because it is damed farther downstream in

This section is technically a lake but it's more like a
wide, slow flowing river. Fly fishing the Ausable River in
this section is tough due to the deep water. The
tailwater below the dam provides some of the best fly
fishing waters the West Branch of the Ausable has to
offer. It appears more like a freestone stream than a
tailwater in some respects. The river falls at a
moderately steep decline. Three are large boulders and
plenty of prime pocket water.

Fly fishing Ausable River in this section isn't so easy
though. There is a section of the river about two miles
long that lies below the Lewis Bridge just downstream of
Wilmington that cannot be accessed for fishing

Below Black Brook, a small tributary stream, the fishing
is usually very good. About seven miles of the river can
be fished before the next dam at Ausable Forks. It too
has a decent tailwater section about a mile long. Just
below the short section of tailwater, the river converges
with the East Branch to form the Main Branch of the
Ausable River.
Type of Stream
Freestone and Tailwater

Brown Trout
Brown Trout
Brook Trout
(Wild Trout with some areas Stocked
with Holdovers)


Northeastern New York

Nearest Towns
Wilmington, New York



Non-Resident License
State of New York

National Weather Service Link

Hatch Chart
Perfect Fly Hatch Chart

Stream Flow Data:
Real Time USGS Data

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Trout Flies
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West Branch Ausable River Rainbow Trout
Fly Fishing Guide for the West
Branch Ausable:
The water in the West Branch is often tannic
acid water the color of tea. It can be difficult
to see the bottom, so wading can be
dangerous due to holes in the bottom of the
stream. A wading staff is recommended to
provide additional stability.

From a mile above the Rt. 86 bridge at
Holcomb Pond Outlet, down to the
Wilmington Notch, is a five mile long catch
and release section. From this section down
past the Wilmington Notch State
Campground to the small lake in Wilmington
is a section that usually holds some very
large trout. It is best fished from a canoe or

There is a small catch and release section is
this area as well. The next ten miles of
tailater below the dam consists of fast pocket
water. This section is known for its excellent
dry fly fishing.
The best time to fish the West Branch of
the Ausable is from the first week in May to
the end of June.
Fishing continues to be good during the
summer because of the many springs and
overhanging branches to shade the water
which helps keep the water cool. The most
famous hatch of all on the Ausable is the
Green Drake hatch. This is followed by
good hatches of  Sulphurs and Tricos.
Guide, continued:
Continuing downstream to Ausable Forks
is a section known as “Bush Country”
which is more remote but can be
accessed from the lower end of Ausable
Forks. Some
of this section is private property and is

Some sections of the Ausable River is top
notch dry fly water and some would favor
nymph fishing. It all depends on the
section you choose to fish. The abundant
hatches of mayflies caddisflies and
stoneflies support healthy population of
Hatches and Trout Flies for the
West Branch Ausable River:
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 the
West Branch Ausable 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.

The flies you need to fish the West Branch
of the Ausable River depends on the
particular section you plan on fishing. The
stocked trout are fairly easy to catch and
can be caught on just about any fly for a
short time after they are stocked. To catch
one of the larger holdover trout, or one of
the few wild brown trout there, requires skill
and a lot of luck. Streamers fished during
very low light conditions sometimes pays
off. Other than that, mayfly nymphs and
caddisfly larva and pupa imitations fished
near the bottom produce most of the wild
and holdover brown trout.

One thing you should not overlook is the
terrestrials. Again, the low light situations
provide the best opportunity. Beetles, ants
and hoppers all three work at times. Just
don't expect to catch one every few cast. A
larger wild brown trout or even a year, or
two year old holdover brown trout, should
be considered a very good catch.

Hendricksons hatch in May and early June
followed by March Browns and Light Cahills.

If you are fishing during the early spring,
you may encounter some good hatches,
the most famous of which is the Green
Drake. Sulphurs follow and then it is Trico
time. The Green Drakes hath in early June,
then Tricos in late July, August and
September. .
Hatches, continued:
Starting in the last week of August until
mid October the Slate Drake hatches will
be occurring.

There are even some Little Brown
Stoneflies hatch in the early part of the
season. If you do run into a hatch of any
aquatic insect, by all means fish it. Be
prepared to fish subsurface most of the

There are plenty of caddisflies and all in
all, they provide the best dry fly fishing
opportunity. The Cinnamon caddis hatch
most of the late spring and summer. There
is a decent Little Sister caddisfly hatch.
Green Sedges and Short-horned Sedges
make up most of the balance of the
caddisfly population.

Be sure to have plenty of "Rock Worms"
(larva stage of the Green Sedge) on hand.
They work very well most of the season. If
you stick with the caddisflies, midges and
nymphs fished deep and you are likely to
be successful.

Don't forget about the midge. It usually
becomes the most important insect to try
to match in colder weather. I would have
plenty of them in hook sizes 20 and 22.

Terrestrial insects become a choice about
the middle of June. Imitations of inch
worms, beetles, grass hoppers and ants
will catch trout until the first frost appears.

We always recommend "Perfect Flies".
They are the most realistic and most
effective imitations that are commercially
available. You will find our caddisfly
imitations work great for this stream. We
hope you give them a try.
Streamers are also very effective during
the fall season, especially those that
imitate sculpin.
Although you can fish during the winter,
most days are too cold to be very
productive; however, It is possible to catch
trout especially if your using imitations of
midge larvae and pupae.
Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.

2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
Priority Mail.  
Headlines: The weather has turned
a little cooler and slowed down the
hatches but the stream levels are
down to where much of it is safe to
wade and the water clear. When it
warms back up a couple or three
degrees, look out, because there
will be mega hatches taking place.
For now, little Blue-winged olives,
little Brown Stoneflies and little Black
Caddis are hatching good. This
coming week should be a good one.
Keep up with the latest stream
levels, temps, weather and
recommended strategies and flies
with our fishing report linked above.
Map of West Branch Ausable River
Fishing Report Headlines Archive:
Current West Branch Ausable Fishing  Report
10/16/15 Conditions remain fair on the West Branch but higher water levels are preventing
wading in most sections. The weather has turned cooler and there is more rain in the forecast,
so levels are likely to continue to be a problem. Blue-winged olives, Great Autumn brown
sedges and Slate Drakes represent the majority of the hatches taking place.

10/25/15 Good stream levesl exist now and will most likely continue. It is raining as I am writing
this and will rain again the middle to the end of next week, so what the stream levels. Great
Autumn Brown Sedges are hatching and bringing trout to the surface to eat the egg layers in
the late afternoons. Blue-winged Olives are hatching.

11/01/15 Great fall conditions exist right now, with good stream levels and flows, and great
weather. Brown trout are taking streamers like our Brown Sculpin fly very well and will soon be
spawning. Blue-winged olives are hatching and so are the Great Autumn Brown sedges. It is a
good time to fish the West Branch with few anglers doing it.

11/08/15 Currently, conditions are excellent for this time of the year. Good stream levels and
weather but rain is coming this week and can change that. Blue-winged olives are hatching
good, especially on cloudy days. Midges are now important insects to imitate. Don't forget to
use the Brown Sculpin streamer on the post-spawn brown trout.

11/15/15 The river is high right now but falling fast. It should be in decent shape in a day or
two at the most, but there is more rain in the forecast beginning on Thursday. We will just have
to watch the levels. Hatches are down to the Blue-winged olives, but in two sizes and Midges.
The midges will become more and more important as the water temps fall.

11/22/15 The West Branch discharges and stream levels are good at the current time and little
change is expected. There is no rian or snow until a chance next Saturday. It is colder now but
will be warming back up some. Hatches will be mostly midges. The Brown sculpin streamer is
still the top producing fly.

11/29/15 The stream levels are normal for this time of the season. The water is much colder
and hatches consist mostly of midges. We recommend fishing the midge larva and pupa in
tandem with the pupa fly about a foot or more above the larva. This rig producing well in cold
water temperatures.

12/06/15 Getting out on the water on a warm day at this time of the year is not only a pure
pleasure, you can catch trout provided you use the right strategies and flies. As mentioned in
the report, the trout won't hold or feed in fast current. The move to slow to water with little to no
current when the temperature is in th low forties. MIdges are the best choice of flies at this time.

12/13/15 I mentioned in the report that it is rather odd that it is raining rather than snowing but
we are in a warm spell and that's great. Fishing should be excellent right now for the month of
December. Winter stoneflies, Blue-winged olives and midges are hatching. We recommend the
Brown Sculpin streamer as the first choice with all the cloud cover.

12/20/15 The West Branch is finally getting a little cold and actng like it is the beginning of
winter but it is still very warm. The stream levels are high right now, so be sure you check that
out before attempting to fish. The trout won't hold in the fast current, so fish the slack water
and holes in the bottom of the pools and pockets.

12/27/15 The stream levels are a little high right now and there is a lot more rain and snow
coming in the next four days. If most of it is snow, the stream levels may remain fishable but if
not, the levels will likely be too high to fish. You will just have to watch them. Otherwise, the
unseasonably warm weather will give some good opportunities to fish.

01/03/16 It is getting colder. The bathing suit weather of fall is over. Dress right, get the little
midges tied on the tippet and get out on the river. The trout haven't stopped eating. Keep the
fly or flies if you fish tandem midges, out of the fast current in holes in the bottom of the pools
and runs where the current is slow to still.

01/10/16 It is that time of the year when getting to the water is as big of a problem as catching
trout when you do get there. It is cold and staying cold with lots of snow in the forecast. Midges
and Winter stonefly nymphs should be the choice flies but streamers like our White Belly
sculpin will work with the cloudy skies.

01/17/16 It is that time of the year when it gets cold and that, it has done. The water is
averaging about 36-37 degrees. Midges and winter stonefly nymphs will catch trout when it is
that cold but they won't be in water with much current. Fish holes in the bottom of the runs and
pools, out of the current.

01/24/16 The discharges should continue to be low in the tailwater, but you always have to
check them. Fish as close to the dam as legal for the warmest water. Midges, Winter stoneflies
and the Brown sculpin are the flies you need to be using.

01/31/16 There is going to be a warm streak of weather the first of this coming week, and if for
no other reason, that's a good excuse to get out on the water. Midges, Winter stoneflies and
Black Flies are hatching. The water is still going to be very cold and fishing tough, but it is
possible to catch trout.

02/07/16 The river is flowing high and fast. You will have to watch the discharges and stream
levels closely. The water is very cold, averaging about 33 to 35. The warmest water you will
find is near the bottom discharge of the dam. Midges and winter stoneflies are the insects you
should be imitating.

02/14/16 The West Branch is as cold as it can get and flow, with the exception of the tailwater
near the dam. That is where you will find the warmest water. The bottom discharge comes out
of the bottom of the lake at about 38 degrees but cools fast as it heads downstream. Midges,
winter stoneflies and black flies are the insects you should imitate.

02/21/16 The weather forecast for the coming week is a wild one, with highs and lows that
range all over the spectrum. In other words it will be cold and snowing or warm enough for
shorts. There is some rain and snow in the forecast most every day but there will be some
good chances to catch a trout for those that give it a try.

02/28/16 This part of New York is cold as blank,normally, but there have been some warmer
days. It has only melted snow, stained the water and kelp it cold near the freezing point. The
best location to fish is still near the bottom discharge form the dam. Midges, creams and reds
and winter stoneflies are the insects you should imitate.

03/06/16 The stream levels are down some, and the water clearer than it has been. It is also a
couple of degrees warming. The warmer weather has a lot more snow to melt before the river
hits its spring time prime with bugs in the air and trout jumping out of the water. You can catch
them now fishing near the discharge of the dam in the slower currents.

03/13/16 The weather has been very warm and this is melting a lot of snow creating a runoff
situation. That tends to hold the water temperature down. The USGS gauge we list is working
again and that's a good sign. Blue-winged olives and midges are hatching and things looking
up. The water is a little high and will likely get higher.

03/20/16 The stream levels are back down and the water in good shape. It won't be long
before it starts to warm up some and then you will see a explosion of several aquatic insect
hatches. Right now, you will have to stick with midges and little BWO nymphs. The Brown
sculpin streamer works good under low light conditions.   

03/27/16 The West Branch is one of the last destinations in New York to come alive with
hatching insects, but when it does, it will rival any stream in the state. The water is getting a
little warmer each day and it won't be very long. Now is the time to stock up on the right flies.
Shoot us an email and we can help you do just that.

04/03/16 We have some more winter weather to deal with here in upstate New York. The
stream level is also a little high, too high to wade. Midges and little BWOs are still the best
choice. It won't be long before Little Black Caddis, Little Brown stoneflies and other larger
insects begin to hatch.

04/10/16 The weather has been cold the past few days but that is about to change and warm
back up. There is some snow and rain for a couple of days, and then clearing. The water is
still cold and midges and little BWOs are still the main insects to imitate. The stream level is
back down to a normal level for this time of the year.

04/17/16 The weather is gettting much warmer with less rain and no snow. The water
temperature should follow and fishing conditions improve. Little Blue-winged olives and midges
are hatching but it is mostly subsurface. Stream levels are in good shape running just a little
below normal for this time of the year.

04/24/16 The weather is back to normal for upper New York state and the water will continue
to be in the mid to high forties. Quill Gordon, Blue Quill, Little Brown stoneflies and Little Black
Caddis are near hatching but not yet. The water needs to get to fifty degrees and stay there
two or three days in a row for these to start.

05/01/16 The West Branch has finally come alive with insects and trout feeding on them. The
water levels are low and that has helped it to warm up fast. The less water, the faster it will
warm. Several new hatches are taking place and our customers are doing good catching a lot
of trout and some on top on the dry fly.

05/08/16 The West Branch is always a little complex to those just starting to fish it. The water
temperatures vary greatly at this time of the year, depending on teh section of water you're
fishing. That varies the hatches as well. Right now there are several insects hatching but that
doesn't mean all in one place.

05/15/16 The weather is turning a little cooler and this may affect the hatches some. There will
be more cripples. Fish nymph more than you normally would until you see surface action. The
stream levels are in good shape now and hopefully, the rain won't change them drastically.
They are not expecting any big downpours.

05/22/16 The stream is in good shape with good stream levels and clear water. Several
hatches are taking place and more is on the horizon as the water continues to warm. There is
some rain in the forecast, so make sure you check the levels. Our customers are giving some
very good reports as to the number and sizes of the trout they are catching.

05/29/16 Wow, is the right word for the West Branch right now. The stream levels are in good
shape. There is some heavy rain but we don't think that is going to adversely affect anything.
There are a lot of new hatches starting up including some of the big drakes. Remember, some
of the insects we slow are fast water residents and some slow. They all are not just any and

06/11/16 The river has really gotten into good shape this past few days. We received two
good reports from customers fishing the river this past week. Good numbers and sizes of trout
were caught. There are several hatches taking place. The weather forecast looks good for the
next week. Conditions are about as good as they can get.

06/18/16 We are getting some very good reports from customers fishing the river lately. The
stream levels are down offering good safe wading opportunity. There are a multitude of
hatches taking place. It varies with the section of water you are fishing. Late evening egg
laying of the little Yellow stoneflies and two species of caddisflies is giving those that fish late in
the day a good shot at lots of trout.

06/26/16 The West Branch is in very good shape. The stream levels are a little low but that
makes it easy to wade some otherwise difficult places. There are a lot of hatches taking place.
Our customers are catching a lot of trout on the surface on the dry fly;, however, most are
coming subsurface. Stay low and well hidden from the trout.

07/03/10 The river is in good shape in all sections. There are still a lot of insects hatching.
Don;'t expect them all to be in every section. We added terrestrials to the fly list but they
shouldn't take priority to any hatches. They will become more and more important as hatches
subside. Our customers reported catching a lot of trout this past week and the coming week
should be as good or better.

07/10/16 The West Branch is running a little high and getting higher. It is raining now, and the
stream will likely to continue to run high for a while. There is more rain forecast at the end of
this week. There are still many different hatches taking place. Wading is going to be out for a
while in many sections of the river. Be careful, if you do attempt to wade anywhere. Streamers,
like the Brown sculpin, will be a good option.

07/17/16 The river is in good shape in all sections and anglers are catching good numbers of
trout. The hatches are slowing down in terms of numbers but there are still plenty of them.
There are a lot of caddisflies, consisting of three species. Little Yellow stoneflies are very
plentiful in most sections of the river. The best time to fish is very late in the day, with egg
laying caddis and stoneflies.

07/23/16 The river is low in all sections. Stealth is required if you expect to do very well. Stay
low and as hidden from the trout as possible. There are still a lot of hatches taking place. Little
Yellow stoneflies, Cinnamon Caddis and Light Cahills are hatching very good. There are still
some Sulphurs in some sections. The weather is going to be warmer but it will have little affect
on the water temperature.

07/30/16 The weather is going to cool back down a few degrees. The stream levels are still in
good shape. It is raining but should be ending tomorrow. We received mixed reports from
customers this past week. Some were having trouble and some were catching trout. There are
still plenty of hatching insects but terrestrials are also becoming important.

08/07/16 The river levels are up some, near normal levels. There are not as many hatches
taking place as there have been, but still plenty of them. They vary with the section of water
being fished. The little Yellow stoneflies, two species of caddisflies and some mayflies are in
most all sections. Terrestrials are working but again, we wouldn't fish them in priority to any

08/15/16 The stream levels are up some but still a little low. That will be changing fast. There
are flash flood warnings out for the next three days. Make sure you check the stream levels
before driving very far to fish. There are still plenty of insects hatching. BWOs, sulphurs,
cinnamon caddis, slate drake and tricos are the main ones. Terrestrial insects are also
working good. Ants, beetles and hoppers are catching trout.

08/21/16 The river has been a little high but is back down near a normal level for this time of
the season. The hatches are subsiding some, but there are still plenty of them. Cinnamon
Caddis are everywhere. Their late afternoon egg laying is bringing a lot of trout to the surface
to feed. Streamers, especially our Sculpin patterns, have been catching trout in the early
mornings. It is turning cooler and that will also help.

08/28/16 The river is in good shape with normal stream levels for this time of the year. Unlike
most other trout streams in the state, the weather is warm but not blazing hot. Our customers
are reporting catching trout throughout the day and in most sections. There are a lot of
hatches taking place. It is still a good idea to fish early and late in the day, but again, you can
fish all day at the current water temperatures.

09/04/16 The river is in good shape but the levels are a little low and low enough that you
should use extra caution to not spook the trout. Longer, lighter leaders and tippets will help.
There are still plenty of hatches taking place. They vary some with the section of the river but
caddisflies are in all sections. Terrestrial imitations are working good as well - ants, beetles
and hoppers.

09/11/16 All sections of the river are fishing good. We received two good reports this past
week. There are still a few hatches taking place but streamers and nymphs seem to work
better than anything. Terrestrial imitations of ants and beetles work good according to some.
The water levels are up some but sill a little low in places. The weather is much cooler and this
coming week should be a very good one.

09/18/16 The stream levels are down and it is easy to wade many sections of the river. It
makes it easy to spook the trout just as well, so you have to use some caution when wading.
Stay low and dress to blend in the with the background. We received some very good reports
from customers this past week. Fishing early mornings or during cloud cover with sculpin
streamers is resulting in some larger fish being caught.

09/25/26 The river is in good shape with good stream levels and lower water temperatures.
The weather is much cooler and that has the trout in high gear and feeding good. Our
customers are catching them on terrestrials and hatches. There are several new ones. The
Brown trout will be soon going into the love mode, moving around looking for spawning areas.

10/02/16 For the past two weeks, I have mention the brown trout were looking for spawning
areas but now  they are in the pre-spawn mode for certain. Our customers managed to catch
some very nice size ones this past week. The Brown sculpin streamer and the Black Matuka
sculpin streamers work good for this. There are lots of Blue-winged olives and Mahogany duns

10/09/16 The brown trout are either spawning or in the pre-spawn stage. Don't wade though
the redds, please. The weather is much cooler and it is possible to catch a lot of trout, you just
have to stay hidden from them. It isn't exactly easy but can be done. Dress to match the
background, use longer, lighter leaders and tippet. Streamers like our Brown Sculpin will catch
the pre-spawn brown trout.

10/16/16 The stream levels are currently low but that will be changing soon. The discharges
and levels will be higher thanks to rain in the forecast everyday but one for the coming week. It
is a little warmer than normal but that will change soon. Streamers will be a choice fly this
coming week due to the cloud cover and higher water. The Brown Sculpin would be a top
choice.. Blue-winged olives will hatch big time.

10/23/16 The river is up a little above normal levels and difficult to wade in many places. You
will need to watch the stream levels this coming week. There is more rain and some snow in
the forecast. There are some very large blue-winged olive hatches taking place. Our
customers have been catching a lot of trout until the water rose up high recently. Brown trout
are in the pre-spawn stage and can be caught with the Brown sculpin streamer.

10/30/16 There are lots of Blue-winged olives hatching and trout still being taken on the
surface. Fish the BWO nymphs until early afternoon and the switch to the dun. Fish the BWO
spinner late in the day. Brown trout are in the pre-spawn stage and will take the Brown Sculpin
Streamers. Stream levels are good and there's rain in the forecast most days.

11/06/16 The river is in great shape with few anglers fishing. I guess football, world series and
other things are factors but for those series fly anglers, it couldn't be much better. Blue-winged
olives are hatching good. Stream levels are all within a fishable range. There is little rain in the
forecast. It doesn't get much better than this in November.  

11/13/16 The stream levels are a little below normal but there is a good chance of rain on
Wednesday. The lower levels does make it easy to wade and our customers and other anglers
seem to be catching good numbers of trout. One customer caught a 18 inch brown this past
week on the Brown sculpin streamer. It was a post-spawn fish. Blue-winged olives and midges
are hatching.

11/20/16 The discharges and stream levels continue to be low but there is snow or rain in the
forecast everyday for the coming week. Midges and Blue-winged olives are the main insects to
imitate. They are both hatching good with the heavy cloud cover. Sculpin streamers should
continue to catch the larger size trout.

11/27/16 The river is still in good shape, although the discharges and levels are running a little
low. We actually prefer ti that way when the water is as cold as it is now. It makes wading easy
and safe. It is easy to stay hidden from the trout most places. You do need to match the little
BWO's hatching close, size 18 and 20. Midges, both creams and reds (mostly creams) are
also hatching good.

12/04/16 The stream levels are way up and there is rain and snow in the forecast almost
everyday next week. It isn't safe to wade most sections of the river at this time. You will just
have to keep an eye on the levels. You can use streamers effectively. The Brown and white
Belly sculpin have been catching the larger trout. Winter stoneflies and Black flies are hatching
in addition to midges.

12/11/16 Stream levels are back down a little below normal. That helps but the water is clear
and cold, averaging about 36 to 39 degrees at the warmest. Fish as near the bottom
discharges of the dam as best you can. The further downstream you fish, the colder the water
will be. Midges and Winter stneflies are the best fly choices.

12/18/16 The weather is on a roller coaster, with temperatures up and down. Much of the
water has slush ice in it and isn't worth fishing. Sections near the bottom releases of the dams
have the warmest water. Midges, Creams and Reds  or blood midges, are the most important
insects to imitate at this time. Fish the larva and pupa in tandem, with the larva the bottom fly.
We have these Pre-rigged for those who have trouble tying on tiny flies.

12/25/16 The weather and water is going to be just a tiny bit warmer this coming week but not
enough to make much difference. The stream levels are fine, but the water temperature is
barely above freezing except near the bottom releases of tailwaters. Midges, Black Flies and
Winter stoneflies are hatching. It is possible to catch trout if you fish the warmest water out of
the direct current in slack water.

01/01/17 The water is cold and the temperature varies with the section slightly. It probably
averages about 35 degrees but some may be as high as 37. You can catch trout using midges
and Winter stonefly nymphs. Fish the Cream or Red midge with the lava and pupa imitations in
tandem. The top fly should be the pupa and it should be about 16 inches above the larva. Fish
as near the tailwater discharge as legal and possible.

01/08/17 It is going to warm up some this coming week and within a couple of days, should
provide some good opportunities for fishing. Much of the water currently has a lot of slush ice
in it. This should all be clear by Wednesday or Thursday. The warmer water is near the
tailwater discharge but drops down in temperature fast the further downstream you fish. Cream
and Red midges and Winter stoneflies are the only insects hatching.

01/15/17 The weather has finally gotten above the freezing mark during most days. That helps
get rid of some of the ice and snow. The water is still barely above freezing in most places.
Fish the Cream and Red midges with the larva and pupa in tandem. Fish the Winter stonefly
nymphs late in the day near the banks. They crawl out of the water to hatch at night.

01/22/17 Another week ahead of rain and snow everyday. The water is barely above freezing
in most sections, ranging 33 to 35 at the highest. Midges, Creams and Blood midges (reds)
are hatching good. Black Flies and Winter stoneflies are hatching good. Getting around may
be a bigger problem than catching trout. Fish the midge larva and pupa in tandem, and the
adults only when you see midges on the surface, or clusters of them.

01/29/17 There is a lot of snow in the forecast for the next few days and a lot of it on the banks
of the stream. There is some shelf ice in places but mostly along the banks with some slush ice
in the water. The high temperature for the coming week isn't going above freezing, so
conditions shouldn't get any better. Midges are hatching and although it is possible to catch
trout under these conditions, we don't recommend it.

02/05/17 The water temperature is very cold with little chance of warming up much if the
forecast is right. For the first time, we feel like the river isn't worth fishing. At least it isn't worth
traveling far to fish. If I lived nearby, I probably would fish it to prove I could catch a trout. The
water temperature isn't over 34 anywhere and there is a lot of ice in the water.

02/12/17 The water is very cold, with lots of slush ice and shelf ice. There is deep snow on the
banks and more coming every day for this coming week. The highest temperature this coming
week is only going to be 33 degrees and that's one day. The water isn't going to get any
warmer. We cannot recommend fishing under these conditions.

02/19/17 The weather is looking great for the coming week. It is going to be nice and warm
most days, with little chance of rain. This is going to melt a lot of ice in the water and snow and
ice on the banks. This will stain the water is some sections. Fish streamers like our Black
Matuka sculpin in the stained water or when overcast. Fish midges, Creams and Reds,

02/26/17 The river is blown out with very high levels. The flows are at 5210 cfs at 5.48 feet. It
will be four days or more before it gets back down low enough and maybe longer. There is
some more rain in the forcast. Sculpin streamers like the Black Matuka sculpin will be a good
choice when it first gets low enough. Midges are still the main insects hatching. Fish the
Creams or Red midges with the larva and pupa rigged in tandem.

03/05/17 The river is in much  better shape this week. It is still high, too high to wade safely in
most sections of the two open areas. It is falling and likely to be in great shape soon. You have
to catch the good weather and water levels days to catch trout and enjoy it. Midges are still the
most important insects to imitate. Sculpin streamers will still give you  a shot at the larger trout.

03/19/17 The weather has turned cold again. The daily high temperature won't reach the
freezing mark all week. There is a lot of ice in the water now and that will be increasing through
the week. Midges, Creams and Reds, or blood midges, will be about the only insects hatching.
Fish the larva and pupa imitations rigged in tandem for the best results. .

03/26/17 Conditions are looking much better. The stream levels are running about normal
levels and the water is clear. The weather is getting warmer and that should bring the water
temperature up and kick start some new Spring hatches before long. For now, Midges are still
king. There is some rain in the forecast this coming week.

04/09/17 The discharges and stream levels in all section are still high, mostly too high to wade
safelyi but they are dropping. There is less rain in the forecast this coming week, and much
warmer weather. Within the next week to three weeks, we should see several new hatches take
place. The water temperature needs to reach about 50 degrees for three or four days for that
to happen.

04/16/17 The discharges and stream levels are very high, too high to wade or fish in our
opinion. There is rain in the forecast everyday but one for the next week, and we don't think
the discharges and levels will get much better, if any. All you can do is to keep checking back
with us. We will keep you informed. When is does drop down, fishing should be great. The
water is warm and lots of insects are hatching.
Map of the West Branch Ausable:
State of New York