Big Flat Brook River
Copyright 2021 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Big Flat Brook River New
Big Flat Brook begins in the northwest corner of the
state of New Jersey and flows south for about twenty-
eight miles. It's a very beautiful stream and a tributary
of the Delaware River. It is considered one of New
Jersey’s best trout streams. The rainbow trout are
stocked by the State, but it also contains a large
number of wild brown and brook trout.

Big Flat Brook provides the ideal habitat for trout with a
large variety of different types of water. It's clear water
flows over a bottom consisting mostly of larger rocks,
and in some sections, shale. There is mostly fast
moving pocket water in the upper sections of the
stream.  Below Route 206 and on down to the Delaware
River, are sections of riffles and runs along with
stretches of long runs and deeper pools with soft
bottoms. This wide variety of water types helps account
for its large variety of aquatic insects.

The stream’s ample access provides anglers plenty of
water to choose from. Its upper section flows through
Stokes State Forest. The lower part of the stream flows
through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation
area. Roads follow along most all of the stream except
for the upper part above Route #206. You can hike into
that part of the stream.

Great care has gone into taking care of this fine
stream. There’s a large, four-mile long special
regulations area. The 4 mile stretch from the 206
Bridge to Roy Bridge is designated a Catch and
Release Area - Artificial lures and flies only.  This
section extends from the Route 206 Bridge down to
Roy Bridge on Mountain Road. There’s a shorter
section included within this section with the same
special regulations called the Blewitt Tract,, so
everyone should closely follow these restrictions.

One big plus for the Big Flat Brook is the fact you can
fish it year-round. Of course, there are days your
guides in the fly rod might freeze up and day even you
might tend to freeze but it beats sitting on the couch.
Trout can be taken on warm nice days throughout the
Type of Stream

Brown Trout (wild)
Rainbow Trout (stocked)
Brook Trout (wild)

Small to Medium

Northwestern New Jersey

Nearest Towns

The season is open year-round with
no closures during stocking of
rainbow trout


USGS Real Time Stream Flow
Near Flatbrookville

Non-Resident License
State of New Jersey

National Weather Service Link

Fly Fishing Gear and Trout Flies
Big Flat Brook River
New Jersey
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Photo Courtesy of
Dennis McCarthy
This information was provided by
Matthew Grobert, author of "Fly
Fishing New Jersey Trout
Streams", available from:

Frank Amato Publications, Inc.
P. O. Box 82112,
Portland, Oregon 97282

We highly recommend this book.
The New Jersey trout season typically
begins the second Saturday of April each
Springtime is probably the best time for fly
fishing Big Flat Brook River due to its many
aquatic insect hatches.  The State also
stocks the river heavily during the first six
weeks of the season.
The water can get a little warm in the lower
sections of the stream during very hot
weather. Fishing the upper stream sections
is good all summer, except during low
precipitation years.  
Fly Fishing Guide to Big Flat Brook
Above Route 206, the Flat Brook is a small
stream that averages about fifteen to twenty-
five feet wide with fast moving pocket water.
Above Route 206, the Flat Brook is a small
stream that averages about fifteen to twenty-
five feet wide with fast moving pocket water. It
flows mostly through forest in its upper
section and most of the stream is tightly
enclosed with tree limbs. There are some
areas that flow through open fields in the
upper section. This area can be accessed
from the Route 206 Bridge parking area by
hiking in an upstream direction.

The “Fly Fishing Only” section is just below
the upper section. It runs from the Route 206
Bridge downstream for about four miles to
Mountain Road. The stream slows down
some and is wider in this section, probably
averaging from twenty to forty feet wide.
There are some larger, deeper pools in this
section.. There is a short portion of the
stream called the “Blewett Track” that has
additional regulations located within this
larger Fly Fishing Only section of the stream.
The Little Flat Brook tributary enters not far
below the 206 bridge adding to the flow of
the stream.

The stream holds trout all the way to
Flatbrookville, where it converges with the
Delaware River. The lower section is much
larger, averaging around fifty feet in width. It
has some very deep, long pools that hold
some of the larger holdover trout.
The stream is paralleled by county road
#16615 in this section. There is plenty of
parking along the road where the stream
can be accessed. Roads #615 and #640
follow along the stream for most of the
lower section.

Since the water types are varied, your
fishing methods, techniques and strategies
need to vary accordingly. Most all of the
water should be fished in an upstream
direction. The faster, small upper section
should be approached using short,
upstream cast. In the smoother, slower
sections of the stream it may be necessary
to fish some of the hatches (such as the
Tricos) using a downstream approach and

If you pay attention to what is about to
hatch and focus on fishing imitations of
that insect’s nymphs or larvae, you should
be more successful than you would be
using attractor flies, although they will
catch their share of trout in the faster
sections of water. When a major hatch is
underway, such as the Hendricksons,
Sulphurs, Light Cahills, Slate Drakes and
Tricos, you should focus on matching the
insect with emergers, duns and spinners
as appropriate.
Big Flat Brook River Hatches and
Trout Flies:
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 Big
Flat Brook 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.

This little freestone stream provides a huge
diversity of aquatic insects due to its very
good water chemistry and varied types of

As with most other trout streams, Blue-
winged Olives are among the most important
insects in the stream.  More than one
species of these little mayflies will start
hatching as early as the middle of February
and hatch until the middle of April. There’s
another hatch (Easter Blue Winged Olives)
that occurs from about the middle of May
until the first of June. Another Finally, the
last BWO hatch occurs from the middle of
August through the month of September.

Around the first or second week in April, the
Quill Gordons will hatch. It’s a rather short
hatch lasting only about two or three weeks.
At about the same time the Quill Gordons
show come off, the little Blue Quills will start
to hatch. The hatch tends to last for about a

From the middle of April until about the
middle of May, the Hendrickson hatch occurs
on the Big Flat Brook River. You will find
them in the more moderate sections of the

From the last of May until about the middle
of June you will find hatches of Eastern Pale
Evening Duns (
invaria species) occurring.
Before the hatch ends, their little sisters or
Sulphurs (
dorthea species) will start
hatching and last until the middle of July.

March Browns hatch from about the first of
May for most of the month. They are usually
found in the faster to moderate sections of
the stream. Another clinger mayfly, the Light
Cahill, will hatch starting about the last week
of May and last throughout the month of
Hatches, continued:
Slate Drakes hatch over a long period of
time, but usually irregularly. They first show
up about the first of June and hatch off and
on until the middle of September.  

Yellow Drakes hatch in the slower sections
of the stream from about the middle of June
until the middle of July. The little Trico
mayflies start hatching about the middle of
June and last through the month of July.
You will find both the Yellow Drakes and the
Tricos in the slower sections of the stream.
Caddisflies are also present in good
numbers on the Big Flat Brook River. The
first hatch of significance is the Little Black
Caddis, or American Grannoms. Some of
these are called Apple Caddis, named for
their apple green bodies. They start
hatching about the third week of April and
last until near the end of May. Dark Blue
Sedges are very plentiful and start hatching
near the end of April. This hatch can last
into the first of the month of July. The most
plentiful caddisflies  are the Cinnamon
Caddis. Several species of them hatch from
about the last week of May all the way
through most of the month of September.
Green Sedges hatch from about the first of
June through August. Their larvae, called
Green Rock Worms, are available for trout
to eat year-round. Imitations of them should
produce just about anytime.

Midges hatch throughout the year. They
become most important when there isn’t
anything else hatching. Imitations of their
larvae, pupae and of the adults will
produce.  A Griffith’s Gnat is the top midge
dry during hatches of these tiny flies. Also,
don’t overlook streamers. The Big Flat
Brook River has plenty of minnows, baitfish
and sculpin. Streamers are usually most
effective under low light conditions or when
the water is slightly off color from heavy rain.

There are a lot of aquatic insects that hatch
in this fine little freestone stream. We have
“Perfect Fly” imitations of all of them. They
are not only the most realistic flies you can
purchase, they are the most effective at
catching trout. If you haven’t done so
already, please give them a try.
Fall is a great time to fish the river as
Large brown trout can move out of the
Delaware River up into the Big Flat Brook
River to spawn in the fall. Hatches
continue into October, and the State also
stocks the river early in the month.   
During milder winters, the Flatbrook can
be fished throughout the year, however,
most years there are several weeks when
the river is coated in a blanket of ice,
usually in late January through February.
Big Flat Brook New Jersey
Big Flat Brook River
Thumbnails: Click to enlarge
Images property of Dennis McCarthy
(Bottom Of Page)
Fishing Report Updated 01/18/2021
Big Flat Brook River Fishing Report - 01/18/2021
Stream level are running a little above a normal level. You should be able to catch plenty
trout. We continue to get good reports from customers.
Stream Conditions:

7 Day Weather Forecast:
(click the box below for more detailed weather information)

Recommended Trout Flie
Rate: 116
Level: 2.45 ft
Afternoon Water Temperature: 39
Clarity: clear
USGS Real-Time Stream Flow Data At Flatsbrooksville NJ
Brown Sculpin, White Belly Sculpin & articulated streamers, size 4/6
Blue-winged Olives, 16/18, nymphs, emergers, duns and spinners
Black Matuka and Olive Matuka Sculpin, size 4/6
Aquatic Worms, size 12, pink, red, and others.
Winter Stoneflies, size 16/18, nymphs and adults
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
Strategies, Techniques and Tips:
Our Perfect Fly Brown Sculpin,  White Belly Sculpin and Articulated streamers are great
flies to use during the entire season. There are a lot of sculpin in the river.
Blue-winged Olives are hatching.
The Black Matuka Sculpin and Olive Matuka Sculpin are good streamers to use at
this time.
Aquatic worms are working.
Winter stoneflies are hatching.
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.
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.

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