Chautauqua Creek Steelhead
Fly Fishing Chautaqua Creek New York
Chautaqua Creek starts at Sherman and flows for fifteen
miles through a deep canyon or gorge like area into
Lake Erie. The stream was a route for industry at the
village of Westfield in the early years. The gorge creates
an area similar to that of a remote, wilderness. Fly
fishing Chautaqua Creek can be an exciting, fun-filled

The average size steelhead of Chautaqua Creek
probably averages between five and ten pounds. There
are larger ones caught. The Fall and Winter months are
prime times to catch the steelhead.

The state of New York stocks steelhead in all of their
Lake Erie tributaries suitable for steelhead and
Chautauqua Creek lies just about smack in the middle of
the famous section called Steelhead Alley.  It isn't as
large as some of the other tributaries of Lake Erie, but is
has a very high catch rate for steelhead.

Steelhead fishing ranges from the mouth of the stream
to the Westfield Water Works dam. The upper end of
this section has a 1.3 mile long catch and release area.
The season is open year-round for catch and release.

In addition to steelhead, there are both wild rainbow and
brown trout in the gorge above the dam upstream to
Putnam Road. Brown trout are also stocked in the
stream during the spring. There's a total of eight and a
half miles of dedicated, public water access on
Chautaqua Creek. Access is also available in the
Chautaqua Gorge State Forest.

Chautaqua Creek is said to produce over one steelhead
per hour of fishing. That's a huge catch rate for

Not everything about the stream is good. It is heavily
pressured in the Fall season, especially on the
weekends. It also freezes earlier than many other
streams in the Great Lakes region. This can be a
problem even during the first of the month of December.

You should check the stream conditions prior to
traveling to Chautaqua Creek. If the season tends to be
on the warm side with non-freezing temperatures, the
creek can fish good throughout the month of December.
Rain and mild temperatures are the keys to it.

The clear ledge pools just up and downstream from  
Route #5 are usually the most heavily fished parts of the
stream, but the entire lowermost five miles of the stream
provide access to spawning fish.  

The season is open all year for trout and salmon from
the mouth to Westfield Water Works dam. Trout above
the dam is open April through Oct. 15
Fly fishing Chautaqua Creek during the Winter is fine
provided the water isn't frozen.
Steelhead remain in the stream into April. Spring is a
great time to catch trout in the upper part of the creek.
Trout fishing is usually fine during the Summer..
Fall is the bet all around time for steelhead fishing.
Copyright 2018 James Marsh
Type of Stream

Brown Trout (Wild and Stocked)
Rainbows (Wild)


Northwestern New York

Nearest Towns

Trout and Salmon Open all year


Non-Resident License
State of New York

National Weather Service

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Fishing Report (coming)
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Chautaqua Creek Fishing Report: