Battenkill River Fishing Report

Considered one of the finest and most challenging trout fisheries in the country, the 28-mile Vermont, spring-fed stretch starts in the Green Mountains near the East Dorset town of Bennington. From the border of New York, the river continues for another 31 miles in a southerly direction until it reaches Easton, NY and empties into the Hudson River. It is one of several rivers that form the 400+ mile Hudson River drainage basin. It’s also where the smart fish live.
When fishing the Vermont portion of this river, assume the trout have earned PhD’s in evasion techniques and are there to test your mettle. Before 1975, Vermont stocked the Battenkill (NY State still does) but now it’s gone native and all the trout are wild. Since this is a catch and release river, by the time a fish is two or three years old, it’s probably been caught more than once and when it comes to flies, the fish have seen them all. As one observer summed it up, there are lots of sizeable browns in the Battenkill but they didn’t get big by being dumb.
Near Manchester the river is scenic, narrow and characterized by soft bottoms, small pools and a few deep runs and rifles with mostly smaller brook and browns. The river widens as you approach Arlington, where the trout tend to lurk in slow moving pools. By the time you approach the state line the fish are typically 12 -16 inches long and more plentiful, but rarely easier to catch. This freestone river is a terrific choice for experts and for anglers ready to up their game.
Before booking your Battenkill trip there are a few things to keep in mind:
  • The New York season is year round while Vermont is limited from April - October.
  • There is good public access but sections of the river are private access only
  • It’s catch and release
East Dorset
Hudson River
59 miles
407 sq miles
Seasonal Conditions
SpringMidges, minnows and sculpin
SummerBWO, yellow & golden drake, hendrickson, Am. march br., cream cahill, light cahill, sulfur dun, pale morn. & eve. dun, trico, caddis, sedge
FallBWO, trico, terrestrials, minnows, sculpin
WinterMinnows, midges, sculpin
Game Fish Opportunities
Fishing Trips
Its "Spring Forward Day" with the clock change this morning. Longer days, stronger sun, and thoughts and plans for the upcoming season are on my mind this morning. Usually at this ... moretime I am busy finishing my winter job in the ski industry and madly getting ready to head to Michigan for the spring Steelhead season. This will be the second year I will not be going west and concentrating my guiding on the local waters of southern VT and nearby NY.

What a winter!! Or should I say a "non-winter"!!! Virtually no snow, wide temperature swings, and many days above freezing all culminating in the warmest winter on record for my home state of Vermont!!! As I write this report there is no snow cover and our temps have been averaging 15-20 F above normal Usually when the fishing season opens (early April) ours streams are high and cold from snow melt so our hatches and spring fishing doesn't get going till early May. NOT THIS YEAR, IT WILL BE UNUSUALLY EARLY DUE TO THESE RECENT CLIMATIC CONDITIONS. The local ski areas will close soon and I will have plenty of time to prep, tie flies, and work on my small water targets, walking/scouting and pruning that critical branch to get a good cast in a tight spot.
The classical trout river. One of America's most beautiful trout streams. Wild Brown and Brook trout challenge even the most skilled angler. Hatches are prolific and complex. Its excellent ... morewater quality and varied habitat make this river a great producer of trophy browns that are the brood stock sustaining a good population of smaller fish. The brookies are easier to fool, while the browns require a bit more effort and knowledge.
Current Forecast
Water Flow
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Fishing Quality
Water quality

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