Written by Don Lehman
Late summer is not a time of year where many trout anglers are thinking about heading to their favorite stream. Typically, our rivers and streams are at their lowest and warmest in August, and that is when trout are least active, struggling to find cooler water to survive heat that can be fatal to them.
As anyone who has paid attention to our recent weather knows, this has not been your average summer. The wettest July on record in the region has continued into August, and we have more water than we know what to do with in some places.
That is great for trout anglers, as it means that cold water-loving trout will make it through the summer. It has made for some unexpected good fishing in a time of the year when anglers might be pursuing other activities.
The rain has pushed some Warren County waters too high, and flooding was an unfortunate occurrence during some of the downpours. The Schroon River remained far higher than normal, and pretty much unfishable, as of early August.
But most other local streams and rivers were in better shape between rain events, and were offering some unusually good summer fishing. Here are some good Warren County trout streams for later summer and fall:
- Mill Creek in Johnsburg is an Adirondack brook trout stream, with plenty of wild and stocked brookies awaiting anglers. Originating in the high country of western Warren County, it is a stream that stays cool through summer most years, and offers good fishing between Route 28 in Wevertown and the Hudson River.
- Halfway Brook in Queensbury flows through suburbia, but there is plenty of habitat for brown and brook trout to hide through the year. There are some nice, rarely fished holes in the wooded areas behind Lowe’s Home Improvement Center and off Quaker Road.
- West Brook in Lake George is a major tributary to Lake George, and it is also a fun stream to fish west of Route 9, as it flows from the hills to the west of the lake. Some nice brook trout and brown trout are caught each year in its headwaters off Transfer Road.
- Northwest Bay Brook in Bolton is a stream that gets quite low during dry summers, but is heavily stocked and offers plenty of state-owned public access off Padanarum Road.
- Schroon River in Chester and Warrensburg remains high as of this writing, but with lots of public access along Schroon River Road, and a heavy stocking program, there are plenty of trout in the river for late-season anglers.
Fishing in the summer is different than earlier in the year. Most of the hatchery trout are long gone, having been caught by anglers or other predators. So, the fish that remain are either wild or holdovers, and they can be finicky. Careful bait or lure presentation is a must, particularly when water is lower and more clear.
New York trout streams are open to anglers year-round now, so there is no closed season during fall and winter as there has been in the past. But after October 15, trout season is catch and release on most waters until April 1, though there are some exceptions. So, consult the state rulebook to make sure you are following the law.