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Top Fishing Spots in Dutchess County

Date Published: February 26, 2024

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ve come to the right place! Flowing creeks, stocked lakes, and the mighty Hudson River make this area one of the top fly fishing destinations around. Dutchess County is the perfect place to drift a fly or cast your bait or lure in shimmering waters. Before you go, don’t forget to obtain your fishing license—it’s a New York State requirement for anyone 16-years of age or older. Fishing is the perfect outdoor activity to enjoy beautiful natural spaces. More information on obtaining a fishing license can be found here. 


Orvis Sandanona Fly Fishing School, Millbrook

Millbrook is home to one of the famous Orvis Fly Fishing Schools. First-class guides and instructors at Orvis Sandanona make your fly fishing trip an experience of a lifetime. Enjoy classic New England trout waters from April through November. Their private casting ponds and trout stream are the perfect settings to brush up on your technique with one of the expert instructors. Corporate and private groups are welcomed. Learn more here.


Hudson River

The Hudson River is the premier fishing spot in the Hudson Valley. This majestic river runs from New York City to Albany and beyond. Some of the most popular Dutchess County access points include Riverfront Park in Beacon, Waryas Park in the city of Poughkeepsie, Quiet Cove (just north of Marist College on Rt 9) in Poughkeepsie, Margaret Lewis Norrie State Park in Staatsburgh and Tivoli Bays in Red Hook. Largemouth bass, perch, catfish and sunfish are all present here, as are herring shad and striped bass, seasonally. The Hudson’s striped bass fishery is considered world-class, producing fish of more than 50 pounds during the spring spawning run.

Person in red canoe paddles Ferncliff Pond
Ferncliff Forest

This 200-acre forest preserve located in Rhinebeck is a great spot for casting a reel into their stocked pond. In addition to fishing, one of the main draws about Ferncliff Forest is the breathtaking views from the fire tower. Finish up your day by taking a short hike to the top. More info. Then, head into town for a well-earned meal at one of Rhinebeck’s eclectic eateries.

Related: Download Our Zen Finder Outdoor Experience Passport

Sprout Creek, Lagrange and East Fishkill

Running through the towns of Lagrange and East Fishkill, among others, Sprout Creek is a public fishing stream with brown trout and brook trout present.  The DEC stocks this creek with 6,000 brown trout annually and there is also some contribution to the fishery by wild brown trout. All this makes this creek a lot of fun to fish! Bring your hiking shoes because you can walk for miles along this stream. You can find more information about this great creek here.

Stissing Pond, Pine Plains

This Pine Plains pond is a known spot to fish using live bait or your favorite soft baits. The pond is 70-acres and is accessible by small rowboat, canoe or kayak. Stissing Pond has good weed-lines and drop-offs, giving anglers the opportunity to apply a variety of their favorite techniques to catch perch, bluegills and largemouth bass. More info.


View of Rudd Pond
Rudd Pond, MIllerton, NY; Photo: @nemillertonlibrary


Rudd Pond, North East

Rudd Pond is located in the northeast part of Dutchess County just 2-miles north of Millerton on County Route 62. It has easy access, an abundance of largemouth bass and chain pickerel and is surrounded by state park land. This area is part of the larger Taconic State Park at Rudd Pond Area and camping and hiking is also available. This is a perfect place to enjoy a weekend or overnight outdoor getaway! More info.

Sylvan Lake, Hopewell Junction

Nestled in a corner of bucolic Beekman, Sylvan Lake is a prime fishing spot for the avid angler. This lake has been known to produce trout exceeding 8 pounds and some bragging sized largemouth bass, along with a variety of other species. The DEC stocks this lake with 1,700 brown trout annually. Sylvan Lake is accessible by boat, but no gas motors are permitted. Crystal-clear waters pose a fun challenge for even the most experienced bass fishers. Learn more.

Related: Easy Walking Trails in Dutchess County

Ten Mile River, Dover and Amenia

Running along Route 22 in the Towns of Dover and Amenia, the Ten Mile River offers breathtaking fishing spots. In addition, the nearby Wassaic and Webatuck Creeks are incredibly popular Public Fishing Streams. They all are quality cold-water streams that contain wild brown trout—the Ten Mile River is stocked annually with over 9,000. More info.

These are amazing fishing areas located in the eastern part of Dutchess County near the Connecticut border. Don’t be afraid to stay the whole day and fish until you can’t anymore!  Then, head into town and dig into fresh farm-to-table fare. Browse our restaurant listings for top eateries in Eastern Dutchess.

View of Wappingers Creek from a kayak
Wappingers Creek, NY; Photo: @arijkurzum


Wappingers Lake, Village of Wappingers Falls

Wappingers Lake is a shallow impoundment of the Wappingers Creek. This 75-acre lake has a good amount of vegetation and provides opportunities for hooking largemouth bass and chain pickerel. The best time to fish here is first thing in the morning, along the edges of the lake. Of course, few things compare to spending a day out on the lake. Rent a boat from The Lake House, a nearby bait and tackle shop that’s over 70 years old. In fact, there’s a small boat launch available on the south shore off of Spring St in the Village of Wappingers. Learn more.

Morgan Lake, Poughkeepsie

Located in Poughkeepsie near Dutchess Community College, Morgan Lake is a 19-acre urban fishery and park which boasts a fishing pier and an abundance of trout stocked by local sportsmen’s groups. Snag a variety of fish including trout, carp, largemouth bass and chain pickerel. You may fish off the pier but there are no boats allowed on this lake. Morgan Lake is also a trailhead for the Dutchess County Rail Trail, a perfect location for a post-fishing walk or bike ride. More info.

Wappinger Creek

Wappinger Creek is the largest stream in Dutchess County, running 41.7 miles from Thompson Pond in Pine Plains to the Hudson River in New Hamburg. This creek is stocked with 12,000 brown trout and 2,000 rainbow trout each year. If you’re just starting out, this destination is perfect for novice anglers. This DEC map shows the public fishing rights maps for the length of the creek. In addition, there are several fishing spots along the creek that are easily accessible from town parks (including Bower Park, Stanford Recreation and Helen Aldrich park.)

Related: Spring Activities and Experiences in Dutchess County

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