Best Locations to Fish for Native Brook Trout in the Northeast
There are many places in the country to catch trout. In fact, most anglers are within driving distance of a stream, river, or lake that holds either native or stocked trout. Among the three most common species of trout, the native brook trout is perhaps the most challenging to hook up.
Brook trout thrive in high-quality, cool waters with an abundance of forage. From small mountain streams to high mountain natural lakes, the best places to fish for brook trout can be found in the northeast United States.
5 Northeast Hot Spots for Native Brook Trout
The states in the northeast are littered with small, cold-water streams that support brook trout. These 5 waterways, however, are some of the best when it comes to brook trout fishing.
Upper Savage River – Maryland
When you are thinking about the best places to fish for brook trout, the state of Maryland probably is not first on your list. However, the Upper Savage River in western Maryland is a great location. This freestone stream system within the Savage River State Forest holds some impressive brook trout. One of the main reasons brook trout fishing is so good here is the restoration and ongoing brook trout management occurring on the system. The Upper Savage River brook trout special management area is a catch and release fishery open year-round to fishing. This artificial lure-only area, combined with the restoration efforts, have increased native brook trout populations and make for some awesome angling opportunities.
Farmington River – Connecticut
The Farmington River in northwest Connecticut flows from the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts to the Connecticut River. The river is stocked with trout but holds plenty of native brook trout, especially in the upper reaches. Large brookies (in the trophy size range) are commonly caught in this river. Fly anglers excel on this water due to the large and consistent hatches that occur from March to September.
Battenkill River – Vermont
The historic Battenkill River in Vermont boasts some of the most difficult trout fishing in the country. This small to medium sized freestone river has large, slow-moving pools, which give brook trout the advantage. Brook trout share the river with wild browns and both average well over 12 inches. Although brook trout fishing is tough, 20-inch trout are not uncommon if you can out-think them. The best times to visit are late May to July, but make sure to fish in the early mornings and late evenings when the trout are less spooky and more receptive to biting.
Big Fishing Creek – Pennsylvania
Central Pennsylvania arguably has the most native brook trout streams in the northeast. The brook trout is the state fish of the Commonwealth for that very reason. It seems like every spring jetting out of the mountainside in the Pennsylvania Wilds region holds brook trout.
One of the best trout fishing locations is Big Fishing Creek. This creek is legendary. Big Fishing Creek has produced two state-record trout, including a 7-pound-plus brook trout. Relatively small, this 20-mile long stream winds through the mountains and has several special trout regulation sections. If you go, the “narrows” section, near the Tylersville Fish Hatchery, is a must-fish stretch. Here, large boulders dot the deep pools, where giant brook trout can bite at any moment.
Kettle Creek – Pennsylvania
Kettle Creek in north-central Pennsylvania is another top trout stream in the northeast. It starts as a small freestone stream at the beginning of its 67-mile journey. Most of the creek is listed as Class A wild trout waters, offering abundant native brook trout in all size classes, thanks to extensive restoration efforts by the State and Trout Unlimited. As the stream widens, additional special regulation sections give way to deep riffles and large pools that produce great brook trout fishing during the spring and fall months.
These 5 native brook trout locations are some of the best to be found in the northeast. Take some time to explore these famous stretches of trout waters if catching a nice brookie sounds fun to you.