Hudson Valley, NY (April 2013) – Ah spring, when rivers, lakes, streams and ponds are free of winter’s ice and the warmer waters beckon fishermen to wet a line. Grab your tackle box and head to one of the many Hudson Valley sweet spots to reel in some big ones. On bucolic banks or from a bobbing boat, the fishing is just fine!

Up and down the region’s major water highway, the Hudson River Striped Bass Derby will be held April 27th and 28th from Billie Joe’s Restaurant in Newburgh. Where ever you fish, this is a big competition with cash prizes. The weigh station opens in the morning at eight, so don’t be late! Maybe you’ll land that big bass at Corning Preserve in downtown Albany. With long docks that reach out into the Hudson River, fishing opportunities are almost limitless. A mix of convenient parking and a beautiful park setting brings fishermen to spend a relaxing day just minutes from the hubbub of the state capitol.

Fish are jumping in Hudson Valley streams, and the Upper Esopus Creek is home to one of the largest populations of wild Rainbow Trout east of The Rockies. This unique creek is half tail water fed by an underground portal, while its upper reaches are free flowing – fed by melting mountain snow. It also holds a large population of wild Brown Trout stocked yearly. Excellent hatches provide optimal conditions that produce fine dry fly action all season long. Another local trout stream stocked by the Department of Environmental Conservation is the Kinderhook Creek above Malden Bridge. With pines, oaks and maples lining its banks and the roar of a swollen spring creek, this area has become a go-to for avid fishermen who want an easily accessible spot that gives the feeling of being away from it all.

Streams lead to lakes where the fishing is fabulous as well. Grafton Lakes State Park is a fishing paradise offering four separate ponds throughout the 2300 acre park. Each spring, Long Pond is stocked with almost 2,000 brown and rainbow trout. Dunham Reservoir supports a variety of fish with smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, yellow perch, and brown bullhead. Second Pond and Shaver Pond hold small numbers of bass and pickerel. Lake Gleneida in Carmel is generously stocked every spring with brown, rainbow, and lake trout. The heart-shaped lake is a favorite with anglers; a quiet paradise just minutes from downtown where there are plenty of restaurants for a “bite” to eat. The ones biting on the line can be trout weighing in at over six-pounds, a handsome catch of the day!

Catch and release is the style at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River. Open year round, the trout fishing is terrific and there’s also a fly fishing area. The rustic woodlands include evergreen plantations, oak, hickory and maple forests and wooded wetlands. Two streams, Cross River and Stone Hill River, run through the park and are home to thirteen species of native and stocked fish. Across the river, over three miles of paved path around Rockland Lake in Valley Cottage give easy access to anglers. Just twenty miles from Manhattan, you can launch your boat from the dock and fish for bass, perch, and the exotic sounding norlunge. Picnic tables and grills are nearby, making it easy to camp out and cast the whole day.

The Hudson Valley’s western edge is bordered by the environmentally beautiful Delaware River. A number of car top boat launches put you into the waters where bass, pickerel, and walleye are waiting for your bait. Known in the northeast as a multi-faceted recreational river, the Delaware’s shores are mostly undeveloped, leaving fishermen (and women!) to their peaceful pursuit.

If you ever thought about taking up Fly Fishing, come learn with an expert. As a New York State licensed guide and instructor, Judd Weisberg shares his life-long passion for fly-fishing. Having fished all over the world, he’ll teach you his techniques stream-side and from a boat, an excellent way to get closer to the exquisite secret world of the wild trout. No experience necessary either at the Orvis Fly Fishing School in Millbrook. The famed sporting grounds beckon anglers with more than 400 acres of lush landscape and placid casting ponds. The school’s instructors help you master everything from setting up the rod, to fly selection and knots, to how to safely release your catch.

If you’re angling for a great escape, come fish the Hudson Valley’s rushing waters and still ponds. A wide variety of fins inhabit the waters of the region’s scenic landscape, attracting fishing enthusiasts from all over. Bring your rod and reel, and come experience a great outdoor sport here in the Hudson Valley.

Find more fun things to do at Hudson Valley Tourism, Inc. is the 10-county region designated by I LOVE NEW YORK to promote tourism for the area. Counties include Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Ulster and Westchester. Regional information can be obtained from the county tourism offices, or call 845-615-3860.