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FLY FISHING THE BATTENKILL RIVER, NEW YORK AND VERMONT

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Vermont's Batten Kill River is born in the Green Mountains and flows for nearly 50 miles, crossing the border into New York State. In Manchester, the headquarters for the Orvis Corporation sits on the banks of the Batten Kill along historic Route 7A. The beauty and history behind this region alone makes a trip here worth your while. A few rising trout and a nice dinner at a nearby restaurant would fancy almost any angler's delight.

The Batten Kill is an all-year fishery. Cold underground springs help provide cool water throughout the summer months. It has not been stocked since 1971, and wild browns proliferate along with beautiful brook trout, some reaching 12 or more inches long. Cool water year round and scenic mountains, together with fussy wild browns and brook trout make this a popular spot.

Flowing out of East Dorset just a few miles northeast of Manchester, the Batten Kill is small. It tumbles and meanders along Route 7, which splits into Route 7 and old Route 7A just below Dorset. The top end of the river, from East Dorset into Manchester, is characterized by its short riffles, runs, and pools. It holds some nice brook trout and a few browns averaging 8 to 10 inches long.

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Just below Manchester, Union Street crosses the river and offers a section of "fly fishing only" water from the bridge south for approximately one mile. Below Manchester, the Battenkill slightly increases in size with the help of Lye Brook, Mill Brook, and a couple of other small feeder creeks. Larger pools are prevalent here and it's easier to find holding water. Browns navigate throughout these pools and will gently sip many of the Mayflies that hatch here. It's common to see several decent-sized trout feeding together in one run or pool. This section of river is known for having browns in the 15 to 17+ inch class.
Hatch Chart
Below Manchester, the river flows through the town of Arlington. Here it makes a sharp bend towards the west and flows for approximately three miles until it reaches West Arlington. With faster runs and good oxygenation, this portion of river is a little wider and shallower, making it a good stretch of river to fish. Some nice fish can be found throughout the deeper pools here, but on average they are a little smaller.

Just west of West Arlington, the Batten Kill crosses the New York border. There is a special regulations area at the NY border downstream. Fishing on the New York side is as good as in Vermont and offers some nice places to pull over and fish. Here, Route 313 follows the river from West Arlington across the border. The river flows through a few towns in New York, until finally reaching the Hudson River.

Hatches are prolific due to the cold water throughout the year, and insects are able to survive the hot summers here, unlike many freestone rivers. Hendricksons, Blue Quills, and Red Quills can be found early in the year. As the year wears on, many other types of Mayflies will keep you busy. You'll also find many Stoneflies and Caddis hatching from April to July. By August, terrestrial fishing can prove to be very good. The Batten Kill River, flowing through Vermont and New York, offers anglers a wonderful place to spend a weekend fishing, with beautiful scenery, wild fish, and good hatches. So, the next time you're looking for a nice weekend getaway for fishing, plan a trip to the Batten Kill.