About FLP


IMG_4981Rainbow in water 009Ice out trout Mike

Make unforgettable trophy trout fishing memories from Finger Lakes Preserve an exciting part of your next Finger Lakes vacation. Finger Lakes Preserve is a fantastic rainbow trout fishing preserve licensed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation,  We  border the Finger Lakes National Forest 7 miles Northeast of Watkins Glen. 

No fishing license  required.

  • Rainbow trout fishing preserve
  • Catch big trophy-sized rainbow trout
  • Licensed by the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • No fishing license required
  • Borders Finger Lakes National Forest 7 miles Northeast of Watkins Glen, NY
  • Secluded but accessible
  • Discounts for disabled fishermen
  • Children 5 and under fish for free
  • Fishing equipment available
  • Fly fishing lessons and NY State licensed fishing guide services can be arranged with advanced notice
  • Call or e-mail for reservations
  • 570-877-2605  or 607-546-7308
  • Ron@FingerLakesPreserve.com

Whether you are just beginning your fishing career or are a skilled expert you’ll find Finger Lakes Preserve exciting.

IMG_8607IMG_2364Ice out trout Tony

We fish with single, barbless hooks, flies or lures and encourage safe catch and release but you may keep one rainbow for free.

Finger Lakes Preserve is a perfect place to practice or learn fly fishing.  Arrangements can be made with local NYS licensed guides and fly fishing instructors.  

Finger Lakes Preserve was founded in 2005. Our ponds are situated in a beautiful little valley 7 miles Northeast of Watkins Glen. We share a long border with the 16,000 acre Finger Lakes National Forest. The biggest of our ponds is 25 feet deep. Our ponds are fed by springs and pristine waters from the National Forest. In the 19th and early 20th centuries a 20 acre, man-made lake covered the land on which we have built our ponds.  Water from the lake was used to power a grain processing mill. To reach our ponds you drive over what was once the dam for the man-made lake.

We have nurtured our beautiful rainbow trout from certified disease-free fingerlings to the 3 to 7 pound beauties thriving in our pond today. Finger Lakes Preserve is an incredibly healthy aqua-system that provides an abundance of natural food for our trout.   All types of nymphs and flies abound in and above our ponds.  Midges and mayflies begin to emerge in March and April followed by caddis flies and stone flies in mid-May. Large hatches of mayflies continue through the summer culminating with the  emergence of thousands of  Blue Winged Olive mayflies in September. It is so exciting to watch all these flies dance above the water while the trout rise to catch them.

May fly nymph with 7 pairs of gills May fly    Mayfly life cycle Brown Drake  Blue-winged Olive Mayfly

Late spring and early summer bring hundreds of frogs who sing their mating calls around the shoreline.   Soon the shores are thick with little  tad-poles at least until the trout discover them.   There are many crustaceans, minnows and worms and other terrestrials such as grass hoppers, ants, beetles and inch worms. We supplement the abundant natural food with the same balanced fish food diet used by NY State trout hatcheries. In winter we run a powerful aerator to keep a section of the pond ice-free and feed the trout everyday with specially formulated slow sinking pellets.

After spending an morning or afternoon catching hard-fighting, trophy-sized rainbow trout you can enjoy so much of what the Finger Lakes has to offer within only a 10 mile drive of Finger Lakes Preserve.

Marvel at the beauty of Watkins Glen State Park. Thrill to roar of NASCAR, Indy car and SCCOA auto racing.  Taste delicious wines and beers at the many local wineries and breweries.  There is even an excellent farm  distillery. Design your own fragrance at a custom perfume studio or create a new hair style at Sunye’s Styling Salon. Explore unique shops. Enjoy great music, dancing and everything else that the makes a Finger Lakes vacation  so much fun and so very  memorable. 

Here is an excellent link to fishing in New York State http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/98506.html