Near Wilmington and Lake Placid, the West Branch Ausable River has a 5 mile catch-and-release section that is very popular with regional flyfishermen. Some consider the Ausable River the best trout fishing water in the northeastern US. You can expect to find trout from 10 to 18 inches long.
The headwaters of the river are at the confluence of Marcy Brook and South Meadow Brook. It meanders north to the SR86 bridge. About 3 miles south of the bridge, the more popular section of the West Branch Ausable River for fly fishing starts. There are several stretches of river divided by falls.
The section of the West Branch Ausable River from the Holcomb Pond Outlet heading downstream 2.2 miles to Monument Falls is one of the popular catch-and-release sections requiring artificial lures only.
The section of the West Branch Ausable River from the Whiteface Ski Center bridge heading downstream to the SR86 bridge is also a heavily trafficed catch-and-release stretch requiring artifical lures only.
Some of the best West Branch Ausable River fly fishing access points are off SR86.
Overall, West Branch Ausable River is the 8th most popular fly fishing river of all 32 fly fishing spots in New York.