Location Guides Tenkara Trout & Char

The Adirondacks: A Tenkara Playground

Article by Danièle Beaulieu

I decided to begin my tenkara fly fishing season exploring rivers that I fished before with a traditional rod & reel but had not revisited with a tenkara rod.

I took my camper and drove down into beautiful Region 5 of the Adirondacks, New York. For many years now, this section of mountains has been my playground to fish. (https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28244.html)

As the season started with high water levels and cold temperatures, I knew that the fish will be very hard to catch. So, for many weeks I concentrated my effort on four little rivers not too far from my home in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

These rivers are preferred for fishing in early spring because the water level drops very fast.

Here are the four rivers I decided to do some tenkara fly fishing:

  • English River
  • Crystal Creek
  • King Brook
  • Great Chazy River

Once I arrived at those rivers, I put on my fishing gear and hiked into the forest determined to fish the water of the past. Arriving at the limits of my recollection, I told myself now is the time to go further on the river to see what is hiding over there.

English River

English River is the closest river from my home in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. This river has a nice flow even if the water is high. The fishing can be hard because the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) doesn’t stock this stream. You will find wild little brookies, and it is a blast to catch them.

Daniele Beaulieu SU19 - Adirondacks Tenkara Playground - English River

As the temperature gets higher, fishing gets more difficult. You will need to fish in pocket water. As soon as the water is too hot, please go fish other species and let the trout take a break until you return in the beginning of fall. (This advice should be followed for all trout rivers).

Crystal Creek

Crystal Creek is only fishable on one side due to too many overhanging branches on the creek. But on the fishable side it is a very nice little river even if the name says creek! There are brown trout that are stocked by the DEC, not a lot, but enough to have fun. If you are patient, this is your kind of creek.

Daniele Beaulieu SU19 - Adirondacks Tenkara Playground - Crystal Creek

King Brook

King Brook… simply WOW! This stream is made for tenkara fly fishing in having the perfect size for all preferences. It can be large at some places, and very narrow at others for more challenging fishing. There is a little trail that runs alongside, but it is private. There are no signs posted, but please don’t use if it not for an emergency.

Daniele Beaulieu SU19 - Adirondacks Tenkara Playground - King Brook

Great Chazy River

The Great Chazy River is one long, beautiful river. You have riffles, runs, pools, and flats; features in which you catch nice trout, bass, and walleye. There is a lot of good access, so much that you can find places to fish without being around other people. The Chazy runs through nature and sometimes within little towns.

Daniele Beaulieu SU19 - Adirondacks Tenkara Playground - Great Chazy River

A Few Words of Advice

You should go and explore the rivers near your hometown, and you might be very surprised with what you may find in the quality of fishing.

Another thing you should do is to challenge yourself on a new body of water that is not stocked by the state. It may be harder, but also so much more rewarding when you catch those wild fish.

Finally, respect the places in which fish. Always carry in and carry out. We have the privilege to have all those places to fish freely so take care of the resources not only for yourself, but others as well.


Danièle Beaulieu began fly fishing in 2000 and tenkara in 2014. She fishes rivers all across Canada & New England, and started a business selling tenkara rods and accessories called TenkaraCanada.net.

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of Tenkara Angler magazine.

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