One of the best wild rainbow trout populations in the northeast, it runs cold and clean, the legacy of the high Catskill
peaks from which it rises. Esopus contains brook, brown and rainbow trout, but rainbows are easily the most abundant.
In the Catskills, stocking is delayed until later in April to allow flows to recede and water temperatures to rise. In these streams, which include such nationally renowned waters as the Beaver Kill, Willowemoc, Neversink and Esopus, wild trout and hatchery-holdovers from previous years provide the opportunity for good early season fishing.