Adirondack Fishing

Fly Fish the Ausable River in the Adirondacks

A beautiful native brown trout proudly displayed and then released.

Evan Botcher |
Adirondack Smallmouth Bass Fishing

Caught on Lower St. Regis Lake

David Conlan
Championship Bass Fishing in the Adirondack Coast Region
Adirondack Coast Region

Fish the Adirondacks Year-Round

Fishing, whether with a lure or fly, is a passion in the Adirondacks. Bass, trout, walleyes, land-locked salmon, northern pike, and muskies are only part of the fishing roster here. The Ausable River is legendary among fly fishermen, and Lake George and Lake Champlain, among trophy fishermen.

With over 3,000 freshwater lakes, rivers, streams, and ponds, the Adirondack regions are teeming with aquatic life. Surveys by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) continue to indicate that warm-water fish are very popular with anglers. The Adirondacks and surrounding areas are fortunate to have fantastic freshwater fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, perch, walleye and other popular warm-water species, often closer to home than people might think. Download a FREE Adirondack Fishing Guide to help find all the best places to catch your prize fish.

Adirondack waters boast trophy walleye and northern pike, but anglers should be aware that mercury contamination is a problem. Mercury concentrations tend to be high in older, larger warm-water fishes throughout the Adirondacks and the Department of Health has issued guidelines on consuming such fish. Consider what you choose to eat, and remember that releasing those large fish means even better fishing for your next outing.


Spring in the Adirondacks means one thing for fishermen – the long-awaited beginning of Trout Season. Opening day is April 1, but there's usually an inch or two of ice still covering most of the Adirondacks' top fishing spots – at least in the mountains. Our advice is to begin fishing for trout in late April or early May, giving a chance for the ice to melt.

Fish for Rainbow, Brook, Brown and Lake Trout on thousands of miles of waterways across the Adirondack Region, from the West Branch of the Ausable River's riffles and rapids to the Chateauguay River's eddies and falls. Head into the wilderness to fish for trout on a small, remote pond in the Moose River Plains, or compete in an angling event like the Ausable Two-Fly Challenge in the village of Wilmington, the fly fishing capital of the Adirondacks, and try to land a trophy catch.

Best-reclaimed Trout Waters in the Adirondacks

  • Lost Pond in Ticonderoga – Brown, Rainbow, Brook Trout
  • Lake Colby in Saranac Lake – Brook and Rainbow Trout
  • Otter Lake in Caroga – Brook Trout
  • Bullhead Pond in Indian Lake – Brook and Rainbow Trout
  • 13th Lake in Johnsburg – Brook, Brown, and Rainbow


The walleye, the largest member of the perch family, is one of New York's most highly sought after and valued sportfish. It has the capacity to reach a considerable size, presents a challenging fishing experience to anglers, and offers exceptional quality at the table. Historically, walleyes in New York likely inhabited waters only in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River, and Allegheny River watersheds. Today, primarily due to stocking and other DEC management efforts, walleyes are found in over 140 waters from all of the major watersheds of the State. Each year DEC hatcheries produce approximately 200 million fry, 350,000 spring fingerlings, and 180,000 fall fingerlings to support its walleye management and restoration efforts. Some of the most productive walleye fisheries in the state can be found in and around the Adirondacks, including Tupper Lake, Union Falls Flow, Saratoga Lake, Great Sacandaga Lake, and Delta Lake

Northern Pike

New York has developed a well-deserved reputation as a priority destination for trophy pike anglers. High-quality pike waters include many of the larger Adirondack lakes such as Tupper Lake, Schroon Lake, Lake George, the Saranac Lake Chain, Cranberry Lake, First, Second, Third and Fourth Lakes of the Fulton Chain, Long Lake, Upper Chateaugay and the St. Regis Chain of Lakes. Great Sacandaga Lake regularly provides a trophy pike fishery for anglers with a number of 20 lb+ fish having been caught in recent years.

Chain Pickerel

Chain pickerel are also very popular with a dedicated group of anglers seeking these toothy predators that typically inhabit shallow, weedy waters. While found in many waterways in the Adirondacks, hotspots include Lake George, Brant Lake, Saratoga Lake, Lake Champlain and the Black River.

Tiger Muskellunge

The DEC has been raising and stocking tiger muskellunge, a sterile, yet fast-growing cross between northern pike and muskellunge, since 1967. Approximately 75,000 9 inch long tiger muskies are annually raised at the DEC South Otselic Hatchery. In the Adirondack region, First, Second, Third and Fourth Lakes of the Fulton Chain, Horseshoe Lake, Lake Durant, and Lincoln Pond all have good tiger muskellunge fishing.

Real Adirondack Stories
Cast out into one of the 3,000 pristine rivers, lakes, streams, and ponds of the Adirondacks. Maybe you’ll bring home tonight’s dinner.
Walleye and Northern Pike Season

When the spring thaw starts Rainbow Smelt move into the shallower waters and these little guys trigger a feeding frenzy of Walleye and Northern Pike unlike any other time of the year in the Adirondacks.

The Adirondacks - Renown Fly Fishing Destination

When you think of fly fishing destinations around the world - Belize for bonefish, Alaska for salmon and halibut, Mongolia for taimen - the Adirondacks is right up there.

Episode 3: Intersecting Wakes
– Visit Adirondacks
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