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 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.
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 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.
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.