Fishing in the Adirondacks?

When people talk of trips to the BWCA, fishing always seems to be a part of it. Everyone you see has rods. I must say the fishing is great too.

All the talk here about the ADK’s, and not much mention about fishing. And after thinking back to past trips, I don’t recall seeing anyone with rods. Why? Isn’t there any fish?

Will be in the St. Regis area soon and was thinking about wetting a line. But wanted to get a fishing report before I buy a NY license. Any suggestions?

Thanks, Mike

The fish are there
And so are a lot of fishermen. In the St. Regis there is a lot of pressure in the ponds near the access areas and the campsites. Back a few carries from the roads, the fish don’t see the pressure and there are more to catch. There are some ponds with no fish, acid rain is a reality. Check with the local outfitters before you go in, and find out what’s in the area you plan to travel. Most of the ponds in the St. Regis that are deep have trout, the shallow ones hold small mouth bass, and they are always hungry due to the short summer season. Brian McDonnell at MAC’s in Lake Clear is a guide and great guy, stop at his shop, buy some bait and ask.

Fishing is great in the…
Adirondacks. I usually make trips in May after ice out around May 15th to the 20th, before the blackflies kick into gear, and/or September and have tremendous luck. In fact I just spent a few days on Grass Pond (Bog River Flow) with my six weight flyrod and poppers and absolutely killed the largemouth in there. It was a riot. They wouldn’t leave the poppers alone. And these fish were in the 2-3 lb. range, those are nice fish. My first trip in there. I also had great luck on Smallmouths on Lake Lila last September.

As far as St. Regis I have had great luck on the Brookies. Again, typically May or September, so I really can’t speak for this time of year other than you may have to go deep. I always use a flyrod and do real well along the shore in the evenings, on the surface, or trolling with a lake clear and streamer. I have also seen spin fisherman do well with the traditional Lake Clear Wobbler(sp?) setup. There are some very nice 12-18" fish in that pond. One thing I have learned is that if St. Regis Pond is not producing it does not mean that the next pond over isn’t. Be prepared to move. It’s such a short carry to get into Green Pond (very good fishing) or Little Long which have plenty of fish. These ponds as all the ponds in that area can be very temperamental. This time of year I would fish early and late and go deeper (trolling) with a lake clear wobbler and a streamer as a trailer.

Best of luck, and do not become discouraged if you get skunked, it happens. I can guarantee you there is some great fishing up there.

Acid Rain
Thanks to those in the Ohio River Valley, our fish are small and shouldn’t be eaten. Even the DEC says to eat only one meal a month.

Lake Ontario has big fish and high mercury content.

Eat and glow.

Eating Fish
That’s a rather broad reccomendation. The fishing rules & regs lists specific waters & species to avoid in quantity…and the warning contains the usual caveats, e.g. pregnant or nursing women.

And keep in mind most toxins are stored in the fat of the fish, not the muscle. Frankly, if you did a two week trip in the Adirondacks and caught & ate trout, perch, bass and a walleye or two…I would be comfortable with eating them every day for two weeks. Then back home to my regular diet, filled with hormones, sugar, antibiotics, pesticides and assorted carcinogens.

Thanks For the advice…
So I took the rod along this time, spent $25 for a 7-day license, and what a time I had.

Fish everywhere, great fun and great eating. I had fresh Pike one night and Largemouth two other nights.

Thanks guys.


Fishing Lake Lila
I’m headed to Lake Lila in a couple of weeks and would like some fishing pointers for the lake, especially for the small mouth bass (places to fish,preferred lures, etc.)but will take advice on all fish.

Thanks for any pointers!

Jim S.

Where you have more fishermen, there’s always a need for some degree of secrecy…

When living in upstate NY, I always found great fishing both early and late season. There are some tribs to Champlain where browns will give you everything a flyrod nut needs before snow arrives…then it’s on to another addiction;-)

Any replies?
were there any replies to this entry?.. because i am wondering about fishing Lila too. Anyone with info could really be helpful.


Lake Lila
Someone asked where a good place to fish for smallmouths in lake Lila. I say to you this show me a place that doesn’t hold fish and I will cross it off my map. I have fished it now 4 times and kill the smallies everywhere. In the Beaver river, around the islands. In shingle shanty creek, and in the bays. The place is crawling with small mouths. gold lures seem to be the ticket for me. #2 mepps, and yellow black furry. #5 sinking rapala in gold. The smallest rapala spoon in gold and silver this years was unbelievable. But by far the best is the new spinner from Mepps. It is a spin-fly in silver blade or Gold with a fly attaches to the thing. I had 3 break my 8 pound test florocarbon leader on me just trolling the thing around the lake. My rod almost came out of the boat twice they hit is so hard. Lake Lila is my favorite place to fish in NY. I don’t mind telling people about it because the can’t take the fish home with them. They do not allow aircraft to land, and if you can carry a full stringer of fish out of their up that 1/2 mile carry you are more man then me. We eat a few fish when we are camping and toss back the rest. Good trout angling too. You will not be disapointed in the fishing there. Good luck, Buzz