Early Season Fishing in The Adirondacks
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It’s Open Fishing Season in the Adirondacks

Early spring and April bring the opening of fishing season here in the Adirondacks. Every angler is eager to get out and fish. The Adirondacks is a place where early fishing can be tricky, but still folks have been out and successfully caught fish already. Typically, this time of year on Adirondack rivers fishing can be challenging due to ice and snow that surround the rivers, the run-off and of course cold water temperatures. This years extreme cold allowed for very thick ice cover on most of the lakes, in some cases 3’ to 4’. The rivers are open and flowing strong, however the lakes may take longer than usual. Everyone gets cramped up during the winter and are anxious to get out. If you do come out early you can be rewarded by catching rather large trout. The trick is to understand where to fish, what to use and how to be safe.

Tips for successful early spring fishing:

  • Think like a fish – fish water that fish winter-over in. Deeper, slower sections, larger pools between runs and pocket water hold-over more fish.
  • Fish slow and be methodical the fish won’t move far until the water warms up.
  • Cast a lot. You need to place your fly at the fishes nose.
  • Fish subsurface with nymphs or streamers close to dead drift.
  • Know the river, you need to know you have stable ground beneath you and not areas where snow and ice bridge over boulders.
  • Fish from land because flowing ice or debris could take you out.
  • Fish with a buddy.

May brings a plentiful catch & the Two Fly Challenge

Although April can be unpredictable based on the severity of the winter, May is known for reliable early season Mayfly hatches, when the fish become more active and begin to surface feed. May also marks the Annual Two Fly Challenge. This years date is May 16 – 17, 2014. This is a great event for the average Joe fly-fisherman. It is all about fishing with friends and having a good time. Each of the two days, you fish with two flies of your choosing.

Time to plan your fishing trip

It’s always good to book your fishing trip to the Adirondacks early. If your thinking about planning a guided trip this year it’s wise to start looking and make arrangements now because dates will fill up quickly. A variety of guides and experiences are available from wading trips to boat trips and fishing for salmon, trout, bass, walleye or pike.

It feels good to be out checking the conditions and talking about angling after a long winter. This is a great time to go through your gear and make sure you have what you need and that it is ready to use. So far this season I know a couple of anglers who have caught a 23” hook-jaw wild brown and another who caught a lake-run 4lb brown pre-runoff- So exciting! For more insider fishing tips check out our fishing holes and general Adirondack fishing information.


Tom Conway

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