Adirondack Fishing: Camping & Fishing Hand in Hand

adirondack fishing
Many campsites provide easy access to great fishing waters

Because I love Adirondack fishing, any camping and fishing trip there is a special treat for me.  And over the years, I have been blessed with ventures varying from down-rigging for trout and salmon on Lake George and Lake Champlain to fly fishing for brook trout on wilderness ponds and flows.  No matter what species I pursue, though, my favorite way to fish any Adirondack waters is through a combination of camping and fishing trip.

The Benefits of Adirondack Fishing and Camping

Even though any Adirondack fishing day stands on its own merits, blending camping into the mix significantly enhances the experience.  Not only does camping bring the inherent joys of that pursuit, but it also ups the odds of angling success by allowing for an ideal time frame for fishing.  Let me explain.

Living a short distance outside of Adirondack Park, a typical Adirondack fishing day there finds me leaving home at dawn and driving an hour or two to the targeted water.  Such a day has something of a work-day time frame with the angling getting underway around 8 a.m., fishing through the morning, having lunch at mid-day, fishing again through the afternoon, getting off the water at dinner time, and driving home in the evening.

In contrast to this work-day time frame, a combination of Adirondack fishing and camping trip allows anglers to follow a fishing-day time frame where they can fish the most productive times of the day: morning and evening.  Camping affords an angler the opportunity to start fishing at dawn, fish whatever hours he so desires, take breaks whenever he wants, fish until dusk and still get “home” early.

Seymour - camp fish 2, Planck family
The Planck Family of Sherrill, NY enjoys fishing directly from their campsite

Camping and Fishing in NY: Options Abound

The Adirondack region (New York state) offers an overwhelming number of fishing spots and camping options.

It’s a fishing paradise! Available Adirondack fish species include brook trout, lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, splake, landlocked salmon, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye, northern pike, pickerel, muskellunge, tiger muskellunge, a variety of pan fish, and more while the hundreds of waters include lakes, ponds, rivers, brooks, and tributaries of varying size.

Camping options range from wilderness to roadside, and shelter options include tents, lean-tos, cabins, campers, and recreational vehicles.  In essence, there are more angling/camping options than one can explore in a lifetime.

How to Select a Fishing/Camping Destination?

When selecting a fishing/camping destination, it is important to set priorities among the variables that include location, water size, water accessibility, Adirondack fish species present, angling methods, quality of angling, types of camping, campground services, launch facilities, boating options, hiking trails, waterfront availability, on-the-water activity, desire to explore, and more.  For me, the priorities generally relate to the quality of fly fishing.

Where to Camp in the Adirondack Park?

Fishing/Camping Information

The DEC website,, is an excellent source of information on Adirondacks fishing and camping.  For example, Region 5 has fishing information listed by county, and for each county, that information includes:

  1. Brook trout waters
  2. Top Adirondack fishing spots by species
  3. And individual waters

For Individual Waters Listed

There is a contour map as well as information on species present, stockings, public access, launches, and campgrounds.  For example, Schroon Lake is listed under Warren County, but the water also extends well into Essex County.

The map shows that this 9-mile long lake with 23.7 miles of shoreline has deep, trout-holding water in its upper half while the lower has shallower-water habitat that is more suitable for warm water species. Available fish at Schroon include lake brown and rainbow trout, landlocked salmon, smallmouth bass, small and largemouth bass, rainbow smelt, northern pike, pickerel, black crappie, brown bullhead, rock bass, and yellow perch.  Both lake trout and landlocked salmon are stocked here.  Also, the lake has three hard-surfaced ramps as well as the DEC Eagle Point Campground located off Route 9 about two miles north of Pottersville.

For Anglers with Disabilities

For anglers with Disabilities, the Region 5 site has information on accessible fishing piers, platforms, and launches.

For Those Interested in Backcountry Camping

The site contains the regulations for primitive camping and maps.  For the most part, primitive camping is permitted on public lands anywhere 150 feet from water, road, or trail unless “camping prohibited” signs are present. There are designated sites throughout the park, and those sites are identified by a yellow and black “Camp Here” marker.  Individuals looking for more details on backcountry fishing/camping are encouraged to contact a DEC regional office or forest ranger.

42 DEC Campgrounds to Camp in the Adirondack Park

The website also contains detailed information for 42 DEC campgrounds in the Adirondacks as well as a virtual tour of 16 of those campgrounds.  For each campground, the available information includes:

  • Location
  • Contact information
  • A map
  • Amenities
  • Recreational opportunities
  • Available species
  • Fish stockings
  • Attractions, and nearby villages

Benefits of Camping with Family

Among the common amenities are tent sites, trailer sites, RV sites, showers, flush toilets, dumping stations, hand launches, hard-surface ramps, boat and canoe rentals, features for those with disabilities, and more.

Seymour - camp fish 3, canoe rental
Most DEC Campgrounds are located on the water and offer canoe or kayak rentals

Planning a Camping and Fishing Trip

A bit of browsing on the DEC website should reveal a number of trip options that appeal to you, no matter what your Adirondack fishing/camping priorities might be.  Other good sources of information include word of mouth and tourism agencies for the various Adirondack communities and counties.

Even though I prefer a destination where the fishing is first-rate, I’ll take a camping and fishing trip anywhere in the Adirondack Park because the beauty and serenity of the woods and waters is reason enough for me to venture there.

Seymour - camp fish 4, canoe fishing w bass
Camping in the Adirondacks allows to easily access fishing spots at the prime times

Original Article By Mike Seymour

About The Author

Captain Mike Seymour is a licensed Coast Guard Captain and NYS guide who has guided extensively on the St. Lawrence River, Black Lake, and western Alaska. He is a member and former president of the New York State Outdoor Writers’ Association and is an active writer for several publications. In addition to fishing the St. Lawrence River, he is actively fishing Lake Ontario, the Adirondacks, and the other waters of the state. Contact him at

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