The Adirondacks 2014

My wife and I arrived in the Adirondack mountains in the early evening on the 12th of August. We hoped to do some hiking, fishing, sight-seeing, and souvenier shopping (for the wife!). I had great plans to not only find the Summer sucker (Catastomus utawana) but to also catch and photograph one.


Unfortunately these plans did not come to fruition. The sheer size of the Adirondacks is overwhelming. Couple that with the rarity of the Summer sucker and I believe it may take me several trips to even see a single Summer sucker. However, I did manage to get a lot of fishing inbetween bad weather and entertaining the wife.

Less than an hour after setting up camp in a NY DEC led campground... we took a stroll over to this neat little brook that runs behind the campground. It is called Sucker brook but despite its name I never saw a single sucker there. It was absolutely chock full of Brook trout though... and it had a few creek chubs scattered around along with some darters and stonecats.

Within the first 5 minutes of fishing here I was able to land my first brook trout.

I caught a handful more of these tiny little brookies and almost caught (but lost) a stonecat before dark fell. We wrapped things up and headed further up stream the next morning:

Here we found amazingly clear water and some even prettier scenery.

Even some freshwater mussels made their home here:

I landed some way nicer brookies here!


The rest of the day turned into a complete wash out and the day after that was a constant on and off miserable drizzle. In-between the rain we tried fishing in a channel that connects two lakes together on the opposite side of Sucker brook.


Hoards of kayakers and Mallard ducks rule this channel. There are some fish in it though:


The Yellow perch are invasives up there which quickly overpopulate areas and destroy native fish populations. I encourage anybody who ever visits the area to eat as many Yellow perch as their heart desires. They are known to have destroyed Brook trout populations throughout the state and I can't even imagine the impact on lesser known species such as the Summer suckers.

Another day followed of colder weather (Mid-50's in August!) and finicky drizzle. We decided to explore the Jessup river a little and see if we could get into some different fish. The river looked awesome but there was very little life here. All we caught here was some creek chubs and cutlips minnows.

The chubs sure are pretty out of that stained water though!

Sadly our time in the Adirondacks was pretty much done. But on our last day while driving back from a day spent hiking we decided to stop by a random stream on the side of the highway. Here I landed a surprise and VERY cool fish!

What I thought was a small brown trout turned out to be a young and wild Landlocked Atlantic Salmon! How cool is that? I caught him growing up in a random mountain stream where he was growing up before moving out into a big lake. The very forked tail made me wonder and when I returned home I verified my thoughts even further by noting the spots on the cheek, mostly dark/silver coloration, and jaw extending to mid-eye.

And finally , on the way home my wife and I decided to stop at a roadside pond.

It turned out to be full of brook trout and creek chubs. Pretty decent brookies, too.

And so that concludes my trip to the Adirondacks. I can't wait to return another year!

Species List:


Deftik's picture

I knew you were local when I saw the native brookies coupled with yellow perch, and rock bass. I know your pain man, serious lack good targets in our region. You definitely hook into some stonecats? Never heard of anyone tying into them in NY if so that would be really cool! Good luck on that summer sucker, solid report can't wait to read more from you!


Eli's picture

It's a beautiful area for sure. 

Let me know next time you're headed that way and I might joint you. I'm just over two hours from there.




Mike B's picture

Pleasant read. Thanks for sharing. I could spend some time there.

mike b

krazyk's picture


I would be lying if I said I wasn't thrilled with all the brookie fishing! They are so scarce around here they should be considered extirpated. I've fished streams hard in my local area and never had one before me! I went to a random stream in the Adirondacks and the first fish I landed was one! haha

As for the stonecat, I cannot be 100% certain as it flopped off my hook as I pulled it out of the water but it was definitely either a stonecat or margined madtom. It was around 4" long. I had looked into it prior to my visit and Stonecats were historically found in the Adirondacks around where I was but may be in the process of being replaced by margined madtoms (like much elsewhere according to the DEC).

Eli, I will surely keep your offer in mind! And it's funny , you're actually much closer than I am! It was a 4 hour drive for me and I live IN the state!

Mike B, it sure is beautiful. More experienced guys like you and Eli could definitely catch some awesome fish there!

Thanks guys :) I'm glad my report was enjoyed.

I am definitely going to make a trip back there at some point... there are some really cool wilderness areas I'd like to check out (like Pharoah lake wilderness) that are chock full of small ponds full of brookies, lakers, kokanee salmon, and whitefish. I'd like to get a carry permit first though... some of the bears out there are pretty desensitized to humans. No fear in them at all.

Chain Pickerel: All the bad assery of a Northern Pike wrapped up in a smaller, prettier package.

Jason E.'s picture

Nice report.  A good diversity of fish.  I better understand now why I caught so many darned yellow perch when I fished in the Boston area.  Not a sucker to be found, but plenty of eels, perch, and bullheads.  Midwesterners really do not appreciate how special it is to be able to routinely land large redhorse and sucker species.

krazyk's picture

Yeah, if it isn't a white sucker it isn't an easy sucker to find. It seems like the same 5 fish can be found anywhere in NY.  Largemouth bass, yellow perch, brown bullhead, smallmouth bass, and sunnies of course. I remember reading a description of a pond in the Adirondacks and the main attraction was smallmouth bass up to fourteen inches. Really? They stocked and ruined a nice mountain pond.... For fourteen inch bass? It is a damn shame. 

Chain Pickerel: All the bad assery of a Northern Pike wrapped up in a smaller, prettier package.