Clayton, Jefferson County
1000 Islands Fishing Guide

Jim Brabant of Clayton is a fifth-generation river man. His great-great-grandfather was one of the settlers of Grindstone Island; his grandfather drowned while sailing on Lake Superior; his father ran boats out of Cape Vincent. After taking fishing parties from June to October for over 30 years, Jim represents the quintessential 100O Islands fishing guide. In his teenage years, he would hang out with the old guides in the same boathouse where he keeps his boat on French Creek Bay today. Many of his customers—including some of the rich and famous—have returned to him for many seasons. He specializes in a traditional guide’s shore dinner, featuring the catch of the day, corn on the cob, guides’ French toast, and all the trimmings. Since guiding has always been a highly competitive business, Jim, a fine storyteller himself, maintains that ‟the only way to beat the other guides is to tell your story last.”

Click here to listen to the TAUNY/NCPR “Meet the Masters” story about Captain James Brabant.


Click and listen to the audio clips below to learn more about Captain James Brabant:

Jim remembers old-time fishing guides in Clayton when he was young.


Jim praises the “muskies” or muskellunge, for which the St. Lawrence River is celebrated.

  • Award Inherited Traditions
  • Award Year 1997
  • Location Clayton, NY (Jefferson County, 1000 Islands)
  • Categories Woods & Water