Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thinking Lake Trout: Lakers Elude Us Yet

My son, Matt, and I have dreamed of catching lake trout for four or five years now. Not that they are any better than the good-size walleyes we catch in October; it's their inaccessibility to us, the greener grass on the other side, that compels our desires. Several years ago we sought them in a canoe on Green Lake in Maine near Acadia National Park. I asked at the launch how deep we might expect them. Sixty feet or deeper, and sure enough we located fish just off the bottom at 63 feet and deeper using my portable graph recorder. Back paddling against a breeze, my son got his one-ounce Kastmaster right down among them, but no strikes. Very exciting, the prospect of actually succeeding this way satisfying. But we otherwise contented ourselves with smallmouth bass on fast-sinking Senkos among rocks and 10-foot depths.

Two years ago we fished a spot from shore at Merrill Creek Reservoir where lakers are rumoured to visit on occasion and take Power Bait, which floats on a light wire hook. We set our baits out in about 70 feet of water and never got a tap, nor inspiration to try again. But boatless as we are, we do have another option: renting a boat at Lake Wawayanda. I phoned today, but Irene cleanup remains underway at least through tomorrow. Since we have other plans Thursday, which may also be frustrated for the same reason, I think Wawayanda will wait until either next summer--or for ice fishing.

In the meantime, I keep working to save enough for a small boat, 14 foot with 9.9 horsepower. Round Valley is only 20 minutes away. It's ironic that at age 50 I can't afford such a boat; during my 20's I owned nine boats including one with an inboard Volvo Penta 320 or 350, and a 17 1/2-foot fiberglass runabout with a 75 Mercury I bought brand new.

I consider that I've been fortunate all along, and very productive. True, fortune comes and goes. But judging the whole of my life, survival against difficult odds has been very rewarding, although mostly appreciated alone. The writing life I've chosen is sovereign and difficult to communicate. In order to communicate, the other must be a willing partner in the process. A life not always visible even to those closest to the mysterious man behind the pen, nor does productivity always translate immediately into financial gain.

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