Monday, July 9, 2012

Adirondack Lake and Stream Fishing

One hundred thirty seven miles almost due west--somewhat to the north--from Pulaski, we followed county roads to a remote Scout camp near Long Lake (yet further away than those distant mountains photographed, Long Lake the nearest town). I felt like a fool following directions from Map Quest--no GPS of course. Out here in Nowhere, perhaps guidelines get overlooked. I finally found a tiny general store in some remote hamlet that sold maps, but no New York state map available. By the time we came upon a real Adirondack Tourist Trap, I knew it pointless to buy a map. I felt sure of where I was. I've been in the park a number of times.

My high school friends and I stopped at a creek and caught a number of rainbow trout on the way to the High Peaks--Marcy, Algonquin... We hiked seven mountains over a long weekend in 1979 and caught fish besides, but Saturday and Sunday I got skunked.

Apparently the 50-acre or so lake at the camp has trout only, those few and deep. It looks ideal for smallmouth bass and the tannic coloration is less than that of Long Lake, but none of the Scouts have caught any over the years, and I gave it a good hour-and-a-half's test and long walk into the back, got cut and scratched and my boots soaked.

Long Lake is good. One glance around the public launch assured me. And I've heard stories. I know someone who caught a pike over 20 pounds ice fishing Long Lake in recent years, and I walked into a canoe and kayak rental with a big pike mount on the wall to humbly ask permission to fish along the rip rap shoreline leading out behind it to a spillway from the pond above. Doing something like that always gives me the heebee jeebies, but to have boldly broken the curtesy barrier was unthinkable for me, and I wanted to fish. The woman was nice as can be and added that I should not go beyond the bridge over the spillway, as that marked another property.

The Adirondacks feature many hundreds of lakes and ponds, and streams galore ranging from brook trout rills to the Ausable and Hudson Rivers, the former famous for fly fishing trout, and the later holding brown trout and smallmouth bass. The Hudson originates at Lake Tear of the Clouds in the park. In 1979, we stood on Mt. Marcy summit and gazed down below at this small lake and tiny Hudson flowing out. Northern pike fishing is very good in most lakes, along with brook, brown, rainbow and lake trout, as well as landlocked salmon in many. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are plentiful with pickerel present in some lakes and ponds.

Best part of this leg of my 800-mile drive involved just hanging out with fellow Scout parent friends. I didn't want to stay all week, and I didn't stay all week. My mind never wavered on the matter. But for one afternoon, evening, night and long, drawn out brreakfast, it was the sort of good time that if you pass them up altogether, life slips through your fingers like water.

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