Sunday, May 31, 2015

In Search of Upper Blue Mountain Lake

Third consecutive year at Lower Blue Mountain Lake, this time it was all about fishing Upper Blue Mountain. We walked straight past the crowds--swimmers, picnickers, fishers--and on up to where, obviously, no one else much cares to hike. We found a trail leading down to the narrow neck of the Lower lake's lead from a small stream just about dried up. No second lake in sight, we got back on the trail and continued walking.

I began to imagine the distance between the two lakes is about a mile. Funny how you can view a map, but unless you take explicit note of the approximate distance between two small lakes--you can end up imagining things way off from reality.

We crossed a dried-up stream with isolated pools of standing water. This, I imagined, wasn't the feeder, just a side ditch amounting to almost nothing.

We made two or three trail turns at convergences and had hiked about a mile or more from the top of the Upper Lake when we turned back and the three of us started discussing what I had seen on the map. Meanwhile, all this hiking involved all of us with a lot of enjoyment. None of us were stressing at hard pace, yet we weren't poking along, either. Felt just right.

Matt took out his mobile device. "Dad's right, but the lakes are close together, and we're way out here beyond both."

We hiked back and took a side trail to--the remains of Upper Blue Mountain Lake. "Where we stand should about be at the dam," Matt said.

Open field. I don't understand, though, why no remnants of the dam remain. Matt tried to hike on up to the vanishing point in the photo, below, but got stuck in mud up to this knees, taking awhile to work free, and was hindered by his mother to try any further. I also think that if the Upper Lake does exist beyond that point, a trail would lead in. If anyone knows better than we've figured out, a comment is very welcome.

So we fished Lower Blue Mountain, Matt catching a bass, me a pickerel about 16 inches long, quickly released, both on Senko-style worms. Just as Matt and his mother were out ahead of me, leaving as I lingered over one last cast, I got a terrific take on my slow-sinking Chompers worm (weightless), the line racing off and tightening quick, me missing the hit. I wanted to stay and try some more, but let go of this selfish impulse, rational plenty, I suppose, though it felt better to let my wife and son be at ease as I caught up and we walked the remaining quarter mile or so to the car.

I didn't fail to look forward to another time out bass fishing. That take reminded me of those nice 3 1/2 pounders I kept catching at my secret North Jersey pond last year. Want to get up there yet.
This is where we think Upper Blue Mountain Lake used to be.
Eastern Box Turtle:  Better than a tank, has an organic brain. We can't build them this well.
Blue Mountain Lake, Delaware Watergap National Recreation Area, and that island is real close to the dam/dike. The lake extends about three fourths of a mile or so to the feeder. Maybe it's only a half or less, but pretty far.

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