Canoeing/fishing trip to Little Clear and Grass

Little Clear Pond stretches out in front of the canoe’s cockpit. (Provided photo — Spencer Morrissey)

Canoeing is not one of those sports where the learning curve is beyond the average recreationist. However, it does take a sort of finesse and, quite honestly, patience with your fellow paddler.

Much of what is unnerving to first-time canoegoers is the feeling of instability in the boat. The question is how to get past that to where you feel comfortable. Canoeing is not the same as kayaking.

I assure you, it will come with practice and time and hopefully many less cold dips in Adirondack waters than I have foregone. However, just keep in mind the waters in May are still quite frigid so brush up on your safety gear checklist and DON’T forget to leave a float plan with a family or friend.

So what got me into this canoe trip was a text I sent to Mike. “What are you doing tomorrow?”

This somehow turned into a fishing trip, a lightweight canoe and me being the only one that got skunked the entire day. Oh yeah, and me in the front of the boat, where I had never paddled before. That was a whole new experience.

The shoreline of Grass Pond provides a scenic vantage point and a potential campsite. (Provided photo — Spencer Morrissey)

But this is more about paddling that fishing. I love the learning curve of doing something different once in a while. On another positive sidenote, the pictures are much better from the front than the rear.

When I kayak, I don’t think about what I’m doing so much. As long as I don’t have to enter and exit the craft from a high dock, I’m good to go. In a canoe, it took me time to gain that comfort, so don’t get discouraged, it really is a wonderful way to see the park.

We arrived at Little Clear Pond about 8:30 in the morning (my tardiness got us there a bit late). We quickly put in and started off on the dead calm waters.

No fishing is allowed on Little Clear Pond because the Department of Environmental Conservation uses this as a breeding ground for landlocked salmon and to protect that habitat. But as a paddler, this pond is amazing, an open playground on one of the finest sheets of water in the region.

We wasted no time paddling across the lake, around the ponds, close to shore, farther amongst the mass and to the carry for Grass Pond.

The sign for the carry we noticed was missing, as were the trail markers. Luckily, my driver knew exactly where to go. Once we were on the carry it was easy to follow for the few hundred yards to Grass Pond.

Grass Pond is this quaint little pond with a treed shoreline where brook trout fishing is somewhat popular. On this day, we only shared it with a couple other gents, whose bait was surely much more magical than mine.

We paddled around the pond a bit and landed the canoe on the opposite side to check out the area from shore. There is an excellent campsite I would like to inhabit some night, which we found atop a nice rise. I imagined a moose wandering by in the setting shade.

After a bit more exploring around the area, and a bit more paddling and much less casting, we made our way back across Grass Pond and Little Clear Pond. Note to self: trade in fishing pole for skis. Just kidding…


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