Summer days spent with pack, paddle and poles

Meadow Hackett lands a salmon on the Lower Boquet River as her father watches the battle intently from a distance. (Photo provided)

As the long Fourth of July holiday arrives to usher in the the summer season, there is no reason for anyone to miss out on the multitude of outdoor adventures that are currently available across the Adirondack region.

I spent a majority of last week wading small streams in pursuit of large trout. We were fortunate to locate a few honey holes that provided the morning’s entertainment before we set out to seek out a new collection of backwoods swimming and fishing holes.

While there are always the old standard fishing holes that we have come to rely on over the years, it is great sport to seek out new honey holes that were created by high-water events, spring floods, lightning strikes and similar events that may have impacted the natural flow of the waters. Nature is very dynamic and ever-changing, which l suppose is the reason we are so captivated by it.

In addition to natural high-water events that can divert the channel of a river or stream, there are also plenty of beaver that spend their days building backwoods dams, which in turn, create natural brook trout hatcheries on waters all across the region.

With forecasts calling for highs in the 80 and 90s, it appears watersports will be a much wiser option for outdoor travelers than hiking, backpacking or climbing. Whatever your outdoor pleasure, be sure to remain hydrated and watch out for others who aren’t.

While there are numerous locations to enjoy water-based recreation, there is precious little safe water in the mountains. Come prepared.

Earlier in the week, l set off on a mission to locate the holding waters where trout hide away during the daylight hours and the heat of the day. l mined with the end of my fly rod a few holes along the upper reaches of the Boquet River above New Russia, including Split Rock Falls, the Mill Falls and Roaring Falls, with little effect.

l took a look with mask and snorkel, as well. Occasionally, l got a glint of a look at a fish, but it may have been just wishful thinking.

I floated the entire upper river — from Roaring Brook to Elizabethtown — in a canoe, and never moved a fish. There was evidence of fish where birds had eaten them, but not even a flash of a tail until l was paddling over a deep hole, downstream of Elizabethtown.

The journey has become a ritual of the season, and l always attempt to complete it in mid-summer.

Although the upper river appeared to be void of fish, there were plenty to be found below Wadhams Falls and on the North Branch in Lewis. Best of all, l never encountered a fellow angler in the course of the journey.

Get out and enjoy it, now, the snow will be back before you know it.


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