Friday, October 4, 2019

Adirondack Pond Adventure

A sunny fall day on an Adirondack pond
I had the privilege of spending a few days fishing 4 Adirondack ponds with my friend Jim.  Jim has lived most of his life in the Adirondacks and as a former NYS forest ranger, and guide, he know the Adirondacks quite well.

We set up a base camp on the shores of a pond we did not fish and then ventured out from there.  Most of the fishing required paddling across a pond or two with a portages between the ponds of various lengths.  We fished by trolling full sinking lines behind the ultralight canoes.  

Jim with a strong healthy male
There was a bit of a learning curve for me to become confident in the tiny canoe, manage the rod while paddling, and gauge where my line and fly was to avoid getting hung up in all the submerged timber that lines the shores of the ponds.   

In the first pond, Jim caught a nice bunch of brook trout including the largest of the trip and I caught my first Adirondack pond brook trout trolling a hares ear winged wet fly

My first pond brook trout

Jim hooked up with a brook trout from his ultralight canoe
The most remote pond we fished required paddling two connected ponds and a portage into the pond we would fish.  With the low water, the waterway between the two ponds was nothing more that liquid mud.  We persevered through the muck and over broken beaver dams until we could go no further and then bushwhacked our gear and the canoes to the pond.

Brook trout alley
On our last day of fishing, I used a canoe that was set up with oars.  This enabled me to see my line better, although navigating over my shoulder was a challenge.  We fished a pair of ponds, the last of which produced the most brook trout of the trip.

This small pond produced two impressive male Adirondack brook trout in their full spawning dress.  The colors on these fish were amazing!  Once we found where the fish were located we kept working the canoes through the area and usually hooked up on each pass.

Look at those colors!  and yes those are two different fish
What a fantastic experience in a part of the Adirondacks that was new to me.  Special thanks to Jim for taking me under his wing.  It was great to spend some time taking with him around the camp fire, falling asleep to the call of loons, and seeing firsthand the spectacular brook trout the Adirondack ponds can produce

Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of His glory!  Isaiah 6:3


  1. Those are some impressive brook trout there. Looks like the weather worked with you.
    What type of flies did you use.

    1. Alan - it was cold at night and in the mornings but it warmed up during the day. I would say 75% of the fish were caught trolling a hares ear winged wet fly (10'S and 12's)

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Rowan, it was quite an experience!

  3. A dead shiner sewn on, sometimes brings up the lunkers. Bait needs to be sewn on correctly though, so it darts back and forth, as you troll.

    1. Thanks for the tip John, but bait fish are strictly prohibited in the Adirondack ponds! It has lead to the destruction of many due to invasive species getting out of control.

  4. Understood. But how about preserved dead shiners from a jar? The kokanee fishery at east twin lake in CT was destroyed, in that manner.

    1. John - not sure, but as a fly fisherman I don't really pay attention to those regs

  5. Mark
    Outstanding colors on some impressive brook trout----I could see where it would take some getting use to with the canoe. Thanks for sharing

    1. Thanks Bill - those where some of the most gorgeous brook trout I've run across!