I spent most of my childhood in a small lake town in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. Being surrounded by endless miles of pine trees and water that ran cold all year long, I developed that fondness for the outdoors that now seems to take up every waking free moment. This past week I went back to that sleepy little town that I called home but some things were different. I have a wife and responsibilities that I suppose have changed me and given me a new perspective on life. Luckily for me, my beautiful bride enjoys her sleep and can often times be found sleeping in until the the two hands point to noon. I took advantage of this time and woke early to chase trout on those waters that I had not visited in some years.
Monday morning was a dark drizzly day with the clouds clinging to the mountains and laying low on the water. It was a refreshing change from the dry heat that plagues Arizona and even though I was drenched in just a few minutes, I was happy to be on the stream. The stream I chose was only 15 minutes from my mom’s house and situated next to the cabin of my friend Tony Tenda, but this stream has the rare quality of being full with native brook trout. The number of these creeks has been in decline since the early 1900s but recent efforts to save native fish habitats has helped to stop and even reestablish certain lakes back to their original state.
Upon stepping into the stream, I caught a small brook trout on the second cast and the world became a little less complicated. I fished up the stream for maybe a half mile and caught fish in all the likely spots. After a few hours, I turned around and headed back to the vehicle.
Tuesday, I decided to change my tactics and fished the tailwater of a small lake where in previous summers had caught countless trout and seen a friend lose a monster fish. I fished again for several hours and had a fish chase a bugger in and several hits but no other action. With nothing happening, I opted to cut my losses and head home.
With one final day of fishing, I struggled between fishing the same stream that I had on Monday or opting for a completely new stream that I had never fished. The lure of catching fish called to me and I decided on the tried and true from earlier in the week. I was not disappointed. I fished hard and fast and covered more water than I had on the first day. There was so much positive looking water I was tempted to stay all day and just keep fishing. Brook trout rose to my number 12 Adams Wulff and I was extremely pleased with all of the beautiful fish that I caught. I ended up leaving my camera in my pocket and just quick released most of the fish in the water. I could not help taking a photo of the monster 13 inch that swallowed my dry fly. All of these fish came with bright orange underbellies and the pictures do not do them justice.
My trip was complete and I was extremely happy with my time on the water. Fishing some of these old haunts brought those nostalgic feelings and made me realize that I had been surrounded by some of the best fishing on the East Coast. Arizona is a wonderful state, but the Adirondacks hold so many secrets that provide a lifetime of exploring. Where ever I fish, I always feel an ache every time I leave. Schroon Lake was no different. When I head back next summer, I look forward to catching that brook trout again once he has grown a little bit bigger.