As I stood on the bank of one of my favorite Adirondack ponds, threading my fly line through the guides of my rod and eyeing the surface of the water for any signs of life , a fellow approached me and quipped .. " not looking for trout here are ya'?" Being that this pond was dominated by warm water species , his question was a little tongue-in-cheek , but I realized right away that it was his association of my fly tackle with trout and river fishing that motivated his question.
Timmy with a nice grip and grin Large Mouth.
While I certainly understood this association , I couldn't help wondering why people would put the fly rod away once trout are not in the forecast. Don't they know what a blast a hefty smallmouth or toothy pike can be on a fly rod? There are largemouths lurking as big as small dogs. Even the yellow perch and the bluegills can be loads of fun on lightweight rods and wispy tippets. And especially here in the Adirondack Mountains of New York , where the opportunities for all these tremendous warm water fish are legion, does it seem appropriate to expect more than just spinning rods on the lakes and ponds.
Young Teddy Clouser with a Fly caught blue gill.
Oh, and by the way , there are plenty of trout in the lakes as well , you just have to know what you are doing.I love trout and salmon and spend more of my time chasing them than any other fish , but I am certainly not beyond the thrill of a leaping, battling smallmouth or slashing, ambushing pike. And there are evenings when a serene paddle while casting or trolling streamers for brookies or casting dries for surface feeding rainbows is just the way I feel.
John Clouser with a Land lock Salmon
The supply of lakes and ponds , one for every purpose , seems endless up here , and their deep clean waters in all their variations are a constant alluring presence....Especially when you bring children into the picture. Wading a river is too much for a young child but standing lakeside or sitting in a canoe or small boat is well within reach, and can be an exciting new world.On a cool mountain evening in late June I am in my Radisson canoe with my oldest son.
Timmy with a fine fly caught Small Mouth bass!
I am slowly rowing it , trolling behind us our sparkling Clouser minnows on our sink tip lines. We are the only people on this large and less accessible pond and the wildlife is doing a dance for us , keeping us entertained as we relax into the rythym of the oars. Loons are calling and splashing , hawks circle and call, while an occasional beaver slides silently by at a distance. It is so pristine and timeless that we feel special just being there. Then comes the tug on the line and we leap from our reverie to the rods ... it is indeed a fish and not a snag. For a small brookie, it fights well and adds perfection to a night that needed nothing more.
Timmy with his first brook Trout.
On a warm evening in July I am standing in the shallows of a blue gem of a lake just before sunset. My oldest son is beside me and together we are casting into the dropoff that I know is just out beyond us. We are looking for whatever will take our fly. I am showing my son how to strip streamers and make them look real to a fish. He is so enthusiastic and i am touched. He repeats everything I tell him back to me , explaining it to me with extra details that he adds himself.
Timmy Completeing the Adirondack Grand Slam !!!
He is improving quickly and is in fact doing it quite well , though I occasionally cast for him or bail him out of a tangle. When the pull does come , he screams with delight and fights the fish as though it were a grizzly bear. He is so proud and so happy when he holds his fish up for the camera. If he could only know how much I love him.
SAO Fly fishing guide
SAO Fly fishing guide