June 6, 2010

Catching up with annual fishing report

So far this spring, even with the lack of rainfall up till recently, reports are that the trout fishing has been good, and from my own limited time out there, I can't argue with that.

My trout fishing has been limited to beaver ponds for native brook trout, and, believe it or not, it is as easy to find an active beaver pond, at least where I fish, as it once was. In some of my favorite old haunts, the water level, what's left of it, is down to a few inches, the trout since long-gone downstream or winding up a meal for a great blue heron. These ponds have one thing in common — no hardwood trees to be seen, an indication the beavers cleaned out the surrounding woods.

I did find one active pond a ways back in, and the fishing was good. I used to fish these ponds the most elemental way — using a hook, a worm and bobber. In recent years, I've adapted a technique used by a friend of mine who is very successful at it. He uses an Eagle Claw spinner with four or five pink beads and a snelled No. 6 hook. This simple rig is available at most fishing supply places. The only other thing you need is a garden worm.

The trick is to cast into likely places, and sometimes that requires getting wet up to your knees to get out far enough. Old hiking boots and quick drying pants are what I prefer over lugging in hip boots or waders.

According to the Department of Environmental Conservation's Region 5 monthly report, fisheries biologist Rich Preall, while testing fish for mercury concentrations in the Saranac Chain of lakes, captured one walleye from Oseetah Lake, along with the usual pike, perch and bass.

"The walleye catch was a pleasant surprise and is further indication that walleye are establishing in the Saranac Chain of lakes after years of stocking efforts made in Lower Saranac Lake," the report states.

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