April 7, 2013

Catch some advice from longtime angler's tactics

Trout season has been open for almost a week now. Some anglers have given it a shot already while others are waiting for things to warm up. Either way, trout fishing is likely on the minds of many of us.

Something else that has been on my mind this Spring is my old friend Pat Sisti, an Adirondack trout fishing guide who passed away last October.

For most of the past decade, Pat made the seminar scene giving his “Adirondack Ponds 101” talk. I was fortunate enough to not only see Pat’s presentation numerous times, including what was likely his last, I also had the pleasure of fishing with him.

Over the years I took plenty of notes during our times together. Pat was a reliable source and was always ready with a good quote. To celebrate trout season I thought I’d summarize and share some of this correspondence directly from those notes. Enjoy.

Pond names: Rather than give up the names or the locations of the ponds he fishes, Pat renames them after his grandchildren and other loved ones. This habit keeps him from spilling the beans on his favorite fishing spots.

Hidden boats: “When I first get to a pond, actually I usually go ahead of time, I walk around the pond and look for a boat or a big white hump covered with snow (in winter). Anywhere that it’s level or flat, I just criss-cross back and forth. A lot of times they’ll take them back down the trail a little ways. You bring your oars with you. I take canoe paddles that have oarlocks on them. Oars are too long and can be heavy. Canoe paddles are 3 to 4 foot long and that’s what works for me.

“One thing I know is that some day I’m going to be out there and some guy is going to say ‘hey come in here, that’s my boat.’ Well it’s not his boat if it’s on state property, it’s public domain.” This is just Pat’s opinion. It’s everybody’s boat. (Note: the practice of leaving boats and other gear hidden in the Adirondack Forest Preserve is illegal and has been enforced more heavily in recent years).

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