An Adirondack trawler plies a deepwater lake, with a guide at the oars.
Water levels continue to rise all across the North Country, and fortunately so do the trout, especially on many of the smaller brooks and streams which tend to flush faster and return to normal levels more rapidly than the larger rivers.
I’ve spent a fair bit of time in recent days, working the smaller tributaries in pursuit of wild brookies and rainbows. It never ceases to amaze me how far up into the headwaters trout can be found.
I’ve also had success working the lower, slower moving valley waters, where beaver activity has created larger pools and the trout remain as thick as the blackflies.
Fortunately, relief arrived last weekend when a major hatch of dragon flies brought some vicious thunder to the black clouds of flies.
It appears this has been a particularly good year for big fish, as evidenced by the most recent state record brookie which cracked the 6 pound barrier.
Many brook trout anglers wonder if there will ever be a record fish to top the old historical mark of 8 lb., 8 oz. taken by William Keener from Punchbowl Pond in Sullivan County, way back in 1908.
That fish stood atop the record books for nearly a century, before the official NYS records were expunged in 2003 due to the lack of sufficient biological and photographic evidence.
It is not likely there will ever be a freshwater brook trout to top the 14 pounder that Daniel Webster supposedly caught on Long Island’s Carman River back in the 1880’s.
However there is recent evidence that the population of ‘salters’, as sea run brookies are known, is on the rise.
A few years ago, I received a photograph of a Long Island angler who took a pair of salters from a small estuary stream on Long Island Sound. One was a rainbow and the other a brook trout.
Both fish weighed well over five pounds, and at the time, the brookie would have easily topped the record book. However, the angler ate his catch before it could be officially weighed.
Is there a possibility that a seven pounder is out there lurking in a backwoods stillwater? Way back in 1911, Field & Stream magazine listed a 6 lb. 11 ox. New York brook trout in the publication’s annual listing of state-by-state records. Supposedly, the fish was taken by Henry Christian from Sand Pond in the Catskill Mountain headwaters of the Willowemoc River.
Outdoor Students: Write about common ground
The Outdoor Writers Association of America recently voted to allow students from both college and high school level writers into the organization’s membership for the first time.
Many believe the decision will permit a wider range of up-and-coming communicators to join OWAA in the student membership category, while expanding an opportunity that was previously available only to higher-education students.
Student membership in OWAA will be available for only $10 per year, and it will offer members full access to OWAA’s resources for connecting with fellow communicators, improving professional skills as well as expanding publishing opportunities to sell their work.
OWAA student members will also be eligible for full scholarships that include registration expenses and all meals while attending OWAA’s annual conferences, throughout the 3-day event.
According to OWAA membership and conference services coordinator, Jessica Pollett, ”As part of our mission to be mentors for the next generation of professional outdoor communicators, we felt it was only natural to extend our range of services to high school students as well. This is already a group we support through other programs such as our Norm Strung Youth Writing Awards, but we wanted to expand benefits available to these promising young communicators.”
All OWAA members receive the bimonthly trade magazine Outdoors Unlimited, as well as press credentials, access to membership lists and media contacts for outdoor groups, agencies and businesses, plus access to media-only discounts.
The OWAA will host a joint convention with the NYS Outdoor Writers Association in Lake Placid this coming September. For more information please visit http://owaa.org/2013conference/registration/scholarships/
Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.