Most rivers and streams are still running high, with water temperatures about average for the season. Most of the ponds will have shed their ice cover by the weekend but water temperatures will only be in the mid 30s. As water temperatures increase, fish should become more active.
The smaller, shallower ponds will be producing first, although water temperatures will need to warm up some before the deeper ponds and lakes turn on.
Lake trout and salmon will be the first fish to be active, while brook trout will take a bit longer. However, it will only take a change of a few degrees in water temperatures to turn them on.
The annual smelt run appears to be on track following the Full Moon, which is set to occur on Friday, April 25.
Following the full moon, trout and salmon will begin feeding actively in and around the inlets and tributaries of the lakes and ponds for the next week or so.
Stocking trucks have not yet delivered many trout to area’s streams and rivers, and in the smaller streams and mountain brooks, native brook trout are still in their winter mode.
Trout will be slow to react to offerings, and likely sheltered among the rocks and under the overhanging trees.
On the rivers, anglers will find the best action in the deeper pools or at the base of falls or dams, where air temperatures will have a greater effect on water temperatures.
Think like a fish, and look around, be observant and see what’s going on. Are there flies in the air, or schools of minnows in the shallows? On the streams, seek out areas that provide both food and shelter, and you’ll find the fish.
As a result of the floods, many local rivers and streams are still chocked with large accumulations of debris and logjams. These are excellent holding areas for trout, but be careful of your footing.
Go where the people aren’t! Large fish are easily spooked, so try to maintain a low profile to avoid spooking the fish. Watch your shadows, and be careful of disturbing rocks or downed trees in or near the water. Fish will pick up on the vibrations and spook easily.
If you do spook them, rest the pool and try again in about 20 minutes, fish have short memories. On the ponds, avoid banging or bouncing around in the boat/canoe, minimize oar splash and be sure to wear your PFD; it’s now the law.
Always cast to a pool from further away then you think is necessary, and try to be accurate. There is nothing more frustrating than getting hung up on the first cast and ruining a potentially productive area.
When retrieving a fly or lure, vary the retrieve and change the speed and depth. Twitch the offering, to give it an erratic motion. If it isn’t working, change lures. Experiment, and figure out a way to trigger their strike response.
Most of all, take your time, relax and have some fun, fishing is not supposed to be a chore. It is not intended to be a contest between anyone but the angler and the fish. And be sure to take a friend, or a kid along with you. Angling adventures are more enjoyable if they are shared, and the stories are more likely to be believable.
Go take a hike, just for the health of it
A recent study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh concludes that walking isn’t just good for your waistline, it actually has benefits that can help your memory, as well. Researchers followed nearly 300 participants for over a decade and concluded that walking six to nine miles a week may actually stop your brain from shrinking as you age.
According to the study’s author Kirk Erickson, “Exercise increases the amount of blood going to the brain,” which means, “that more of the important nutrients necessary for the brain to function are distributed.”
Researchers discovered the more often participants walked, the more memory they retained, and those who most had about half as much risk of suffering memory problems as those who walked the least.
Humans can expect to lose memory as they age. It is a normal function of aging. However, research has determined that increased exercise also helps improve the portions of the brain that support memory function.
According to the researchers, the earlier you begin exercising, the better. “But it’s never too late!” according to researchers, “any amount of exercise you do will help.”
It is interesting to note that the loss of short term memory has also been linked to stress and fatigue.
It has been well established that time spent in nature, or even viewing natural scenes has a soothing and therapeutic affect on human.
Our senses are exercised and enlivened in natural settings, where we can feel the breeze, smell the air and hear the wind and the water.
The influences of flowing waters, air quality, mountains and other landscape features of our region contain a setting that is particularly restorative. Not only has it proven to be physically beneficial, it has also contributed to the spirit of our visitors.
The region has long been recognized for its ability to help recharge the human battery, reduce fatigue and provide a greater mental clarity and physical vigor.
Often, it takes only a simple walk in the woods to boost circulation and clear your senses.
The fact that we are more alive and at ease in nature should come as no surprise, afterall human beings have spent 99 percent of their evolutionary time as hunter, gathers. As a nomadic society, we were indelibly linked to the land. It should come as no surprise that when we return to it, we are more natural and at ease. It is afterall, a key component of our heredity.
Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.