The still waters of an Adirondack pond can be transformed into frothing waves and pounding surf within a moment’s notice. Extremes of weather often complement the extreme beauty of this land.
It certainly has been an interesting week to be in the woods. I spent a few days fishing, on both the ponds and the rivers and the remainder of my time was devoted to arranging details for an LL Bean photo shoot.
The Bean photo shoot crew encountered an interesting mix of Adirondack weather patterns. There was brilliant sunshine, calm waters and 75 degree temperatures on one day, and the next day delivered raging winds, horizontal snow and whitecaps that were so heavy the crew was almost washed off the docks.
The group’s photographer, who hails from California, claimed he had suffered through a four season’s worth of extreme weather in less than a week’s time. And then there were the black flies!
“Nobody warned us about the black flies,” he complained. “We wore these silly nets which only served to trap them closer to your scalp. One bite and you’d bleed forever, and it would itch like crazy.”
“And then there was the weather!” he sighed. “We had a year’s worth of extremes in just seven days, with sun and heat one day followed by horizontal rain and 20 degrees the next.”
“I’ve never seen anything like it. It went from summer to winter in less than 24 hours! I was watching this storm come across the lake, and it looked like rain. But then I saw it was snow, and then, the whole place went white instantly. I was not happy.”
“Welcome to the Adirondacks,” I offered, “a land of extremes.”
Despite a wealth of welts, plenty of frozen fingers and a mess of wind tossed hair, the crew actually managed to make it through the entire week, all alive and frostbite free, and they got enough good shots to produce their entire fall catalog.
Even though there were propane heaters blowing hot air on the set the whole time, hair stylists were reduced to using blow dryers to keep their fingers nimble.
After putting up with models, props, locations, stylists and more than a few unhappy hair dressers, I couldn’t wait to get back on the water for a few days of fishing.
Even though I had to deal with hordes of savage black flies, raging winds, driving snow, thick fog, and gale force winds that pelted us with sleet and hail, it was great to be on the water again.
Over the weekend, I set off with an old guest on Lake Placid in a search for lake trout, and we managed to find a few cooperative specimens. However, with water temperatures hovering around 58 degrees, the lakers were rather disagreeable, and we only managed to pull one in the boat, before gently releasing it.
However, our luck soon changed after we retreated to a small, stream where the brookies were anxious to feed. They attacked just about anything we tossed their way, and we tossed a lot of flies.
The weekend of angling adventures was finally complete after we spent a few hours flycasting cork poppers to big bass that were cruising the shallow shorelines of a small, private lake.
The largemouth proved to be voracious, healthy and just itching for a fight. I think they would’ve hit an old boot, if we could have figured a way to tie it one on!
On the return trip back to the lodge, we stumbled upon a small tributary stream that was chuck full of large pods of marsh marigolds.
The striking yellow flowers, with green leaves stood in stark contrast with the black waters of the tiny stream. Nearby, we found fiddlehead ferns that were as yet unfurled, and specimens of both painted and purple trilliums.
Wildflowers, wild weather and wild fish, what more can be a finer find for on a spring day in the Park?
Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.