|Man, what my trusty ol' Water Skeeter might a done for our luck way back when...|
A brief stint in the Adirondacks led to an Associate Degree in Forestry and Land Surveying, more importantly led to a sort of advanced degree in the art of casting flies to pond dwelling brookies; prior the only fly fishing I knew (maybe even thought existed) was in moving water. Now separated from the so-called "blue line" which defined trout pond rich 2-million acre Adirondack Park by the Oswegatchie River. At first I didn't know much about the Park but the river was like an old friend, thanks to Ray Bergman's magnum opus, "Trout," which much to mother's dismay, had by then, for me, replaced the "Holy Bible."
As luck would have it roomy, Larry, and next door neighbor, Lem, did know and, better still, were willing to share not only necessary tactics but lead the way to all their secret spots.
Some ponds were fishable from the bank. But most were better fished off shore--from a canoe or boat would have been ideal but due to severe time restraints--you know attending classes and mandatory study halls 6 days a week--we were forced to travel light and fast. So we built rafts--crude log affairs nailed and/or roped together--and took turns poling as best we could.
Rules of the game were simple--catch a trout, you were then expected to pole like hell to the bank, next guy's turn. OK, not so pretty but we did catch trout. The downside, if you could call it that, was the ponds all had a legendary past of routinely giving up brookies measured in pounds not inches. By the early 60s acid rain had not yet totally devastated the once great fishery but had begun to take its terrible toll. So while all of us dreamed catching monsters the reality size-wise anyway didn't quite measure up...Oh well, who needs big ol' slimy brookies anyway...