Fishin’ The Ausable
Whew! I’m finally done for the term, and only one more term to go! Clearly, that means it’s time to go adventuring! For the next week, I’m planning on adventuring around a lot, so it should prove to be a good week!
For the first few days, I decided to throw some flies. I realized that it had been over 8 months (?!) since I’d been fishing last, and I’ve been jonesin’ for a while to get out on the river, so I decided to head out to the West Branch of the Ausable River in the Adironacks (NY). The conditions on the river were sounding pretty good, with the water levels falling off nicely and lots of fish feeding, so this had the makings of a good trip.
Monday, the 6th, started slooowly for me. A bit headachy and groggy, I woke up way earlier than I would have liked get my car dealt with – it was finally time to get rid of the snow tires (and I also finally got that alignment I’ve been needing for a while), a very symbolic way to end out the ski season. The mechanics worked surprisingly quickly and I was on my way by 9AM, much earlier than I had expected. I stopped by the fly shop here in town (Hanover Outdoors), grabbed some groceries and then after packing up the car, I began my drive.
As I drove through the Green Mountains towards the ‘Daks, with windows open and music blaring on this beautiful day, I couldn’t help but to think to myself that right then and there, with not a worry in the world, life could not have been better. I was living and loving it.
After some complications involving a ferry and a closed road which was very much under water, I found myself in the Adirondacks. I continued on to Lake Placid to quickly buy a fishing license and some food for the evening and then headed out to set up camp near the river. Once that was all taken care of, it was finally time to fish!
When I made it onto the river, I tied on a big March Brown and started looking for fish. Within 5-10 casts, I had hooked into my first fish in months!
And he’s a nice one at that!
I caught two more that evening, including this guy. There sure are some pretty fish in this river.
I made my way off the river after 9 and drove back to my campsite to make some dinner and sit by a small fire.
When I woke up on Tuesday, the 7th, I found another picture perfect day outside the walls of my tent. Maybe even too picture perfect, with not a cloud in the skies and temperatures raising rapidly. After eating some breakfast and checking in at the campground, I headed out to get a few hours on the water before it got too bright and warm out.
The scene I found when I got on the river.
With the cliffs of Wilmington Notch in the background, this is simply an amazing spot.
Unfortunately I didn’t manage to catch any fish that morning (although I did miss one big one on a golden stone nymph), but I wasn’t really expecting it with the bright skies. After I got off the water, I drove around and hung around a bit, including a stop at the Hungry Trout. I ultimately decided to take a hike up Big Crow Mountain, right outside of Keene. I’ve put those pics into a separate post that you can check out here.
After the hike I got back onto the water, however this time I tried my luck in the upper stretches of the river.
I managed to catch this smaller fish and one other dink as well.
However, I realized that with the extremely flat water and my rustiness with a fishing rod, I wasn’t going to have even the slightest chance at any fish of a decent size. Heading back down stream yielded some nice results though.
One of the two nice fish that I caught later that evening.
An Ubu Ale is a great way to round out a great day.
Unfortunately, Wednesday, the 8th was the day I had to be back in Norwich. So after waking up (again, to a picture perfect day), I broke down my tent and drove back to the river for a few more hours of throwing flies before the drive home.
Surprisingly enough, the fishing that morning turned out to be rather productive, quite the contrary of what I had expected. That being said, I was having all sorts of technical issues so even though I hooked into around 9 or so fish, I only actually caught 3. Oh well, I’m working the kinks out for the rest of the season.
One of the beautiful browns that I caught that morning, about 3 minutes before I told myself I was going to leave. And yes, I stayed around for an extra 15 minutes :).
Satisfied with that morning’s fishing, I headed on my way home, although not before stopping to buy a pie (blackberry crumb, clearly) at the Noon Mark Diner. I may not have caught as many fish as I would have liked to, but this was still a great trip and a great start to summer. And not to worry, my week of adventures will continue tomorrow, so get stoked and get outside!
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