• Adirondack Adventure

    Adirondack Adventure

    My father introduced to me to a tradition when I was legally able to hunt in the state of New York.  The weekend following the end of NYS northern tier deer season he and a few close friends would get together at a remote deer camp and hunt snow shoe hare with their best snow hounds.  It was a fun filled weekend full of stories, laughs, good food and sound of hounds chasing hare.  It is something that I'll always remember.

    As time moved on, life got into the way and that tradition faded but I've always continued it in my own way going solo with my pack or bringing a willing friend along.  You see these hunts are never as easy as just pulling up to roadside spot and hunting within earshot of the roadway.  These hunts entail going back into some remote swamp with either an ATV, snowmobile or truck with chains.  If we're lucky the come-along doesn't come out and get us unstuck nor do we have to use the chainsaw to cut our way in or out.  In other words it's a classic Adirondack Adventure.

    Yesterday was a picture perfect day for an adventure.  We have ice covered ground covered in old 6-8 inches of surgary powder.  Snow squalls forcasted with 2-3 more inches predicted for the day and temperatures in the low teens.  

    On this day I had a good friend come along with me.  I picked him up at 7 am, drove an hour north to our camp gate and found that the road in was flattened by snowmobiles.  Although it is only a 3 or 4 mile ride in, snowmobiles do make it easy to drive a truck.  We made it about a mile, got somewhat stuck on a hill and decided to put on the tire chains.  Foolish me thought that my old chains would fit my new truck and after another mile we found out that both chains had fallen off.  Because it was impossible to back up, we ended up walking back the way we came and found both sets about a half mile away.  We dragged them back to truck and then proceded in a lower gear and crossed fingers.  Fortunately we made it ok and were able to turn the dogs loose around 9:30.

    At 10 am, we had a start and the day began.  My partner an accomplished Adirondack deer hunter with his name and trophy in the record books had never hunted hare over hounds.  Being a close friend to late Max Holland a well known northeast beagler, Dan brought along Max's favorite hare gun a Browning Sweet 16 with adjustable chokes.  This is where I will cut the story short and only add that 5 hours later and several spent shells Dan connected with his first hare in 15 years.  What made it even more special was Joey retrieved the hare right back to our feet.  After a few photos, we gathered up the dogs and began our long walk back out to the truck. 

    As we drove home we went over the days events several times. What we'll need for the next trip, who we could ask along, what food should bring etc.  Over coffee this morning I put together a list of everything we discussed and asked myself a question, is this the  begining of a new tradition or just another Adventure?

  • The summer of 2017 is headed Northbound.

    The summer of 2017 is headed Northbound.

    I am summarizing the summer of 2017 as the "summer of opportunity.  When I last posted I really thought I could maintain equilibrium, work and pursue my all my extra curricular interests. At the time I had just opened up the new store and the summer residents hadn't really settled into this area.  I really thought I'd be able to manage a deli/market, run my business, take care of my adult responsibilities and fish the late hatches until 1-2 am.  Boy was I wrong.

    It was like someone turning on the switch.  The next day after my last post the switch was pulled and it was game on, 8 plus hour days,  employee theft, 100 degree days without a/c, collapsing beer cooler shelving, leaking ceilings and more and more tourists.  At times it seemed like trudging through mud and the next thing I knew it was Labor day.  

    We kept Lake Shore Market open one week more to accomodate the Lake George Car Show and then closed one week ago today.  

    Since then I've closed a few camps for clients, stained two porches, one deck, begin working on neglected house chores and started fishing again.  The one thing I regret was not working out.  My schedule didn't allow for it.  

    Today I took a step in the right direction and went for an ealry morning hike up Hadley Hill and Firetower. For those of you who know me and are familiar with Hadley Hill or other popular climbs the story I'm about to tell should crack you up.  This being my first hike in quite some time I was pretty sweated up and red faced by the time I got to the halfway up.  Not only is my heart rate redilined, but my legs were rubber and I could only speak in half thoughts. In other words, what came out was an edited version of what I really wanted to say.

    So, when the portly guy, decked out in all the LLBean packs, poles boots and other attire coming down from the top told me that his little mop dog wouldn't bite me I wanted to respond, No problem, if he bit me anyway he'd probably die from all my toxins and poisoned blood. Instead it came out "he better not, I'll kill him"   I bet after he looked at me the first thought through his head was the theme song to deliverance and how do I get by him with my life and saving my dog?  I think I really scared him.  

    I really should have apologized but seriously,  I'm an old guy who has been been around and can act pretty intelligent at times, if I see a dog coming down the traiil with a hiker behind it I already assume its a cool dog.  Only a moron would bring a hostile animal on a trail like that. But seriously, what really concerned me is whether you're picking up after mopdog and why do you think your dog doesn't need a leash?  

  • Official Start of Summer

    Official Start of Summer

    Because the weather in the Adirondacks changes so quickly almost everyone that lives here has their own preferred reference point that indicates a change in the seasons.  Easter, we know there is still a lot of winter left.  Memorial Day, is time to plant the garden. July 4th, officially when all the summer people are at their camps and Labor Day when it becomes quiet again.  For me,  June 21st, the Summer Solstice aka "longest day of the year" is the peak of fly fishing for trout and the Yellow Mayfly or Hexagenia hatch, my favorite of all the mayflys.

    The Hexagenia is a big bug that is major player in the eco systems of most Adirondack ponds and lakes.  This fly is almost 2 inches in length, is bright yellow and hatches in abundance.  These hatches get so big they have been known to show up on weather maps.  A Hex nymph lives and burrows in the mud bottoms of most ponds and lakes.  When the water temperature hits is right  every Hex nymph then leaves their mud tunnels, rises to the surface, sheds its skin, spends a few seconds drying then lifts off the pond surface into the trees where it completely dries off and strengthens its wings. After a few days, the breeding gene kicks in and the adults perform a pretty cool dance in the sky, mate and then land on pond surface.  The female lays her eggs and then dies and the male just falls from the sky dying as well.   This is known as the spinner fall.  

    Once dead, the bugs float on the pond surface where they are picked off by fish.  Because of their size all fish and birds take advantage of the free meal and use the opportunity to fatten up for the winter months.  Fly fisherman who eagerly await this spectacle are rewarded with caos and fish of unkown sizes hitting their flies. 

    Currently we're at day 4 of the 2017 hatch. Last night I watched 20 plus inch fish come completely out of the water eating these bugs.  I managed to land one 18 plus inch and two smaller brook trout plus miss a dozen or so others before the hatch ended.  it was a long night and today I felt it.  Hopefully I can get enough rest and get after them again tomorrow evening.  For a daily report please see my Facebook page.