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Adirondacks, New York, Resource Guides

By Francis Betters

Last Memorial Day weekend, Joe Brown from Buffalo arrived in Wilmington to fish his favorite trout stream, the West Branch of the AuSable. He awoke early Saturday morning and put together his gear with great anticipation, then drove to the trophy area of the river to fish the famous Monument Pool. It had been raining for three days and the water was a little higher than usual. After making a few casts into the water, he decided to call it quits. His whole vacation was spoiled because the river was "too high."

A couple weeks later, another good fisherman arrived to fish his favorite trout stream, the Saranac River. He had made the long trip from Connecticut and had spent hours tying up Caddis and Gray Foxes in anticipation of the hatches that are usually on the stream the first part of June. His first day there, he awoke early and was out on the stream by six o'clock. It was extremely humid that day and it became even more hot and sticky. He quit after about two hours of fishing and did not even bother to go back out on the stream in the afternoon. It was just "too hot" to fish.

A couple weeks later, a fisherman from the Albany area walked into my shop and lamented that he had spent an hour on the stream and had taken only one little trout. As he was explaining to me that it was too cold to fish, another gentleman walked in and declared that he too had given up because there were no flies on the water.

It was then that I realized just how much the fish really have going for them. It had started to rain and I knew that many fishermen would not go fishing because it would be "too wet."

After giving it further thought, I decided that I might do a great service to the fishermen if I compiled a list of the times when they shouldn't bother going fishing or some of the reasons why they were not catching fish. Some of the reasons I wrote were as follows: weather too hot, water too high, weather too cold, no hatches of flies, water too low, sun too bright, too cloudy, leader too heavy, wrong flies, too many fishermen, water too clear, water too muddy, and too windy.

I was still working on the list when an old gentleman walked into the shop. He was carrying an old wicker creel that looked like one Moses might have made from the bull rushes. When I asked him how the fishing was, his bony hands reached into the creel and snaked out four of the most beautiful brown trout I'd ever seen. I then inquired as to what fly he was using and he replied, "Just some old flies I've had for years."

A little further questioning revealed that he had been fishing the river for two weeks and had, as he put it, "Some of the best dang fly fishing I've ever had."

I guess he must have been just too busy fishing and having a good time to realize that the conditions on the stream were just "too wrong" to go fishing.

Last evening, I was going to go fly-fishing myself but it was too windy, so I called up this beautiful girl I know and invited her out to dinner. After a terrific meal, I asked her to go to my place for a nightcap but she replied that she was too tired. I was just too disappointed to sleep.

I think I'll just forget about finishing that list. Instead, I might write a letter to my congressman suggesting a law to remove the word "too" from the English language.

The above story is taken from Fran's book entitled "Fish Are Smarter in the Adirondacks". To order this book or others by Fran, please click here

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