Winter Opportunities

Looking for something to do this winter? The Lake George Region hosts weekly events such as Ice Castles, Ice Bars and Winter Carnival. For those who enjoy the outdoors the region also boasts some of the best ice fishing opportunities in the state. Have your ever caught a Lake Trout on a jig rod or a salmon on a tip up? How about fried perch for dinner? Our waters are starting to freeze and it won’t be long before these opportunities will be available.

New for the 2021/22 Winter Season I have several lodging opportunities thru local VRBO, Home Away and Adk by Owner. Combine your trip with one of our local lodges and get the full Adirondack experience.

Shoulder Season

It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  To be truthful, I didn’t realize how quickly time had passed. I’m writng this while sitting in my dodge dealership as my truck gets its spring service.  The last time I was in here, it was around November 5th, I had severe cold/flu pnuemonia like symptoms and worring whether or not I’d be able to spend the week in camp with the guys. The other thing I remember is it was spitting snow and raw.

Today is a complete reversal of that day.  My guns are still waiting to be cleaned, I have a leaf blower that needs repair and it’s absolutely gorgeous out.  The morning temps have been in the high teens leveling out to mid 40 and low 50’s.  We have plenty of snow on the ground and theres still ice fishing on Lake George.  

These are the kind of days you wait for all year.  If I could find a place that had this 365, I’d live there, instead I’ll take the bruises and wait for the shoulder season.

Overdue Fishing Report

It is now June 26th and I’m posting my first fishing report of the season.  How neglectful and regretful.  I apologize profusely and promise to maintain a steady update from here on out.  But in my defense, I haven’t had much time up until now to do anything.  

Winter hung on for so long that it put me out 2 weeks on the obligations involved with the care taker side of my business.  I still had snow in the shaded area of camps on May 1st weekend.  Under normal circumstances most of my spring clean up’s and camp openings would have almost been completed by then.  This year found me opening up and finishing up cleanups Friday before Memorial Day.  Just this past week I finished my last camp for the season. I can’t imagine where I’d be if we had a wet spring.

Speaking of rain, where is it?  We’re in the preliminary stages of a drought.  Most of the rivers, creeks and streams are at August and September levels.  Lawns are burning up and the woods are extremely dry.  Yes, it has been cool in the evenings and early am but that doesn’t help, all it does is dry things out faster.  

As for the fishing, I’d have to say it’s been good so far.  We’ve had some exceptional days fishing blueline brookies and pond fishing for landlock salmon.  On the rivers, the hatches have been intense with almost too many bugs.  Unfortunately for me the Hexagenia Hatch has been a disapointment. The days and nights we’ve gone, the hatch has been slight and spotty or the wind made it impossible to fish.  

The forecast for this upcoming weekend through July 4th looks very hot, possibly hitting triple digits.  More than likely I’ll lay off the trout and focus on both species of bass with a fly rod and poppers.  This type of weather makes for exceptional popper fishing throughout the late evening into early morning hours.  

If you decide to trout fish please consider fishing a lake, pond or dam released rivers.  Although trout are active, fighting a trout creates a lactic acid build up in their system which only cold water can correct.  If water temps are too high, lactic acid does not displace and the fish with die after it is released.  You’d be better off keeping everything you catch in this situation as opposed to releasing them.  Right now you’re best bet is be armed with emergering caddis imitations, Elk hair caddis in brown, Royal Coachman Wulff,  Adams or Brown Wulff patterns for rivers, streams or brooks.  On the lakes and ponds, Baetis nymphs and dries if it’s cloudy,  Dark Hendrickson’s, Grey Fox, Cahills, Adams, Buzzers, Hexagenia Nymphs, Hexagenia Dries, Brown Wulff’s, Grey Wulff’s and Drake patterns.

That’s it for now. I promise to keep updating and please feel free to contact me if you have any additonal questions.  

AirBnB, Homeaway and Renting Your Vacation Home

Internet websites such as Airbnb and Homeaway have opened  door and simplified renting your vacation home. With the click of mouse, renters using these sites,  can search within their budgeted range, geographic area and get a full view of your rental property minus the hassle of real estate agents,   advertsing costs and incessant phone calls.  The webiste fees associated with these sites are miniscule compared to the ease and peace of mind provided throughout the process.

What these sites do not provide is assistance or advice on how to manage your property once you start renting.  

A Property manager and Cleaning Service are the two biggest factors you need to consider before renting your property.  A good property manager and cleaning service is someone you can depend on and will treat your property as if it’s their own. Without this, the only other option is to be hands on or do it yourself.  

A Property Manager will take care of or supervise your property.  From weekly trash and recycling removal to rebooting the wifi, the property manager is your only solution if this is not going to be DIY.  Whatever they can’t do, they’ll have someone who they recommend do it for them.  Finding someone local, with references is your best bet.  Word of mouth and the local Pennysaver will put you in the right direction.  

Finding a good Cleaning Service will be your biggest hurdle.  A cleaning service has basically 4 hours to clean your property.  It is unusual to find someone who is a weekly house cleaner to come in on a Saturday to clean a rental property.  Cleaning houses and rentals is totally different.  A cleaning service takes that into consideration and cleans your property from top to bottom the same way each week all season long. They are tasked with alot of things such as keeping inventory on all house hold items such as utensils, cutlery etc, reporting damages and providing clean linens.  

The main issue with a cleaning service is expense and dependability.   Cleaners are paid hourly and travel time to your property will be included in the price.  Most services have a referral fee and are eager to take on new business.  Do a search and contact other rental properties in your area and ask them for a recommendation.  In my experience, a cleaning service will provide reasonable pricing if they can make the trip to your “neck of the woods” worthwhile.

Outside of the top two mentioned above some of these other things to consider; 

Garbage and recycling, inside and outside maintenance, security cameras, pets, personal heirlooms, a house rules list, firepit safety, association rental rules, parking, noise levels and existing neighbor conflicts to name a few.  I could go on and on with examples and experiences but think this is enough to start with. 

Today, the costs of owning a second property and the limited time a family has to use it almost makes owning the second home not worthwhile.  On the otherhand, vacationers are becoming accustomed to creating their own experiences.  Done right, renting your vacation property provides financial relief and reason to hang onto the property for as long as possible.

Yes, You Can Fish One Fly All Season

Last winter I read Fool’s Paradise by John Gierach. I won the book at a fundraiser for our local chapter of Trout Unlimited. I really wanted Trout Bum, but a young kid grabbed that first so I ended up with Fool’s Paradise instead. I owe that kid a big thank you because his choice led me on a year long challenge and lesson in fly fishing.  

In one of the chapters Gierach briefly talks about local waters, boredom and a friend who fished a Royal Coachman all season long with reasonable success. It was then I had my A-HA moment and decided on doing the same thing. For the entire season I was going to fish a hungarian partridge soft hackle. I immediately went to my vice and started tying. Within a few days I had my boxes full of soft hackles from size 12 to 8 with a few bead heads thrown in. My colors were yellow, green and red bodies. Hackles were primarily Hungarian partridge and a few pheasant. By April first I was ready.

For whatever reason I didnt get out until the first week of May. I went up the Starbuckle Dam at the end of Schroon Lake, made a few casts to shake off the rust and was into a nice brown trout on the 3rd cast.  It was game on after that.  

For my 50th birthday my lovely wife booked a trip at Tall Timbers Lodge in Pittsburgh NH. It was the 3rd week of May, snow on the ground, windy cold and cloudy. The trout were just waking up from their cold winter slumber and I caught them on that fly. I had a great week and caught a lot fish. When I returned home UPS delivered my birthday gift to me, a 7.5 ft JP Ross Beaver Meadow 3 wt. and I caught Adirondack Blue Line Brookies on the same fly. The Summer Solstice Hex Hatch on Jabe Pond had me catching brookies stripping the soft hackle slowly just under the surface. Another trip to NH in July had me catching trout and landlocks on the Connecticut and Androscoggin Rivers all with the soft hackle. Finally, just this past week on our yearly trip to the Salmon and Oak Orchard Rivers I caught and hooked up with Kings, Coho’s, Chrome and Browns all on soft hackles.

What I learned about this fly is it is very easy to tie and does not require a lot of materials, just a good Hungarian Partridge cape and yellow, green or red floss. Depending on how it’s fished it represents the different stages of flies life cycle. Tie it big enough and you’ll catch bass on it as well.

If you’re looking for a challenge next season give the one fly challenge a try and don’t rule out the soft hackle I promise it won’t disappoint. Good luck and tight lines.

You Blinked

On July 4th I said don’t blink because Labor Day was right around the corner.  Not only was I right, but I also think summer should have gotten a speeding ticket.  It feels like just last week we were finishing up with the summer solstice and Hex hatch on Jabe Pond.  Then came the summer bass fishing invitational and now Labor Day.  Time flies by fast.

The good thing is although most of the vacationers have gone home and we have a month of traditionally great weather where we can enjoy all the local beaches and hangouts.  Now is the time to start preparation for fall and winter.  Are there last minutes chores that need completing? do you have someone to clean your driveway for the winter and what about raking up the leaves?  

September is one of my favorite months.  It’s the beginning of a shoulder season and I get motivated.  The cooler temps will do that.  Over the last week or so I finished up all my odd jobs and chores and now ready for the onslaught of fall projects.  I’m available to finish up whatever you didn’t start or didn’t finish and not really all that selective.  PM or call me, I’ll be happy to assist because before you know it, it’ll be Thanksgiving.

Happy Labor Day,

Bill

Time

For the last several days I’ve been trying to come up with a clever way to summarize the 2015 fall season.  While uploading a seasons worth of photo’s I found the picture posted above and it hit me,  the word TIME receives that honor.

First,  as always TIME just flew by.  My highly anticipated trip to fish the Great Lakes Tributaries came and went with a flash.  That entire trip we spoke about the TIMING of the salmon, brown and steelhead run. It seemed like if we weren’t on the river at the right TIMEand missed that first hour of light, none of us would have caught a fish let alone see one.  Experiencing first hand, hearing stories and reading about this great system of tributaries I’m hoping we’ll remember this as the TIME of the  great hiccup, not the TIME when the once great fishery began it’s downward spiral.

Although we didn’t catch the numbers of fish as in the past,  I think we can we’ll remember this trip as the TIME Jimmy caught the “Big Atlantic” and how everyone else seemed to catch a memorable fish.  I also think we’ll remember it as another TIME, a great group of guys got together and shared a stretch of river.

Salmon Season rolled right into Deer Season.  The club I belong to is a different group of great guys who hunt hard and give it their all.  I look forward to Deer Season each year just to spend this valued TIME with them.  From November 8th thru December 13th we spent a lot of TIME in the back country and had little to show for it.  NYS DEC had it right this TIME, the winter of 2014/2015 made a huge impact on our deer herd.  With the amount of miles, mountains and areas covered we have only 2 bucks to show for our all our TIMEspent in the woods.  

Similar to the Great Lakes, I’m fearful the Adirondack deer herd could be in trouble.  More than likely it will take some TIME for the herd to come back but if history repeats itself, it will be quite some TIME before we see another healthy deer herd.  I say this because the Old Timers reflect back on a TIME in the late 60’s when the deer took a major hit due to a devasting storm and doe tags.  Some say, it never did recouperate.  I guess TIME will only tell.

In the mean TIME, I’ve purchased a new calendar and have begun planning my TIME off for next year.  Like last year, TIME will fly by and this year I want to be ready for it.

Traditional Adirondack Fall

It’s been a while since I posted.  I’m proud to say my first summer was very busy and a success, I reached 30 clients.  Looking forward to servicing everyone in 2016.  

Fall is definitely upon us. Bow season is open, black powder opens next weekend, geese are flying south, brook trout are staging to spawn and the tributaries on Lake Ontario are slowly filling with spawning fish. 

Although it’s been warm you can occasionally smell woodsmoke in the air.  Definitely a great time to be in the Adirondacks.

It looks as though our dry summer is going to have an effect on the foliage.  Yesterday I fished a pond 1 hour north of here and at elevation. The fish were biting but the trees just weren’t quite there yet.  Normally by Columbus we’re at peak. I’ m guessing we’re a week or more out it the weather cooperates.  

In the meantime, get out and enjoy this time of year before it turns white.

Adirondack Style Kayak Fishing

For the last fews years I’ve been trying to turn my fishing buddies onto Kayak Fishing.  I don’t think there’s anything like it and I think all self proclaimed fisherman should try it out.  All it takes is a kayak, your rod and favorite lure.  Paddle out onto a body of water, catch that first fish and your hooked.  End of story.  I’m not providing any other details until you take that first step but will leave you with this, a 3 pd fish will literally pull you around a pond like Jaws hooked to those barrels.

To date my efforts have converted two good friends, Dan Carr and Mike Mason.  Both of these guys are super sportsman, super knowledgable but fish entirely different bodies of water.  Mike is relegated to big bodies of water in Southern PA and Dan has farm ponds along the NY state PA border.  Although they fish for the same species of fish it’s nothing like fishing here in the Adirondacks.

With that in mind and two years of pestering I/we came up with and planned a weekend fishing trip, starting with night fishing friday night, all day saturday, saturday night and sunday morning.  

As with any trip, things happen, schedules conflict and someone has to cancel. Dan ended up drawing that card due to an issue at work.  Mike on the other hand, made the 6 hour trip and it was game on as soon as he landed in his Mom’s driveway.  Six hours in a car and a weeks worth of anticipation will do that to a fishing nut. 

Friday night we got on a local body of  water at 6pm. This lake is a gem, there are huge fish and it’s fished hard.  It takes skill and patience to catch them here but when you do, it’s worth it.  We caught a few here and there but nothing really big.  It was great paddling around, catching up and telling stories while we waited for the sun to set and it to get dark.  About this time we changed over to our favorite top water lure and waited.  If you’ve ever fished top water in the dark you know what happens next,  it’s like a switch is turned on and GAME ON!  The switch went on exactly at 10 pm Friday night and shut off at 1 am.  When it was all said and done, the two of us ended up with 12 fish, with a 6 to 7 pd average.  It was an incredible experience and fun.  

Needless to say, neither one of us got any sleep Friday night and when we met at Stewarts Saturday morning caffiene was a must have.  We had several options and decided to try a lake about an hour north known for big bass.  Although the weather was perfect for us, it wasn’t for fishing. Clear skies and hot temps put the fish deep in the weeds or right up against the bank in the shade.  Although we mustered a few fish, our biggest was 18 inches and missed pike about 30 inches long.  We both agreed we’ll fish this lake again.

We decided to go back and fish the lake we fished friday night again and would meet at the launch around 9.  I set my alarm 8:30 ate dinner and took a nap. I knew better but age got the best of me,  sometime around midnite I woke up and realized I missed the alarm.  I checked my phone and there were texts from Mike, he  was just coming back in.  He ended up having a great time catching the same kind of fish we did the night before.  He also half heartedly let me know he had to cancel on our trip for Sunday morning due to an unexpected family commitment.  

As I write this, I’ m rested and finishing up my second cup of coffee.  The truck is packed and Michelle and I are headed someplace for a day of paddling and swimming.  I’m bringing the fly rod and a few poppers just in case I get bored.

All in all it was a great weekend, a lot of fun and I’m already planning our next trip.  By that time I hope to have one or two more converts.  In the meantime if you see a speck of light on your lake sometime around midnight it’s probably me.