The necessity for portable watercraft has been evident since the Adirondacks were first explored. Native Americans used the regions unique web of waterways as the original travel routes inland from Lake Champlain. White settlers later followed these same trails.
However, the Adirondacks remained largely uncharted until the first survey of the region was commissioned in 1837. By that time, Pikes Peak had already been named and the source of the Nile discovered.
And more waters remain to be found as the most recent data from the Adirondack Park Agencys geographic information systems (GIS) reveals. For years, the accepted number for lakes and ponds in the Adirondacks has ranged from 2,500 to 3,500 bodies of water. However, the most current GIS data lists over 11,000 ponds in the park containing over an acre of water surface. Beavers are believed to be responsible for the majority of these newly discovered ponds.
To this day, it remains between a traveler and their map to uncover the wealth of opportunities for off the beaten path ponds; the majority of which are stocked each year by helicopter. It is well established that the degree of difficulty in accessing a pond is directly proportional to the quality of the fishery. The harder the access, the better the fishing understandably, due to a lack of fishing pressure.
Over the years, various methods have been used to achieve the ideal portable boat for Adirondack travel ranging from fragile eggshell thin, cedar planked guideboats, to lightweight, frame and skin folding boats, as well as inflatables, cedar strip and epoxy designs and kevlar, carbon fiber and air core models.
The key to fishing these waters is accessibility, which can be achieved with a small canoe or sometimes only a pack raft. Lightweight, metal and foam canoes such as a Raddison or Sportspal are a favorite of remote pond anglers.