School's Out! What to do this summer?

Following a week of extended rain, most area rivers and streams will remain swollen, with discolored waters. I expect waters will drop to fishable levels by the weekend as summer like weather is expected to return. Rivers such as the Ausable, Bouquet and others in the High Peaks region will flush much more quickly than the Schroon, Raquette, Saranac or the St. Regis which flush through several lakes. As area waterways return to normal conditions, anglers can expect good fishing with the drop in water temperature that recent cold rains brought, along with the fresh supply of oxygen caused by the churning currents. Rains also delivered a large amount of insects and other food sources that washed downstream. Trout caught later this week will be strong, healthy fish that are well fed and revitalized by the fresh, cold and highly oxygenated waters. Anglers seeking opportunities on Adirondack lake or ponds would be wise to fish inlets or feeders streams. The same flow of fresh water that brings river fish back to action will also spur lake populations to feed. This will be most evident along streams or rivers that drop on a steep gradient before entering a lake, because of the higher oxygen content. Stream hatches will return to normal as the water levels drop. Caddis, Green Drake, Cahills and the much anticipated, Hexigenia mayflies will be in the air by July 4. The Hex hatch, always a sure bet for big fish on local lakes, is the most anticipated lake hatch of the season. The large, pale green mayfly appears to be as delicious to bass as it is to trout and imitating this insect with a dry fly always accounts for some huge specimens. Appearing in late June, the Hex hatch seems to be strongest a week before and two weeks after July 4, although sporadic hatches continue for the remainder of the summer. Summer Time in the Adirondacks Having spent my youth in the Adirondacks there remain certain elements of my childhood which are indelibly etched in my memory as being distinct summer necessities. Such activities are crucial to a well spent summer. With a memory thats slipping while old age is creeping, I posed the query, What do you do to make summer special? to a number of friends. Here are their answers, for must do summer activities, in no particular order. 1. Climb a mountain and watch the sun begin to set. Or drive to the top of Whiteface. On a clear, blue sky day, you can see the whole Park underfoot, to Lake Champlain and beyond. Lay on your back and watch the clouds. 2. Get soft ice cream or Michigan hots at any one of the numerous roadside shops across the region. They are the best seasonal delights. 3. Swim in a deep, crystal clear, cool pool of a mountain stream such as the Gulch, Split Rock Falls, Styles Brook Falls, US Falls, High Bridge or the slick rocks at the Covered Bridge in Jay. 4. Take a scenic flight from the Lake Placid airport or a seaplane ride out of Long Lake. The Adirondacks are truly amazing from the air. 5. Visit the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake or The Wild Center in Tupper Lake or the Adirondack Historical Center in Elizabethtown, with a quick stop at the Bog River Falls, Buttermilk Falls or Split Rock Falls. 6. Camp out by the lakeshore, eat smores around the fire and fall asleep in the open air, while listening to crickets and watching the sky for shooting stars. 7. Visit a local antique shop, rustic furniture builder or craft centers. Every small town has a few. 8. Go berry picking, from farm strawberries, to backyard blueberries, to wild raspberries and blackberries, some as long as a knuckle. 9. Go jump in a lake, either on a rope swing at the St. Regis, Rainbow or Tupper or off the ledges on the Saranacs or Lake Placid. 10. Cast a dry fly to small, rising native brook trout on a foliage canopied, small mountain stream that cascades from pool to pool. Or twitch a hopper on a meadow brook to tease up a big one. Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@ adelphia.net

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