Brook trout inhabit a majority of these waters. Some of these ponds are familiar, but others are new to the woods, little more than dammed up trout streams which beaver have recently created.
It remains a contest between a man (or woman) and a map to discover them and until someone wets a line, they will remain virgins. No one has fished them and nobody knows their name.
During this stage, I visit numerous sport shops; seeking information as much as tackle. Nearly every local community has a bait shop or hardware store that carries tackle and these folks want you to be successful. They're happy to tell anglers where to go and the best methods to fish; it's in their best interest. I make an annual pilgrimage to Wilmington for some special flies tied by Fran Betters. Though Fran rarely gets out anymore, his enthusiasm for and knowledge of trout fishing in the Adirondacks is unrivaled.
I make a point to stop by DEC headquarters to quiz the fine folks in Fisheries. They appreciate feedback from anglers who often provide information on waters that haven't been surveyed in recent years.
If no one's around in the Fisheries Office, I can still visit DEC's website which maintains a listing of the Top Waters for brook trout in each county. I also pay close attention to waters that have recently undergone reclamation, as the third year following the process can be a charm.
While at DEC, I also stop by the offices of the Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation (ALSC). The ALCS, which has been studying Adirondack waters for years, provides information on water chemistry, species of baitfish, game fish and other valuable tools such as contour maps of the ponds. Anglers can find much of this information online at www.adirondacklakessurvey.com. Knowledge of the species of baitfish in a pond permits an angler to use appropriately colored flies, spoons or lures.