Seasonal transitions and traditions

In the span of less than two days, Adirondack sportsmen and women enjoyed the opportunity to complete two major seasonal transitions, as the trout season concluded and muzzleloading season opened.

The transition was naturally punctuated when a major snowstorm arrived Oct. 15, to deposit a fresh carpet of heavy, wet snow across the Adirondacks.

Whitetail hunters rejoiced with the prospect of a "tracking snow" for opening day, especially after the lack of any appreciable snow cover for the majority of last year's season.

It is difficult to effectively detail the rapidity of the seasonal realignment of my sporting pursuits, as I went from flyfishing in the shallows of Lake Placid for lake trout one morning, to stalking whitetails in the swamps the next.

After trading a flyrod for a ramrod Saturday morning, I packed the hunting gear for a walk into hunting camp. Tree limbs drooped under the heavy, fresh snow, which served to illustrate the tracks and trails of whitetails on my journey into camp.

As a burgeoning sun warmed the scene, I crunched along in the morning's fresh snow. I was reminded of the wealth of activities available in the Adirondacks.

I knew that skiers would surely be laying down the first, fresh tracks of the new ski season along Whiteface Mountain's Toll Road, which had received accumulations of nearly a foot of fresh snow.

Along the lower Boquet River, I expected anglers would be laying out long casts to the many landlocked salmon that had recently filled the river. DEC reports had indicated this was the best salmon run in years, with more than 50 fish having passed through the fish ladder at Willsboro. The largest fish topped six pounds.

My ruminations were promptly interrupted with the bark of blackpower rifle discharging. Instantly, my focus returned to the hunt and as I turned a corner, one of our camp regulars was standing alone, looking rather dejected.

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