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Some like it hot!

Notes from the North Woods

A trout in the hand, always beats a dozen in the stream. Small native brook trout, which can be found in most Adirondack streams, offer anglers a bonanza of scenery, seclusion and good sport when the larger rivers become too warm to fish.

A trout in the hand, always beats a dozen in the stream. Small native brook trout, which can be found in most Adirondack streams, offer anglers a bonanza of scenery, seclusion and good sport when the larger rivers become too warm to fish.

The heat of the summer has descended upon the Adirondacks, delivering temperatures that have soared well above 80 degrees. Combined with high humidity, these weather systems have produced sticky, lazy days and hazy mountain top vistas.

Although the majority of Adirondackers are not used to such scorching heat, they can take comfort in the evenings, when the mercury in local thermometers slips back into the 40’s and a thick fog develops over the area lakes.

The summer season has finally hit full stride. Hiking trails are crowded, the local swimming holes are as full as the highways and the sweet smell of barbecues again drifts by on the late afternoon air.

Berries and brookies

Despite a distinct lack of rain this summer, most local berry patches have finally ripened across the region, and the pickin’ season is now in full swing. While this year’s crop of berries may not be as large or as plentiful as usual, the berries appear to be just as sweet as always. Fresh picked berries own a unique sweetness, that’s simply not available from any ‘store-bought’ batch. It may come from the morning dew, or from the purple fingers of little pickers. Either way, pickin’ berries is a tradition that should be shared.

While in camp last week, I enjoyed fresh blueberry pancakes each morning, and we also discovered some large patches of raspberries while hiking in the afternoon. It’s always a pleasure to stumble upon a new stash of berries that hasn’t already been picked over, by man or beast.

Devoted ‘berry pickers’ are as tight-lipped as brook trout fanatics, in their efforts to protect the location of favorite berry patches.

Anglers on the local rivers have been faced with low water levels, and rising water temperatures. In addition, the combination of brilliant, sunny days, startling water clarity and steadily diminishing oxygen levels has made for limited success.

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net.

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