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Of Bugs and Brookies

Notes from the North Woods

Jay McGrath of Burlington, Vt. hefts a nice brook trout into the net, while fishing on a remote Adirondack pond.

Jay McGrath of Burlington, Vt. hefts a nice brook trout into the net, while fishing on a remote Adirondack pond. Photo by Joe Hackett.

This year, competitors enjoyed nearly ideal river conditions, which were far removed from the flood-level waters they encountered last year on the Ausable. The river was in great shape, and although a bright sun chased them downriver all day, the total take was impressive, with several anglers topping over 300 combined inches of fish. That computes to landing more than 30, 10-inch fish or more than 15, 20-inch trout in just two days of fishing. The top angler claimed he was using a Montana nymph fly throughout the event.

While it is obvious that the streams and rivers have been producing quite well, the reports coming in from the ponds and lakes have likewise been promising, with stories of anglers taking numerous big lake trout, large splake and even a potential new state record brook trout.

The brook trout, which was presented to NTSDEC biologists at the Region 5 Warrensburg Office, was a 21 1/4-inch fish which weighed 5.85 pounds.

Reportedly, the catch was taken from a pond in the West Canada Lake Wilderness Area in early May. It has already been certified as a brook trout by the Warrensburg Office, which forwarded it along to the DEC's Central Office in Albany for verification as a state record.

If the big fish is certified in Albany, at a weight of 5.85 pounds, it will eclipse the current state record brook trout record of 5.8 pounds by just about an ounce. The current record was set by Daniel Germain in South Lake, Herkimer County in June of 2011.

The previous state record was taken by Tom Yacovella from Racquette Lake on June 7, 2009. It weighed 5 pounds, 4-1/2 ounces.

It appears a new brook trout state record has been established on a regular basis in recent years. Ever since the historic state record brookie of 7-pounds 4-ounces from Punchbowl Pond in Sullivan County was expunged from the record book in 2000.

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

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