If smelt were around, they would attract salmon and browns, as well as heron, gulls, eagles and osprey. However, there were no three-toed tracks in the mud or the sand.
However, I still took a couple of dozen compulsory casts, and I even tossed out a bobber with a worm dangling below in an effort to attract any type of finned creature. It was to no avail.
My next stop was a short distance further north, to the St. Regis Lakes. As I had expected, the large lakes were sealed tighter than a drum with ice that offered evidence of recent snowmobile traffic. I hit a few of the inlets just for the sake of practicing my casting abilities, and to ensure the due diligence of my scouting mission.
The region’s significant snowpack discouraged me from bothering to journey into any of the ponds in the locale, although I did make a brief stop at Black Pond on Keese Mill Road, where I discovered that even the small outlet pond was as of yet, firmly covered.
I did get to wet a line in the St. Regis River, which is directly across the road from Black Pond’s parking area. In year’s past, I’ve taken a few small brookies below the outlet dam, but not this year. After losing one good lure to a tree branch, and another to a snag, I decided the location was just too expensive for my meager tacklebox and I moved on.
Similar stops continued as I headed west towards Tupper Lake, to visit Bog River Falls. Along the way I checked out a few waters, including Lake Clear outlet, Follensby Clear Pond outlet, and a few others around the Fish Creek Ponds. Firm ice was all I found, except for a few of the inlets, outlets and the resulting streams.
Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.