Tom's Newsletter


I'm sure you all have heard of the dog days of summer. Well this summer has been one to remember. First this late spring and it might as well have been mid summer, starting off with mid 90 degree temperatures. We had a heat wave, a real one with four days in row over 90 degree. The nights were so humid that sleeping was difficult at best. I second showered daily just so I could sleep comfortably. Now the fishing was great for that time of year. But I also knew that if the weather stayed the same and we didn't get any rain, we would be in for a long summer from a fishing perspective. OK, as I'm writing this and I usually begin writing in the middle of the month,(so I'll not divulge the date) we are receiving our first significant rainfall. The rain started last evening and is still raining, a slow steady rain. We have been a full six inches below the average for this time of year. Last year I able to float fish both the Hudson and the Schroon Rivers several times each by now. The weather was cool and wet last summer. This season has been the complete opposite!

We "FlyFishermen-Women" have a warped sense of what the weather should be and I can speak for all of us that we check the conditions on a daily basis. The weather link and the river gauge link on the home page on my web site gets the most traffic, due to ME!! If you think about it, the weather guides us in our daily lives. The change of season forces us to prep our homes for the warm and cold seasons. The clothes we and our children buy. We open up our camps and ready our boats for the lake to ice out. The growing of flowers and vegetables, although we've been able to control farming with the use of greenhouses and two states; California and Florida. These are all seasonal changes that we have become used to year after year. Then we deal with the weather on a daily basis, we plan on activities for the next day or the same and as we all know our plans can change in an instant.

Now some time back I mentioned that fly fishermen and hunters have to know what the weather is, not just on a weekly basis but daily and hourly. In some other aspects of life this might be looked on as a compulsive behavior trait,(problem) but I like to think that it is normal guys being very thorough. Yes that's the word.

Of course as a fly fishermen, I study little bugs. Also I tie and create flies (artificial bugs) from many kinds of fur, tails, thread, hooks, beads, colored floss,(don't ask) synthetics, feathers, hair, yarn, now remember I'm just being thorough! Then we stand and wade in hip high moving water, that actually has a class rating of I,II,III, or IV ( if you really want to know what the class rating is just ask a raft guide). Now the hunting side of life. We will sit in a deer stand 16 feet up in a tree for eight hours at a time, motionless, sub freezing temperatures, using a grunt call, you know what that is right? Spreading buck urine on the surrounding trees and sometimes ourselves, then we pee in a bottle out of fear to move an inch, because we'll be noticed by a deer. But as I've said we're just being thorough. I think I was talking about the weather, wasn't I? Well you get my drift. Oh yeah, drift, did I mention that when we fly fishermen cast a fly we look for the perfect drift, that means that the fly moves at the same speed as the water. If the fly moves faster than the water then it creates a wake behind it. Not good! Trout being the smart creatures they are know something is up. Now what I'm describing may be a foreign language to most women and probably most men but- I being of sound mind and just a normal guy trying to be thorough- want all of you to understand the simplicity of us outdoors men view of the natural world. Now I was talking about the weather wasn't I?

Right! The weather! A fly fishermen needs to know when it's going to be cloudy because the bugs that trout feed on are active then. Beside everyone says the fishing's better then, right? But I can tell you some of my best fishing days have been when it's totally sunny. For Bass-lets say the warmer the better. Also if it's raining-the fishing has never been very good. Your not exhausted yet?

So when we talk about the weather and hunting is involved it gets even better. Snow! Snows the magic word! Every hunter up here in the north country or any where north of the Mason-Dixon line, you know where that is right? never mind,loves to hunt deer in the snow. They really do love tracking deer in the snow, not to much just an inch or two. And cold! The colder the better. Everyone knows that deer are more active in the cold right? OK, I really really need to get back to the month of August.

Alright back to sanity. I was able to take several more families fishing in the evenings at Alligator pond in Minerva. As usual the fishing was so good and the children had the best time. I have found that when it comes to catching fish, the kids could care less what the species are. They just want numbers and size. If they can't catch fish on a regular basis through out the evening they tend to lose interest. So I have been blessed with Alligator pond as my go to pond for kids. They wont have the same memories as we adults would have due to their age, but they will remember many fish that night. Also I hope the parents will get involved and take them fishing on their own. Most of the parents have limited experience with what it takes to fish for the different species that inhabit our lakes, ponds and streams here in the Adirondacks. Sometimes the parents learn as much as the kids.





In the month of August I've had the opportunity to visit my property several times and noticed that the blackberry crop was outstanding. Now I don't know weather it's because of the lack of rain or in combination with the extreme warm temperatures-probably a little of both. Well let's say I've been fortunate enough to pick a couple of gallons of the sweet fruit. I also realized that I had to share the berries with the deer and the bears. Specifically, a sow and cub or cubs! I first saw the cub as it scurried down the tree at lightning speed, when I was noticed. OH, how nice a cub. Hmmm, where's the sow bear? OH there she is! well it's not the first time that I've crossed paths with black bears here in the Adirondacks. But the first time for me to be so close to mother and cub. Now in truth most black bears want nothing to do with us humans. They are by nature shy creatures, they also hate the way we smell. Have any of you ever smelled a BEAR? We also hunt them. But bears are smart, they know we eat very tasty food. Food also happens to be at the top of their A-list. Black bears also have the biggest sweet tooth's in all the animal kingdom. So I'm here to say thankfully that they were both running at warp speed in the opposite direction from me that afternoon. Still the close encounter was heart pounding and it all took place in less than a few seconds. Fall is a great time to be in the woods hiking the many trails the Adirondacks offer. So a good bit of advice- be loud, carry a whistle and check for scat(poop) when hiking or berry picking like I was. Also do not run from a bear. First they run way faster than we do. Some have been clocked at up to 30 miles an hour on a short burst. Also if you run from a bear it may trigger them to chase you. Bear spray is also available, though you don't want to be close enough to a bear that you have to use the spray. A little bear one-o-one for thought.

Now on to rafting. Now having talked to Nate Pelton; owner and operator of North Creek Rafting Company not long ago, Nate mentioned that the rafting on the Hudson has been great all summer long. Water temperatures have been warm and the need for wet suites has been nil. Also this coming fall the Hudson gorge with all it's wild beauty, couple that with the change of colors should make for some great trips. Give Nate or Becky a call, they run a great operation. You can contact North Creek rafting by going to my links page.

Last month I talked about thinking outside the box. Soon September will be rolling around the corner and there will be several activities going on. Labor Day weekend, the unofficial end to the summer should have the town very busy. The following weekend is the annual Rustic Furniture makers fair up in Blue Mountain lake is always a big draw for the area. Also the North Creek Farmers market and the Cruise Nights continue to run on Thursdays till the beginning of October. So check the local listings for more info.

Now here's what I call thinking outside of the box. Bar Vino and Dogfish Brewery will present the first annual "Ails on Rails". The first time event will be from 5:00pm-7;30pm on Saturday September 25th along with a train ride, beer samples and food. After the ride you can follow the crowds up to main street and the various Pubs, also main street retailers will keep their doors open longer than usual. Look for the railroad crossing signs at businesses. It's ideas like this that will have people from the outside communities interested in the happenings of North Creek.

I sometimes have to stop and just shake my head at how fast the summer is moving along. The month of September is right around the corner and soon school will be starting. The town for sure will quite down for a while and we will flow into one of my favorite times of the year-Fall. The up coming Hunting season will be upon us and some of the best cool water fly fishing of the season can happen on the Hudson and the Schroon rivers. I will keep you posted on the next news letter, which will combine September and October together.

So have a great Labor Day weekend. If your thinking about hiking,canoeing, camping,or fishing please take a kid along. For they are our future and their minds need to be fueled by the wonders of nature's great classroom- the Wonderful Adirondacks!

Tight lines,


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