Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 74
We got some rain to dampen down the new fallen leaf cover, but still not enough to make a trickle in my runoff stream, which goes under my driveway. My pond outlet began running again, which made my trout happy and even a little frisky. The female brook trout have been doing some jumping to loosen their eggs before spawning. Dave Eichorn caught a nice female on Saturday, which was full of eggs. I put in some gravel where the inlet comes in for them to spawn on. Now we will see if they use it and the Great Blue Heron does not catch them while they are spawning. The heron does sneak in now and then to feed on the little minnows, but one of the trout would be more than a snack.
I hit a couple trout ponds the last couple days of the season and got nothing; not even a bite. Tried several different flies, but had no takers. Even broke down and put on a lake clear and a worm and still nothing, so I guess they will be bigger next year. I did manage to catch one while bass fishing that just fit in my frying pan and it was very good. The bass even slowed up some or moved to deeper water, but we did manage to catch a few the last day we were out, one nice one just under six pounds.
Many of the lakes in the area are still open year-round for trout fishing, even through the winter, so you can ice fish for them also. It is best to check the syllabus for certain lakes and the rules that apply. If you’re out and about on the area waters, put on that life jacket, as a dip in the cold water my take away more than your breath.
The hikers and campers are still pushing the limits in all areas of the Adirondacks and some are not so good about picking up their garbage or using the woods as their toilet. In some places, the trail of t-paper and what is under it is not good. It does not take that much to make a hole with your heal and bury your crap, or better yet, use the facilities if provided. With the amount of people using the trails, you can almost follow the paper trail to your destination.
The mouse population has slowed some, but I still had five in my grain bucket this morning, more food for the Ravens. If you are using antifreeze in your water buckets for the mice, please put these in the garbage and do not throw them out in the side yard for the birds and animals to eat. These critters soaked in antifreeze, if eaten, will probably kill any bird or animal that eats them.
The biggest animal roaming our woods, the moose, are on the move looking for mates, so you might find them anywhere in the area or even swimming across a big lake, as water is no object to them. Be more alert while driving anywhere in the area, as they have been seen crossing some of the local highways. Out in the woods, these big animals will normally be seen running away, but they could also challenge you, as they outweigh most of us by several hundred pounds and they know it. Some have been found in residential areas and have been tranquillized and moved to a more remote area so problems do not arise. If you do see one while out and about, do not push them too far, as they can kill you with one stomp of their hoof. Jeff Nadler got a nice shot of a cow moose in a small pond as he was out exploring the other day.
I got a call from my neighbor Saturday night, saying that her sister and niece had gone hiking on the ski trail loop by my house, and it was dark and they had not returned yet. They were only prepared for a day hike and had no light, lighter, map or even a day pack with snacks. They were going around the loop and back to the campsite which is an eight- mile trip. I called Ray Brook dispatch and got some Forest Ranger help as it was going to freeze, and it would be a long night without a fire being cold and wet. I got the Limekiln Campsite barrier opened and went in and called across the valley and Limekiln Swamp and got no answers. I met up with FR Melissa Malino in the campsite and we went around the ski trail loop, starting at the campsite around 9pm. The trail was wet in places with lots of blowdowns and not many trail markers. We hollered their names as we went around, but got no answers. We crossed Limekiln Creek and got out to the old abandoned snowmobile trail, where the ski trail makes a little jog up the trail. We found some tracks in the leaves which we followed down to Limekiln Creek, where they had put in some old bridge planks to cross the creek and would take them out to the Adirondack League Club road system. I have had several others do that same thing, but once they get to the private land signs, they turn around and come back and their tracks seem to be going both ways. We went back up the trail to the turn off spot and went over to Limekiln Swamp, finding only tracks coming our way and got no answers over there. Back on the old snowmobile trail their tracks went toward the campsite, which we followed. FR Jen Temple was in the campsite and we told her to start down the old trail from there and also possibly have someone check the roads in the ALC. Following the tracks and calling, we got an answer at 12:30am, up on the ridge to our right. Melissa went up and found the two women, a little cold and wet. We gave them some water and energy bars and I put my gore tex jacket on the younger lady who was cold and wet. We walked out about a mile to the campsite and met up with Jen and members of the Inlet Fire Department, who had come in with four wheelers to help. You never know what is going to happen right in your backyard and all came out alive, well and embarrassed.
Catching some Saw Whet Owls, but that’s another story. See ya.