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Local Sports

August 2, 2013

Brook trout have made a comeback

For the eighth time in the last nine years, the record for catching the largest brook trout in New York has been broken.

On May 16, a fisherman from Mayfield caught a 6-pound, 22.5-inch brook trout in Silver Lake in the southern Adirondacks. Wow!

I know some of you think you should rush right back into the wilderness and get one of these for yourself. Well, it’s only a little more than seven miles to Silver Lake on the Northville-Placid Trail. You’ll need a canoe and some camping equipment, but remember, no motor vehicles are allowed. So that makes it quite a hike to get in and back out.

It’s interesting that Silver Lake was dead in 1969, totally absent of fish because of acid rain. In 2002, though, the state stocked an acid-resistant strain of brook trout in the lake. Today, they are growing to record sizes.

By the way, the fish was caught on a Lake Clear wobbler (made in Gilbertsville) with a worm trailing a foot or so behind it and trolled behind the canoe in 18 to 20 feet of water. This is the same lure that was used to break the record in South Lake a couple of years ago.

I remember when I moved to Wells some 40-plus years ago. I asked one of the local fisherman where I could catch some decent brook trout. He sent me to Johnson Vly, a small pond on top of a mountain not far off Route 30 on the way to Speculator.

That pond also was dead in 1969, but he never told me that. The only thing I got were leeches on my legs as I tried to get out far enough to fish.

Another time, I asked an old logger and retired Adirondack guide about some ponds that might have brookies. Hi Craig took me up some back roads before stopping his old truck.

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