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Local Sports

August 2, 2013

Brook trout have made a comeback


“Right out there,” he said, pointing his finger. “About three miles beyond that hill, there’s a small pond. Used to have some great trout.”

Well, Hi’s finger was permanently bent at a 45-degree angle on the second knuckle from smashing it with a hatchet, so I really didn’t know which direction to go. I later found his famous brook-trout water but never caught a fish. It too was dead.

Not long ago, a friend told me about a pond near Raquette Lake that he had fished several times over the years. It seems that when one of the old Adirondack bush pilots was stocking fish for the DEC, he’d always drop a few in this particular pond so he’d have a place to take his clients and they’d have some luck.

Joe told me of the great trout fishing he had in that pond over the years and wanted me to hike in there with him some day. Well the other day, I was talking to some folks who have a camp in the Old Forge/Inlet area. It seems that the old guys in a next camp also know of that same backcountry pond. They spent a few days in there back in May and caught more than 100 nice brook trout on flies right on the surface. They released all of them except for a few that were hooked too deep, so they ate those for supper.

Good brook trout fishing has returned. Acid-resistant strains of brook trout are thriving in the wilderness ponds. So I guess it’s about time to start fishing for them once more.

I don’t care about breaking some record, but catching a brookie in the four- or five-pound class would make a five- or six-mile hike worthwhile.

Besides, if I caught a six-pounder, I’d release it after taking a few pictures so someone else could have the thrill of a lifetime. I don’t put fish on my wall anymore, but I sure like to eat a bunch of little ones.

Rick Brockway writes a weekly outdoors column for The Daily Star. Email him at

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