Rob and I took a beautiful route between western MA and the Adirondacks, and while we were able to enjoy a quick bit of sun and stream-side relaxation upon our arrival, it was soon right back to rain.
The fishing was also still not incredible. While we began to see more active fish, overall the fish were still holding low, under rocks, and generally just not yet that interested in feeding.
We found plenty of false morels and probably could have committed some days to hunting for the real thing nearby, but I had no idea what trees to cover up here, and we felt we had enough Morel success this season that we'd just pass that idea by.
Maybe one day I'll learn to identify dead Elms, but for now, I have no idea how to find them. Other than that, there doesn't seem to be one obvious kind of tree to check in upstate NY, rather many...
We fished a few random streams, and then I managed to catch a few smaller trout on our first day on the Ausable. Usually I clean up in that section... as I would end up doing a few evenings later.
We camped at the Wilmington Notch Campground first, and then on threat of plenty more bad weather, moved to a "cabin" at the KOA which ended up being a Home Depot-style garden shed with two beds, a window, and an electric heater. The "mattresses" were coated with some kind of waterproof vapor-barrier and the whole experience was pretty shoddy.
Given that the fishing wasn't great either, we decided to do some hiking before preparing for our first backpacking trip into the high peaks.
We chose to do a quick walk up Owl's Head due to the threat of more intense rain. It was a good choice, and we made it to the summit quickly.
The views from the area are great - you get a lower perspective and 360 degree view, but from a peak - so you can see the higher ridges and peaks all around.
There are some nice pitches for climbers, but we didn't see anyone out this time around.
After that we went to check out a waterfall...
Then I took us to a small stream I'd wanted to fish/scout, not realizing there was a nicer and more productive looking tributary that we just had to fish.
That stream ended up being absolutely beautiful, and the rain was light enough that we could enjoy some fishing before it really began to pour.
This was a typical high-gradient Adirondack brookie stream, complete with slots, rock-walls, deep plunges, and plenty of deadfall. Trout heaven.
Not surprisingly, this stream was the first to really fish well for us. We each grabbed some small ones, but the pouring rain followed soon after. The larger brookies were still holding deep.
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped to fill some Growlers at the Beer Castle in Keene. I hadn't noticed this spot before, but I'm really glad we found it this time around. They had some Grimm bottle releases, a few really great IPAs - one I particularly liked from Sloop. Check this place out if you visit the area.
Next on the agenda, I wanted to show Rob a few sections of the High Peaks Wilderness, poke around for some high elevation brookies, and cover some truly back-woods trails that get less human traffic than the more popular Eastern High Peaks zone. More on that coming soon.