Fishing Report: Adirondack Rivers

     April 20-21, 2013. The water was high in all rivers and creeks in the northeast Adirondacks. Some were flowing quite fast, like the East Branch Ausable. In the town of Jay the normally calm, flat water was high enough and fast enough to make wading very challenging if not overtly dangerous. I did not attempt to fish it partly due to time constraints as well as the difficult conditions.
     The Saranac River was a bit higher than usual for this time of year but not exceptionally so. The water was slightly stained with visibility of two to three feet in the slower moving pools and runs. Wading conditions were about the same as always. The Saranac has never been the easiest river to wade due to the abundance of boulders and sunken logs. The forecast called for a high in the upper 30s and from what I could tell that seemed accurate. The brief moments of bright sun were a welcome antidote to the occasional snow flurries and steady wind.


The Saranac River. Water was a little higher and faster than usual for late April.

     I tried streamers fished with a sinking line as well as nymph rigs on a floating line. The streamers reached down deep without too much trouble but the swift current combined with higher water made reaching bottom with nymphs difficult. I started with about six feet of leader between fly and indicator and kept increasing the distance until I had about eight. Even then it didn’t seem like the fly was bouncing bottom. I fished for two and a half hours and didn’t catch anything.
     The West Branch Ausable was flowing high with some of the sections noted for fast pocket water too high to even consider fishing. Further upstream toward Lake Placid the water was fishable but water depth made wading difficult. And boy was it cold! I tried the sinking line in the slow, deep stretches with no luck. Things were not as efficient as they might have been on account of the early morning air temperature was just below freezing which led to ice collecting in the rod guides. I called it a day after about two hours.

West Branch Ausable. Slow, deep water is usually a solid bet, but not when it’s in the low 40s

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