Long Pond is one of my favorite places to fish. No one comes here. No one thinks there are any fish here. For now, it is mine.
I know that it will not be for long. The invasion of people from New York and Boston will soon be here. The guides have paid no attention to Long Pond. But when the pressure gets on Raquette Lake, Blue Mountain Lake, Saranac Lake and all the others, and they are emptied of all their fish, the guides will be looking for new places to ply their trade. And then the city “sports” will be brought here.
My father showed me where Long Pond was.
“Come son, today we will fish in one of the best ponds in the Adirondacks” he said to me.
“But I thought Saranac was the best lake?” I responded in a confused manner.
My father said “No son, that is the common thinking and we should leave it that way.”
We put our best hiking boots on and my father led the way to a new adventure. My father always led the way to new adventures. Even if he did not claim that it was going to be an adventure, it always turned out to be one. My father was very good at finding adventures.
Our buckboard stopped at no place in particular; other than Pine Plains. There were no lakes, ponds, rivers, brooks, streams or runs to be seen. I looked at my father quizzically. He smiled, jumped out of the buckboard and said “C’mon son, are we going to fish or question the father?”
I was ready to fish so I jumped out also.
He led the way. It did not seem to be much of a path. Maybe that was the way it was supposed to be. We only went about a half mile and there it was; a long pond.
My father walked down to the tip of the pond and stood on a large rock. It was a white rock. No, not a grey rock or a shiny rock, but a really white rock. To add to that it wasn’t a solid rock. It was a crystallized rock; almost solid. If you kicked it with your boot a piece would break off. You could pick up the piece and roll it around in your hand and it would break up into smaller crystals. My father said it was pure quartz. I insisted that we should take it home and sell it.
My father said “No, it has no value.” My father knew everything so I didn’t argue with him.
I was somewhat heartbroken. I thought “A beautiful piece of rock like this should be worth something.” I hated to leave it behind but my father knew what he spoke of.
My father and I turned over several old logs and stones. Finally we had enough grubs and worms to fish with. We went along the right side of the pond for a bit and tried our luck. Nothing as happening other than salamanders would rise to the top, take a bit of something to eat, and then drop back down out of site.
My father reeled in his line and motioned for me to do the same. Then he motioned for me to follow him. There was a cliff directly in front of us and alongside the pond. We could go no farther. So we backtracked a bit and went up to the top of a plateau. We could see Long Pond on our left. My father went about another five hundred feet and once again motioned to the left and downward. I followed him to the edge of the pond. We were on the other side of the cliff.
We fished there and caught nothing. Well that is not absolutely correct. We caught the scabies from ploughing through the brush. They like to jump off onto warm things and I guess we were the warmest things around.
When we reached home my mother gave both of us a scalding hot bath and applied bear grease all over us. It did the trick.
Long Pond is full of fish but those scabies sure take the joy out of things.
It was a long time before I went back to Long Pond.