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Infant Hudson

Oh how beautiful the headwaters of the Hudson River are. To think that these same waters graced the hull of The New Moon; Henry Hudson’s craft as it sailed northward and out of the Atlantic. These northern waters are clear and cold. Native trout abound in all its branches. Indian Pass Brook is but one of the branches. The Opalescent and Calamity Brook are two of the others.

I remember back when the Henderson Iron Mine first attempted to open. It was just prior to the Civil War. There were hundreds of workmen digging ore and building the blast furnace. Others were cutting lumber for the charcoal necessary to keep the blast furnace going. The blast furnace was an amazing structure. The overflow water wheel that drove the air compressor was a work of wonder. Everyone was too busy to enjoy the woods. But not I.

There was an old Indian path from the blast furnace all the way to Wallface Mountain. It followed Calamity Brook. It was a clear stream and ran fast up on the mountain sides. It was an adventure to get there and a challenge to get to the water. You could hear the rushing brook below you but the shear sides of its chasm were treacherous. There were several ways down into the brook but almost as many ended up in dead ends that only offered a few hundred feet of fishing.

The brookies were tiny but vicious. They would make the end of your fishing rod dance and tremble as they realized something had gone terribly wrong. It was too far to carry many of these trout home. The only ones that met their demise were those who enjoyed a streamside supper with me.

The Opalescent was also a beautiful stream with several nice falls. There were large pools at the bottom of each fall as well as smaller pools half way down. The brook trout were almost black with white stripes on the bottoms of their fins. Most had blue dots with pink auras surrounding the blue.

There are many other nice streams in this same area. It takes some work to find the productive ones. Old guides like Mitchell Sabattis and Alvah Dunning gave me hints as to where these spots were. None of these guides would tell me outright about their favorite streams.

I do not blame them.

Tahawas and Tomosky c