Adirondack Guide, Adirondack Mountains, Adirondacks, Alfred Donaldson, Alvah Dunning, Blue Mountain Lake, Boreal Swamp, brook trout, Calamity Brook, canoe, Charles Hallock, chasm, Chateaugay, Dr. Joseph Stickler, Dr. Trudeau, Durant, Eagle Lake, fly fishing, Fred, French Louis Seymour, geese, Herr Jagger, Indian Pass, Indian Pass Brook, John Leaf, loggers, Marion River, Mission of the Transfiguration, Monsieur LaPineaux, Moose River, Nobleboro, Old Ralph, Opalescent, Railroads, Raquette Lake, Sabattis, saranac, Seneca Ray Stoddard, Thomas Tahauwas, Utowana Lake, Vanderwacker, Wallface, West Canada Creek, William Henry Harrison Murray, Woodcock
Seneca Ray Stoddard sketched this scene of an Adirondack chasm. Stoddard and I met a few years after the civil war. We both had wanderlust. I kept mine under control and within the boundaries of the Adirondack Mountains.
Stoddard lived in Glens Falls but could not control his wanderlust to those limits. Every time he looked to the west all he could see were those glorious tall peaks. So he wandered in and out of the mountains for several decades. Ray was well read; I was not. I knew the mountains intimately; Ray did not. Well, not at first. By the time he was through with his work I think he knew them as good as I.
But I remained the better fisherman.
I have fished several of these chasms and believe this one could either be the Ausable or the Chateaugay Chasm. It would depend on the time of the year and which section of the river Stoddard was in.
You see, there are multiple chasms in both rivers. And if it were Spring it would have to be the Ausable. The Chateaugay roars in the spring and that fellow would not be in his boat for long.
One more thing may lead us to make a judgment; one section of the Chateaugay has a natural structure called “The Cathedral.” It is an island as tall as the sides of the chasm. Why God left it standing is beyond me. Maybe he knew we would call it The Cathedral.
Chasms have their good points and their bad points. They are always cool and shaded. That is a good point for the trout. They hate it when the water gets heated by the sun. So they stay in the chasms year round. There are parts of the Ausable that get terribly warm by August. The trout run up the little feeders until they find a cool spring.
The bad point of chasms is twofold. First, you are always trapped by the sides. This often limits your expedition. Second, the mosquitoes love it there. And they love fishermen too.