The Lake George is featured among the wet
flies in Ray Bergman's Trout,
and caught my attention immediately because
I'm from upstate N.Y. originally, and grew
up not too far away from Lake George. It's
a beautiful lake, very clear, and very cold,
even in the dead of summer. I was never able
to completely enjoy swimming there. I never
fished the lake, but I note that there are
charter boats in the vicinity, so there must
still be fishing there.
Many of the flies in Mary Orvis Marbury's book
were designed to be fished in the north country
lakes of the Adirondacks and Maine. Flies like
Mooselucmaguntic, Parmacheene Belle, Kineo, Tim,
B. Pond, and of course the Rangely streamers are
all flies named after lakes in Maine, while the
Lake George, Saranac, Adirondack, the Romeyn from
Keeseville N.Y., the Beaverkill, the Neversink,
all celebrate the waters of northern N.Y. Many
were brook trout flies, very much "attractors,"
designed to excite the trout and bass of the
region into striking. Among these, the Parmacheene
Belle was quite important, and the Lake George
falls into the group I like to call the Parmacheene
Belle-based flies. Many flies are pretty much
versions of the Parmacheene Belle, and these
include flies like the Ibis and White, the Lake
George, Tycoon, Belgrade, and Dr. Breck. The
Lake George was created by John Shields.
Although my lake fishing with flies was
limited growing up, I do have a story to
relate. My family was invited to Lake Titus
near Malone by good friends who had a camp
there. I discovered a bamboo fly rod and an
old wallet of wet flies and streamers in a
storage room, along with a canoe. I took them
out on the lake, and began fishing along the
shore line, casting a royal coachman wet fly
out, and slowly retrieving it back to the canoe.
Lo and behold, I caught a 13" rainbow trout!
I had never seen a rainbow before that day,
just browns. I can still see that fish to this
day, it was just beautiful, and quite a surprise.
There are so many lakes up there you could never
fish them all. There are small lakes with huge
lake trout in them, such as Taylor Pond. There
are brooks teeming with small native brook trout,
such as the one that parallels the climb up Mt.
Dix. I couldn't say how the fishing is these days,
but I would venture a guess that you can still
find brook trout up there, even now. I'd love to
go back and find out.
Recipe: The Lake George
~ Eric Austin
Credits: Favorite Flies and Their
Histories by Mary Orvis Marbury; Trout
by Ray Bergman.