By Dan Ladd
New York Outdoor News Editor
Water temperatures mean everything to the trout angler, or at least those who care enough about the species they covet so much that they’ll back off when conditions are not favorable for optimal fish survival.
That is especially the case with brook trout fishermen and those who chase them around on Adirondack ponds. Unfortunately, it is never an exact science and varies from pond to pond.
First of all, let’s look at some of the weather we’ve had in northern New York this spring. Like most of upstate, things have been slow to warm. An early-May weekend of turkey hunting in the snow proves as evidence. Anglers began to think that we might have an extended trout-fishing season.
But things got warm, quite warm, during and right after Memorial Day weekend, only to cool right back down again. But some strides were made in the water-warming department and I heard reports of temperatures in the mid- to high-sixties even on some of northern-most ponds around June 1.
But all ponds are different. Deep, spring-fed ponds are going to maintain cooler water, as are those with feeder streams if they’re not too shallow. These are all usually the types of ponds that are home to brook trout. There are shallower ponds that warm quicker, but with a few exceptions, you’ll find that these are often stocked with brown trout, and in some cases, rainbow trout.
To fish or not will be the question many trout anglers will ask themselves as the month of June progresses. And that decision will be based on a couple of factors. If they’re going to keep their limit for the frying pan, no worries. But if catch-and-release is the goal, then avoiding fishing in waters with higher temperatures is paramount.
Overall, the angler must consider the type of pond they intend to fish and surmise, as best as possible, what the conditions will be. A quick Google search of lake water temperatures in early June indicated that Lake George was at 63 degrees, while Mirror Lake in Lake Placid was at 58. Mirror Lake is obviously much smaller than Lake George, and sits at a higher elevation. I’m sure you get the idea.
Lastly, as C&R trout anglers trend away from their favorite ponds, the time is ripe for fishing warm-water species. Of course, bass come to mind but there is legion of dedicated northern pike fishermen out there and one can never overlook the walleye, where available.
As for this angler, now that turkey season is in the dust I’m hoping to get a few trout outings in before things get too warm. Then I’ll switch over to bass. Meanwhile, I’m keeping my fingers crossed on the summer camping season as that is the basecamp for many fishing trips. Stay tuned!