Five Top Spots for Trout Fishing
Long Lake is one of those small towns of the Adirondack Park whose recreational offerings are as diverse as you could ask for. From climbing to the top of a mountain to paddling a lake that seemingly never ends, they have it. Maybe birding in some remote pond or wetland is more your speed, they have it. But if that isn't enough you should try tossing a line in the cool waters that dot and run through the region - maybe hook onto a nice rainbow or brook trout. Below I have chosen five select locations where you, too, could hook your own brookie. I have fished the Raquette River most of my life and growing up in Long Lake has given me the advantage of finding what you might call the "sweet spots" for trout. But the Raquette is only one place to check out. A couple of back-country ponds and a new public access site on Fishing Brook also opens up fresh opportunities. You should check these out next time you are in town.
South Pond has one good access point located off Route 28N/30 between Long Lake and Blue Mountain Lake. There is a major parking area at the top of a hill above the pond, and a small access point just before the parking lot which is the best approach to the shore. Paddling access is available for those preferring to fish the deeper portions of the lake, but that's not needed. Great fishing can be had from shore and the small sandy beach areas, and shallower shorelines will help you get a bit further out. From a boat cast a line near the islands or at the inlet on the south side where the Salmon River comes in. Work your way along shore heading south for several different locations to access. Don't be surprised if you are not alone, this is a very popular pond with many private camps on the south and north sides.
Lower Sargent Pond
Lower Sargent is a bit more work to access and will only give you the option of shore fishing. With a 2.2 mile walk to reach the shore, most people would not opt to carry a boat. On the north end of the pond there is a nice lean-to if you prefer to make a weekend camping trip out of your stay. There are several areas to approach the shore to easily cast a line without the worry of getting hung in a tree. Herd paths line much of the shore making for ease of walking through the woods. There is a fish ladder on the east outlet to help keep some of the stocked fish in the waterway without losing them downstream into Raquette Lake.
This new fishing access site has been opened up to the public just recently by the DEC as part of the land purchase from Finch and Pruyn. To locate this site, which is not yet marked, drive out of Long Lake toward Newcomb on Route 28N. Continue to where Fishing Brook goes under the road and immediately look for a dirt drive on the right, after you cross. There is a bridge and dam here creating a small pond upstream. Fishing above and below the dam are both pretty good (but if I were to choose, upstream would be preferable).
Forked Lake Dam on the Raquette River
This site is located just below the dam at the Forked Lake State Campground. There is a small day use fee during times of operation. This location can be very busy and depending on the days use you may have to move downstream a bit to find a good spot. Movement along shore is easy. Fishing from here all the way downstream to the lean-to, roughly 1.5 miles away, are all good. You could also access the river by pulling off Forked Lake Road, at any point along here, and walking through the woods. Several herd paths access the river and a nice path follows along the shore.
The Raquette River at the Long Lake headwaters
Keep in mind that at the headwaters you could also hook onto some bass and maybe a northern pike, even from shore. You can access the headwaters easily from North Point Road at the canoe carry. It's a steep trail down to the water but once you get there it's a nice peaceful area to relax. The river comes right in at this point and widens into Long Lake also known as the "widening of the Raquette." Fish from the shore upstream all the way to Buttermilk Falls by utilizing the herd path and canoe carry located there. Fish downstream from here as well - the waters are deeper and much calmer. In the intermittent area between the river and Long Lake there are many hidden boulders with slightly elevated current and cooler areas that the trout like to hang out in, if you hang out here as well, you have a good chance of having a good time.
So... ready to cast your line? Make sure you let us know where you catch the big one!