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Fly Fishing Northville Placid Trail

The Northville-Placid Trail (NPT) is a good trail with some excellent fishing water. During my previous trips along the trail, I would sometimes watch the streams & lakes and dream of catching the fish as they jumped small falls or quietly tookflies in the pools. On my third trip along the NPT, the decision to bring a spinning rod, a selection of flies and worms was an easy one. The flies I bring also let me use dries, placed about 4’ up the leader with the worm below to cast them. I can then “dance” the fly on the water with twitches of the rod tip as it drifts by the many small holes. I hiked into the area on a Sunday, leaving from the Long Lake Trailhead and knowing I would see only a few people. (I passed five people along the trail to Averyville Road, in Lake Placid…the northern terminus of the trail…in the 35 mile hike.)

Lake Placid Trail

Hiking into the Cold River from the Long Lake trailhead meant about a 12 mile hike, part of it along Long Lake. I wasn’t looking for a lot of miles. I was after fish, in particular the Brook Trout, at the Cold River. Along the way, several beaver dams offered an opportunity to take a break. But, after a cast or two and catching a couple smaller fish, it was time to move on. My goal was the Cold River, even if it was low this time of year (middle of August.) The pocket water and holes along that river promised good fishing regardless of the hot sunny weather. I was looking forward to it.

fly fishing

Be sure to check out part 2 of this article

5 Responses to Fly Fishing Northville Placid Trail

  1. ADKinLA October 15, 2013 at 4:49 am #

    Great trip report Jim, glad to see a write up of the ol NPT! I wish you good fishing!

  2. Philip Werner October 15, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    I really have to get off my butt and learn fly fishing. This looks like it was an awesome trip and a great way to immerse yourself in the wilderness while still hiking.

  3. Marco October 18, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    Thanks, guys!
    Yeah, it was fun…someday I’ll take a real fly fishing rig up there. But the fish were mostly laying fairly deep(3′ or so) and in shadowed or dark water. I will go back!

  4. Dan Smith October 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    Thank you for the vivid trail report and for being such a thoughtful trail ambassador. Your report makes my heart ache for the ADK! I was on trail in Sep south of Raquette Lake, where I saw plenty of fresh bear scat and tree scratchings.
    How did you do with the usually wet trail along the NPT? Did you have on quick-drying boots and ‘gaitors?
    Happy trails on your next venture.
    R, Dan Smith

  5. Marco October 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    Hi Dan,
    Wet trails? Oh, you mean the streams they call trails, hey, ha!

    No, I don’t use either. I just use my regular boots. No gators. I just pull my socks up over my pants. I guess it looks a bit geeky. But the lower sections of the NPT are really too wet for trail runners. I just slog through most of it, especially this year. Most of the trail was puddle, till you got to Turrel Pond/Long Lake. Stephens Pond wasn’t to bad. I didn’t need to carry more than a liter of water.

    Trail runners don’t work that well for me. I have a wide toe area, and narrow heel. Even with liners, my heel slips around a lot, if my toes have enough room to prevent blisters. All the roots and rocks mean a lot of slippery steps. I use my mid-hiker boots, mostly. They have a good scree collar, soo I really don’t need gaitors. Twice, I had to stop and empty my boots of water on the whole trail. (They also have mesh to drain water, but this takes a couple minutes.) Wringing out my socks leaves them no wetter than when I hike in hot weather with them. No blisters the whole trail, let alone the short fishing trip I was on.

    Raquette Lake? Hmmm, where abouts? Yeah, there are LOTS of black bear around there. Fortunatly, they are mostly wild and don’t bother people. There was an incident at Stephens Pond. But usually hanging your food will keep them away. I do a bit of canoing around there, Tioga Point, Seargents Ponds, Browns Tract Inlet, etc.

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