I set out Thursday night to see if the Schroon River had dropped down to a level that would be decent for wetting a line. I crossed the county Route 11 bridge, and quickly deduced it was marginal at best.
On the next to last day of May, the stretch of river in Riverbank and near the Middleton Bridge would normally be loaded with fly fishermen wading the river and casting dry flies.
Well the river is still ripping, and there were few, if any, wadeable spots. I saw just one angler, a guy who was in the Tumblehead Falls area, out of the water.
The Schroon is still a good two feet higher than optimum fishing levels, which is quite unusual for the eve of June. Lots of snowmelt combined with weeks of unusually high amounts of rain has kept the Schroon, and many other streams such as the Batten Kill and Mettawee River, way above normal
It's not just our local rivers, though. Lake Champlain is still above flood stage, as it has been for more than a month, affecting many of its tributaries.
And the water is colder than usual, which prompted the National Weather Service in New England to issue a "cold water" warning this week for people who may seek to cool off during warm weather. I was on streams while fishing last week that were still in the mid-50s, a good 5 to 7 degrees colder than usual for late May.
Those temperatures can lead to hypothermia much more quickly than many realize.
"When the water temperature is below 60 degrees, the average submerged person could loose dexterity within minutes and be unable to accomplish simple tasks," reads the advisory. "Anyone on small boats, canoes, or kayaks should plan accordingly if recreating this weekend and use extreme caution to avoid this threat. Paddle smart from the start and always wear your life jacket!"
To clarify, our regional NWS office has not issued such a warning. But the ponds and streams of New England aren't going to be much, if any, colder than the waters of the Adirondacks.
-- Don Lehman