I know I have been lazy with the trip reports lately, and haven’t been posting many of them. It just gets very annoying trying to take pictures of everything. But, I figured I would post the one from this past weekend. For this trip, I figured I would go up to the very northern end of Harriman Park, and do some backpacking that would take me near Island Pond, where I would be able to do some fishing.
I started out at a parking area called Elk Pen. From there I could take a trail that went along the lake, and then would continue up the mountain. I set out early.
I had read some trip reports from people in the area, and I got the impression that reaching the lake was very easy. It wasn’t as easy as I expected. The lake is surrounded by marsh on most sides. To get to it I had to go up and over a mountain, and approach it from the north, where there are some rock outcrops. It took me about two hours to reach it. I bushwhacked most of the way because I ended up losing the trail early on. Here is the “view” from the top of the mountain.
While the approach is steep, the mountain is beautiful. It is very open so you can bushwhack without constantly having to push through brush.
After a nice walk, I reached the lake. There was another person fishing there already, but otherwise it was empty.
I pulled out my fishing kit and got to work. I know there is trout in this lake, although my this time of year they are pretty heavily fished out. I wasn’t picky though, and was willing to settle for some perch or bluegill.
The sun was bright and hot and the mosquitoes were swarming like crazy. They did a pretty good number on me. Even so, eventually I got lucky and hooked a decent size sunfish.
I cast for another hour or so without any luck. I hooked some smaller sunfish that I let go, but nothing worth eating. I thought of switching to a bobber set up with some Powerbait, but decided not to. I didn’t want to spend my whole day at the lake. I entertained myself by trying to photograph the dragon flies.
I packed up and moved on. I had another few miles until I reached the area where I wanted to camp for the night. I got there with time to spare, so I set up camp and got to cooking the fish.
The next morning I got up early. I wanted to make it to the trap range before the day was over, so I made my way out of the forest without much delay. The deer were plentiful in the area, and so were the ticks. I had to remove several of them before going to bed.
On the way back, I bushwhacked through a different part of the forest, and stumbled upon the ruins of something that looked like an old aqueduct leading from the lake. It had been destroyed, and there was water flowing through the area and spreading out into a marsh. I imagine the aqueduct was there probably to keep the water flowing as more of a stream rather than defusing into a marsh, but it seems it had fallen into disrepair a long time ago.
I also figured out why people made it seem like it was very easy to get to the lake. Apparently, if you have a boat you can purchase a a boat permit for the lake. That will give you access to a gate and a separate road that takes you up the mountain and very close to the lake, from where you can unload your boat. If you want to hike in however, it is still not difficult, but it’s not as quick as I first thought.
So, that’s about it. That’s how I spent this past weekend. I hope you enjoyed the report. Sorry for the poor quality pictures; the sun was really interfering with my point and shoot camera.