Paddling and Fishing the Colby’s

Little Colby Pond and Lake Colby are excellent destinations for paddling, fishing, bird watching and swimming. There are several areas that you can put in on these lakes, from the beach, from the grassy shore, from the state boat launch or from Forest Home Road. My new favorite launch is from Forest Home Road which is the only launch site for Little Colby Pond.  It was a late afternoon trip with a thunderstorm in the forecast, but that didn’t stop my persistent chum, Matt Burnett, from talking me into heading out on his newly refurbished guide boat to do a bit of bass fishing.

The original plan was to launch from the state boat launch but after a second thought Matt decided to launch us off Forest Home Road straight into Little Colby Pond. By the end of this tour I felt as though I was being guided, which I guess is second nature to a guide, to guide – but it was truly just getting out, kicking back, talking about stuff we have no control over, eating some jerky and drinking a couple beers. You know, fishing!!

This launch area is a small bay, about the width of a wide inlet, which it truly is, just not easily noticed. This area a bit overgrown with lily pads and grassy shores but make for a great habitat for bass and an excellent area to paddle through. As we proceeded through the area I had to snap several pictures of the picturesque region of wetlands and slow moving waters. The water swung us through more narrows as we entered the actual body of Little Colby Pond.

This is where the fishing finally took place, and this time I am actually referring to the actual act of casting and retrieving. The next portion of our adventure was to try and limbo in the boat under the railroad tracks, lucky for us, I had a camera handy and Matt had on long enough shorts.

Lake Colby welcomed us with calm waters and an ever clearing sky. We were only one of about five boats on the water; everyone else must have balked at the deteriorating weather that never happened. Now on a lazy trolling course for some landlocked salmon we made our way to the NW bay where bass have been known to congregate. I don’t think I would want to get stuck out in the middle of this lake during an electrical storm or any foul weather; you are totally open to the elements.

After playing around in the bay for a bit we trolled back to the bridge, squeezed under the tracks and soaked up the sunset as the punkies started to do the same with our bodily fluids. A few random casts as we coasted back through the narrows produced a few small bass and some perch which were surprisingly bigger than many of the bass. A sunset landing, a perfect ending to a great day on the water.  


Want more information on padling in the Saranac Lake Region? Pick up a paddlers map and guide book at a local shop. Then if you need a bit of refreshment swing into a local market for some good food and drink. 

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About The Author

Spencer Morrissey is an Adirondack native and to this day resides and works in the park. He works as a community developer, smart growth planner, recreational consultant, and licensed guide. He is the owner of Incapahcho Wilderness Guides a publishing company, and co-owner of Mountain Goats, LLC an Adirondack Guide Service based out of Lake Placid and Cranberry Lake. Spencer is a 5-time 46er and a winter 46er, a fire-tower challenger completer, a finisher of the Adirondack 100-highest, and is in the pursuit of climbing all the names peaks in the Adirondack Park. Spencer is a published author with titles; “The Other 54,” “Adirondack Trail Runner,” and “Adirondack Trail Skier,” with other titles always in progress.

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