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The Amphibious Choirs of Spring
Historic Saranac Lake "History Matters" series continues with "The Art of Guideboat Building"

Canoeing isn't one of those sports where the learning curveis too hard, but it does take a sort of finesse that I have to improve on. It'sthe whole, sitting up high, balance combination technique that I always lackwhen I first sit in one. However, after the first half hour I kind of get inthe rhythm, my friend Mike Lynch might say otherwise.

So what got me into this canoe was a text I sent to Mike, "whatare you doing tomorrow." This somehow turned into a fishing trip, a lightweightcanoe and me being the only one that got skunked the entire day.

But this is more about paddling that fishing, I love thelearning curve of doing something different once in a while. When I kayak, Idon't think about what I'm doing so much. As long as I don't have to enter andexit the craft from a dock, I'm good to go. In a canoe, I have to think a bitmore, work on my balance and paddle strokes – but I think I'm getting the hangof it.

On Wednesday I did do something for the first time and thatwas sit in the front of a canoe. I typically paddle with someone much smallerand lighter than I, so I regularly sit in the back and steer. I wasn't used tohaving so much water out in front of me, but I kind of liked it – it made itmuch easier to take pictures.

We arrived at Little Clear Pond about 8:30; my tardiness gotus there a bit late. We quickly put in and started off on the dead calm waters.No fishing is allowed on Little Clear Pond because the DEC uses this as abreeding ground for landlocked salmon and to protect that no fishing isallowed. But as a paddler this pond is amazing. We wasted no time paddling across the lake tothe carry for Grass Pond. The sign for the carry we noticed was missing as werethe trail markers, luckily my guide for the day knew exactly where to go. Oncewe were on the carry it was easy to follow for the few hundred yards to GrassPond.

Grass Pond is this quaint little pond with a treed shorelinewhere brook trout fishing is very popular as is camping. We paddled around thepond a bit and landed the canoe on the opposite side and checked out the areafrom shore. There is an excellent campsite I would like to inhabit some night,which we found atop a nice rise. After a bit more exploring around the area anda bit more paddling we made our way back across Grass Pond and Little ClearPond, not only to find out that, that amI am the least proficient fisherman in the St. Regis Canoe Area today, but thatI forgot to put sunblock on my legs. 


Little Clear Pond and Grass Pond, a Canoeing experience
Author:Spencer Morrissey
The Amphibious Choirs of Spring
Historic Saranac Lake "History Matters" series continues with "The Art of Guideboat Building"

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