This section is from the book "American Game Fishes", by W. A. Perry. Also available from Amazon: American Game Fishes: Their Habits, Habitat, and Peculiarities; How, When, and Where to Angle for Them.
Taking his axe, Old Poetry proceeded to build a camp, while I made up a cast of hackles, gray, brown and red, and sent them downward from the rocky shelf on which I sat. They were instantaneously seized by as many Trout, and I found that the fish wefe larger than I had thought. To land them was the difficulty, and this was at last accomplished with the loss of one, but the school had departed.
They were not of large size-few being over a pound in weight, but their numbers seemed endless.
I went to the head of the pool where a fall of three or four feet poured in, and taking off two of my Hies, secured a Trout at nearly every cast, until a halt was called, my assistance being required in arranging the roof of our bark camp. I hung my string of Trout upon a stub, some five or six feet from the ground and obeyed the summons. Returning in a quarter of an hour, I found to my surprise that the most of my fish had disappeared, while those remaining were all more or less mutilated. Calling the hunter in my turn, his practiced eye took in the situation at a glance.
"The spoiler hath been here," he said, and "it's a cussed mink. I'll set a 'kilheeg' (log trap) for him after supper."
This was done, and thoroughly wearied with our long tramp we lay down on our beds of fir boughs before the fire, and soon slept the sleep of the weary.
At daybreak Poetry was up, and inspecting his trap, in which he found a half-grown mink. " 'Twasn't you, you little cuss," he said, "'twas your mother, and I'll have her 'fore night;" and sure enough he did.
It was still too early in the season to find the furs in prime condition, and the hunter passed the most of his time in making a thorough exploration of the surrounding country, with a view to future operations. We remained three days at this delightful spot, and but for the Trout, our provisions would have been exhausted before the end of our stay. It is interesting to note that while at first the Trout would take readily any fly in my book; before we had left, they had become notably suspicious, and on the morning of our departure, would rise to nothing but black and brown hackles.
The Kangcleys have perhaps held their own as well or better than any other of our waters long famous for Trout. Of the many lakes or streams of the forests of Northern New York, there are few, indeed, which now yield to the angler the same returns as in former years. This is also true of Pennsylvanian waters. The most of the streams of New England, where unpolluted by the refuse from factories, are favorable to the breeding of Trout, and there is still opportunity to make fair creels in many of them, as for example in New Hampshire, the tributaries of the Pemigewasset all furnish Trout, though seldom of large size.
East of the Mississippi no better Trout-fishing can be found than in the streams emptying into the northern portion of Lake Michigan and in the tributaries of Lake Superior, among which the Nepigon.for the size of its Trout, justly claims the precedence. To fish that stream, however, it is necessary to obtain the permission of the Government authorities. For the rest, the experienced angler has learned not to expect too much, whatever the name or reputation of the waters he may fish, and should he return only fairly successful, from an angling tour in the vicinity of Lake George, the Saranacs, or others, long favorites of the tourist, the beauties of the scenery everywhere presented to his gaze, will, if he be a genuine lover of nature, go far to compensate him for his lack of sport. If it is but the Trout he seeks, this paper was not penned for him.
On a fine August day, some years ago, a party of three, consisting of two young collegians and myself, started from a small saw-mill, situated on a large brook which rippled and flashed down a mountain side in one of the forests of New Hampshire. We were in quest of a lake from which flowed the stream above mentioned, having been told that there the Speckled Trout did much abound. Our informant, however, a young farmer of the neighborhood, cared but little apparently for the Trout, but was extreme in his laudation of the size and quality of the " Bull-pouts" which likewise inhabited Pennyroyal Pond, for so this lake was named. The miller had shown us one end of a trail which he said would lead to the pond by a more direct route than we could have by tracing the course of the stream. WTe however learned to our sorrow that several logging roads and other trails branched from or intersected the one we desired to follow, so that we missed the proper course and were at last only enabled to find the object of our search by climbing a tree, and, by compass, taking the bearings of a granite peak at the foot of which I knew the lake to be situated. At last, near sunset, we reached the shore, and seating ourselves upon the most comfortable log we could find, gazed out upon this little mountain tarn.
It was situated in a bowl-shaped depression among the hills, and a dark spruce forest rose from shore to summit in smooth and regular sweep. To our right was the gray granite peak which had been our guide, reflected from the clear waters of the lake, which here and there were dimpled by rising fish or the trail of the summer duck. It was a beautiful scene, and my companions, who had stood the tramp pretty well, were enthusiastic in its praise. Never before had they been so completely isolated from civilization, and to them nearly everything we saw was a novelty. Having rested, two of us set to work to prepare a camp, while the other, after jointing his rod, walked down to the lake in order to catch some Trout for supper.
By the time we had roofed the camp and had the fire well under way, the angler returned. "Look here," said he. "I thought you said those were Trout out there rising in the lake."
"So I did," said I.
"Well, they are nothing but Bull-pouts."
I am afraid that I did not succeed in repressing the smile which rose to my lips as I replied: "Bull-pouts don't rise in that way. How many did you catch?"