Author’s note: How many times in your life do you have a moment, a defining moment that you know you may never have again? Do you record them? My brother Ralph wrote his experiences down in a huge 16
page letter to me. I have taken excerpts of that letter and written them in article form.
A few of my friends and I drove up to Blue Mountain Lake which is located in the northern part of the Adirondack Mountains of New York State to go ice fishing. The view is spectacular all year round. Blue Mountain Lake is home to some spectacular lake trout; they are spectacular not only in size, but they have an unusual appearance. The typical lake trout is large, and gray on the back. It’s a lighter color along the sides with light spots all along its flank. Its underbelly is white. Lake trout are prized as a great game fish, and they make pretty good table fare as well.
The first lake trout I ever caught from blue Mountain Lake shocked me. The trout was 30 inches long, and nearly 10 pounds. Oh! The color was prettier than I had ever seen! It was dark brown on the back, and the color seemed to variegate to a lighter honey brown along its sides. The belly was light yellow, and it even stared back at me with light brown eyes. This Blue Mountain lake trout was a natural work of art; it was simply beautiful. My friend, and fishing buddy, Fred H. said that as far as he knew, Blue Mountain Lake is the only lake that produces trout with this coloration. He supposed it had something to do with an unusual chemical makeup of tannin in the water.
It was St. Patrick’s Day, and it was a beautiful day. Fred and I bought some beer and celebrated the holiday, and appreciated the beauty of the surroundings, and the gorgeous weather we had that day. Every man caught at least one of those great lake trout, and just when we thought that life couldn’t get any better, we were graced by a visitor. A large gray wolf came trotting across the lake from the far shore. He was huge, healthy and magnificent! He showed no fear of us and he approached my last tip-up that I had set approximately 150 yards from where I stood.
The wolf was curious and cautious as he sniffed at the tip-up, which was a strange device, alien to his world. He jumped back when his close attention set of the red flag which sprang upward suddenly.
He took one more quick sniff, and then lifted his leg and urinated on it. He was telling us this was his territory. After marking his territory, he left us. We packed up and I was left with a memory of a lifetime.