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‘huge Frozen Lake Trout”

March 2023
1min read

Everything in the Adirondacks tended to congeal in the wintertime, including the tourist trade. The fish were still there, however, for those hardy enough to seek them through the ice; and while the rigors of ice fishing would not have appealed to a man like Murray, locally it was thought good sport. Sometimes, too, it could be a lifesaver. Verplanck Colvin, the ardent Adirondacker who became state surveyor in 1872, gave this account of a winter incident in his annual report for 1877: “February 24th we were alarmed to discover that of the scanty provisions barely enough remained for a single meal! We were a long day’s march from our nearest base of supplies, and had still the verification remeasurement and angular observations at the north end of the Raquette base [an area near Raquette Lake in the central part of the Adirondacks] to complete. … As I glanced at the quiet face and white hair of the old trapper-guide, it occurred to me that this experienced hermit of the forest might offer some expedient by which we might at least delay our retreat until the work was done. Pointing to his tall ice chisel I asked him whether trout could not be taken through the ice. … [Later] we saw faintly in the twilight far away upon the ice … our faithful fisherman indeed, his sled deeply laden with huge frozen lake trout, and his face lit with quiet good humor at the vivas which his success excited.”

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