Article by Nate Camp
Getting up at 2:30 am is not something most people look forward to or have interest in when you tell them it’s the plan.
Tell them there is a five-hour drive after that, and enthusiasm sometimes starts to wane. Letting them know that immediately upon arrival they will put a pack on before walking over ten miles uphill, over mixed terrain, could kill the whole conversation at this point. If there is still light in their eyes, tell them about beaver dam “trail” sections that are up to half a mile long. Perpetually wet boots and at best damp feet. Slip in the part about intermittent bursts of elevation gain.
If by then they haven’t begun to fidget, share the bit where once the pack is dropped, sleeping under a tarp in the mid 20°F range is the reward. The good news is you don’t have to get up earlier than the sun, unless you made the mistake of draining that canteen the evening before.
Up with the light, on the trail and ever upward, day two boasts more landscaping by the industrious Castor Canadensis corps and the allure of the stunning view. This is earned after you gain around 540 feet of elevation over about a mile of what proves to be a wet rocky trail.
Then back down to a less windy and more suitable spot for a meal of rehydrated food at sunset and getting to sleep in the woods once again. In the morning pack it back in the pack and it’s all downhill on a beautiful trail through the fallen autumn foliage. Should get to the car before noon and home around supper.
Are you in?
All told, 19 miles of trail over 26 odd hours of daylight isn’t such a big deal. Maybe it’s some sort of semi-adventurous middle ground? There are those that would think you’ve misplaced some marbles to be out of cell service for that long, while another group would ask ‘What took you so long to do under twenty miles?’ and yet a third group would want to know; ‘Why?’
The part left undivulged thus far is that the Bad Axe (from Tenkara Adventure Outfitters) rode on my pack, a Handy Pak net stowed in the wand pocket next to the rod, and some scant accoutrements tucked into my HPG chest pack. A well weathered aluminum Wheatley Kilroy fly box, fresh 5X Frog Hair tippet and two furled lines in their color-coded flip spools. The forceps and nippers securely fastened into the bottom SAR Kitbag panel.
While there wouldn’t be any catch and cook due to the late October date of our little adventure, an attempt was made several times along the way to shake hands with some Adirondack brookies.
Fresh ground explored with new spots to consider in future plans, a few pretty fish held in serene moments along the banks of wild water and just the recharge that we sought after in the Five Ponds Wilderness.
Nate Camp is a New England based outdoorsman, a Marine Corps Veteran, Chef, Tenkara Adventure Outfitters ambassador, and on the Connecticut Backcountry Hunters & Anglers leadership team. Find Nate on Instagram @camp_made.
This article originally appeared in the 2022-23 issue of Tenkara Angler magazine.
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