Seth Green circa 1885.
Having just returned from a four days’ fishing trip at Hemlock Lake, perhaps an account of the fish taken and tackle used may be of interest to the readers of the Angler.
I took twenty-one salmon trout, seventy black bass, forty rock bass and fifty yellow perch. The salmon trout were taken mostly in about the center of the lake, in water from sixty to eighty feet deep. I trolled with a gang of hooks, using a minnow for bait. All of the trout were taken on the bottom by trolling slowly and feeling the bottom with a six-ounce sinker as often as once in every ten rods of the ground fished over. The fish weighed from one to three pounds. In fishing for the bass and perch I used a gang and three flies, the hook baited the same as for salmon trout and attached to a ten-foot single gut leader.
My fly nearest the gang is called the “Seth Green”. It has a green body, with a yellow stripe, a cinnamon wing and red hackle. The next fly is the “Grizzly King.” The body is green, the wing is a speckled under wing of a male mallard, the hackle is red, not a dyed red, but a red rooster hackle. The tail is a red ibis, the upper fly has a red worsted or floss body, striped with gold tinsel, white wing, grizzly hackle and red ibis tail. They are tied on No. 2 O’Shaughnessy forged hooks. The body is made about the size of the small end of a clay pipe stem.
I fished for bass and perch in from four to twenty feet of water. When I fished in twenty feet of water I used about a half-ounce sinker and about sixty feet of line. In water from four to ten feet I used from forty to sixty feet of line with no sinker.
In trolling with minnow for bass and salmon trout the boat should be rowed very slowly. The perch taken were very fine, many of them weighing a pound.
Hemlock lake is a fine body of water, made entirely from springs. It is seven miles long and nearly a mile wide. There are good hotels on the lake. I made my head-quarters at the St. James, W. J. Ackley, proprietor.
The nearest railroad station is Livonia, on the New York, Lake Erie and Western railroad, and thence you go by stage four miles to the lake.
Steamboats make regular trips through the lake every day. The shores are lined with cottages, and there is scarcely a time when you can’t hear the merry voices of parties in boats and on the shores. The lake lies in a valley with hills on each side from three to five hundred feet high, and when you talk to your “best gal” I would advise you talk in a whisper if you don’t want everybody on the lake to know what you say, as the echo might betray you.
Hemlock lake has been thoroughly restocked and shows the result to a marked degree. Neither black bass (small mouthed) nor rock bass were natives of this lake, but have increased fast since their introduction and are now plentiful and of good size. The restocking of this lake with salmon trout has also been a great success. One party who has fished the lake for many years informed me that there had been more trout taken out this season than had ever been taken in any two years before, and another party declared that he had known the lake for thirteen years, and more trout were caught this spring than during the whole time put together. Bullheads have been taken in this lake weighing three pounds.