Summer Vacation Treat – Fishing, Touring, Eating. Part 1 of 2
The Thousand Islands Region of New York State has a long history as a premier vacation destination combining the picturesque and subtle setting of the area with the tradition of sheer outdoor enjoyment.
The St. Lawrence River carries the fresh water from the five Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. While the past may conjure up a mystique of monster muskellunge and a bonanza of bass, and other fish species, it is what the present offers that has wonderfully enhanced a recent visit to Clayton, New York, this spring, at the amazing Thousand Islands Harbor Hotel.
The new 1000 Island Harbor Hotel (www.1000islandsharborhotel.com) is outstanding, offering 105 deluxe guest rooms and suites to visitors to the area. The facility was designed in such a way that a majority of the rooms face toward the majestic St. Lawrence River.
My favorite aspect of the hotel is the Riverside Patio that allows for a great meal and is a perfect place for a perfect sunset. Open air, gas-fire pits, burned brightly in the fresh air as we relaxed and sampled some great food options. Throughout this Hart Hotel complex, there were pictures of “the good old days” that reminded guests about those times gone by, but not forgotten.
The Clayton area is one area that remembers their roots very well, a lesson we can all learn from. All visitors have an opportunity to learn about the rich history the area offers.
One of our side-trips was an afternoon casting and observing some of the new Yo-Zuri hard crankbaits at nearby Lucky Star Lake in Chaumont, New York. The lake is just a short drive from historic Clayton. The lake provides a 2,000 acre wildlife territory that offers both hunting and fishing for customers. Angling action takes place on a 100-acre lake that’s loaded with bass, pike, crappie and other panfish.
We were greeted by “Bird,” a friendly black lab who lives for retrieving. While her specialty is rocks and dropping them on your feet (steel-toed shoes are advised), this time around it was sticks. The first one was over 8 feet long and difficult to throw. We broke off a smaller piece and started the process of throwing to Bird. My wife Sandy and I alternated stick-tossing with casting the new lures. My better half did great reeling in largemouth bass that kept her busy. I was keeping Bird busy, or maybe it was the other way around! Either way, we had a great time outdoors that left Sandy saying, “When can we go fishing again?”
Lucky Star (www.luckystarranch.com) was recently acquired by Otis Technologies (www.otistec.com). Doreen and Jody Garrett were wonderful hosts. This was a company that was started by Doreen when she was just 16 years old. For those of you not familiar with Otis, it’s main focus is on modern, high-tech, firearms cleaning. Otis offers a low cost, lightweight and efficient gun cleaning system that you can carry into the field on your belt loop should you encounter a mishap. That’s what happened when Doreen was hunting with her father years ago.
The company, based out of Lyons Falls, New York, has many more outdoor products with the newest focus on hearing protection, including one example they call the “Ear Shield.” The Otis Sound-Reduction Chamber Technology does not require any batteries and it does everything you need to protect your ears. I think they would be great around the house, too, for my wife - when she is mowing the lawn or using the chain saw.
A second form of hearing protection was called Flugz. These are form-fitted ear plugs that you preform and shape to fit yourself, easily and efficiently, to personalize the reasonably-priced plugs to your own ears. Check these things out because there is something there that will work for you…and your wife.
Please check out part 2 of 2 on this series next week, to learn more about fishing the St. Lawrence and musky, walleye and bass. I’ve also included information on the unique and tasty wineries of the area, historic castle places to visit and where to enjoy some of the best food.
In the meantime, you can find out more offering from the Clayton Chamber of Commerce website at www.1000islands-clayton.com. This area is also part of Jefferson County, featuring other locations like Sackets Harbor, Henderson Harbor, Watertown and Alexandria Bay. Ask for a travel guide at www.visit1000islands.com or by calling 1-800-847-5263. I can think of thousands of reasons to spend more time there!