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Meeting: Monday, March 18th
Brook Trout Fishing in NY

Alan Mack is the manager at the DEC Caledonia Hatchery, the first fish hatchery in the western hemisphere. Alan will be a guest of the Canandaigua Lake TU Chapter on Monday, March 18th. Meeting time is 730pm. Learn about this historic hatchery, the hatchery first started in 1864 by the father of fish culture, Seth Green. Alan will also talk about the status and prospect of improved brook trout fishing in New York.

Friends and visitors are always welcome.
We will have our usual raffle.
So . . . Remember to bring dollars or flies!

Need directions the to VA Medical Center? Click directions

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Chapter T-Shirts are available at monthly meetings. $15. See Norm Brust or Jean Chaintreuil. Or, send an email request with your name, address, and size (M, L, XL) to Jean Chaintreuil.

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The Canandaigua Lake Trout Derby has been set for June 1 and 2, 2013. And with Canandaigua Lake TU a major sponsor, we will again need a little assistance from members and friends at the weigh station on the north end of the lake. Please contact David Morrow to offer a little bit of your time -- only an hour or two. We are sure you will enjoy your efforts. Thanks. Contact David by email or phone, 1.585.750.2948.

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Aberle Eye Care

Picking Your First Fly Rod

The most important words in that question are the last two: “for me.” A guy who works at one of the country’s busiest fly shops once told me that 99 percent of his rod-buying customers come through the door with their minds already made up. There are many reasons for this—they want the same rod as their favorite celebrity, a buddy told them what to buy, or they did research on the Internet. But this is a terrible way to prepare yourself to drop a good chunk of change, especially since you might not end up with a rod that works for you.

There’s really no such thing as an objectively “best” fly rod because all such judgments are subjective, taking into consideration the talent, experience, and prejudices of the individual caster. So, rule #1 is Don’t take anyone else’s word that a rod is right for you. This is your choice and yours alone. That said, follow these steps to increase the odds that you’ll find a rod to fit your skill level, fishing style, and tastes.

1. Take a casting lesson. The better caster you are, the better you’ll be able to make different fly rods perform well.

2. Determine how much you’re willing to spend, and focus on the rods in that range, rather than wasting your time drooling over rods you can’t afford.

3. Think about the fishing situations in which you’ll be using the rod, and then consider which kinds of rods and actions are best suited for the task.

4. Go to a specialty fly shop and cast a whole bunch of rods. Bring your own reel, loaded with the line and leader you’ll be fishing with. (Unless you plan on buying those, as well.)

5. Ask the advice of the experts in the shop, or bring an experienced fly fisherman with you. Their experience can help you determine the right length, line weight, and action.

6. Cast the rods at your normal fishing distances; don’t just pick the one that you can cast the farthest. For instance, if you are a small-stream brook-trout angler, look for the rod that casts and feels best at 10 to 30 feet. Don’t be wowed by the stick that lets you throw the whole fly line in the parking lot.

7. Once you’ve narrowed the field down to a few candidates, then you can let your more trivial personal preferences—whether you prefer a certain color, fine components, a rod company, or grip style—run wild.

Let me repeat that the only way to find the right rod for you is to cast a lot of rods. Fly shops are far and away the best places for anglers to learn about rods and get expert advice. But you have to be willing to listen and learn. And the few extra dollars you’ll spend at the fly shop—instead of getting the rod online—will pay off whenever you need advice in the future.
~~ Philip Monahan

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Mike Linse in Florida
Mike Linse fishing from his kayak in Florida

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Carl Coleman's

In Praise of Beads

It wasn't all that long ago that the idea of having a shiny metal bead at the head of a nymph would get you a dirty look and a shake of the head. After all, the head of a fly is supposed to be made of neatly wrapped and knotted thread, gleaming with a shiny coat of nail polish.

Those days are long gone, of course. Metal beads are a staple of modern fly design. Gold, silver or solid colors; bronze, tungsten, glass; smooth, faceted, spherical, cone-shaped - nymph beads have become a category of fly-tying material. It's hard to imagine a serious angler (or even a casual angler!) who doesn't have a few bead-head flies in his or her fly box.

But you can't blame the old-timers for being skeptical. If you're trying to imitate the larva or pupa of a caddis fly, mayfly or stonefly (well, mayflies don't have pupae, but you get the idea), why would you want to add something so obviously man-made and un-insect-like?

Still, as most of us know, bead-head flies catch fish like crazy. The trout don't seem to be very skeptical at all.

What makes a trout think a bead-head fly is something worth eating? Probably something else about the fly: its wiggling hackles, its segmented abdomen, its wing case, its color, its shape, its size, the fact that it's drifting along in the same lane as other tidbits.

But it's that shiny bead that caught the trout's attention in the first place. Flash is important in attracting fish. Many real insects, like some species of caddis, are encased in a bubble of gases as they drift in the currents or ascend to the surface. Some adult caddis that lay their eggs underwater gather a bubble of air around them when they dive. These bubbles are shiny, and that shine may well serve as a feeding trigger for trout.

The shine of a bead may in itself suggest life as surely as those wiggling hackles. After all, lots of junk and debris floats past trout all day long: bits of leaves, twigs, moss and other natural stuff with no nutritional value. None of it shines.

Then again, it may be as simple as this: the shine gets the nymph noticed. And don't discount the curiosity factor. The trout may not be fooled into thinking your Bead Head Hare's Ear is food; it may just wonder what the heck it is. Having no hands, the only way a fish can grab anything for examination is with its mouth.

For the angler, the bead solves a number of problems and presents a number of opportunities. As mentioned, it provides a bit of flash that may mimic a natural characteristic or may simply draw attention - either way is fine. It can also add the weight that is necessary to sink down near the bottom, where the fish are much of the time (especially in February).

Unweighted Pheasant Tails, Princes and Gold Ribbed Hare's Ears are beautiful flies that suggest living things very effectively. But if they sail unnoticed three feet above the trout, they won't put a bend in your rod. Beads get you down there where the fish are. Tungsten beads get you down there in a hurry.

But the weight of a bead is useful for more than just sinking, although a lot of anglers don't seem to realize it. The Gospel of Dead Drift is very influential in the fly-fishing world, but a bead-head nymph can be used as the same kind of lure that so effectively catches everything from trout to shad to striped bass: a jig.

Short strips of line or twitches of the rod tip can make a bead-head nymph hop upward and drop back down. Real insects do this sort of thing too, especially when they're restless before a hatch. But jigging doesn't have to imitate life- cycle behavior. That hopping behavior proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that whatever that thing with the shiny round head is, it's alive. And it seems helpless. And it's just the right size for a snack.

You can jig gently in deep, slow pools. You can add some frantic movement at the end of your drift, when the fly starts to swing and rise anyway. You are free to make your fly move on its own, instead of drifting along like a twig.

That movement may prove to be the most effective feeding trigger of all. And the once-maligned bead makes it possible.
~~ The Fly Shack

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The Fly Shack

Click here to go to The Fly Shack web site.

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Trout Power

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Kevin Kram

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Quick Tip: Wear Safety Glasses When Fishing in Low-Light Conditions

Bass Pro ShopsMost of us know how important it is to always wear some type of eye protection while fishing. Typically this means wearing polarized glasses while out on the river all day. Very few of us, I presume, take that to the next level and bring a pair of clear shades for when the sun dips below the horizon or you start chucking streamers at night for the big boys. I know I didn’t until recently, and I make a good chunk of my living with my eyes. Heck, I even know two people personally who have lost an eyeball to large fishing hooks.

It’s easy and cheap. Simply walk into your local hardware store plop down a couple bucks for a pair of clear safety glasses, stick them in your fishing vest or pack and boom you’re done. Your eyes will be fully protected from dusk til dawn.


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Travel A Store

Prez sez ...

Hey ... if you missed the Advanced Fly Tying session with David and Lindsey Agness, you missed a good one. Many thanks to Richard Steinheider for organizing this great session. 20 registered and were flexible with a change to Mountain Rise Church in Fairport as a result of the water problems at the Wood Library. The result was a great breakfast prepared by a bunch of those attending and then followed by tying great steelhead patterns. Many great tips learned. Thanks again to Richard, and to those that helped pull the event together at the last minute.

Next is our annual Fly Fishing School. We already have six people registered and paid! It is not too early. And, if you would like to help with this great school, please contact the school Chairman, Jim Cantin, by email or phone (585.377.0081).

A special thanks to all the support shown for our meeting raffle last month. The Chapter sent a $100 donation to the Wilmont Cancer Center at Strong Memorial Hospital in the name of Linda Bush, Chapter member Rick Bush's wife who recently passed away.

Spring is around the corner. Trout season opens on April 1st. We are currently stocking the Cohocton and working on some "serious" stream improvements. Watch your email for updated information that will be passed along as soon as received.

I'm goin' fishin'. No ... guess I should do some tax returns!
~~ C

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For Sale --

Simms G-4 Pro Waders: M-Short stocking foot, 7-8 men's foot, 39"-40" girth, 29"-30" inseam, $430 list, No leaks. Call Jean Chaintreuil, 585.360.1812. Best offer.

Items For Sale:  ??? 
E-mail jpc@travela.com with the details and we will list your item(s) for sale. 
How else can we say it? It's a free Want Ad.

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March 18, Chapter meeting. History of the Caledonia Hatchery and NYS brook trout revival, Alan Mack.
April 15, Chapter meeting. Member Matt Smythe tell about his new fly fishing film.
April 27, Annual Fly Fishing School
May 20, Chapter meeting. Bill Becker explains NYC's control of the Catskill reservoir water.
June 1 and 2, Canandaigua Lake Trout Derby
June 1 and 2, Hendrickson Hatch Fly Fishing Tournament, Malone, NY
June 17, Annual Picnic, Canandaigua American Legion Pavilion