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Meeting at the Pittsford Orvis Store -
Winter Steelhead Fishing

A "special" December Canandaigua Lake TU Chapter meeting is on Monday, December 15th. This meeting is at the Orvis Store in Pittsford Plaza, 3349 Monroe Avenue (phone 585.586.3956) and begins at 6:30pm with a "meet and greet" followed at 7:30pm with our regular meeting and program.

Webster native and Orvis Marketing Manager of Rod and Tackle Tom Rosenbauer, will be our speaker. And, with Jake Kwapiszeski, Orvis Store Fly Shop Manager, the topic will be appropriate for the moment: Winter Steelhead fishing, a passion of both anglers. Tips, tricks, and more, for sure! Refreshments will be provided and purchases of regularly priced items during this meeting will be discounted 20%.

Friends and visitors are always welcome.

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Kevin Kram

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Big permit landed by Rick Bush while on a hosted Travel Adventures trip to El Pescador (Belize) in early November.

And Jim Cantin shows of his first permit on a fly. Also in Belize, fishing with his partner, Rick Bush.

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Travel A Store

Prez sez ...

Remember, the December meeting, which really is a postponement of the November meeting will be at the Orvis Store in Pittsford Plaza. If you are into or interested in winter steelhead fishing, then this should be a good one. Both our speakers, Tom Rosenbauer and Jake Kwapiszeski have a lot of experience and will share it all. Also note the Orvis is offering 20% of any regularly priced purchase during the meeting. I see Christmas wishes fulfilled during the meeting! Bring your wish list!

The Canandaigua Lake TU Chapter will host Enrico Puglisi, world famous fly tier and innovator of fly tying materials, at a seminar on April 11, 2015. The seminar will be held at the Canandaigua American Legion. See below, or click here, for complete information.

Our annual fly tying school will begin in mid-January, actually, the first class is Wednesday, January 21st. This is without question the best school in the area ... and the best value. $60 covers all the instruction, note book, and all tying materials. Most classes make you find your materials ... not us. This could be a good Christmas gift. More information on this Chapter web page. Contact Richard Steinheider or Gerry Luzum for complete information.

Last month, a group of seven from the Chapter went to El Pescador in Belize for some salt water fishing. Excellent fishing and great weather for myself, Richard Steinheider, Max Hillring, Steve Coleman, Ed Groh, Jim Cantin and Rick Bush (just see his permit picture above!). This will make a great meeting presentation for February. And another trip is being planed for November 2015. To get on the list, contact me. No firm commitment necessary at this time.

Chapter Officers moving forward: Jean Chaintreuil, President; Scott Feltrinelli, Vice President; Richard Steinheider, Treasurer; Brian Pitre, Secretary. And Directors: Matt Smythe, Mike Linse, Max Hillring, Ed Groh, and Jim Cantin.

Treasurer's Report for our fiscal year ended September 30, 2014: Revenue $4,336, Expenditures $1,808 and ending cash $8,097.

I want to again personally thank David Morrow and Norm Brust for all the work they have done for the Chapter. David is an original Canandaigua Lake TU Chapter member and was instrumental in forming the Chapter. Norm has been a Director over several terms and served on many Committees. Their direct involvement will be a little less, but I am sure we can call on them for their expertize, when needed. THANKS guys.

I am going fishin' (again)
~~ C

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The Fly Shack

Click here to go to The Fly Shack web site.

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5 Steelhead Tips To Bring To The Bank

To consistently outwit prizefighting steelhead from the bank, there are certain steps you can take to help improve the odds of success.

Aberle Eye Care

A few of these steps you could do at home, before you make your first cast. Others you could apply on the river. Doing your homework ahead of time, and knowing what you’re getting into, will pay off in the long run.

Here are five tips you can apply this winter to help get more releases.

Several factors influence how much water is flowing in a river. Flow impacts clarity, water levels and overall fishing. Rainstorms, quick snow melt, emergency openings of dams, the operation of irrigation canals, even tributary activity will impact the level of a river. When it comes to winter steelhead, this should help you determine where you’ll fish and how you’ll fish.

Before heading to your target river, it’s especially important to get river-level information. This is the time of year when conditions change overnight, and tracking approaching storm systems can save you many hours of frustration.

There are many regional Web sites that lead to river-level monitoring stations, and they are frequently updated. Radio, television and newspapers may also offer information worth noting. Some regions still offer telephone hot lines that can direct you to specific streams.

Knowing how much water is flowing through a system can dictate how you fish. By being aware of what’s happening, you’ll be prepared to use the best approach to find steelhead.

For instance, you might not be a plunking fan, but if the river is high and off-color, it’s going to tough for jig-fishing. On the other hand, if the river is low, a subtle presentation may be called for. Be aware of what the river is doing, and adjust accordingly.

Tie all you leaders before you leave home. This is a huge time-saver and will help you increase your catch rates. When on the river, keep that line in the water as much as possible. By having leaders pre-tied, change-outs are quick when a leader gets snapped off or needs to be replaced.

Be sure that your leaders, drift-bobbers and baits are all within easy reach. Some days on the river, you might go through a handful of leaders, while on other times, you might rifle through four dozen or more.

There are a number of ways to put together a homemade leader keeper. But when bank-fishing, I prefer a Pips Hook & Leader Dispenser (find out more at www.mackslure.com). This round box fits in a pants or vest pocket, features a clear lid, holds multiple leaders and used properly, will keep them from tangling.

The more accessible your leaders, the quicker the change-out, and the more time your line spends in the water. When you’re on the river, it’s time to fish.

Unless you’re spending the day at a single hole waiting for fish to arrive, one of the biggest detriments a bank-angler can have is being tied down. If you’re not mobile enough to find fish, catching them can be tough.

Being mobile can be controlled by many factors, such as what gear you brought, the water levels or how long you have to fish.

Often bank-anglers hit one or two spots before going to work. They don’t have much time to devote to finding fish. Still, if you’re not catching fish, and other anglers around you aren’t either, it’s time to go and search for them. That goes not only for a section of a river, but for exploring other river systems as well. Many winter steelhead streams are small and located near one another, which makes it easier to switch locations.

Over the years, I’ve found that the majority of fish I’ve caught from the bank have come in the first 15 minutes after my initial cast. This is usually the result of the fish already being in the hole, and then being shown something they like.

Bring what gear you need, and no more. If you’ll be using various approaches, some gear or extra rods can be left in the rig, so as not to tie you down. Be ready to fish a different method, however, should the need arise. You may need to be floating jigs at one hole and drift-fishing yarn balls at another. Be willing to diversify, try various approaches and stay on the move. Equip yourself to be mobile. It can pay off in the form of more fish.

Nothing can be more frustrating than knowing that fish are in front of you but not biting. If you feel that steelhead are out there but not responding, often all it takes to make something happen is a certain change in one tiny piece of gear.

Rather than continuing to cast the same thing, recognize that you have options. The possibilities are many. And being aware of what changes can be made to get a bite is one of the factors that separates exceptional anglers from the rest.

Maybe it’s the size of a drift-bobber, the color of a lure or the length of leader. Perhaps 1/4 ounce more lead would slow the presentation, or a shift in your angle would help swing the bait into the sweet spot. Consider adding scent to the bait, or if you have been using a scent, try another flavor.

Possibly your hooks need to be downsized, or your spinners tuned. If the water’s clear and the fish are on edge, a fluorocarbon leader might make the difference that would help you get the bite you’re looking for.

Next time you feel frustrated, try changing some element of your gear to elicit that bite. You may just discover a new approach that will work for years to come.

An early start isn’t always the best answer for catching fish. In fact, a late start can yield surprising results.

Early-morning pressure can be intense, especially when it comes to bank-fishing. However, after only a couple of hours of fishing, many folks head off to work, while others will usually call it a day by mid-morning.

If you’re looking to avoid crowds, try following them. That is to say, head to the river after the majority of anglers have left. Arrive around that 7 or 8 a.m. time frame, when the first shift of bank-anglers will have left for work.

Another good late-morning arrival time seems to be around 11 a.m. — a time that some folks prefer because it gives the fish a little time to settle down from the early-morning rush.

When fishing later in the morning behind crowds, it pays give the fish something they haven’t seen yet. A different bait, maybe a shrimp tail instead of eggs, or jigs rather than yarn balls, or a different color or style of drift-bobber due to a change in lighting conditions might be key.

Even pressured fish will often respond to a different presentation. You never know unless you try, and it seems that the late-morning angler who follows the crowds and is willing to experiment with a variety of presentations will find results.

Open your mind, pay attention to details, and be aware of what you can do to make your time on the water more efficient. In the end, your angling skills will become more proficient — and you’ll catch more fish.

You can bank on that.
~~ Scott Haugen

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Join Our Chapter

The easy way to join our Chapter is to click on this link, and go to the Trout Unlimited web site. Indicate you would like to join our Chapter (New York: Canandaigua Lake) and then complete the rest of the form. Thanks for joining the Canandaigua Lake TU Chapter (#594).

Attention Women Fly Fishers ...

In the fall of 2012, TU launched a campaign aimed at getting more women to sign up as members. In doing so, women were offered complimentary trial memberships over the course of the year. Over 2,500 women signed up! What a great success. And, TU can boast a 13 percent retention rate so far on these trial members.

But, TU can do more! So, they are pleased to announce the launch of a limited time offer. From March 1 - May 31, TU is reviving the offer to sign up women as new members, at no cost. In addition, women can renew for half price, at a special $17.50 rate. No better time to join the Canandaigua Lake Chapter, or renew, than now.

And to change Chapters ...

Anyone can call TU at 1.800.834.2419 and have their membership moved from one chapter into another chapter of their choice at any point in time.

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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. Inventory is starting to get low.

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Enrico Puglisi Seminar

Puglisi logo The Canandaigua Lake TU Chapter will host Enrico Puglisi, world famous fly tier and innovator of fly tying materials, at a seminar on April 11, 2015. The seminar will be held at the Canandaigua American Legion, 454 North Main Street, Canandaigua, and is open to the public.

More information and registration is available at this Chapter web page. Canandaigua Lake TU Chapter members can receive a discounted seminar ticket if purchased before February 16th.

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For Sale --

Winston and LL Bean rods, like new. Both function well and come with rod tubes. I have reels to match and will negotiate a price if you are interested. (1) Winston Ascent, 8ft, 3wt, 4pc ($225 retail) asking $175. (2) LL Bean Streamlight Ultra, 9ft, 6wt, 4pc ($149 retail) asking $125. Call or email Jessie Hollenbeck to make an offer at (585) 944-6575 or jhollenbeck@wideskyflyfishing.com.

Nine foot, six weight, two piece rod, boron/graphite . It has snake guides and is in great shape with little use. Nice smooth action. Comes with a fabric rod sack and plastic tube. Asking $70. Email (gmitch@rochester.rr.com) or phone (585.621.1906) for details. Gary Mitchell.

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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Upcoming Calendar

December 15, Chapter meeting, Tom Rosenbauer, Orvis.
January 19, Chapter meeting. Fishing Belize, Chapter members.
January 21, Fly Tying School begins.
February 16, Chapter meeting, Saltwater stripers, Scott Feltrinelli.
March 16, Chapter meeting, Evan Bottcher from The Hungry Trout, Lake Placid.
April 11, Enrico Puglisi Seminar, 8am-1pm, Canandaigua American Legion
April 20, Chapter meeting, Bayside Fly Shop.
April 25, Fly Fishing School.
May 18, Chapter meeting, Members offer "Tips and Tricks".
June 15, Chapter meeting, TBD.