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December 2015 Newsletter

There is No Meeting this month.

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Fly Tying Class

The Canandaigua Lake Chapter of Trout Unlimited is now taking reservations for its annual Beginner’s Fly Tying School. The series of 8 classes will be held Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at the Canandaigua Wood Library beginning January 20, 2016.

The advance registration fee of $60 covers instruction, materials and support by experienced fly tiers. The students bring their own tools, and the chapter has a vise loaner program if needed. Each week there will be a different guest instructor. Dick Steinheider, course Co-Chairman, said: “The guest fly tier approach has been proven valuable to provide a wide range of techniques and tips for both new and experienced fly tiers. Students who complete the class will have all the basic skills to tie any fly pattern.” The flies tied during the class are patterns that can be used in local streams. Class size is limited so advance registration is required. For more information contact Dick Steinheider at 585-381-9404 or email for registration.

You can also find additional information on the Chapter web pages; click here. Please "pass the word" as this class fills rather quickly ... because, without doubt, it is the BEST fly tying instruction at the BEST price and the BEST value around. Need a Christmas gift idea? Here it is! Don't wait, call 381.9404.

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Travel A Store

Prez sez ...

~~And ... thanks to Ralph Rothfelder for making the arrangements ...

~~If you are interested in learning to tie some advanced "local" patterns, we will have an Advanced Fly Tying class on Saturday, February 13. This will follow our usual Advanced Fly Tying day schedule; breakfast around 8am, followed by fly tying, over about 1pm. Instructor for the day will be Jay Peck. More details to follow.

~~US Passport Update: The U.S. State Department will no longer be adding additional passport pages in 2016 - The service is DISCONTINUED as of January 1st, 2016.

If you are running low on pages and will be traveling Internationally soon, we will ensure you get your pages back to you before the New Year. After December 31st, you will be required to obtain a new passport or renew your passport to obtain additional pages.

~~I need someone to help with membership data, etc. All work can be done at your leisure. Please give me a call at 585.360.1812 or send me an email and I will tell you what is needed.

~~Many thanks to Paul Osborne who is now the "raffle man".

~~The 1One Fly Challenge was a huge (huge-ah) success last year. Scott Feltrinelli is willing to do it again, but would like another hand or two. Want to help, and still get to fish? Send Scott and email. Please do it now, advanced work and planning is necessary.

~~Another trip to Belize planned.

I have arranged for a return trip to Belize and El Pescador Lodge. The dates are November 9-15. This trip is organized for TU members, but open to all. Currently I have reserved 8 spaces, but should still be able to add a few more if needed. Easy fishing for bonefish, permit, and tarpon (well maybe not that easy). But, this is a great place to learn saltwater fishing and does not require much more that good rods and reels and warmwater lines. No wading gear, no special boots. Two rods, a 7 and a 9 or an 8 and 10 combination will do the job. This is also a good place for the non-angler to join you and relax at the pool, enjoy a trip to Mayan ruins, walks to town and more. The cost for anglers, exclusive of airfare, is $2,545, double occupancy. Please call me at 585.360.1812 or send me an email for more information or to hold space for you.

I goin' fishin'!
~~ C

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The Fly Shack

Click here to go to The Fly Shack web site.

The Midge: A Fly for When the Snow Flies

Does no hatch mean no fishing? Certainly not. From streamers to egg patterns, from attractors to terrestrials, there are ways to find and catch trout in the absence of hatching mayflies or caddis. Still, we are fly-fishers, and one of the things we miss most during the winter is flies. So thank goodness for midges.

These little bugs - some of which aren't all that little, actually - are active in all but the coldest weather, and serve as major a source of food for trout. Most of the action is sub-surface, as you may expect, but if you're in the right place at the right time, you may even find trout rising to hatching midges in December, January or February.

The right place is almost always flat, slow-moving pools. The right time is a windless day when both air and water temperatures climb up into the balmy 30s or 40s. It doesn't happen every week. If you're there when it does, say a prayer of thanks to the fishing gods, add some 6X tippet to your leader, tie on your favorite floating midge pattern and savor the experience.

Midges spend most of their lives (up to seven years in polar regions) as slender, segmented larvae. They go through a brief pupal phase, hatch at or near the surface and fly off to live brief lives as winged insects, just like mayflies and caddis. There are many species and they are widely distributed. In many waters, including many trout streams, they are by far the most numerous insect, not just in the winter but all year 'round.

On the chance that you might luck into hatching midges and rising trout, it pays to have a basic assortment of dry flies among your winter tackle. Simple flies will usually do. Patterns such as the Midge Dry, with a tail, body and hackle, will imitate midges effectively; you can probably get away with two colors, gray and cream, and two or three sizes, starting at 18 and going as small as you dare. Small versions of the same Adams and Elk-Hair Caddis you use the rest of the year can work too, but they should be light and sparse. While riding along the surface, midges keep their two long wings flat along their backs, but as they hatch or struggle to get airborne, there is much fluttering and the wings spend considerable time upright. So you can use either down-wing or up-wing flies. Most midge anglers don't worry about wings on their flies; a collar of hackle will simulate legs and wings well enough.

Of course, the king of the midge dry-fly patterns is the Griffith's Gnat, and for good reason: it's a super effective fly. It may not look exactly like the midge on the water, but it must look like a good bug to eat. Various body colors are available and all are effective at one time or another, but there seems to be a special mojo about the original peacock herl and grizzly hackle formula.

As during the rest of the year, rises during a wintertime hatch may actually indicate that fish are feeding just below the surface, not on it. That is, they're taking emergers, not dries. This calls for small soft-hackle wet flies. A Soft-Hackle Hare's Ear, Partridge and Green or Partridge and Yellow may connect you with trout.

As noted, rising trout are the exception, not the rule, in winter. Most of the time, you will arrive at your river to find the flat pools smooth and undisturbed. That's OK - we winter anglers know we're probably going to end up nymphing. But knowing that midges live in your river - and even if there's not a full-blown hatch, you'll usually see at least a few flying around - will empower you to nymph with confidence, knowing your fly looks much like the food trout have been eating every day for weeks.

If the Griffith's Gnat is the classic midge dry, the classic nymph is the Brassie. But many more great patterns have been developed over the years: consider having the Serendipity, the WD40 or the Zebra Midge at your disposal. Even a small, skinny Hare's Ear or Copper John may do the trick. Fish them patiently, near the bottom, under a strike indicator, and be alert for subtle takes. Since trout aren't moving much in the winter, you have to. Cover as much water as you can.

Truth be told, we would probably all catch more trout if we fished midges more often in the spring, summer and fall. Fat chance - most of us are addicted to mayflies and forget about every other bug in the world at the first dun sighting.

In the winter, however, it's midges that are hatching and putting the fish on the feed. So it's midges we will fish.
~~ The Fly Shack

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Aberle Eye Care

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Fishing Knots

Top 5 Fishing Knots, Line To Line. Click here to watch. Click "Skip Ad".

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SUPPORT OUR ADVERTISERS

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Free Family TU Memberships

TU is pleased to launch a new Free Family Membership Upgrade offer to any existing Trout Unlimited member -- for a limited time only! By signing up and adding the names and information for the family members living in your household at www.tu.org/family membership, you will enjoy the benefits of a TU family membership for the duration of your regular membership for free.

These benefits include:
• Ensuring your family members feel that great sense of belonging to the nation’s leading trout and salmon conservation organization.
• Additional family members can expect to receive communications and invitations to local, statewide and national events and activities, like for example one of our dozens of chapter-hosted women's specific fly fishing seminars or youth fishing days.
• A complimentary copy of Stream Explorers magazine for any youth under age 12.
• All members of the household will be able to create a unique member profile on www.tu.org to engage in our online community, join discussion groups, access member-only content such as the digital version of TROUT Magazine,
• and more ...

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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).

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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dockside.net

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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.

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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Upcoming Calendar


December 21, No Chapter meeting.
January 18, Chapter meeting, Oatka Town Hall meeting.
January 20, Weekly Annual Fly Tying classes begin.
February 6, Fly Fisher Workshop.
February 13, Advanced Fly Tying Class, Jay Peck.
February 15, Chapter meeting, Evan Botcher, fishing the Adirondacks.
March 21, Chapter meeting, George Daniel, streamer and nymph fishing expert.
April 18, Chapter meeting, TBD.
April 29, Annual Fly Fishing School.
May 16, Chapter meeting, 3D printing fly reels, Michael Hackney.
June 4 and 5, Canandaigua Lake Trout Derby.