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Tangled Lines

Truly Tangled: A beginner learns to cast

By Michael Duca
You know the guy. He decides he’s going to learn how to fly-fish. He spends a weekend at the Orvis School in Millbrook, is dazzled by the embedded complexity of the sport — the equipment, the methods, the etiquette. Taking full advantage of the special discount extended to the newly anointed “graduates,” he buys a lot of high-end gear at the conveniently located in-house store. And never goes fishing again. 
I am that guy.

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A cold plunge on a hot day, if you can find flowing water

Picking a place to fish is usually a pleasant task if you live in the Northwest Corner. Should I go to the Farmington and stalk big trout? Ditto the Housatonic, with the summertime addition of small-mouth bass?

Should I creep around a mountain brook for natives? Or a medium-sized trout stream for a mix of stocked and stream-bred trout?

But all those questions assume that said rivers and streams have water in them.

And lately, they haven’t had much.

Oh, the joys of the Tenkara rod

Back in February I received a handsome gift from my occasional fishing buddy Ian Davison: a Temple Fork Outfitters 10-foot 6-inch rod — the Soft Hackle.
It’s an unusual rod in that it uses no reel. Instead it has a fixed length of line.
Oh, and it telescopes out. When collapsed it’s about the size of a piccolo.
(We now pause while you Google “piccolo length.”)

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Some notes from the early trout season

patricks@lakevillejournal.com

Sometimes everything goes according to plan. Sometimes the plan goes kablooey. This is the nature of fishing.
Exhibit A: Last week the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) put 9,000 — not a typo — trout in the Housatonic River (with help from students at Housatonic Valley Regional High School).

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They all return for Opening Day

patricks@lakevillejournal.com

Glen Maloney of Newington fished the Blackberry River on Saturday morning, April 9, with plain old worms.
“I’m old school,” he said as he clambered out of the river between the bridge at Beckley Furnace and the breached dam downstream.

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Early season notes, with shoe notes to boot

patricks@lakevillejournal.com

SOMEWHERE IN NEW ENGLAND (MAYBE) — Two legitimate 10-inch brook trout took bushy dry flies in a private brook last week, as well as several of the more traditional 4 or 6  inchers. I am under a strict injunction not to reveal the name and location of this brook. I can say it is somewhere in New England, unless it’s in New York. Or maybe Pennsylvania. I can also say with confidence that the stream is not stocked.

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Columnist’s Tackle Fondling pre-empted by weather

patricks@lakevillejournal.com

Hello and welcome to the annual Tackle Fondling™ edition of Tangled Lines.
Wednesday, March 9, was warm and sunny and there was no earthly reason not to go fishing on the West Branch of the Farmington River.
The catch-and-release section is year-round. It is technically possible to fish it in the winter. Not pleasant, mind you, but possible.

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Yes, dear reader, he went fishing

With nothing else to do except watch meaningless college football on TV, I went fishing on Saturday, Jan. 2.
“Wait, what?” you exclaim. “Isn’t it cold and snowy? Aren’t the streams iced over?”
The answers: Yes, a bit; not really; and no.
We had a minor snow storm a couple weeks ago that dumped at most a couple of inches of slushy stuff, and it is pretty much gone.

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Ah, what a year it was for wet flies and trout

patricks@lakevillejournal.com

On Wednesday, Nov. 4, I was prepared to leap from the bed at first light, drive 75 miles to Phoenicia, N.Y., and get in a couple of days of fishing on the Esopus Creek, which has an extended season through the end of the month.

Brown trout run up from the Ashokan Reservoir to spawn, and it can be an exciting time. Last year I caught a female brown that was clearly ready to get down, and as I noted at the time, playing it was like hooking a leg of lamb.

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Just like fishing in a snowstorm

patricks@lakevillejournal.com

I have many fishy things to report, beginning Saturday, Aug. 1, when I accompanied Mike O’Neil to Woodchuck Lodge in Roxbury, N.Y., where he talked about naturalist John Burroughs (who used the small house and is buried nearby) and fishing.
The raconteur had to wing it; his computer went kerflooey, forcing him to work from actual handwritten notes.

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