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Tangled Lines

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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The art of trapping smallies in the river

Tristan Wilgan of Monroe, age 17, was in a bad BMX accident a couple years ago, and suffered a traumatic brain injury.
As he recovered, he found that tying fishing flies was something he could do — as opposed to looking at a computer screen, which was something he could not do.
Tristan and his father, Dave, representing the Nutmeg Chapter of Trout Unlimited, were at Housatonic Meadows State Park in Sharon on Saturday morning, July 11, to talk about fishing for small-mouth bass.

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Everything you wanted to know about fly-fishing

Often people say to me, “Hey you, how do you do [insert fishing question here]?”
I count myself lucky to be addressed as “Hey you.” Compared to such salutations as “You bleeping bleeper bleep” and “the defendant,” both of which have figured prominently in my past, “Hey you” is practically a paean.

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Old tackle but the trout keep on biting

The other day I hit the Blackberry River, which was running low, using a three wet fly rig on an ancient LL Bean “Double L” bamboo rod.
I have the dropper thing down now. I start with a 7.5 foot leader. If it’s 2X I leave it; anything lighter I clip it a bit. That tag end functions as the first dropper.

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No pizza, just trout — and other thoughts on the season

Some thoughts on the trout season, now that the madness is in full swing:
• On Friday, May 7, Joe Cieslowski of North Canaan showed off his home stream to fellow members of the Northwestern Connecticut chapter of Trout Unlimited (TU). He lured me to Beckley Furnace with a promise of pizza, and since I was en route to Housatonic Valley Regional High School for the Mr. Housatonic contest anyway, free food and discussion sounded like a good idea.

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