Hook, Line and Thinker (March 2014)

Hook, Line and Thinker

Aren’t clean water resources our right?

The Dave Brandt Chapter of Trout Unlimited

 March 2014

     Our next regular meeting will take place at The Plains, Independent Living Residence on Monday, March 10th at 7:00 PM.   Location is 163 Heritage Circle off Plains Road in the West End of Oneonta.   

Ms. Paula Piatt, Eastern Sportsmen Organizer for TU National will present:

  "Shared Habitat" - which focuses on the potential impacts of shale gas drilling and its associated construction activities on fish and wildlife habitats, and the sportsman's experience, as well as ways sportsmen can protect the habitat."

Paula’s presentation includes some information about the Delaware River Basin (an update on the latest movement there).   Paula will also include information about the actual fracking methods if we would like it included.

Here is a synopsis of Paula’s  presentation.   It would be the same as for Ashokan-Pepacton Chapter which she has on her calendar for March 26

   "Shared Habitat" focuses on the potential impacts of shale gas drilling and its associated construction activities on fish and wildlife habitats, and the sportsman's experience, as well as ways sportsmen can protect the habitat.

Additionally, she can also include information on these topics, depending on the members' knowledge and interests:

  • Specifics on Marcellus drilling and hydro-fracturing itself
  • The Delaware River Basin and the Commission that oversees the basin. 
  • Information for landowners thinking of leasing for shale gas drilling
  • Information for landowners who have already leased their property
  • Additional information on pipelines

    A large parking area is on the west end of the building. (left side when facing the building) The meeting room is on 3rd floor of the Independent Living Building with elevator access. Sign in and ask directions at the desk.
Directions:  from Rte. 23/28 to I-88. Go WEST to exit 13, onto NY 205 North, intersection with NY 7 (about 200 yards).  Turn left onto NY 7 west an go about 100 yards to Plains Drive on right.  Turn right on to Plains Drive and drive to the back of the housing complex to Heritage Circle.  Entrance is on right to the 3 story building is marked - 163 Heritage Circle.  Drive under the portico and follow the driveway around to the west side of the building to park.  You can drop stuff at the portico if you don't want to carry in from the parking lot.

     We can bring our tied fly creations to any of our meetings at any time:  One for donation to a charity and the other for our chapter “library”.  This is how it works.  Bring two flies of the same pattern – one to trade, and one for the chapter – in separate containers and labeled with your name, the name of the fly, size of the hook and the date tied.  If you don’t have a label for the outside of the container, print the information on a thin piece of paper for the inside of the container.  Best containers available today are those amber vials from the drugstore.

    The attendance of fly tyers at the February meeting was not as hoped it would be, partly due to illness and conflict of various member’s commitments.  Consequently very few flies were tied for charity.  We are urged to tie at home and bring flies to the chapter meetings.  Flies for charity are generally used for instructional or practice purposes so simplicity such as Wooly Buggers, etc., which is one of the most successful and popular fishing patterns ever created, will do fine.

   The Dave Brandt Chapter is planning the development of a youth group program to be introduced in April 2014.

    The basis of our youth program will be fishing and conservation education for youth with parental support.  Tentative plans are that the youth group will have monthly Saturday meetings at The Plains. Youth membership is for boys and girls 9-13 years old accompanied by their parents.  Register your youngsters now for interest in participation. Call Secretary Marge Harris at 607-263-5767, or, President Dave Krupa at 563-1895.    Provide: Name(s) (if more than one) of youth, ages, phone number and e-mail address, home mailing address and name of parent or guardian.   The regular April 14th chapter meeting will be the introduction and information night for the registered participants.  Registrants will be notified.

April 14th meeting: Regular meeting at The Plains 7:00 PM

      The April meeting will be the kick-off and information night for the participants.   50% of US TU chapters carry supplemental medical and accident insurance available through National TU.  The reason is to cover any hospitalization, etc., for adults and children who may be injured in our events and not otherwise personally covered by such insurance.  I believe that we should plan to do the same.  The annual fiscal premium is $110.  Please be prepared to vote on the approval of this expenditure at the March meeting.  We are automatically covered with liability insurance for all other events and activities.   

  We have some members who are interested in developing a web-site for our chapter which is becoming a popular thing to replace newsletters.  Our e-mail newsletter serves about half of our 150+ members now because only half are computer savvy. Interestingly, the computer half are by and large the most active members of the chapter.  The old hard copy newsletter would cost the chapter nearly $1500 per year which is deemed exorbitant.   So much better use can be made of that money because when we were doing a mailed newsletter several years ago our member participation was no better than it is today.  Today we can better afford to send youngsters to education camps.  I would like to hear comments from the members out there as to the pro and con of this idea.

  The downside is that the computerized members would be on their own to look at it.   It would not be automatically “in -your –face” as e-mail is.  Those few active members (there are only about three) who have no computer capability would have to be notified by telephone of news pertaining to their activities.  The upside is that we could update the news

daily or weekly. We would be totally “public” which is good for our image as long as our news is commensurate with our mission.  Your comments and recommendations to me will be welcomed and appreciated.  If your voice is not heard we would take that as a vote in favor.   The time to vote is now, before we change.  Thanks,  Dave P.

   Our board decided on a $100 Gift Certificate as our contribution to the Otsego Federation drawings at the Otsego Fair, through Sportsman Adventures (an Oneonta south side sporting goods store) as they are the ones who donate worms for our fishing derbies.  This store has also recently consented to selling our raffle tickets.

   We asked Roy Bartoo to outline fishing derby plan for Father’s Day 6/15/2014 at Neahwa Park.  Pavilion and Pond have been reserved and fees totaling $75 have been paid to the City of Oneonta.  License free fishing day status for parents needs to be applied for from the DEC.

    We need to decide a grand prize this year.  Recommendations from members are welcome.  Some venues where we try to sell tickets are not too productive for the time committed.  We should be selective based on experience.    Call me at 563-1978 before 3/17/2014.  A grand prize donation or discounted sale price would be most welcome for maximum net income to the chapter.  We have plenty of secondary prizes at this time.   

    Annual fund raising is very important.  We raise funds through Meeting raffles (about $50 average for 9 meetings), Fly Fishing School (a few hundred dollars) and The Big Holiday Raffle.  Our main support is through our members and a few members who sell many of the tickets.

   We have an 8 ft. table reserved at the Anglers Market.   Sunday May 25,  10 am – 3pm  Community Hall near Firehouse, Roscoe NY.  Refreshments will be available. Sponsored by Roscoe-Rockland Chamber Of Commerce

This is an Anglers flea market sort of event.  This might be a good place to start an annual fund raising event for our chapter.

   I have two possible dates in May from Director Kajsa Harley, for the annual Fly Fishing School at Hanford Mills 5/10 and 5/17.  I would suggest 5/10 to avoid conflict with the South Otselic Fishing Heritage Day which is Saturday May 17th at which we can be represented with a flea market and demo table.   I will arrange reservations for both.   All in favor say AYE.   If no response I will assume it is an OK for FF School on May 10th     Thanks,  Dave P.


     Dick Cabela, founder of the Cabela’s retail empire, passed away on 2/18 at his home in Sidney, Neb. He was 77. There are currently few details available, but the company is expected to release a statement soon.
      Undaunted, Dick formulated a new plan, rewriting the ad to read “FREE Introductory offer! 5 hand tied Flies….25c Postage….Handling” and placing it in national outdoor magazines. It didn’t take long for the orders to begin arriving from sportsmen and women around the country.
      In typical direct-mail style, each order was mailed out with a mimeographed catalog of outdoor items Dick and his wife, Mary, added to their product line. In the beginning, Dick and Mary ran the business from the kitchen table of their home in Chappell.
    By 1964, continued success and growth demanded a bigger and better location. The operation was moved from their kitchen table to the basement of Dick and Jim’s father’s furniture store and then on to various buildings in Chappell. In 1969, Cabela’s was operating in a 50,000 square-foot vacant John Deere building in neighboring downtown Sidney, Nebraska.

     Ed. Note:  According to Fly Fisherman Magazine, April 2014, exclusive fly shops are in decline in the U.S.

“Fly fishing is a baby boomer’s sport”, says owner of Dan Bailey’s Fly Shop.  US Fish & Wildlife says, “ 20 years ago more than 2/3 of all anglers (spin and fly) were under age of 44. Today, it’s less than half.”   On-line marketing takes a higher percentage of sales as well and growing more all the time. Look to Amazon.com.


Notes, ramblings, mid-winter doldrums and the wintry mix from your Editor:

     For those of you who would fish West Canada Creek, more of the waters are in demand.  The WC is or could be a beautiful trout stream but is notorious for its daily yo-yo power releases from the Hinckley reservoir through the generators at Trenton Falls.  I’m told that the best time to fish is when the water is on the rise.  It’s 85 miles from my house to my favorite access.  I find it difficult to justify the trip for just a couple of hours of decent fishing before getting “blown” out of the water by a fast release.  One certainly doesn’t want to be on the wrong side of the creek.  To make it even more treacherous, the rocks in the so called Trophy Section below Trenton Falls are round and slippery like greased cannon balls.  No matter how agile you think you are you had best have a wading staff.  If you think a staff is for geezers, get over it.  I went to this section once over ten years ago and had a great day on March Brown dry flies. I caught nine browns between 10 and 15 inches long, certainly not trophy size by Delaware River standards.   I haven’t had such a day there since.  We hear the guys rave about the white fly hatches in late summer evenings.   If you have a high tolerance for frustration you will enjoy this.  The water boils with fish, but you may catch one or two.  There are usually a blizzard of flies so why should they take yours except by accident.

   What the WC does have is esthetics, its quiet, no traffic noise.  You will see many variations birds and animals like foxes and deer that come to the water to drink.  The creek is lined with woods and fallow fields and the pools are not usually overrun with anglers.   Trout Unlimited has been seeking better management of the creek flows by the power companies for years.  If more water is in demand, how much water is available?  Good question let’s hope we find out before the creek is ruined as it almost was in 2007 when it nearly dried up.


   The dam at Wilmot on the Bouquet River at tributary of Lake Champlain in contention.  It needs repair at an estimate of 1.2 million dollars.  Trout Unlimited recommends removing it at a cost of $280,000.  The dam is over two hundred years old and was originally used for a mill which is long gone.  TU advocates getting rid of these old dams because they are spawning barriers.  The Bouquet, they say, could be a better nursery for land locked salmon without this dam.  The dam has a fish ladder, but my friend Bill Wellman says it’s not effective.  So what’s the argument?  The pond behind it is favored by the locals who think that it is a deterrent to damage by raging waters at times.   The DEC has so far not rendered a judgment.  


Excerpt from Grass Roots News - From the Desk of Bob Brown- Executive Program Director NYS Conservation Council Inc. March 2014 issue.      

   The funniest incident I ever witnessed at an ice derby was at the Colby Classic in Saranac Lake several years ago. It was a beautiful day on the first weekend in March. The weather was sunny and warm enough that almost everyone was dressed in a light sweater or jacket and fishermen had brought light camp chairs to sit out on the ice. There were about 150 fishermen all sitting around and talking, watching about 600 tip-ups. It was early afternoon, and the chairwoman in charge of the derby could finally get out of the headquarters to take a break. She owned three Labrador retrievers that were in the back of her pickup truck and decided it was time to take them for a walk.

    She put a leash on each one and proceeded to walk out on the ice. The dogs saw all of the contestants and activity; and after being penned up in the truck all morning thought it must be time for some exercise. They kind of all pulled at their leashes in the same instant. Being on ice, it was difficult for the woman to control the tugging which caused her to slip; and in trying to get her balance, she let go of all three leashes. Now let me tell you, having been cooped up all morning, those friendly dogs wanted to meet as many of these friendly fisher folk as they could. Each one of them must have been looking at a different fisherman because they split up in different directions to greet these good old boys. The problem was they each had an eight-foot leash following them that was swinging like a lasso.

    Fishermen tried to get up out of their chairs to greet them, but what they saw was hundreds of tip-up flags popping up all over the lake as these dogs came running toward them. The fishermen were now not in the petting mood, and the dogs were coming toward them at excessive speed. Spreading out, the dogs were setting off more flags. In the distance came the chairwoman in a panic, and the fishermen did not realize that she was in charge of the derby. Their reaction in very loud voices is not printable in this article. They basically said that the that they would report this to the chairman of the event, to which she replied, "I am the chairman!" Lesson learned – don't mix dogs and tip-ups!


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