Hook, Line and Sinker: July 27, 2011

This Thursday, July 28 is a very special day. Don Tracy of Susquehanna, Pennsylvania sent out a notice that it’s the 4th Annual “Fishing With the Blind” day. Each year a group of about 25 blind/partially blind folks from the NYC area gather to spend a week in July at “The Land of the Vikings,” a local resort located about two miles from the Hale Eddy bridge. Along with volunteer assistants, they participate in a variety of activities including bicycling, kayaking and hiking. And one of their favorite activities has been a day of fishing in the one- acre pond located on Don and Marilyn Tracy’s property; each year this event has grown in popularity so much so that several have claimed the “fishing day” as the highlight of the entire week.

The day of fishing includes two sessions, one from 9 a.m. till noon and the other from 1 p.m. till 4 p.m.  Last year for the first time all the blind folks and their volunteers were invited to join the Tracys for a grilled buffet lunch at the pond, “which was successful beyond our expectations.  Initially planning for about 30 attendees at the lunch, we served over 70,” Don related.  The reason for the success of this event is because of the several “fishing guides” who have joined in to provide one-on-one guiding to those fishing. Don would like once again to invite those who have participated to join again this year; and to others who have not, to please consider doing so this year.  For information and directions, please contact Don via email at fishtales1942@yahoo.com or phone (570 461-3647.)

Dave Budin, of Del-Sports, Inc. in Margaretville, reported that fly fishing in our streams has been the best first thing in the morning and late evening, with the warmer weather we’ve been experiencing; as the trout will seek out the cooler tributary waters.

Hatches have been small Sulphurs and even Trichos, with the warmer temperatures. Fly-fishers have been buying smaller Sulphurs in sizes #16 and #18, as well as Light Cahills, Blue Winged Olives, the East Branch Special (which can be fished up as a dry fly, then trimmed up a bit and fished back downstream as a wet or streamer) and even a few Trichos, in addition to some ants and other terrestrials. Dave said that one of his favorite ‘tricks’ is to flip out a size #14 Royal Wulff just before dark – and more often than not, a fish will take it.

Young Curtis Aubrey from Margaretville was helping Dave out in the store. Dave had given him a fly rod outfit, along with a small Muddler Minnow (about size #12.) Taking his new rig to the river in the village, Curtis flipped the fly out on the water, fishing it dry, like a cricket, across the pool and under some overhanging branches - and on this first day of fishing with the fly, was successful in catching a beautiful 15-inch trout!

The Pepacton Trout Derby is in its final week; and there’s still time to enter – it will continue through the end of the month; closing this Sunday at noon. Entries are $10 per angler – with three cash prizes awarded for the biggest trout. The split is 50 percent of the entry money for first prize, 30 percent for second prize, and 20 percent for third prize. Al Carpenter, of Al’s Sports Store, Downsville who sponsors the contest, said that leading the derby so far is Ed Brown of Walton with his 28-inch brown trout that tipped the scales at 11 pounds, five ounces. Currently holding second place is Tom Adams from Verplacnk, whose 25-inch brown weighed nine-and-one-half pounds. In third place is Steve Oliewsky of Highmount, with a nine-pound, five-ounce trout that measured 27-and-a-half inches in length. It’s been a good summer of fishing for “Stevie-O,” as he won the June Derby with a whopper brown that weighed 11 pounds, five ounces and measured 27 and-a-half inches in length. All fish named above were caught on sawbellies.

Fishing in Pepacton Reservoir has been a bit slow this week, although Al reported three eight-pound browns that were brought into the store on Saturday (none on Sunday), which included Mike Fulton’s eight-pound, 15-ounce brown. Mike hails from New Jersey and caught his fish on a sawbelly. It appears that most fish are being found in the 30 to 40-foot depth, with some a bit deeper, as the water is warming.

Candy, of the Tremperskill Country Store, Andes, reported selling “a lot of bait this morning,” however “nobody has claimed any big catches this week.”