Adjusting trout tactics for midseason action

As the heat of the summer wears on and larger streams and rivers begin to suffer periods of low levels and oxygen deficient waters; it is time to look elsewhere. This is a point in the season that anglers need a change of pace. At this time of year, small streams can produce big trout which seek refuge from the bigger waters. Although not a common practice among the general angling fraternity; opportunities for roadside angling abound when anglers seek to use highway engineering to their advantage. On hot, bright days, trout will gravitate to cover in an attempt to limit exposure to their traditional predators, birds mainly. Protection is achieved by moving into turbulent waters where visibility under the water is limited for those that would bring death from above. Very few trout are plucked out of rapids or waterfalls, even though these waters offer a high oxygen content and excellent holding area. Culverts, those large, round, galvanized tubes which span the underside of many roadways, offer similar protection from winged anglers. Culverts, however, do not offer fish protection from from two legged prey. A young guest recently proved this point when she took a fine brook trout from a roadside culvert. Its not difficult to find them. Culverts cross under most of the major Adirondack arteries. They are also numerous on back roads, but are barely noticed and rarely fished. They can often provide an untapped trout bonanza. Along the same vein are bridges, commonly used as stocking stations for the hatchery trucks. The shade afforded by these structures makes them natural holding areas and the abutments and pillars create currents and whirlpools that offer a steady supply of food and cover. Anglers still flock to the old, (now restored) Covered Bridge in Jay for just this reason. However, any small span crossing a back road will do! Try floating a live grasshopper on a light line under a low slung bridge or slap a flying ant dry fly and skitter it across the surface. The results may surprise you. Ive witnessed an 18-inch trout taken from a brook so small that a man could step across it. Lastly, look for deadfalls, those downed, drowned and tangled piles of timber that clog both rivers and streams across the park. A week ago, when I fished a log jam on a small creek entering the Raquette River; the results were startling. The little flow, which was full of small trout, was also full of snags and jumbled debris. This is what made it such productive brook trout water. The trout have cover, the insects have branches on which to attach eggs and larvae and the numerous minnows are just additional snack food. If you are willing to change tactics for summertime success, its amazing how many trout can be found when you stop driving and start fishing. Registrations accepted for Becoming and Outdoor Woman Workshops New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis has announced that the next Becoming an Outdoor Woman Workshop (BOW) will be hosted from Sept. 5-7, 2008 at Silver Bay on Lake George, Warren County. This is the fifteenth year that DEC has offered these workshops. To date, more than 2,000 women have participated. Increasingly, women are making up a larger portion of hunters as they learn and develop skills such as those offered at Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshops, said Commissioner Grannis. These workshops are important in encouraging future anglers, hunters, trappers, and outdoor enthusiasts as the women share their new skills with their spouses and children. Although whitetail deer are pursued in the United States predominantly by rural, white males, women currently constitute the fastest growing segment of the hunting fraternity. A recent survey by the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) found a 75 percent increase in the number of women hunting from 2001 through 2005. More than 3 million women hunt and over 5 million women now enjoy shooting sports. The BOW program offers weekend long workshops that include more than 30 different outdoor skills classes. Participants choose four half-day classes in subjects such as camping, map and compass, shotgun, muzzleloading, archery, fly fishing, fly tying, fishing, deer hunting, canoeing, GPS, wildlife identification, kayaking, canoeing, outdoor photography, fish and game cooking, survival and wilderness first aid. In the evening, participants can listen to stories around a blazing campfire, enjoy a slide show, learn how to clean a gun, or how to avoid hypothermia. These educational workshops are designed to help women learn outdoor skills in a fun-filled and stress-free atmosphere. They have been extremely popular in part because of the experienced and extremely knowledgeable instructors that teach the classes. Although the workshops are geared toward women, anyone over the age of 18 is welcome to participate. The registration fee for the three-day workshop is $190 a person, which includes instruction in all sessions, program materials, use of equipment and meals. The registration fee does not include lodging. Because Silver Bay has a number of different lodging options, workshop participants must arrange their lodging directly with Silver Bay based on their room and budget preferences. Lodging rates range from $40 to $170 for the weekend. For more information contact Becoming an Outdoors-Woman, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754 or phone (518) 402-8862. Registration materials and further information are available on the DEC website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/education/68.html Safari Club seeks sporting students and teachers The Adirondack-Catskill Chapter of Safari Club International is looking for a New York based high school student who is vested in hunting, has good grades and is involved in community service projects or actions that promote the outdoors. The student can apply for a scholarship that will provide an opportunity to spend 6-8 days with other High School students from all over the country at the Safari Club International American Wilderness Leadership School (AWLS ) in Jackson, Wyoming. The scholarship includes airfare to and from Jackson, Wyoming. In addition, the Safari Club International will be looking for teachers to send to the AWLS program during the summer of 2009. Interested students that would qualify for this opportunity, should contact Guy Tucker, Adirondack-Catskill Chapter of Safari Club International at 845-532-6048. In recent years, the Safari Club International has been instrumental in helping physical education instructors develop Archery in the Schools programs across the country. Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@ adelphia.net

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