Time management

This is the time of year when I feel like that popular 1970s Christmas toy "Stretch Armstrong," being tugged between brookie fishing and gobbler season. Toss in spring golf and it's lucky anything gets done on my Daddy Do list.

The ponds opened early this year and the speckle fishing is beginning to pick up. I've been running small flutter spoons in the shallows and have had some luck on black stonefly nymphs.

A sinking stonefly tied on a number six or eight hook is a great weapon of choice this early in the season. I'll run it on a leader 15 inches behind a number two Lake Clear or other spoon and I always tie a high-quality barrel swivel in line.

Once in awhile - if I'm feeling really nutty - I'll tip the fly with just the head of a night crawler. I've found this combo will sometimes entice a big boy to bite.

I'm still marking surface temps in the 40s, so the best is yet to come, but at least I've knocked the dust off my favorite Orvis rod. I also put a four-inch gash in the side of my Hornbeck canoe. I wasn't a happy camper, but that's another story altogether.

Ol' Blackjack Ninja at Pete Hornbeck's shop in Olmstedville assures me he'll have it as good as new in no time - and at no cost. You get what you pay for, my grandpappy used to say.

From fins to feathers

The sixth annual youth turkey hunt will kick off this weekend, April 25-26. Participation in the youth hunt has steadily increased since its inception in 2004, proving that starting kids earlier peaks their interest in the outdoors.

In 2008, there was an increase in participation and harvest, with roughly 12,000 junior hunters taking approximately 2,200 birds.

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