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Tangled Lines

Catching up with biggie smalls in the Housatonic River

By the time you read this I will have returned from a week on the Esopus Creek in New York, after catching record numbers of trout, splitting several cords of firewood by hand and generally being manly.
The summer on the Housatonic River has been excellent. In sharp contradistinction to last summer, it has been raining at regular intervals, and the river has not dipped below 200 cubic feet per second at Falls Village.

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Adventures with mops, nymphs and my pal Thos

I am pleased to report that my attorney, Thomas Gallucio of Reston, Va., successfully caught and released several fish during a recent visit.
Thos has been my most disappointing student over the decades. But he’s a stubborn fellow, and I couldn’t help noticing that he has somehow ironed out the fatal kinks in his fly-casting.
He developed new ones instead.
The first triumph was a giant, man-eating perch. Playing this leviathan into the canoe was an epic struggle of at least 30 seconds. Man vs. wild animal. Who will prevail?

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Truly Tangled: A beginner learns to cast

By Michael Duca
You know the guy. He decides he’s going to learn how to fly-fish. He spends a weekend at the Orvis School in Millbrook, is dazzled by the embedded complexity of the sport — the equipment, the methods, the etiquette. Taking full advantage of the special discount extended to the newly anointed “graduates,” he buys a lot of high-end gear at the conveniently located in-house store. And never goes fishing again. 
I am that guy.

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A cold plunge on a hot day, if you can find flowing water

Picking a place to fish is usually a pleasant task if you live in the Northwest Corner. Should I go to the Farmington and stalk big trout? Ditto the Housatonic, with the summertime addition of small-mouth bass?

Should I creep around a mountain brook for natives? Or a medium-sized trout stream for a mix of stocked and stream-bred trout?

But all those questions assume that said rivers and streams have water in them.

And lately, they haven’t had much.

Oh, the joys of the Tenkara rod

Back in February I received a handsome gift from my occasional fishing buddy Ian Davison: a Temple Fork Outfitters 10-foot 6-inch rod — the Soft Hackle.
It’s an unusual rod in that it uses no reel. Instead it has a fixed length of line.
Oh, and it telescopes out. When collapsed it’s about the size of a piccolo.
(We now pause while you Google “piccolo length.”)

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Some notes from the early trout season

patricks@lakevillejournal.com

Sometimes everything goes according to plan. Sometimes the plan goes kablooey. This is the nature of fishing.
Exhibit A: Last week the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) put 9,000 — not a typo — trout in the Housatonic River (with help from students at Housatonic Valley Regional High School).

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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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