WOODS ‘N’ WATER: Whither on ice or open water?

WOODS ‘N’ WATER: Whither on ice or open water?


As hard as it is to believe, there was plenty of open water fishing on December 31, New Year’s Eve, and January 1, New Year’s Day and even into January 2!

Some of the local trout fishermen were enjoying some time on Black Pond and there were even some bass fishermen out on their boats on Silver Lake.

There are also some ice fishermen looking hopefully at all of their ice fishing equipment and wondering if Ma Nature is going to give them some ice to fish on.

I would venture a cautious “yes” with the emphasis on “cautious,” because there is no fish worth dying for. But more on that later.

This past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown our outdoor world into a turmoil with so many outdoor-related ventures being cancelled, including everyone’s favorite, the outdoor shows. From where I stand, indications are that this year is going to be no different, but only time will tell.

One of those betting on things getting better is the 2022 Fly Fishing Show at the Royal Plaza Trade Center in Marlborough, Mass. The show is scheduled to run January 21-23 and is geared to those who want to fly fish.

They claim that fly fishing is not a part of the show. It IS the show.

The numerous outdoor shows that had to be cancelled last year are always eagerly looked forward to by area sportsmen, and the Fly Fishing Show is no exception. Over the years, fly fishing has gained in popularity and has attracted many newcomers to the sport.

Fly fishing allows for easy “catch and release” fishing, which many outdoorsmen now favor. Some Connecticut streams, like the Housatonic River, offer some really great catch-and-release fly fishing for trout.

A number of years ago, while on a black bear hunt in Maine, I had a chance to talk to a Maine fishing guide who also guided on Grand Lake Stream for some fantastic landlocked salmon fishing. He nearly floored me when he told me the Connecticut’s Housatonic River was on his “Bucket List” of must-fish places to go for some fly fishing.

Over the years, I have seen “worm dunkers’ and fishermen who used only metal lures to do their trout fishing, and when they hooked their first trout on a fly they became addicted to the sport. And yes, it could happen to you.

If you have any thoughts about trying fly fishing, the Fly Fishing Show in Marlborough, Mass. might be just what you are looking for.

The show will feature many seminars on fly fishing, some of them on catch-and-release fishing that has become quite popular in many areas, although I for one still enjoy a lunch of fresh-caught trout every now and then, but to each his own.

Each day there will be casting demonstrations as well as featured fly-tiers who will be demonstrating some of their fly-tying methods.

You can also expect to find a number of lodges that feature some world class fly fishing. Bottom line, you can shop for the newest tackle, book a fishing trip, watch tying and casting demonstrations and learn from the experts.

Even though we must still be watchful and careful with the pandemic, I know that there are some sportsmen who are champing at the bit to get out and see what they have been missing for the past year. As for myself, I would favor caution if you want to attend the Fly Fishing Show. I do not know what precautions will be in place when the show is held.

The show is scheduled to be held January 21-23, with the doors open Friday 10a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They do say the schedule is subject to change and the show will go on rain or shine.

You can check their web site at flyfishingshow.com or call them 814-443-3638. I think it will be interesting to see if this show has any influence on some of the other area sportsmen’s shows. Only time will tell.

As I finish this column, the water on local ponds has been open, but the weatherman says it is going to get much colder.

Regarding icefishing opportunities, it is a wait-and-see mode at the moment. PLEASE — and I will say it again — with this crazy weather we have been having, be cautious of new ice. There is no fish worth dying for.

See ya’ and God Bless America, and watch over our troops, police, firefighters and first responders wherever they may be serving this great country of ours.