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WOODS ‘N’ WATER: Here’s one show to catch on the fly

WOODS ‘N’ WATER: Here’s one show to catch on the fly


“This show isn’t part of the show. It is the show!”

I’m talking about the 2019 Fly Fishing Show up in Marlborough, Massachusetts.

Many of our outdoor shows do have a fly-fishing section in them along with tons of other attractions. The 2019 Fly Fishing Show is just that: It’s all about fly fishing.

Over the years, many fishermen have turned to or are thinking of giving fly fishing a try. Fly fishing is gaining in popularity yearly and, from where I sit, it is going to continue to do so.

Here in Connecticut, we have a number of trout streams dedicated to fly fishing only, and many are open year-round. Some of them, like portions of the Farmington River and Housatonic River, have gained quite a bit of recognition over the years.

A number of years ago, I was on an archery bear hunt up in the Grand Lake Stream area of Maine. There was a country store there and the proprietor was a fishing guide. We got to talking and, when he heard I was from Connecticut, he told me that there was a river in Connecticut he wanted to fish. It was on his “Do List.”

Imagine my surprise when he told me it was the Housatonic River. I knew the river was a great fly fishing spot, but I did not know that it was so famous in the Northeast.

And the same goes for the Farmington River. In fact, there are now many bodies of water in the Northeast that allow fishing by fly only.

Yes, I have fly fished at times and, admittedly, while I did occasionally catch fish, I never really mastered the art of fly fishing. Long story short: If I could catch fish that way, then just about anybody can.

Like many ventures, fly fishing can be as economical or expensive as your wallet will let you make it. In my fly fishing forays, my equipment was always second hand or on the low rung of the price range, but I did catch fish.

There is a certain thrill about catching a trout — or any fish, for that matter — on a fly fishing rig. I know some anglers who even go after stripers and bluefish with fly fishing gear adapted to such game.

This past year, I watched a young fly fisherman plying his skills at Mirror Lake. This is a great spot to improve yourself, especially beginning fishermen. Mirror Lake has plenty of trout in it thanks to multiple stockings by the CT DEEP Inland Fisheries.

But back to the 2019 Fly Fishing Show … it is going to take place Jan. 18-20 at the Royal Plaza Trade Center in Marlborough, Mass.

There will be over 20 experts in the field of fly fishing and they will be featured in seminars, casting demonstrations and fly tying all three days. There will also be a Fly Fishers International Learning Center with fly tying, casting instruction and other information and is free to show attendees.

This is a good place to advance the skills of all fly fishermen, from novice to advanced.

For those interested in saltwater fly fishing, Alan Caolo will host seminars on sight fishing for striped bass on Friday, Jan. 18 at 4:30 p.m. and the thrill of catching false albacore from shore on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 1 p.m. He’ll also talk about night fishing strategies and tackle for Northeast saltwater.

Or how about going to Jeff Currier’s seminar on how to fly fish for carp — maybe a 20-pounder near home (Mirror Lake)? His presentation will be at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The 2019 Fly Fishing Show will also feature a Destination Theater that will show you things like where and when to fish the fabled Madison River, Quebec’s Artic Region, the Great North Woods of New Hampshire, the Rangeley Lakes and Grand Lake Stream regions of Maine, the Salmon River and the Great Lakes tributaries. The list goes on with over 30 presentations in the Destination Theater.

The Royal Plaza Trade Center is at 181 Boston Post Road in Marlborough, Mass. From I-495 take Exit 24B to Route 20 West. The Royal Plaza Trade Center is one mile on the right directly behind the R.K.Shopping Center. 

 Admission is $15 for one day, $25 for two days and $35 for three days. Children 5 and under are free. Ages 6-12 are $5. Scouts under 16 in uniform get in free. Active military with ID is $10. For more info, go to flyfishingshow.com.

Deer hunting

There is still some archery deer hunting in zones 11 & 12 (Shoreline) in Connecticut IF you have private land to hunt on. And, yes, it can get mighty cold during the month of January.

For many bowhunters who do have private land hunting permits in these two zones, it can be a bonus season. For years, these two zones have been plagued with an over-abundance of deer, and there are still landowners who would like to see archery hunters tag some of these pesky deer.

Over the years, some of my hunting buddies and I have had permits in area 11 and have had some success there. It is a different kind of hunting. I could see my truck in the owner’s driveway, yet she was so glad to have us hunting there because of the damage the deer did to the ornamental plants she and her neighbors had planted.

This special season runs now through Jan. 31 with the proper permits and tags. For more info, check out page 20 of your Hunting Guide. Dress warm. Good hunting.

See ya’ and God Bless America and watch over our troops wherever they may be protecting our freedoms.