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BC Flyfishers report on Trout Power tournament on West Canada Creek

A fly fisherman wets a line on beautiful West Canada Creek.
A fly fisherman wets a line on beautiful West Canada Creek.
JP Ross / Trout Power /

BC Flyfishers Kurt Nelson and Gary Romanic recently participated in Trout Power 2014. The tournament and weekend event is held every year in June as part of a larger mission to bring awareness to West Canada Creek. And that awareness is sought to help West Canada Creek trout to prosper, which in turn helps the surrounding community and its businesses prosper. Started by fly rod maker JP Ross in 2011, the 2014 Trout Power Weekend is the 3rd of its kind and by all reports, it was a big success.

West Canada Creek is more a river than a creek. It runs for 76 miles from its source at Hinckley Reservoir to its mouth at the Mohawk River. The waterfalls in the Prospect gorge were once a major tourist attraction. But these days, the West Canada faces many challenges as public utilities use the waterway for power generation. The New York DEC has produced reports that indicate that the variable releases not only pose a public safety danger due to fast rising waters but also a threat to the river's trophy trout reproduction capability. But there may be a way to balance the use of the river for everyone - through government, private business, fishermen, tubers, and tourists alike. The West Canada has the potential to provide incredible economic impact to the towns and people inhabiting its riverbanks. West Canada Creek has a trophy section established from Trenton Falls to the Oneida County/Herkimer County borders.

This was a first time fishing West Canada Creek for Kurt Nelson and Gary Romanic. Both anglers signed up as 'Team BC Flyfishers' in the non-competitive bracket for the event. Though both are experienced fly anglers, neither had fished West Canada Creek. As it turns out this may have been a bad choice since Nelson reports that Gary Romanic did pretty well for himself.

The duo stayed at some good digs. The very nice Blue Anchor Cabins located on the banks of West Canada Creek in Poland, NY, served as their operating base, starting on Friday, June 6th. After fishing in two spots on Friday with not much luck, they headed back to camp to change into regular clothing and pick up their Team BC Flyfishers packet.

Saturday morning started with breakfast at the Blue Anchor Diner. Fueled up with a good breakfast, the two anglers spent most of the morning at the old barn parking access and walked up stream to a point where they found good water. Romanic stripped a muddler minnow through some nice pools and hooked up with 5 trout. Nelson was not so lucky fishing caddis patterns and streamers. By this time the sun was high and the pair decided to move to fish the shaded water behind their cabin. Once again, Romanic had the golden touch and hooked up with another 5 trout.

After a BBQ lunch at the Alamo Bar and Grill, it was back to fishing. Once again Nelson and Romanic chose to fish behind their cabin. There were not as many fish rising as on Friday night but Gary did get a few nice ones and Kurt had a good fish that got away after he hooked him in the main current seam below the small Sunny Island.

The West Canada Creek is a great trout stream. However, the stream is faced with many man-made and environmental challenges and needs to be better managed by all the folks who use the water provided by the beautiful Adirondack Mountains. The West Canada is different than the West and East Branches of the Delaware in the sense that the water can be on or off for no apparent reason. The Delaware River branches are fed with a bottom release of cold water making them true tailwaters when managed right.

JP Ross deserves a lot of thanks for putting on the Trout Power Weekend event. In addition to his skill in building a beautiful and great casting fly rod, he is truly devoted to turning West Canada Creek into a 'West Branch of the Delaware River', or better.

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