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Southern tier fly fishing: Al Hazzard TU, upcoming events, fly tying

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It as another very cold week for the Southern Tier. Bitter cold has shut down virtually all moving-water fishing. Creeks and small streams are frozen over in many places. The big warmwater rivers have some major ice flowing along. Even the Salmon River, usually a haven for cold weather fishing, is filled with slush ice on the lower end with the only open water being up-river between Altmar and Pineville.

The Al Hazzard chapter of TU is busy with events. The January meeting featured Emily Zollweg-Horan, an aquatic biologist with the DEC, who spoke to the chapter about the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture. It was a very informative meeting. The February monthly chapter meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 18 at 7 pm in the Vestal Public Library meeting room. The speaker will be local Press & Sun columnist and outdoor writer, Rick Marsi. More on his presentation topic will be posted here next week, but it's certain to be interesting.

As previously posted, the Al Hazzard TU Annual Banquet is just around the corner. Attending this event is a great way to kick off the traditional fly fishing season. Banquet tickets are available at the Timber Creek Sportsman Shop in Endwell, at all chapter meetings, or by contacting Gene Drobny at 754-5439.

Other upcoming events include:

The Fly Fishing Show is on right now. The show is currently being hosted at the Garden State Convention Center and today is its last day there. If you haven't made it to the show yet, there's still one event being held in Lancaster on March 1st and 2nd.

The Federation of Fly Fishers FFF is hosting a number of fly fishing activities in the coming months:

  • Feb 3rd - social dinner meeting at DC2 Restaurant at the Elmira Airport. The event will feature an open bar, dinner, and a presentation by Kirk and Cynthia Klingensmith on 'Photography and Fly Fishing'. Contact Steve Harris at for more information.
  • Feb 22nd - the chapter will be hosting a fly tying class from 1 - 4 pm at the Big Flats Community Center. Kirk Klingensmith will be teaching how to tie his favorite bass flies. Contact Kirk Klingensmith at
  • March 29th - the chapter will be holding its 7th Annual Fly Fishing Academy. This full day event will be held at Elmira Free Academy. More details on this event will be featured in a future post.

The week ahead will show a slight 'warming' trend. Warming is a relative term when average high temps have been in the teens for the last 2 weeks! The week will start off bitterly cold, with lows in the high single digits, but by mid week daily highs will break into the twenties and thirties. Die-hard fly fisherman may still be fishing but for most of us, the cold, the slush, and the shelf and anchor ice will make fishing pretty tough. This is a great time to prepare for the year ahead, tie flies, work on gear, and catch a fly fishing show on TV!