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Southern tier fly fishing: Fly fishing events, Gander Mountain re-opening

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Old man winter showed some signs of softening this past week. The Southern Tier got a break from a very cold winter with temperatures climbing above freezing and with rain instead of snow. The week's temperature spike did cause some flooding, particularly in smaller creeks and streams.

The number of fly fishing events offered in the local area will increase now that spring is not too far off. Following is a summary:

  • Al Hazzard TU's March chapter meeting is set for Tuesday, March 18th, at 7 pm in the Vestal Library public meeting room. No speaker has been announced as of yet.
  • As previously announced, Al Hazzard TU will be holding its annual banquet on Saturday, March 29th. This is a great evening event, featuring door prizes, raffles, a great dinner, and a fly tying demo during the cocktail hour. As part of the raffle, many TU members contribute fly boxes. This year the chapter is providing boxes for free - all one has to do is fill them with 18 to 20 flies. If interested in participating, please contact Chris at 607-201-6858.
  • The Twin Tiers Five Rivers Chapter of the Federation of Fly Fishers will hold its monthly chapter meeting on March 3 at the Big Flats Community Center at 7 pm. The program speaker will be Brian Schumaker, owner of the Susquehanna River Guides, a guiding company that specializes in fly-fishing for smallmouth bass on the Susquehanna River. Brian's talk is "Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass, Techniques and Places." This will be a "how to" on fly fishing for smallmouth bass and will cover everything from the biology of the smallmouth bass to tackle, flies and where to fish for this great gamefish.
  • Adam Nidoh, manager of A&G Outfitters in Dickson City, still has 2 slots open for the last steelhead trip of the season. The cost of the trip is $350, but this includes three days of steelheading, lodging, and hot shore lunches. Contact the fly shop at 570-489-1650 if interested.

Gander Mountain is re-opening. The outdoors retailer has decided to re-establish its business in its former 48,000 square foot facility in Johnson City after closing due to massive flood damage in 2011. The new store will have a completely re-modeled interior and could add up to 70 jobs to the local economy. Gander Mountain has been featured here before in a survey of local fly shops. While the big box retailer previously offered an area of the store devoted to fly fishing, the selection and quality of items was more for the beginner to intermediate fly fisherman. Time will tell whether the new store ups the ante in terms of fly fishing appeal.

Winter fails to release its hold on the area in the week ahead. Temps will drop to daily highs in the low twenties with nightly lows back to the single digits. In addition to the cold, expect a 30% chance of snow showers almost every day. Use the time wisely by prepping gear and tying flies. Think Spring!

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