Area weather continues to be cold and damp. Lake effect snow, freezing rain and sleet, and rain has kept the ground good and wet and the cold has kept snow on the ground; all good for the trout. Creek, stream and river levels are generally 'winter-like'; decently high with good clarity. Most flowing waters have shelf ice and local ponds and small lakes are ice covered.
Local TU chapter meetings are over for February. March meetings will consist of special events for both area chapters, and serve as a great prelude to the opening of trout season. The Leon Chandler TU chapter will host Ithaca Fishing Days while the Al Hazzard TU chapter will be holding its annual banquet. In addition to these two TU events, the Twin Tiers Fiver Rivers chapter of the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) will give beginning and advanced anglers alike, a full day of fly fishing instruction through its Fly Fishing Academy. There will be more details posted here in the coming weeks about all three great events so please stay tuned.
Meetings and special events are one way to get ready for the opening of the season. But fly anglers often also need to re-stock fly boxes and there are a number of local fly tying classes already in session that fill that need. In addition to formal classes there are also informal fly tying sessions in the area. One such get-together is being held every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. at the Timber Creek Sportsman Shop. Al Hazzard TU chapter members meet at the fly shop, swap stories, and tie flies. There is no need to register or even call in advance and one does not need to be a chapter member or skilled fly tyer to participate. The Timber Creek Sportsman Shop offers a full line of fly fishing and hunting items and has a good inventory of fly tying supplies. The shop is located at 3204 Watson Boulevard in Endwell. Contact owner Chuck Sherwood at 607-239-6511 for more information.
The week ahead will make for a nice tease of early spring. Look for temperatures to rise into the low 40's with night-time lows hovering around freezing. There will be a mix of precipitation mid-week but it will turn to snow with lower temperatures over the weekend. It looks like the weather will continue to encourage fly tyers to stick to their benches!