Trout Unlimited


Publisher: Cathy Unger
Contributors: Bob Gregorski, Ernie Ludwig

Ernie Ludwig  | Vice President  |                            
203-560-2053 | |
Tungsten BH Czech Mate Nymph - Hare's Ear                                                                 
Hello all,

Please read the following information regarding our new location for meetings in Naugatuck;

The Naugatuck/Pomperaug TU Chapter 281 will no longer be meeting at ION Bank after Aug, 15 2015. Starting in September we scheduled to have our meetings at ION's Community Center Building at 270 CHURCH Street, Naugatuck, CT. The ION Bank Community center building located next to the YMCA which is just up the street from where we originally held our last meeting in June. The building is to the left side when facing the YMCA. There is plenty of parking on the opposite side in the parking lot.

Hope to see you all there on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016.

Ernest J Ludwig VP Naugatuck/Pomperaug Chapter TU

Ph: 203-639-2643
Cell: 203-560-2053

FlyTying--The Naugatuck/Pomperaug Chapter of Trout Unlimited will be holding Fly Tying classes at Stop & Shop's Southbury location (I 84 West, Exit 15) located in the KMart Shopping Plaza. Classes are held in the store's Community Room on Wednesday (see dates) evenings from 7 pm - 9 pm, and they are free and open to the public. If you don't have your own equipment or materials, the Chapter will provide it for your use during class; everyone is welcome - young, old, beginner or experienced.

Class dates are as follows: February 10, 17, and 24, 2016; and March 9, 16, 23, and 30, 2016. Classes are not held on the first Wednesday of the month. For more information, please call Marty at 203-729-3854.

ICE FISHING — A Winter Sport People Play

"Flag!," my dad shouted. I looked up at my six tip-ups; one showed small piece of red cloth waving above it. I shuffled across the slippery ice at a brisk pace. When I got to the tip-up, the flag was still waving at the end of its thin, springy steel mast. Looking down into the hole and line was peeling off the spool. The white line was moving to my right. The underwater reel continued to turn at a steady rate. “It's moving!" I shouted. I stuffed my gloves into my pockets, reached down, lifted the tip-up and placed it on the ice next to the hole while feeding out more line.

Then the line lay motionless in the clear, cold water. I jerked the line. It jerked back.
"Fish on," I yelled. I pulled in four or five feet using a hand-over-hand retrieve. The fish resisted. The line had a constant tugging at the end of it. It took a couple of minutes to work the fish to the opening in the ice. When the fish was in sight, I used one continuous pull and lift motion and lifted it out of the hole. The large pickerel had its mouth open bearing many sharp teeth. It landed on the ice floppying around. Its eighteen inches of green and white sides gleamed in the sunlight as it lay next to the hole. It was the first of several fish that came from beneath the frozen surface of Congamond Lake that wintry day.

I have fished through the ice for more than 60 years on frozen surfaces ranging from small ponds to large lakes. I continue to enjoy this winter sport, although much of the equipment used today has been improved. What is the same is standing outdoors on frozen water during winter weather and conditions.

Here’s a brief history of the equipment I and other old timers have used. I started with making holes in the ice by chopping ice a long-handled ice chisel. That was the most difficult way to make holes. Then I used several different types of hand-powered augers, which drilled holes from 4” to 8”. Later I used was a gasoline-powered auger with a 10” cutting blade. I bought it used from the late George Kotsaftis who was a fishing companion of mine. It was a brute. It was heavy. It was loud. And had a gasoline odor when it was transported in my van. If you didn’t plant your feet into the ice, the torque could spin you around.

When I reached my senior years, enough was enough. I purchased an electric powered auger that has a small, built-in battery when fully charged will drill scores of holes. It’s light, quiet and no gas fumes.

After holes were made, the ice chips and shavings had to be cleared from the hole. If not, the hole would freeze over more quickly; it was more difficult to get the live bait into the water below the ice. The tool used was an ice skimmer. The early models were made of metal, had a 12”-16” handle and a scoop with small holes made of galvanized metal. Later models were made of polyethylene.

The third thing needed was tip-ups. In Connecticut anglers are allowed to use a maximum of 6 tip-ups. A combination of less tip-ups, bobbers and jigging rods cannot exceed six. After the holes are cut and cleared and tip-ups ready, the hooks need to be baited. Live shiners or other species of baitfish should be lively. So, one needs a bait bucket. There are a variety of bait buckets available today. One should use a minnow dipping net to get the bait out of the bucket. Anglers should minimize handling live bait so not to injure them. I rarely carried the bait bucket from hole to hole. In the early years, we would place several shiners in a clean Crisco can, to which a handle was added, then filled it with water. When a flag went up, the anglers carried the lightweight can to the hole.

Today, anglers fishing through the ice use all kinds of equipment to make holes and clear them. There are a variety of tip-ups and jigging rods available. Some anglers use LCD Fish Finders to locate fish and a few use underwater video cameras. There are many imitation baits and scores of lures/baits that jiggers use. Portable ice shelters are not popular in Connecticut, but each winter a few more are seen on the ice. Fishing through the ice is a winter sport that some people believe cures Cabin Fever.

Conservation Hero Award

John Monroe of the National Park Service presented a CONSERVATION HERO AWARD to the Naugatuck River Greenway Steering Committee (NRGSC) at its January 13, 2016 meeting.

The framed award reads—
“Presented to the Naugatuck River Greenway Steering Committee
Conservation Hero Award
New England is a better place to live, work and play thanks to you.
David Lange, Regional Chief of Rivers & Trails Program, Philadelphia
John Monroe, Director of CT & RI Projects, Rivers & Trails Program, Boston”

NRGSC is comprised of 39 members which include: representatives from: the eleven Naugatuck River Towns, DEEP, Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments, Conservation Organizations and other organizations/groups. Bob Gregorski Represent NRWA & TU N-P & TU NW on NRGSC.

The Naugatuck River Greenway is a planned 44-mile multipurpose trail following the Naugatuck River from Torrington to Derby. When complete, the Greenway will link 11 municipalities, reclaim the Naugatuck River for recreation, provide an alternate mode of transportation, drive tourism and economic development, and improve the quality of life for residents. Several sections of the greenway have been completed and are open to the public and progress is being made to complete the remainder.

L-R John Monroe (NPS), NRGSC Committee members: Aaron Burdis, Ingrid Manning, Jolene Podgorski and Chuck Berger.

And speaking of new members, do you know any women who enjoy our sport, conservation or both? Well, TU is interested in attracting more women to the organization and for a limited time is offering women free memberships. feel free to share this information with any women anglers or conservationists you might now. Let's all work to expand our influence.

  Membership Renewals:
Recent changes have been made to TU's policy toward membership renewals. Individual chapters no longer receive a portion of each renewal. As such, please send renewals directly to TU national or renew on the web site.

Trout Unlimited's Mission

To conserve, protect and restore North America's cold water fisheries and their watershed.