Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ladies Rule the Range

By Spider Rybaak

Ladies preparing to rule the range at Fulton's Pathfinder Fish and Game Club: (left to right) Rose Bentley, Trinity, FL; LouAnn Daniels, Oswego, NY; and Joy Lower, Mexico, NY.

LouAnn Daniels loves to shoot.

The Oswego native is so good at it she participates in shooting events like the Ladies Charity Classic, a National Skeet Shooting Association affair which raises money for worthy causes ranging from Ronald McDonald House and Rochester’s Strong Memorial Hospital to the Wounded Warrior Project and Fisher House Foundation.

But her activism doesn’t stop there. Indeed, her love of shooting, and the freedom and empowerment it provides, has led her to teach countless women how to handle firearms, skillfully and safely.

In July 2013, she wanted to reach more women and started Ladies Rule the Range, a day-long shooting event designed to teach beginners the thrill of shooting sports.

Events are held each summer at Fulton’s Pathfinder Fish and Game Club. Club members serve as instructors.

“The first year 51 ladies, ranging in age from 14 to 80 years old, entered the competition. The second year 81 entered. This year we hope to break 100,” claims Daniels.

This isn’t simply a fund raiser.

“It’s a social event,” says Daniels, “with a lot of camaraderie and laughing.  Ladies pack everything from pistols and shotguns to lever action rifles,” she adds, “and they shoot skeet, five stand, archery…”

Daniels considers recreational shooting a family affair. She tells how one man brought two daughters and his wife to an event and they all took to it like a spark to gun powder.

“One actually loves it,” she boasts.

Daniels even taught her 27-year-old son how to shoot.

He loved her gun, so she made a deal with him. If he beat her at skeet 3 times in a row, she’d give him the gun. Two months later it was his.

She didn’t mind, however, because it gave her the incentive to buy the pump gun she always wanted a year later.

This year’s Ladies Rule the Range event takes place at the Pathfinder Fish and Game Club on Saturday, July 25th.  Doors open at 8: a.m.; “shooting starts promptly” at 8:30.

A $25.00 fee entitles participants to the use of a gun (bring your own if you got it), ammunition, targets and lunch which will include pulled pork from a wild boar.

Cowgirl and cowboy action shooters will give demonstrations on a set depicting the Old West.

For more information, contact Daniels by calling (315) 409-6566; or email her at tdaniels002@twcny.rr.com.

LouAnn Daniels spotting for Rose Bentley
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Seven year-old Sonya Benhassen of East Syracuse struggling with a huge largemouth bass she caught at the June 27 Kids Fishing Class Spider conducted at the Oneida Lake Fish Hatchery.

Another fishing class is scheduled at the hatchery, located on NY49 (right at the bridge) in Constantia, on August 22. Class runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and all equipment is provided FREE for the day; or bring your own.

Thank you.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Christian and Polish Woven Nymphs

By Spider Rybaak

Christian Snyder releasing a brown he caught on a Polish woven nymph.
Christian Snyder knows his way around Oswego County’s trophy trout streams. Hailing from Phoenix, he knows the Oswego and Salmon Rivers intimately.   And while he catches his fair share of nice Skamania on these world-famous streams, there are times when he wants to pull big trout out of small places. When he gets the itch, he heads for one of the county’s famed skinny creeks.

Places like Sandy Creek, for instance, a stream so narrow and low this time of year, your average angler only looks at it fleetingly, decides it’s too small and continues down the road.

Snyder, however, is anything but average. He knows from experience that Skamania, summer-run steelhead, spawn in “skinny cricks” during hot weather.  And that they’re in there right now.

Don’t expect the number of fish you see autumn through spring, however. Just one here and there, separated by long stretches of shallow, squeaky-clean water running through pristine summer pastures and woods.
While just about any nymph or streamer will do, Christian prefers Polish woven nymphs. Also called European nymphs, they’ve been catching skittish European trout for years. And they work here, too, but most Americans just haven’t heard about ‘em.

Constructed with a bead head and a small strip of lead wire wrapped around the hook to give it weight, it’s finished by being wrapped in thread to give it a soft, caterpillar-like look and feel.

They’re most effective when dead-drifted through runs and pockets. You’ll catch a lot of small trout, but that’s OK because you’ll be giving them valuable lessons in life like the importance of exercising extreme caution around hooks bearing food.

Every now and then you’ll experience a hit so powerful, it’ll startle you. That’s because the human mind is naturally skeptical about seeing huge fish swimming in water barely deep enough to cover their backs, especially this time of year.

But a small number is there, offering fishing experiences bordering on miraculous.

While the state’s most productive Skamania stream is the Salmon River, its feeders, as well as just about any Lake Ontario tributary that flows through Oswego County, also draw lake-run fish.

Steelhead are typically thought of as cold weather fare.  And the majority fit that mold. But a sizeable number runs summer streams, giving pleasant weather anglers trophy opportunities under balmy, sun-drenched skies. Good spots to try are Sandy and Grindstone Creeks.

Chris sells his flies, and guides for skaminia professionally. Call him at: (315)  748-2393

The last three rows contain a selection of Polish woven nymphs.