Fly fishing gear

Gene Chague | Berkshire Woods and Waters: Fishermen look to Labrador for potential world record brook trout | Sports

Recently a fly fishing friend Gary Hebert from Richmond, New Hampshire sent me a photo of a large brook trout (speckled trout, as it is called in Labrador, Canada) that has recently been caught. in a river in the Igloo Lake area of ​​Labrador. by Kevin Géroux.

He was fishing with Edwin Dominery, an Igloo Lodge guide. Estimated to weigh over 14 pounds, he was immediately released unharmed. The fish was not officially weighed as no certified scales were available at the time. Igloo Lodge takes pride in ensuring proper handling of the fish, allowing all fish to be released unharmed. This means they must be released quickly, with minimal handling, with the use of barbless hooks and fly fishing only.

So how did they estimate the weight of this fish? Well, there is a special dimension formula that is accurate for determining the weight of a fish. The dimensions of this fish (length, circumference, etc.) were sent to fish biologists in Newfoundland to perform official calculations. They don’t know yet if this will be official, but calculations indicate that this fish weighs over 14 pounds and is 25 1/4 inches long with a circumference of 22 inches.

Why so much importance about this fish? Well, the official brook trout world record is 14 1/2 pounds and was 31 1/2 inches long. It was fished in the Nipigon River in the Superior Country region of northern Ontario in 1915. To this day, that record still stands. If Geroux’s brookie doesn’t break the world record, he might have a good chance of breaking the Labrador record.

Igloo Lodge owner Craig Gillingham said they are still evaluating this ‘brookie monster’ and will get back to me with details as soon as they become known.

According to Gary, he was captured and released about a week before they arrived at Igloo Lodge.

Gary spent the last week of the season fishing with several friends including Carl Racie of Athol and his son Tim Racie of Groton, Mike Miller of Athol and his grandson, Brandon Jones of Leominster and the Commissioner of Fisheries and Massachusetts Wildlife Ron Amidon of Templeton. Local fishing lawyer Mike Shepard and I had fished with them in Labrador a few years ago and have kept in touch over the years. We were supposed to join them on last year’s trip, but due to the Canadian border being closed we were unable to go. After the final opening of the border, the trip planned for this year has been postponed to the last week of the season. The other guys could do it, but Mike and I couldn’t because we had already committed to fishing in Yellowstone National Park, Montana, and Idaho.

Gary said they had all the room to themselves. The guides were great as usual and the facilities and meals were top notch. They had a great week fishing exclusively in the river due to the low water in the lakes and ponds. As the color of the water in the photo shows, the river was dark green with virtually no visibility, due to algae. This made the wading conditions very dangerous – Gary fell three times and broke two rods. He didn’t know how the fish could see their flies, but they caught and released dozens of 5 to 9 pound brookies. Mike Miller registered a 10-pounder (which is very close to the Labrador record). Commissioner Amidon sent us several photos of giant brookies he caught in their full spawning gear.

The weather was cold and rainy with a little snow. They had planned to fly to other areas for Arctic char and / or Atlantic salmon, but the (spawning) returns were three weeks earlier than normal, so, combined with poor flying conditions, prevented them from these side trips. Overall, they had a great trip despite the hassle of passing their COVID-19 tests and beating the clock to cross the border.

Incidentally, local fishermen Rex Channel and Trish Watson from Pittsfield were up there in early September and they were phenomenally lucky as well. Rex sent me a picture of him taking a 9 pound brookie.

Next year Mike Shepard and Craig Smith from Dalton and I will be going there to try our luck at catching one of these behemoths, assuming, of course, the pandemic is under control and the border remains open. .

Results of the first bear hunting season

In his most recent report to the Berkshire County League of Sportsmen, DFW Western District Supervisor Andrew Madden said the early bear season of 2021 produced a much lower harvest than the previous year. Some 112 bears were captured in September compared to 236 in September last year. He cited several factors that likely contributed to the decline in harvests, including a high abundance of natural food and poor hunting conditions.

The second bear hunting season begins Monday and ends November 20. Only rifle, muzzle-loading and archery hunting tools are permitted during this season. Only archery equipment may be used in wildlife management areas where pheasants live.

Transport license course

Pete’s Gun Shop of Adams is hosting an LTC Certified Live Fire NRA and Massachusetts State Police Safety Course on Saturday, November 13. It will be held at the Cheshire Rod and Gun Club from 8:30 am. classroom instruction followed by live fire.

This is to qualify Massachusetts residents and non-residents for the Mass card. LTC or FID. It will be a practical live fire course. You will receive a $ 10 gift certificate at Pete’s Gun Shop as a thank you for taking the course. The cost is $ 100 and covers the use of their range, firearms, ammunition, safety gear, class materials, certificates and the NRA safety manual. Interested parties are urged to pre-register by calling or stopping by Pete’s Gun Shop at 413-743-0780, as space is limited. A non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your place at the time of registration. They accept credit cards in person or over the phone. This live-fire course fills up very quickly, so call or stop by early to pre-register.

Will your semi-automatic shotgun now become illegal?

Last week I received a disturbing special announcement from the Lee Sportsmen’s Association which read: “It appears that legal and responsible gun ownership is threatened by ill-conceived, overbroad and overly broad bills. probably unconstitutional. While all are currently still in committee, it is incumbent on responsible gun owners to act to protect our sport and defend our constitutional rights within the Commonwealth. “

There were several proposed bills, but their main concern was a bill (H.4038) a law banning semi-automatic weapons that was referred to the Mass Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security on July 29, 2021. If adopted, it will extend the current ban on assault weapons to all semi-automatic rifles and rifles. The bill amends MGL to replace the term “assault weapon” with “rifles and shotguns containing a semi-automatic mechanism” while removing all exemptions under the ban on assault weapons. Significantly, the prior date of the assault weapons ban of September 13, 1994 remains unchanged, meaning that every semi-automatic rifle or shotgun sold in the Commonwealth since the entry into force of the ban on assault weapons will be affected. No provision is made for the registration or disposal of semi-automatic rifles or shotguns currently in possession and affected.

So if I understand this bill correctly, if you bought a Charles Daly 3-shot semi-automatic duck hunting rifle or a Browning 5-shot semi-automatic deer hunting rifle 25 years ago, they would be now considered assault weapons? Truly? Let’s go!

There is a Firearms Policy Coalition which has a link to send a message to the State House opposing this bill:

In addition to that, may I suggest that you contact the lawmakers in your state and ask them to oppose this bill. Also, you might want to ask them to speak to their fellow lawmakers at Beacon Hill and explain to them that hunting is still a way of life for many here in the Berkshires and that a semi-automatic shotgun is misinterpreted as an assault weapon would negatively affect many hunters.

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