February 2009

Editor: Brian Labowsky (Lumpy)
Contributors: Mike Machniak & Bob Gregorski
Newsletter of the Naugatuck-Pomperaug
Chapter of Trout Unlimited


February Meeting

February 5, 2009

Monthly Meeting
7:00 PM


The February 5 meeting is on Thursday and will be held at the Southbury Library. It's located at 100 Poverty Road a short distance from the traffic light at Main Street and Poverty Road.



February 5th


February 11th




Upcoming Events

The speaker for the February 5th monthly meeting is John Larkin. Larkin is the lobbyist for the TU council hired to push effective and appropriate legislative conservation issues.

Free Fly Tying Lessons
The Naugatuck-Pomperaug Chapter Trout Unlimited offers free, fly tying lessons. They will be held Wednesdays, January 21 and 28 and February 11 from 7:00 P.M. to 9:30 P.M. in the meeting room on the 2nd floor at the Stop & Shop, exit 15 off I-84, in Southbury. Everyone, young or old, beginner or expert is welcome to come. Bring your vise and materials, or you can come to watch and learn. Members will let you use their gear, if you wish to tie. It’s a great opportunity to learn. There is no cost.

Note: NEW DATE and LOCATION. The February 5 meeting is on Thursday and will be held at the Southbury Library. It's located at 100 Poverty Road a short distance from the traffic light at Main Street and Poverty Road. The program will start promptly at 7:00 PM. The public is invited free-of-charge. For further information call Dom Falcone at 860-274-4103 or dafalcone@snet.net or visit www.tunaugpomp.org.

Connecticut Trout Unlimited Website

Our Connecticut Trout Unlimited council has launched a website aimed at helping bring our chapters together statewide. The website has a large amount of information and links to each chapter in the state. Take a look, it is well worth it.

ICE FISHING --A Sport People Play by Bob Gregorski

"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, thin 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 landed on the ice. 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 50 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 is improved. What is the same is standing outdoors on frozen water during winter weather and conditions.

Here’s a brief history of the ice-cutting equipment I have used. Let’s start with making holes in the ice. I started by chopping ice with a 1.5” diameter, 60” solid steel shaft with a sharpened end. It was heavy. After chopping a few holes, one worked up a sweat and needed to rest. There was a leather rawhide strap attached to the top. You placed a hand through it as a measure to save it from ending up in the bottom of a lake.

The second one we used was a heavy, sharpened large chisel threaded onto a 60” shaft of galvanized pipe. It had a safety strap attached to its top end. This chopper was much lighter than the first one. Any size hole could be chopped with either one of these homemade cutters. The chopping resulted in large pieces of ice that had to be cleared.

The third and fourth types were hand-powered augers, which drilled holes from 4” to 8”. One had a sharp blade at the end that cut through the ice and a spiral metal part that brought the cut ice to the surface of the hole. The second one was a Swedish Snabb that had a scoop-like, offset hollow ground blade. These cut holes much easier and quieter. Small shavings of ice resulted when cutting the holes. And, the holes were perfect circular cylinders.

The fifth type 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 and quiet and no gas fumes.

After the hole was 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. We (dad, brother Mitch and I) used a fine mesh kitchen strainer in addition to the skimmer with large holes in it. The strainer removed all the tiny fine crystals.

Fishing through the ice is a winter sport that some people believe cures Cabin Fever.


Chapter History

Bob Gregorski is writing a history of TU Chapter #281. He is one of the founders (Pomperaug Regional Chapter). Please provide help with the following items if able to do so: Changes in Chapter #281 Names Pomperaug Regional Chapter Fall 1976 – 1984 +????
Naugatuck Valley Chapter 1984???- 1990 ? May have been 1987-1990??Naugatuck-Pomperaug Chapter April 2002 - OK Chapter Presidents
Neil Kingsnorth 1976-1979
Mike Stephens 1979- 80 +?
Dean Colvin 1981-1982
Edgar Mills 1983-1984
Dick Estey 1984-1985
Neil Kingsnorth 1987 -?
George Gubitose ??????
Dick Estey 1990-1995?
Albin Weber 1996-2000
Dan Kenny 2001-2002
Bob Perrella Interim 10/02-11/02 Lenny McDermott 2003 -2005
George Franklin ??—2006
???2005-2006 Bob Perrella may have served some interim when George who transferred to Maine
Bob Perrella 2006- 10/2008
Mike Mackniak 11/08-present




Feb. 2009 - The Wooley Bugger
Editor: Lumpy
Chapter Officers

Mike Machniak President 203-915-6099

Larry Wolff Vice President 203-405-1394

BobPerrella Second V.P. 203-264-1758

Lisa Harper Secretary 203-285-7337

Sara Valentino Treasurer 203-751-2893


Lenny McDermott 203-723-9610
Michael Kaklamanos 860-417-3201 onehorse@charter.net

Bob Gregorski 203-758-9166

Martin Petersen 203-729 3854

Al Concilio 203-729 0846

Dom Falcone 860-274-4103

John Ploski 203-888-9427

Brian Labowsky 203-734-8077





The main, annual fundraisers for the Chapter are the Banquet, Main Raffle, Bucket Raffle and Silent Auction. The 2008 fundraiser was a huge success. Chapter president Mike Mackniak thanks all who financially supported the Chapter. Dominic Falcone and Martin Petersen co-chaired those fundraisers. Bob Perrella assisted with getting donations. Their diligent efforts and generous contributors resulted in substantial increase the Chapter’s treasury. Mike Mackniak, Larry Wolff and Glenn La Freniere worked on the raffle at the banquet. The Chapter looks forward to these fundraisers in 2009.

Main Raffle (tickets sent to all members)
The Raffle Prize Winners:

First Prize - Peggy Nikituk An ORVIS Fly Rod Outfit
Second Prize - Mike Dembek A Temple Fork Fly Rod Outfit
Third Prize - Kathy (a waitress at J.J. Sullivans) $200 gift certificate
at Up Country
Fourth Prize – Carmela DeStefano A Patagonia fishing vest

Bucket Raffle & Silent Auction
There were scores of different bucket raffle winners and silent auction highest bidders

Please Support Our Generous Contributors
Orvis, Avon, CT -- Up Country, Pine Meadow, CT -- & Custom, New Hartford, CT-- Stop & Shop, Naugatuck, CT -- Viso Bello Day Spa, Middlebury, CT--
TU National Headquarters, Virginia -- Marie’s Country Furnishings, Southbury, CT -- Stop & Shop, Watertown, CT -- Southbury Food Center, Southbury, CT-- Fly Rod & Reel--VRM Co., New Jersey -- Anglers Sports Group-- Fly Tyer--
Bradshaw’s, Oakville, CT -- Dom & Louise Falcone, Oakville, CT -- Dick’s Sporting Goods, Meriden, CT -- Brookside Inn, Oxford, CT Fishing Factory, Southington, CT -- Wapsi Fly Tying Materials, Arkansas—
Denmo’s, Southbury, CT -- Roseland Pizza, Derby, CT-- J. Stockard Fly Fishing, Kent, CT -- Cabela’s, Nebraska--Housatonic Outfitters, Cornwall, CT -- Scientific Angler’s -- Wal-Mart, Naugatuck, CT-- Housatonic Meadows Fly Shop, Cornwall, CT -- Marty & Elaine Petersen, Naugatuck, Ladies, CT -- Jeff & Joyce Stedner, Oxford, CT -- Newtown Bait and Tackle, Newtown, CT L.L. Bean, Freeport. ME -- A & P Super Food Mart, Naugatuck, CT-- Mario’s Pizza, Oakville, CT -- Big Y, Naugatuck, CT -- Dick’s Sporting Goods, PA -- Woodbury Deli & Catering, Woodbury, CT -- Stratford Bait & Tackle, Stratford -- CT Fast Frame, Southbury, CT -- John J. Sullivan’s Restaurant. Ansonia, CT





Trout Unlimited's Mission

To conserve, protect and restore North America's trout and salmon fisheries and their watershed.

Naugatuck-Pomperaug Chapter Trout Unlimited