Publisher: Cathy Unger
Contributors: Bob Gregorski, Glenn LaFreniere
Rob Nichols will be the guest speaker at the Naugatuck-Pomperaug Trout Unlimited meeting on Jan 4th. Nichols, a guide for Housatonic Anglers, will talk about fishing the Farmington and Housatonic rivers. In addition, he will speak about Patagonia (where he also guides). Nichols will be tying flies during the general meeting, which will precede his talks.
Naugatuck Savings Bank, 87 Church St., Naugatuck, CT. For further information call Dom Falcone at 860-274-4103 or email@example.com or visit www.tunaugpomp.org.
FREE FLY TYING CLASSES
Once again it’s the fly tying season. The Naugatuck-Pomperaug Chapter of Trout Unlimited will be holding fly tying classes Wednesday evenings at the Southbury Stop & Shop from 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. on the following dates: January 11, 18, 25 and February 8, 15, 22 and 29. Classes are free and open to the public. If you have your own gear bring it. If you don't have fly tying supplies, vise, hooks, hair and feathers, you can use ours. Now is the time to fill your fly box for next season. Stop & Shop is off exit 15 West/East on RT. 84 in Southbury.
For more information call Dom Falcone - 860-274-4103 or visit www.tunaugpomp.org.
NOSTALGIA — By Bob Gregorski
The Christmas season makes my mind wander into the past. Sliding down hills and some streets on my Flexible Flyer sled. Building snow forts and having snow ball fights. Creating huge snowman. Ice skating on small, unlit and unplowed ponds and the larger, well-lit and plowed Freshwater Pond in my hometown Thompsonville, Connecticut. When I was 17 and 18, I worked for the Enfield Recreation Department. My winter outdoor jobs included plowing the pond, supervising skating and playing records heard over a P.A. system.
One job I will never forget is when three of my fellow workers and I constructed an ice skating surface on the tennis courts behind the high school. We worked in two-hour shifts for a total of 12 hours spraying water from a garden hose to build up layers of ice while the temperature was about 28 degrees. The ice lasted until the first sunny day when the temperature was a little above freezing. We made ice only once; that was enough! I much preferred being an instructor and supervising boys in the warm Youth Center during the winter.
My dad, older brother Mitch and I would spend many winter Saturdays fishing through the ice. I started ice fishing when I was about eight years old. Dad and Mitch chopped most of the holes. I scooped out the ice and set up the tip-ups. Only then was it time for some hot refreshments. Dad made a charcoal grill/stove from a metal pail. We cooked hot dogs and Polish sausage. Mitch and I and drank hot chocolate, while dad had hot coffee. We fished, ate and drank for most of the day. Usually we caught fish that included pickerel, black bass, calico bass, trout, yellow perch and white perch. Some went home for dinner and the rest were returned into the water.
During my high school years, I hunted during Christmas and February vacations. I loved tracking red fox and rabbits after a fresh snow. It was interesting to see the tracks and determine how fox would ferret out field mice, pheasants and rabbits from heavy cover. I would track a fox for miles and only occasionally get a glimpse of its red fur coat contrasted against the white snow. Or follow the tracks of a rabbit into heavy cover. It became interesting if the tracks lead only into a brush pile or briar patch. I knew the bunny was in there. Sometimes I would let it be after saying aloud ‘I know you are in there bunny.’ It was fun.
There’s a lot more winter activities to reminisce about, but that will be at another time.
Having received many catalogs prior to the winter holiday seasons motivated me to look back for that catalog that I received in to younger days. In those days, outdoor enthusiasts read Herter’s and the Sears and Roebuck catalogs cover to cover. I have a Herter’s Catalog No. 82 (August 1971-August 1972). The logo on the cover reads “Tenacious For Quality HERTER’S SINCE 1893 The Authentic World Source for Fisherman, Hunters, Guides, Gunsmiths, Law Enforcement Officers, Tackle Makers, Forest Rangers, Commercial Fisherman, Trappers, Explorers, Precious Gems for Investors, Couturier Textiles and Yarns.” The catalog cost $1.00.
In the catalog I found a completed Order Blank from HERTER’S Inc. dated January 5, 1972. Here’s a summary of what I purchased from the company. There were: 16 lures/spoons ($3.05 total), 60 snap swivels ($0.97), Bowie knife ($2.65), 3 nymph flies ($0.58), 6 dry flies ($0.53), Lifex fly tying body material ($0.30). Total cost of items $8.08 plus $0.95 postage and $0.20 guaranteed delivery for a grand total of $9.23.
“American black walnut gun rack $20.97. Made and finished by real craftsman, this rack is a beautiful addition to any home or cabin. Shipped completely assembled and ready to hang on wall.” Herter’s Catalog No. 82.
Those were the good old days!