Thank you Thames Valley TU! Individual members awarded Legion of Cheeseburger Merit with Double IPA Clusters and the Croix d’Cigar, plus the question of the night

Many thanks to the Thames Valley TU Chapter for hosting me last night. The meeting was very well attended, and I was pleased to see so many familiar faces (I even remembered some of the names!) I opened with a reading from my recent EFF article on the Farmington River, then it was on to the new and improved presentation. Good stuff.

Special mention to TVTU member and long-time currentseams follower Alton Blodgett who treated me to a great burger and beer at the Willimantic Brewing Company. A fed presenter is a happy presenter! Thanks also to the kind gentleman (rats, I forgot your name, good sir) who gifted me the lovely Casa Fernandez toro.

The question of the evening centered around proper catch and release technique. Here’s the gist of my long-form answer: it starts with barbless hooks and a net made of fish-friendly material (not that old knotted nylon garbage). The less you handle the fish, the better. The less you expose the fish to air, the better. If you’re going to take a photo, make it fish friendly. Either keep the trout in the water, as I’m doing here…

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…or make your hero shot photo op brief. Get your camera ready, and if you’re flying solo, program it to take multiple shots automatically. Here’s a good example of not keeping the fish out of the river for too long. Note the water droplets cascading off the fish — it’s literally been out of the water for less than 5 seconds. I shot it with a GoPro attached to my landing net.

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See you tonight for “Wet Flies 101,” Capital District Fly Fishers, Colonie VFW Post 8692, 140 VFW Road, Colonie, NY.