Little Sandy Creek

Leon Archer
Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

Well, I know I’m back on track now. Sweet Thing and I returned from Seattle and it took a couple of days to get the time sorted out, but we are now getting to bed before midnight and rising before 9 a.m.

It has been pretty dry, so a couple days after our return I watered the back yard and picked up 150 night crawlers that evening. I knew it was supposed to rain later in the week, but I wasn’t taking any chances. It feels good to be ready when the time comes to fish.

I got out my lantern and filled it up, pumped it up, and fired it up. The mantles were in great shape and gave out a perfect glow.

I fitted my rods with bullhead rigs and waited a couple of days for cooler and hopefully wetter weather to get the bullheads in the mood.

Next weekend is the New York State Outdoor Writers’ Spring Safari and I will need a few worms for that as well.

I am going to take my grandson, Nathaniel with me to the gathering. He is excited about the prospect of going, because he will get a chance to go with me for turkeys one morning and fishing on the next.

I am not sure if we will be fishing for panfish or trout, but either one will suffice as long as the fish are willing. I am sure it will be fun for grampa, too.

Being in Seattle has slowed my turkey hunting down. I’ve only seen one hen so far, but I have a couple spots to check out, and maybe I’ll get lucky. I have done well some years at our spring safari, so it could be that it will pan out for Nathaniel and me next week.

No matter what, Nathaniel and I will have a great time hanging out with some of the best outdoor writers in the state.

The big steelheads have mostly gone back down to the lake to recover from their spawning run and start putting some weight back on.

Every once in a while in May a fisherman may catch one of the big trout that has lingered longer than usual in a stream, but they are few and far between.

I caught one several years ago from Little Sandy Creek when I was looking for a good brown trout. It was a spawned out female and she didn’t put up a fight worthy of her size.

I guessed her weight at about ten pounds. I am no fan of large steelhead for eating, so I released her and wished her well.

A few days later, there was a big rain storm, and I would expect she probably rode that freshet and made it back to the lake.

When I was a kid, Little Sandy Creek was not considered a trout stream by the state and that was why we could spear in it as I wrote in last week’s column.

The trout apparently never heard that Little Sandy was not a trout stream as there were plenty of them in residence in those days.

I never caught a rainbow over 20 inches or a brown trout over 22 inches out of that stream during the years I was growing up, but what it lacked in sizeable fish, it made up for in numbers.

I am pretty sure the biggest rainbows ran up out of the lake, because they sometimes had a lamprey scar on their side.

I also suspect that once those rainbows got over 20 inches they were killed in the lake by lamprey predation.

That was long before they started treating the streams to kill off the lamprey.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

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