Journeys with Jim: Fly fishing classes offered nearby

Published on Wednesday, 27 December 2017 22:04
Written by Jim Beliveau


It would appear that the winter season has its grip on New England in a big way.

For many of us, the Christmas Day snow was something straight out a Currier and Ives seasonal print. A truly joyous moment for children and a bit of a pain in the butt trying to get the old two-wheel drive sleigh across town to Grandma’s house.

Luckily the storm was short-lived and not quite as dramatic as was predicted for northern Vermont and Maine, where about a foot of snow was expected. Take heart, as spring is only about another 80-plus days away.

It might be a bit cold and snowy to think about fly fishing, but just next week, the Connecticut Fly Fisherman’s Association, will be conducting fly tying classes for beginners. Dates for the classes are Thursdays, starting on Jan. 4 and running until Feb. 8.

These evening classes are being held at Cabela’s, 475 E. Hartford Blvd., East Hartford. Times are 6:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Classes are held on the second floor meeting room. There is a $50 enrollment fee for adults. For children 16 and younger, the fee is only $30; and any adult accompanying a youngster may take the class for no charge.

The cost includes all materials and instructors and a one-year membership to the CFFA. The association is a certified non-profit and is dedicated to preserving and promoting the traditions and pleasures of fly fishing, and works to conserve healthy game fish waters in our state.

The deadline for pre-registering is this Saturday, Dec. 31. To sign up for the classes, contact Peter Naples, (860) 620-2317 or online at

In last week’s Bristol Press, I read about the problems Plainville residents are facing with coyotes. These critters have been a part of the landscape in Connecticut for many years now and I don’t think that will change any time soon.

Populations spike and ebb with the availability of food. For example, if conditions are favorable for mice, voles and other rodents to thrive, the coyotes follow suit. In lean years, not so many pups are born and the coyote population seems to stabilize.

For pet owners, September and October are the months to be most vigilant, as this is the time when coyote pups are weaned and are leaving the den to find territories of their own. This is when you’ll most likely encounter them in places that you’ve probably never seen one before.

In part of last week’s story, it was reported that coyotes could be hunted for a part of the year. Actually, there is no closed season for coyote. The season dates are Jan. 1 until Dec. 31. No season limit or daily bag limit.

I know of a farmer in eastern Connecticut that vigorously hunts them to protect his livestock and all of his work doesn’t seem to have much impact on the coyote population in his area.

Celebrate the New Year by joining in First Day Hikes. As part of a nationwide event to promote the outdoors, our state parks will conduct guided hikes in over a dozen locations on New Year’s Day.

Among those parks are Hammonasset Beach, Gillette Castle, People’s State Forest and Sleeping Giant State Park.

More information can be found on the DEEP website or on Facebook. Get outside and enjoy the first day.

Posted in New Britain Herald, General Sports on Wednesday, 27 December 2017 22:04. Updated: Wednesday, 27 December 2017 23:05.