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Hooks and Antlers: Clayton show to feature rehabilitating fly-fishing program for military

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CLAYTON — Project Healing Waters will be among the exhibitors at the Clayton-Thousand Islands Gun and Sportsmen Show slated for the Cerow Recreation Park Arena on Aug. 16-17. The project utilizes fly-fishing activities to work with veteran and active military personnel in a healing way.

Trent Myer heads the current Project Healing Waters Chapter at Fort Drum, and he says, “Being in the water is good for improving balance and strength; fly casting exercises the upper body; and being on the water is good for the soul.”

Show hours extend from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for military with ID, and free for children under 12. Sponsoring the 2014 show are Route 37 Building Supply, Wellesley Island Building Supply, Greg Henry Construction, and Surefine Market of Clayton. More information is available by calling 482-4596 or 686-2832.

PROJECT HEALING WATERS

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. (PHWFF) is a non-profit organization incorporated in Maryland. The first program began at Washington’s Walter Reed Medical Center in 2005, and the name was established in 2006 with incorporation taking place in 2007.

Since that time PHWFF has expanded nationwide and has a program in Canada.

The organization’s mission states the group is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings.

PHWFF currently has 160 programs in 48 states, and all programs are associated with and draw volunteers form Federation of Fly Fishers clubs, Trout Unlimited chapters, and independent clubs. Last year, more than 2,400 volunteers donated over 130,000 hours of service to PHWFF program activities.

Program activities may include, but are not limited to, fly-fishing instruction, fly-tying classes, fly-casting workshops, rod building, and fly-fishing outings.

For PHWFF volunteers, the benefits of association lie in the giving. Volunteers can give by making cash donations, donating used fly fishing equipment, becoming a volunteer, or even starting a program if there is not one in the area.

PHWFF’s mailing address is Post Office Box 695, LaPlata, Md., 20646, and the phone number is 301-830-6450. The organization’s Web site is www.projecthealingwaters.org.

TENTATIVE WATERFOWL SEASONS

DEC has announced the tentative 2014-14 waterfowl seasons. The seasons do not become official until federal regulations are adopted later in the summer. For the Northeast Zone, youth days will be held the weekend of Sept. 20-21 while the regular season will be split into two sessions: Oct. 4 (Saturday)-Oct. 19 (Sunday) and Nov. 1 (Saturday)-Dec. 14 (Sunday).

The September Canada Goose Season for the Northeast Goose Hunting Area will run the traditional dates of Sept. 1 (Monday) through Sept. 25 (Thursday). The regular season will be divided into two sessions: Oct. 25 (Saturday)-Nov. 16 (Sunday) and Nov. 18 (Tuesday)-Dece. 14 (Sunday). By closing the season on Nov. 17, hunters are afforded an extra weekend day to hunt geese.

MEPPS SEEKS SQUIRREL TAILS

The hair on a squirrel’s tail emits a rippling, pulsating movement in the water, and that movement is a key, fish-attracting component of Mepps lures. Company representative Kurt Mazurek says, “We’ve tried hundreds of other natural and synthetic materials; bear hair, fox, coyote, badger, skunk, deer, even Angus cow, but nothing works as well as squirrel tail hair.”

The company notes that squirrels are a plentiful resource, they make excellent table fare, their skins are used in making a variety of products, but their tails are usually thrown away. Instead of tossing out the tails, Mepps is asking hunters to recycle squirrel tails by sending them to the company which buys fox, black, grey, and red squirrel tails and which will pay up to 26 cents each for tails depending on quality and quantity. The cash value is doubled if the tails are traded for Mepps lures.

More information on the Squirrel Tail Program is available at www.mepps.com, and Mazurek reminds hunters, “We do not advocate harvesting of squirrels solely for their tails.”

Outdoors Calendar

Aug. 4: Trap and Skeet Shoot at Lisbon Sportsmen’s Club on Pray Rd. at 5:30 p.m.

Aug. 6: Trap Shoot at Black Lake F&G Association at 7 p.m.(869-6051).

Aug. 7: Sporting Clays Shoot at Black Lake F&G Association at 1 p.m. (323-5585).

Aug. 9: NNY Bassmasters Tournament at Cranberry Lake (www.nnybassmasters.com).

Aug. 9: 6th Annual Long Lake Bass Fishing Derby (518-624-2145).

Aug. 12: Monthly meeting of Canton Sportsmen’s Club (Nickerson Rd.) at 6:30 p.m.

Aug. 12: Monthly meeting of Federated Sportsmen’s Clubs of SLC at Canton Boces at 7 p.m.

Aug. 14: SLC Trappers Association meets at Lisbon Library at 6:30 p.m.

Aug. 16-17: Clayton-1000 Islands Gun and Sportsmen Show at Cerow Arena (482-4596).

Aug. 23: Outdoor Adventure Day at Fort Drum (788-8450).

Aug. 23: NNY Bassmasters Tournament at St. Lawrence River, Ogdensburg (www.nnybassmasters.com).

Aug. 30: Outdoor Heritage Family Rendezvous II at Black Lake F&G Association (www.BLFGA.org).

Aug. 30: Spider’s Basic Fishing Program (Free) at Wellesley Island State Park (482-2479).

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