No safe ice yet on Chautauqua Lake

Photo by Gene Pauszek The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Monday night fly tying crew wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and will return on Monday, Jan. 8.

Did you know that in six short months it will be the first day of summer? Yeah! Ice fishermen may have to wait at least one week for safe ice to show up on Chautauqua Lake according to Skip Bianco at Hogan’s Hut/Stow.

According to Skip, there was some ice formation on the south end of Chautauqua Lake, but lots of open water on the north end. The south end was not accessible yet, but a few calm cold nights could put a good freeze on. Otherwise, there’s no fishing report yet. Locally, Rick Miller in Irving reports that all the local streams have been running fast and high with the recent thaw. Look for some decent trout action once the water levels recede. Rick and Skip will be ready with your bait needs when the ice fishing hits.

No official numbers released yet on the 2017 deer harvest, but just in passing I had overheard at least three proud mothers comment that their youngsters had turned 14 recently and taken their first deer. Congratulations!Those hunters who did go out during the extended muzzleloader/cross bow/archery season commented that the weather, with deep snowfall, was against them this year. Now that the season is over, look for numerous deer sightings . It makes you wonder, “How do they know?”

Here is an easy holiday treat, from the Monday night fly tie group. Take equal parts of smoked steelhead trout, mayonnaise, 3 cheese mix (taco cheese) and fine minced onion. Mix together in a microwave safe bowl and heat until the cheese melts. Delicious with Ritz or Keebler etc, crackers. Enjoy! Last call for deer/bear picture stories!

Calendar: The next meeting of the Southtowns Walleye Association located at 5895 Southwestern Boulevard, Hamburg. will be held today. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. Guest speaker is reportedly Santa Clause. The meetings are open to the public. Here is wishing for a speedy recovery to President David “Woody” Woodworth.

The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club announced that December is the last chance for members to pay their dues. If dues are not paid prior to the Jan. 7 monthly meeting, the names will be removed from the membership roster.

Our local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation — the Lakeshore Long Beards announced that the annual banquet/fundraiser will take place on Jan. 20. This is the 20-year anniversary for the Long Beards.

The next meeting of the Longbeards will be Tuesday, Jan. 2 at 7 p.m. at Liberty Vineyards, located on Route 20 in Sheridan. Tickets for the banquet will be available. Open to the public.

On Jan. 27-28 there will be a gun show at Conneaut Lake, Pa., at the Conneaut Lake Sportsmans Association located at 11861 Sportsman Road (off Route 18).

Monday night, free fly tying courses at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club are from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Tying vises, instruction and materials are all provided free No registration is necessary. The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club is located on Mullet Street Dunkirk. Turn towards the lake at the Country Fair store located on Lakeshore Drive west (Route 5). (Note that the fly tying courses at the Con Club will be taking a break on Dec. 25 and Jan. 01. Monday night classes will resume on Jan. 8.)

The Children of the Stream Youth Fly Fishing Program will be starting its 18th year of providing weekly free fly tying and fly fishing classes to both youths and adults in our area. Classes will be on Tuesday evenings from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at the Costello Community Room (P84) in the new addition to the Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia. You do not need any prior experience to attend these classes and the course is geared towards ages 10 and older. For more information contact Alberto Rey at 410-7003 or that the COTS fly tying will take a Christmas season break and resume instruction on Jan. 9.)

If your club or organization is holding a hunter safety training/trapping course or a turkey shoot or any other outdoors event, and would like to see it posted in the calendar, send information to the OBSERVER, 10 East Second Street, Dunkirk, NY 14048, or call the sports department at 366-3000 ext. 5 after 6 p.m.

Note: If you have a big-game fishing or trapping success story you would like to share, call 366-1772, or 467-2079 and leave a name, phone number and a time you can be reached. You can also call 366-3000, ext. 5, after 6 p.m. or email