Last weekend was the 10th annual Orvis Game Fair at Sandannona in Millbrook, NY. Orvis Sandonona Shooting Grounds is the oldest permitted shooting preserve in the United States. These grounds have a lot of history on them and it is a special treat to visit every year. The last two years have witnessed warm beginnings to the autumn, as you would expect this delay of cool weather and rain adversely impacts the fall Trout fishing season.
This year a group of us grabbed a few campsites at the Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park off of the Taconic State Parkway. The park is over fourteen thousand acres and features two bodies of water, Canopus Lake and Pelton Pond. The location was perfectly situated between the West Branch of the Croton and Dutchess County rivers. Our logic was that we needed to focus on the tail waters of the Croton watershed due to the low level drought.
The West Branch of the Croton below Boyd’s Corner was fishable, however mostly warm water species were hitting and flows were low. Mark had a swing and a miss out of the reservoir by a Brown Trout. The freestone streams of Dutchess County were all the lowest I have seen them over the past five years. They are still fishable for Smallmouth Bass when they are very low. I even managed to find a few Trout in one deep and cool pool.
New Jersey opening day, slated for April 6, 2013 is fast approaching. Every year New Jersey Fish and Wildlife hosts a two day open house at the flagship Pequest Trout Hatchery. Spectators viewed fishing demonstrations, fly tying demos, shooting lessons, fishing lessons and a civil war encampment. Click through our pictures check it out for yourself.
Two weekends ago, the MKFF crew saddled up in the old FJ riding up to Orvis Sandanona Grounds in Millbrook, NY. The Sandanona Shooting Grounds is the oldest permitted shotgun range in the United States; it was built during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. We like to keep our readers apprised of trade shows and other industry developments; the 6th annual Orvis Game Fair and Country Sporting Weekend presented an excellent opportunity to explore the fishing and wing shooting community in more depth.
Wing Shooting Training
Orvis hosts a world renowned wing shooting school at their flagship store in Manchester, Vermont and the Sandanona Grounds. Visitors were able to experience an abbreviated version of a lesson. There were two stations with instructors; they assisted students with shooting form and tactics.
Generally, when test driving a brand new Land Rover, you are not expecting a very advanced or technical course. I figured, we would go over a few bumps and roll over a log or two. The MKFF crew was pleasantly surprised, the off road course and training was borderline “expert level.” There are several pictures in the gallery for you to browse through, I’m pretty sure we had multiple wheels of the ground in a few places on the course.
An Orvis event would not be complete without Fly Fishing. Complimentary casting lessons were available for the revelers. Further, check out the Striped Bass one of the exhibitors had preserved caught off of Chelsea Pier.
The event was geared towards the upscale shooting and hunting community; this segment representing the Sandanona Ground’s target market. Several Orvis affiliated Fly Fishing Lodges were represented with their guide staff. We met up with and immediately took a liking to the Glendorn Lodge in Pennsylvania. Mark and I were promised that they could hook us into a Walleye on the Fly this spring! We may have to take them up on their offer in the spring.