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Bill Hilts Jr.


Sports

Things happen for a reason. There are many people who share the philosophy of that simple statement. A perfect case in point is the circumstances surrounding the 31-pound brown trout caught last week by Bob Klemm of Lords Valley, Pa. He was fishing with his brother, Rich Klemm of West Milford, N.J., in the lower Niagara River with Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Region …

Sports

Local fishing is really starting to ramp up with the opening of the inland trout and salmon season on April 1. Increased opportunities become available throughout the state, spreading out the anglers and giving everyone a spot to cast. Even some inner city-type situations will exist early in the season such as Hyde Park Lake, Gill Creek and Oppenheim Park Pond in Niagara F…

Sports

State of Lake Erie April 6 For fishermen and fisherwomen loving everything Lake Erie, New York Sea Grant’s annual State of Lake Erie will be coming up on  from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. April 6. Host location will once again be the Southtowns Walleye Association’s clubhouse at 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg. The meeting is held in partnership with the Department of Environment…

Sports

Growing up in Western New York, there were always a few “opening days” that you looked forward to every year  – the deer opener, the pheasant opener, the bass opener, the walleye opener and the inland trout opener. Sure there were other opening days that generated some interest, but these were the top five … for me anyway. Back then, any opening day meant a day off scho…

Outdoors

Three State of Lake Ontario meetings were held in appropriate locations around the lake the past couple of weeks (Lockport, Rochester and Pulaski), coordinated by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation. It’s a great way to see what happened in 2016 and what the plans are moving forward in 2017. All of the meetings had good attendance, showing the interest in …

Southtowns Walleye unveils club awards winners The Southtowns Walleye Association of WNY, one of the largest walleye clubs in the world, recently held its 2016 Harry A. Smith Awards Banquet to honor the unsung volunteers and club leaders for all of their unselfish work behind the scenes. The Harry A. Smith Memorial Award, which is  presented for years of outstanding …

Outdoors

With the opening of the inland trout and salmon season just around the corner on April 1, it’s important to note that the Department of Environmental Conservation’s fish hatchery personnel have been keeping busy. In fact, they are ahead of schedule thanks to the relatively mild winter we’ve enjoyed. With the Cattaraugus County lakes being wide open (and the fact that they …

Sports

Niagara’s Conservation Federation announces winners The Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs announced its 2016 winners for all of it memorial awards. Unlike other Federations, Niagara County names its winners before the annual banquet to encourage more people to attend. If people knew who the winners are, there’s a better chance that family and friends will …

Outdoors

It’s happening again, like a broken record. A severe storm warning went into place, just in time for this week’s fishing report. Heavy snow and high winds are in the forecast. We thought spring was going to arrive early? Last week’s wind storm was horrendous. Let’s hope this one isn’t as bad, but when it comes with a name (Stella), that’s usually not a good sign. Lake E…

Sports

Basketball nets will be rippin’ in Buffalo when March Madness tips off Thursday in a game between Notre Dame and Princeton. While the basketball world will be focused on the court, there’s another kind of “net” that needs some attention when fans and players invade our kingdom of sorts – a fish net. Yes, Western New York is home to some of the finest freshwater fishing in …

Sports

Erie Federation honors sportsmen The Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs held its annual awards banquet last Saturday night at the Father Justin Knights of Columbus in Cheektowaga. The group recognized the organizations and individuals that support the Federation, the conservation movement and various fish and wildlife programs. And the winners are: Stan Spis…

Sports

Inland Streams According to Drew Nisbet of Orvis Buffalo in Williamsville, our inland creeks for catch-and-release trout have been fishing incredibly well over the last two weeks of mild weather. As the creek water temperatures rise the trout become more active, especially the large/mature fish. He has been fishing the upper Cattaraugus and Clear creeks in the NYSPFR se…

Sports

Collecting is a pastime that can date centuries. People collect stamps, coins, guns, baseball cards and comic books to name but a few items – why not antique fishing tackle? This is not to be confused with the collection of current present-day fishing tackle, similar to what a charter captain might do as “normal” equipment on their Great Lakes boats. After all, you do n…

Sports

Special Fly Tying Event March 15 A unique and special fly tying event will take place on March 15 designed to encourage participation in the sport of fly fishing, create a networking platform and educate people on not only tying some popular flies but also learning how to use them. The demonstration will take place at the Orvis store in the Eastern Hills Mall, 4545 Tran…

Sports

Niagara River The Niagara River has been a difficult puzzle to figure out this year. Water was starting to change over from the mud bath over the weekend from the wind and rain we saw Friday and Saturday. The yo-yo temperature fluctuations are contributing to the problems. Just when things were starting to clear on Tuesday, the forecast doesn’t look good – more wind and…