The New York State Outdoor Writers Association’s (NYSOWA) annual Spring Safari took place last month in southern Washington County.
For the first time that I can recall, we had perfect weather throughout the weekend. Our accommodating hosts were Battenkill Valley Outdoors (BVO) and Battenkill Riversports and Campground (BRC), both in Jackson just outside of Cambridge.
Battenkill Riversports and Campground is right on the Batten Kill River, which is still a classic a trout stream.
Some of the writers fished successfully right near the campground. Others fished above the Eagleville covered bridge, where upstream to the Vermont border catch-and-release is the regulation, as is artificial lures only.
Through the course of the weekend several brown trout were brought to the net with the biggest being a 14-incher landed by Chris Kenyon of Wolcott (Wayne County), who continuously raved about the large amount of public access provided to the river.
Meanwhile, there was some lake fishing to be had.
Current NYSOWA president Leon Archer of Fulton (Oswego County) brought along his 11-year-old grandson, Nathaniel, who, like his grandfather, has taken up the art of carving decoys. After landing a few browns on the Batten Kill the first day, they spent the next two mornings fishing Dead Lake, where they caught numerous brook trout as well as four very nice brown trout.
Dead Lake supposedly is only stocked with brookies? Long Island writer Charles Wittek and his wife, Theresa, also spent a morning on Dead Lake catching browns and brookies.
There is also plenty of public land in southern Washington County that proved inviting to our turkey hunters. After spending a quiet morning hunting some private land with veteran writer Leo Maloney of Sherrill (Oneida County), I went out the next morning with Dave Figura, a full-time outdoor writer for the Syracuse Post-Standard. Dave has never killed a spring gobbler and I was hoping to get him a crack at one.