Winter Can Be A Hectic Time For Sportsmen

Most hunting seasons are now history and only a few thousand die-hard anglers are fishing for steelhead along the Snake River and its tributaries, trolling for big fish at North Idaho’s big ponds or drilling holes through ice at a couple of dozen lakes.

So what do most anglers and hunters do this time of year?

They attend sportsmen’s shows, plan for trips to exotic places, tie flies, attend fly fishing and tying classes, get ready for what could be the best spring turkey season ever and tell lies about their fishing and hunting exploits of recent months.

Numerous fly fishers will be casting their Crazy Charley flies to bonefish on the flats of Christmas Island, Venezuela and Belize the next few months. Some will even spend a lot of time on the ski slopes.

Sportsmen’s shows are popular during the winter and early spring. Hunters and fishermen can examine new products, listen to experts and make arrangements for hunting and fishing trips.

Thousands of Inland Northwest anglers attended the recent Spokane show to hear experts talk about productive techniques for catching everything from perch to steelhead.

The biggest Spokane show will be the Inland Northwest Big Game Council’s Big Horn show March 19-22. Executive director Bob Panther said 21,580 people attended last year’s show.

Hundreds of Inland Northwest anglers will be in Puyallup this week for the Washington Sportsmen’s Show, one of the biggest in Washington each winter. It started today and continues through the weekend.

The most popular show in the state will be the International Sportsmen’s Exposition Feb. 4-8 in Seattle. The huge Kingdome will be so jammed with sportsmen at times that just moving from one booth to another will be daunting.

Top makers of hunting, fishing and camping equipment and boats will display their latest products at both big West Side shows. Nationally known hunters and fishermen, including Jim Zumbo, Terry Rudnick, Gary Borger, Steve Probasco, Brian Chan, Stan Fagerstrom and Larry Schoenborn, will talk about everything from fly tying to turkey hunting.

The Seattle show has become so big that some Inland Northwest sportsmen, not wanting to put up with the crowds and almost unbelievable traffic, will attend the Puyallup show. They know most of the experts and exhibitors who will participate in Seattle also will be in Puyallup.

Many sportsmen who attend either will make arrangements for hunting and fishing trips throughout the world. Nearly all will see new and improved products and learn how to use fish-finding and “global positioning system” units.

The Federation of Fly Fishers conclave Feb. 28 and March 1 in Bellevue is expected to attract hundreds of fly fishers from Idaho, Washington and Oregon.

Fly fishers will hear experts talk about techniques for fishing lakes and streams in Washington, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia and Oregon. Makers of fly tackle and boats will have exhibits.

Every winter, most fly fishers who tie their own flies vow to sit at their vises and tie the patterns they’ll need on their favorite lakes and streams.

Several clubs in North Idaho and Eastern Washington, as well as some individuals and sporting goods shops, will conduct fly tying and fly fishing courses the next few weeks. Some classes already are under way.

Many anglers, particularly fly fishers, like to fish for bonefish, tarpon, permit and other salt water fish during the winter months. Some will fish South American streams for big trout.

Turkey hunting will be on the minds of thousands of the region’s hunters as they attend the shows. Wildlife biologists are saying turkey populations in Washington and Idaho continue to increase rapidly.

There are so many wild turkeys in North Idaho that flocks have been seen on Interstate 90 at the north end of Lake Coeur d’Alene. If unusually cold weather doesn’t develop the next few weeks, Washington and Idaho turkey populations may be at a record high when the spring seasons open.

Promoters know many hunters who attend the shows will be interested in everything from turkey calls and decoys to camouflage clothing.

By April, many of the sportsmen who went to shows, attended seminars on hunting turkeys and learned the basics of fly fishing, will be ready for the opening of the general fishing seasons and for making purrs, yelps and cutts on their calls in turkey country.

, DataTimes MEMO: You can contact Fenton Roskelley by voice mail at 459-5577, extension 3814.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Fenton Roskelley The Spokesman-Review

You can contact Fenton Roskelley by voice mail at 459-5577, extension 3814.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Fenton Roskelley The Spokesman-Review


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