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It’s officially an unofficial win for the Narrow River

This story was somehow lost in the mix and should have been posted a few weeks ago. It happens…

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A very successful first year, I’d say

The First Annual Narrow River Kayak Multi-Species Fishing Tournament went off without a hitch last weekend and when all the numbers were tallied, the river came in first place. Block Island’s Geoff Hall squeezed off a few days to cast and blast his way through the west, squeezing off a few rounds in Hells Canyon and after all that and some rain too, shad and stripers moved up river while RIDEM sets down to offer some firearm advice.

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lining the shores for stripers and shad

Ten men gathered after an early rain, in a search for stripers, summer flounder, bluefish and shad on a lovely Narrow River teeming with possibilities but blinded by west wind. Lines went in at sunrise, which this time of year is quickly approaching lunch time. The wind was a beast, a force which quickly spread everyone apart. Some launched on the gravelly pothole at the end of Pollock Avenue, some farther north and a solo paddler went it alone at Narrow River Kayaks. A tip of the camo hat to owner Jason Considine who, even though the business is closed and the door to Yaks ‘n Snacks is locked, showed up early to let fishermen use his ramp.

That’s the way supporters of the river and it’s watchdog group, the Narrow River Preservation Association roll. They built this contest, which ended up being cancelled which ended up being held unofficially, which ended up being awesome, to bring some attention to the river and her fish populations. Board of Directors member Jim Kaczynski shouldered a ton of weight to make this contest happen and despite not reaching a target number of applications, he could not have been happier with the results. Fishermen gave the Association a look at what fishes were in the river and all data helps members protect them. Given fisherman’s love of a fine river, of fishing in any conditions and that we all love a free cookout, the day was a success.

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Norm Czek, the guy in the middle, learned that river quickly an took home a new paddle

Three Belles Outfitters Team Member Thom Houde was there. In keeping with his tradition of finding fish and the shortest line to the prize table, he was early to the leaderboard with a few nice shad. Later he boated a summer flounder while casting a Kastmaster for schoolies, but hey, whatever works, right? Norm Czech drove down from central Massachusetts to scope the river on Friday and take in the captains meeting, which of course came with a fully loaded gift bag from companies like Al’s Goldfish Lure Co., Brite Strike Technologies, Al Gags and NRS.

Norm really figured out a new river and landed 34.75” of fish and Second Place. Norm is an interesting guy. It doesn’t take long to understand he’s caught a ton of fish and not because he shows his hand. You can just tell. After many years of talking to fishermen, you get to feel out who catches and who talks. Norm catches, passes on the talking part and on a windy day in foreign waters, was the guy to follow.

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Mike Smutok and Chris Cabral took home prizes as well but it was Bob Weiss who won First Place with a combined length of 49” of shad and striped bass. West winds are tough in October but fishermen are tougher.

 

 

 

 

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talk about a cast of characters…

Brother Geoff Hall left Block Island’s west side to fly west last week for steelhead and chukars in the stunning depths of Hells Canyon. Created by the Snake River, it’s a gnarly few miles of rapids and pools full of sturgeon between Oregon and Idaho. A week long trip down river is an unreal adventure for sportsmen who love to fish, hunt and sit in folding chairs poking deep fires while mountain goats rustle above and ghosts drift along the hills painted with pictographs of native Americans on horseback chasing game.

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Brother Geoff Hall, looking at life and a river, talking it all in

Geoff epitomizes the modern sportsman; living in the precarious balance of work and play where play always seems to win. No one ever laid on their deathbed and wished they had worked more, right?

Back home, RIDEM is back in the fields and check stations because small game hunting is open. You’ll need at least 200 square inches of fluorescent orange if you’re planning on walking the tall grasses and at least 500 square inches once shotgun deer season opens. Small game means pheasant, cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, bobwhite quail, red and gray fox, mourning dove and woodcock. If you’d like to learn more about hunting and firearms, RIDEM will host a Firearms Familiarization Course on December 8 at Camp E-Hun-Tee in Exeter. This class is offered through their Wildlife Outdoor Education program and is a no live fire event. First things first.

Instructor Scott Travers is an ace and will walk you through the basics of firearms, field stripping, safe handling, how to safely load or unload a weapon and just as importantly, how to store a firearm. You can contact Scott at Scott.travers@dem.ri.gov or ring him up at 401-539-0016.

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