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Is there an angler or hunter on your holiday shopping list? New gear is always an appreciated gift.

Here’s some items they would like to find under the tree on Christmas morning:

* For the bass angler who likes to fish with spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and chatterbaits, a Plano (model # 461300) Guide Series Blade Bag. Keeps up to 64 blade baits organized in this tan/brown, compact storage binder, that measures 13 inches high, by 10 3/4 inches wide and 2-1/2 inches deep, with a sturdy, sewn in handle.

Includes eight worm-proof, zip-seal, clear PVC pages (two pockets per page) with non-corrosive vinyl grommets. The inner walls have six pockets to hold extra blades, skirts, hooks, trailers and terminal tackle.

Cost is $ 24.99 at Bass Pro Shops.

* For the wild turkey hunter, and early season bow hunter for deer, the Arcane ground blind in the Realtree Xtra camouflage pattern. New for 2016, and made by Ameristep, it’s been called “one big ghillie suit you can sit in.”

The Arcane ground blind in the Realtree Xtra camouflage pattern has been called “one big ghillie suit you can sit in,” because of its leafy exterior (Photo Provided)The Arcane ground blind in the Realtree Xtra camouflage pattern has been called “one big ghillie suit you can sit in,” because of its leafy exterior (Photo Provided)

That’s because the three front walls are constructed of see-through HD mesh covered with Ameristep’s Edge-ReLeaf three-dimensional camouflage. The leafy exterior enables the blind to blend into any fencerow or woods edge, with very little, if any, brushing in with branches.

The mesh walls offer excellent concealment, better visibility of approaching game, and breathability, which hunters will appreciate on a warm spring, or early fall day.

The solid fabric roof keeps hunters dry when it’s raining, and is also covered with the Edge-ReLeaf.

The back wall, with zippered entry, is solid camouflage fabric with a black Shadow Guard inner liner that blocks the hunter’s silhouette.

When hunting in the mornings, I like to set up the blind so that the back wall is facing to the east. That way it blocks the bright light from the rising sun, and I am sitting in the shadows, inside the blind.

The leafy camouflage is incredibly effective. I had adult gobblers within five yards of the blind this fall, without spooking them.

The Ameristep Arcane ground blind is easy to set up, too. It weighs just 17 pounds, and comes with a carrying case, stakes and tie-down rope.
The three “front” walls have inverted D-shaped windows, that open with hooks, not noisy zippers or velcro. Vertical windows on the corners open with Ameristep’s Silent Slide Window Track System.

There’s plenty of room to draw a bow, or for two hunters to sit side-by-side. The blind is 75 inches wide and 67 inches high.
There’s a lot to like about this hub-style blind, that has a MSRP of $199. Visit their website here.

* For the novice fly caster, the gift that keeps on giving — a Scientific Anglers Deluxe Fly Tying Kit, with all the tools to get started, plus an instructional DVD.

The Scientific Anglers Deluxe Fly Tying Kit includes all the tools to get started, plus an instructional DVD -- fly-tying vise, bobbin and threader, bodkin, hackle pliers and scissors, hooks, thread, tinsel, wire, dubbing, hackle feathers and marabou, in a hard plastic, foam-lined travel case (Photos Provided)The Scientific Anglers Deluxe Fly Tying Kit includes all the tools to get started, plus an instructional DVD -- fly-tying vise, bobbin and threader, bodkin, hackle pliers and scissors, hooks, thread, tinsel, wire, dubbing, hackle feathers and marabou, in a hard plastic, foam-lined travel case (Photos Provided)

There is no greater feeling than catching a fish on a fly you tied yourself.

This fly tying kit has an MSRP of $65.00, and includes everything needed to create effective dry flies, wet flies, nymphs and streamers. Here’s the link.

You get a fly-tying vise, bobbin and threader, bodkin, hackle pliers and scissors, hooks, thread, tinsel, wire, dubbing, hackle feathers and marabou, in a hard plastic, foam-lined travel case.

Fly tying is fun, and like many outdoor pursuits, can be as expensive as you want it to be.

Fly tying materials are available everywhere, for little or nothing, if you are a hunter, or know a hunter — deer and squirrel tails, waterfowl and migratory bird feathers, chicken feathers and marabou from the neighbor’s flock of hens, dog fur, even dryer lint, can be used to handcraft flies that will catch trout, and warm water panfish like bluegill, crappie and bass.

* For the deer hunter, an Ol’Man Multivision climbing treestand, a safe, solidly built, comfortable treestand that can be easily configured for both archery and firearms hunting, with its reversible gun rest/foot rest.

The steel version of this treestand weighs 29 pounds and has an MSRP of $179.99. The Alumalite CTS, an all-aluminum version, weighs 21 pounds and has an MSRP of $279.99. Here’s a link to their website.

Both treestands have a 21 inch wide net seat, and 18 inch by 32 inch standing platform. The hunter weight limit is 300 pounds.

It does not take great strength or agility to ascend or descend a tree. Anyone who can stand up and sit down, can use this climber.

One of the quietest treestands on the market, the Ol’Man Multivision has been one of the best-selling climbing treestands for decades.

 

1Art Lander Jr.1Art Lander Jr.

Art Lander Jr. is outdoors editor for KyForward. He is a native Kentuckian, a graduate of Western Kentucky University and a life-long hunter, angler, gardener and nature enthusiast. He has worked as a newspaper columnist, magazine journalist and author and is a former staff writer for Kentucky Afield Magazine, editor of the annual Kentucky Hunting & Trapping Guide and Kentucky Spring Hunting Guide, and co-writer of the Kentucky Afield Outdoors newspaper column.

 

By Lee McClellan
Special to KyForward

Many anglers in Kentucky don’t realize our state’s rich contribution to fishing technology and angling history.

Those who use a baitcasting reel to flip a 1/2-ounce black and blue jig to an isolated stump owe a debt of gratitude to Kentucky’s capital city.

“The multiplying reel was refined and perfected in Frankfort, Kentucky,” said John Downs, curator of Capital City Museum in Frankfort. “The reels created by these jewelers were exquisitely crafted pieces. They were highly prized possessions.”

Anyone interested in old reels or fishing history should take a day during the Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays and visit the Capital City Museum at 325 Ann St. in downtown Frankfort. Downs and the Capital City Museum opened an exhibit in early November displaying an array of rare, superbly maintained Frankfort, also called Kentucky, reels.

This B.C. Milam reel constructed in Frankfort by Benjamin C. Milam in the late 1800s is a fine example of a Frankfort, sometimes called Kentucky, reel. The quality, precision and performance of these reels established a world-wide reputation for craftsmanship. An exhibit at the Capital City Museum in downtown Frankfort features reels made by the four major Frankfort reel makers. Their work made the Frankfort reel synonymous with being among the best fishing reels in the world (Photo by Gene Burch) This B.C. Milam reel constructed in Frankfort by Benjamin C. Milam in the late 1800s is a fine example of a Frankfort, sometimes called Kentucky, reel. The quality, precision and performance of these reels established a world-wide reputation for craftsmanship. An exhibit at the Capital City Museum in downtown Frankfort features reels made by the four major Frankfort reel makers. Their work made the Frankfort reel synonymous with being among the best fishing reels in the world (Photo by Gene Burch)

“We have examples of all four of the major Frankfort reel makers: J.L. Sage, the Meek brothers, Benjamin C. Milam and George Gayle,” Downs explained. “All of them apprenticed with the Meek brothers.”

Jonathan F. Meek opened a jewelry business in the early 1830s in downtown Frankfort. After an apprenticeship in Danville, his brother Benjamin F. Meek joined him in 1835 to make fine jewelry. In 1837, Ben Milam joined the firm and would make his mark in the Kentucky fishing reel industry.

Judge Mason Brown came into the Meek brothers’ shop in the early years of their business to have a fishing reel repaired. He was not satisfied with the performance of his broken reel and insisted the Meek brothers make a new reel for him.

The Meeks traveled to Danville to use the only metal cutting engine in Kentucky at the time to fashion the wheels for the spool. They finished the reel with the same care and precision as the most expensive watch.

Delighted with the results, Judge Brown showed all of his friends his great new fishing reel. Requests for more fishing reels spurred the Meek brothers to order a metal lathe and other tools from Switzerland for reel making. These tools were not available in the United States at that time.

Judge Brown’s request spawned an industry where reels made in Frankfort were known throughout the world for their quality. “These reels were completely handmade,” Brown said. “They could only produce a handful a month.”

They also cost a pretty penny.

“Considering in 1861 a Union soldier made only $13.60 a month, these reels mainly went to those with some means,” Downs said. An 1860 ad for B.C. Milam showed his smallest and lowest-end brass reel cost $13, a month’s pay for a soldier.

Milam eventually took over the fishing reel making and the Meek and Milam reels became known all over the country and Europe for their precision, durability and performance. An early Kentucky history book said that U.S. Presidents Grover Cleveland, William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt all owned reels made by the firm.

“We have an 1850s era Meek and Milam reel that still spins like new,” Downs said.

The exhibit has the metal lathe on display the Meek brothers ordered from Switzerland to make reels. Milam later acquired the lathe for his reel making and it eventually passed to the Frankfort reel maker George Gayle.

The Frankfort reels borrowed their basic design from reels made by George Snyder, who migrated to Paris, Kentucky, from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in 1803. He established a watchmaking and silversmith business.

 

Single action fishing reels in the early 1800s only retrieved line in a 1-to-1 ratio, forcing an angler to reel extremely quick while fighting a fish. The fighting ability of the smallmouth bass in Stoner Creek that flows through Paris influenced Snyder to build the world’s first multiplying reel before 1820. By using multiplying gearing, the spool on Snyder’s early reels spun three times with each turn of the handle.

This allowed him to keep up with a hard charging smallmouth bass determined to throw his hook.

Fishing has not been the same since. Later Snyder reels employed a 4.3-to-1 ratio which became almost an industry standard for more than a century. Many saltwater reels still use this ratio today.

Visitors to this incredible exhibit can see the pieces of art these gifted reel makers created in Frankfort.

“The idea for this came about in 2013 when Frankfort hosted the Old Reel Collectors Association’s national convention,” Downs said. “The exhibit is an offshoot of this convention.”

The Capital City Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Lee_McClellanLee_McClellan

Author Lee McClellan is associate editor for Kentucky Afield magazine, the official publication of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Get the latest from Lee and the entire Kentucky Afield staff by following them on Twitter: @kyafield.

Good Morning!

Winter is upon us and I just wanted to remind golfers to please call ahead to check golf course conditions. With the colder tempts, frost and even chance of snow, we aren't really sure what to expect up here on the ridge! The golf course and pro shop are open year around, WEATHER PERMITTING!  Pro Shop hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., everyday.  

Winter Rates

Weekday, $20.00 per player

Weekend, $25.00 per player

All golf carts must be in by 5:30 p.m. due to darkness.

As a reminder the golf course and pro shop will be CLOSED on November 24, Thanksgiving Day!

Enjoy your black Friday on the course,  if the weather permits!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving

from the entire staff at Eagle Ridge Golf Course!

See you at the course!

Missy Kennedy, PGA Head Golf Professional/Park Manager

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Eagle Ridge Golf Course

Yatesville Lake State Park

(606) 673-1492 business office

(606) 673-4300 golfcourse

(606) 673-4301 fax

Kentucky State Parks - Create your own Experience!

www.parks.ky.gov

By Lee McClellan
Special to KyForward

The near drought conditions of the fall season seem to have lengthened the peak of the changing of the leaves. We still have a couple of good weekends left of the beautiful fall colors.

Paddling a stream during the peak of fall colors is the best way to enjoy this annual spectacle of nature. The brown, orange, red and yellow leaves soar above your head and line the tops of rocky, river bluffs. You see few others on the water at this time of year, lending peaceful solitude to your paddle.

With current at the lowest point of the year, long paddles become arduous. Here are three great, manageable floats that offer an easy paddle to enjoy the last great weather before winter’s freeze.

The incredible beauty of the Russell Fork in Pike County makes a fantastic fall weekend getaway of scenery, changing leaves and paddling this overlooked wonder of a stream. Pool 9 on the Kentucky River and the Cumberland River above the Falls also make worthwhile floating destinations before winter’s chill ends the paddling season until next spring. (Photo Provided)The incredible beauty of the Russell Fork in Pike County makes a fantastic fall weekend getaway of scenery, changing leaves and paddling this overlooked wonder of a stream. Pool 9 on the Kentucky River and the Cumberland River above the Falls also make worthwhile floating destinations before winter’s chill ends the paddling season until next spring. (Photo Provided)

Kentucky River, Pool 9:This float is less than 10 miles away from Lexington as the crow flies. The roughly 6-mile trip starts at Fort Boonesboro State Park and ends at Clay’s Ferry Boat Ramp (use requires a small fee) just beyond the I-75 Bridge. This scenic stretch marks the beginning of the Kentucky River Palisades.

Early in this float, you pass by the rusting remains of a sunken sternwheeler named The Brooklyn. Drought conditions in the late 1980s dropped the river so low that a rock ledge on the bottom punctured a hole in the bottom of The Brooklyn as the owners attempted to turn her into a floating restaurant. She sank where last moored.

After a scenic stretch where the river flows into a more entrenched area with changing leaves lining the banks and bluffs, the river bends to the left and the U.S. 25 Bridge comes into view. Boone Creek enters on river right. A paddle up into Boone Creek reveals a near wilderness area with towering cliffs lining the creek.

It is incredibly scenic, especially in fall. Anglers can catch largemouth bass with white soft plastic jerkbaits worked under root wads and undercut banks in Boone Creek.

After Boone Creek, you’ll paddle under the U.S. 25 Bridge followed by the I-75 Bridge. The take-out at Clay’s Ferry Ramp is just past this bridge on river right. Three Trees Canoe and Kayak offers rentals and shuttles for this float at www.threetreeskayak.com.

Cumberland River above the Falls: This section is one of Kentucky’s most scenic floats and is called North Fork of Cumberland River in some guidebooks. The 5-mile float from Thunderstruck Access to just above Cumberland Falls flows into a gorgeous gorge with cliffs looming above the paddler, festooned with blotches of orange, red and yellow from changing leaves.

The low water conditions of fall make this paddle particularly attractive. The put-in is a short distance from Cumberland Falls State Resort Park via KY 90 and KY 700 then Singleton Road to the river. Just after launching, paddlers encounter Pitch Rapids. These rapids liven the paddling at normal fall levels. The first drop is best on river left, then look for a flatter chute on the left for the second drop.

The flowing, rocky water downstream of Pitch Rapids should be probed with a black 4-inch finesse worm rigged on a 3/16-ounce leadhead for smallmouth bass. Black is a strong color on the Cumberland for fall smallmouth bass.

Paddlers will also notice more exposed bluffs from Pitch Rapids to the end of this float.

After floating over some small drops and shoals, paddlers soon hit Slick Shoals followed by the hard left of Blue Bend. The huge gravel bar deposited by Bunches Creek on river right makes a great spot to work the finesse worm or a medium-running silver and black crankbait for smallmouth bass.

After Blue Bend, the stone arches of the KY 90 Bridge (called Gatlin Bridge) come into view. Paddlers encounter several small shoals before a river-wide ledge just upstream of the bridge. Work your way right during this drop and stay right to get to the take-out at the visitors parking lot for Cumberland Falls, just downstream of Gatlin Bridge on river right.

Paddlers can always enjoy a post-paddle picnic while looking at Cumberland Falls, one of the wonders of Kentucky. Contact Sheltowee Trace Outfitters at www.ky-rafting.com/ for boat rentals and shuttles.

Russell Fork: This fun roughly 3-mile float from the edge of Breaks Interstate Park in Pike County down to Elkhorn City delights paddlers with incredible scenery and moderately challenging rapids. This paddle is for those who want some adventure to go along with the scenery and paddling.

The put-in for this float is at the Ratliff Access (also known as Potter Ford) off KY 80 just inside the Breaks Interstate Park south of Elkhorn City. Anglers should probe the deep water just down from the put-in for smallmouth bass and trout.

For more outdoors news and information, see Art Lander’s Outdoors on KyForward.

A silver in-line spinner attracts both of these species in the clear/ turquoise water of the Russell Fork. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources planned to stock trout in this stretch of the Russell Fork this past week.

Just downstream of Ratliff Hole, the Russell Fork bends hard left and flows under a high railroad trestle. Boaters will hear the dull rumble of the Railroad Trestle Rapid. The intrepid in kayaks can run the rapid down the center of the left chute. Canoeists and the less intrepid should bypass this rapid on the right via a shallow chute.

After a deep hole, the roar of the Meatgrinder Rapid fills the ears of paddlers. Experienced kayakers can run this rapid on the center left, but canoeists and less experienced paddlers should portage this rapid on the right.

Several more rapids will lightly challenge paddlers as the Russell Fork flows into Elkhorn City. The take-out is at the Elkhorn City Waterfront Park off Russell Street, just downstream of the second KY 80 Bridge in downtown Elkhorn City.

Paddlers visiting the Russell Fork must plan a side trip to see the stunning vistas of the Russell Fork Gorge in Breaks Interstate Park. With fall colors at peak intensity, the views in this park are as exquisite as any found in the Appalachian Mountains. For more information, log on to www.breakspark.com.

Enjoy these wonderful paddling opportunities to tide you over until the warmth of next spring.

Lee_McClellanLee_McClellan

Author Lee McClellan is associate editor for Kentucky Afield magazine, the official publication of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Get the latest from Lee and the entire Kentucky Afield staff by following them on Twitter: @kyafield.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources manages, regulates, enforces and promotes responsible use of all fish and wildlife species, their habitats, public wildlife areas and waterways for the benefit of those resources and for public enjoyment. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife is an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. For more information on the department, click here.