Altoona Mirror from Altoona, Pennsylvania on June 12, 1988 · Page 45
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June 12, 1988

Altoona Mirror from Altoona, Pennsylvania · Page 45

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Altoona, Pennsylvania
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Sunday, June 12, 1988
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Page 45
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Outdoors AltoMia Mirror, Sunday, June 12,1188 PageD7 Mirror file photo HELMUT (SPIKE) HORNUNG (top) and Walter Rosser (bottom) were honored recently for going way beyond the call of duty to benHt sportsmen and the environment. Hornung is a deputy wildlife conservation officer for the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Rosser is a waterways conservation officer for the Fish Commission. A few good men Hornung, Rosser, Myers honored for diligence I've never met Helmut "Spike" Horaung but I sincerely wish I had. He is a rare individual, apparently. People always speak of nun, both privately and publicly, in most conunimentary terns. "Spike" Hornung was honored recently at a dinner of the Blair County conservation officers, and roost fittingly. Lance Hoffman of the Pennsylvania Game Commission presented Hornung with a limited edition print by artist Robert Cristie called "Continuing the Heritage." The International Association of Hunter Education Coordinators commissioned Cristie to paint this limited edition and the Game Commission awards a print to those who have made outstanding contributions to the Hunter Education program. "No one has ever done a better job than Hornung," Hoffman said. "Thousands of young people have beoefitted from his hunter education instruction." The praise and honors didn't stop there. Blair County Wildlife Conser- vations officer Steve Kleiner next presented Hornung with the Outstanding Deputy Game Protector award for 1967. "Spike has been a deputy for 20 years. He's always ready to participate in game commission law enforcement efforts year around, Kleiner said. "In 1967 Spike participated in at least 60 successful prosecutions in the district." On his own initiative, Spike became the Game Commission officer representative at the Blair County Fish, Game and Forestry Association, sponsoring hunter education and trapper education courses. Spike is actively involved in local information and education programs. He participles in the Central Pennsylvania Sports Show, Conservation Awareness Day and also does programs lor local civic groups. Spike also maintains a group of Safety Zone cooperators. Shirley .Grenoble Woodland Wanderings handling these on a personal basis. "Hornung has benefited the Game Commission in ways almost too numerous to mention," Kleiner said. "For instance, when we needed a place to store deer hides, Spike made his land available and then built a special box to safely store the hides. We needed special devices to improve firearms training so Spike had them built at no cost to the Game Commission. His design of a box trap so impressed the Game Commission that the design was used for traps throughout the state." "Spike Hornung is the personification of the selflessness, loyalty and dedication pur deputy force represents," Kleiner concluded. Sadly, Hornung was ill and not able to attend the meeting so his daughter Kathy Lambert accepted the awards' for him. Another highlight of the evening was being entertained by "Fantasia," the vocal group from Hollidaysburg Area High School. What a delightful group of young people they are. There were many more people recognized that evening for their work and contributions for Blair County conservation efforts. Southern Blair County also recognized its outstanding deputy game protector, who works under Wildlife Conservation Officer Don Martin. He was Bill Myers. I was amazed and impressed when I found out all th hours and dirty work these deputies do for little or no pay, often at their own expense. They deserve all the recognition and awards they get, believe me. WCO Steve Kleiner also presented the Game Commission's Sport Ethics award which went to Fish Commission officer Walter Rosser. About Rosser's volunteer work of the Game Commission, Kleiner said this: "We are recognizing Rosser for his contributions to wildlife law enforcement. For years, Walt has served the public in Blair County in his capacity as Waterways Conservation Officer. But what many sportsmen do not realize, but what has long been known in the Game Commission family is that Walt devotes many long and arduous hours to the enforcement of the Game and Wildlife Code. "While it may be assumed that field officers of the Game Commission and Fish Commissions help each other out in the correspondingly busy times of the year, Walt Rosser goes beyond by far what might be normally expected of him. Rosser works side by side with game officers on night patrol, opening days and any other time he feels be can help," Kleiner continued. Jerry Stombaugh and John Earhart each were awarded patches that signified 35 years service as a deputy. That's an almost unbelievable committment to a volunteer cause. Spring gobbler season seemed to go by so quickly this year. Most gobblers were not very cooperative early in the season and I suspected that after the season ended they would be gobbling like crazy. With that in mind, I set out long before dawn the Friday morning following the season's closing for Huntingdon County to listen for gobblers. I had my camera gear strapped on and hoped to be able to call in a gobbler and get some photos. With the season closed, I wouldn't have to bother any other hunter nor would anyone else be likely to bother me. Directly in front of the Carl Fouse home in Entriken, as I was preparing to make the turn off Route 26,1 heard some loud snap! It startled me silly and turned out to be the clutch cable breaking. '. So there I was, at 5 a.m., broken down on the highway. I was dressed in my camouflage-clothes but since t had intended to go directly from the mountain to my bookstore in Hollidaysburg, I had brought street clothes with me. So, since it was still dark, and knowing I looked like a Halloween apparition in my camou clothes, I changed into my regular clothes right there along the highway. As I sat wondering what I should do next at that hour, Carl Fouse poked his bead out the door of his bouse and asked if anything was wrong. He and his wife invited me inside and let me use the phone'to call Hess' Mobil who soon came and towed me to their garage. They called around and Finally found a place in HoUidaysburg that had the cable so since theyjiad to go there to pick it up, they game me a lift to my bookstore. They were so kind to me, and repaired my car fast and correctly and I didn't have to mortgage my house to pay for it either. Weil, anyway, a lot of people think an outdoor writer's life is just-one adventure after another that we write about then get paid for. That's true to a point but after my recent canoe trip and car breakdown, I'm wondering if there isn't a simpler way to make a living. Just kidding! I didn't enjoy having car trouble at that hour on a country road. But I did enjoy meeting' the Fouses and the Hess's. Sometimes you simply need help and it's gratifying to still find people willing to lend a hand. Thanks, folks. Of dead dogs, green drakes and hot nights ByJeffMulhollem Mirror Outdoors Editor POE PADDY - The old man was sitting on a battered wicker chair on the porch of the old cabin overlooking Penns Creek, his long, thin body hunched over, elbows on knees, his gray-haired bead in his hands. Just as we decided not to disturb him, he looked up at us with sad, inquiring eyes, then recognized my friend and a slow smile tugged at his wrinkled cheeks. "So, you're here for the drakes," he said quietly. "Well, you hit it right this evening. They're all through here, just look at the frees. Should be a fine evening of fishing. The hatch was heavy last night." "Will you join us?" my friend asked him. On the 90-minute drive from Altoona, he had told me what a fine fly fisherman this tall, old gentleman is. I had looked forward to fishing beside him, perhaps learning a tnck or two from an angler who knows this famous stream like no one else. "No, I don't feel like it," be replied in a barely audible voice. "I buried my dog this afternoon. I just want to sit here and watch the river." His small, brown and white mutt of unknown, mixed ancestry had for years been a familiar, noisy sight for fishermen passing over the trestle, through the tunnel, and along the abandoned railroad bed to secluded sections of Penns Creek. After offering our condolences, we began what turned out to be a m-mile hike to where we thought the green drakes would be most numerous. Despite the fame of the batch - its 2-inch-long mayflies draw fishermen from all over the East - the stream was not crowded. We saw just a dozen or so other anglers who had ventured out this weekday evening. By the time we scrambled down the rocky, snakey-looking bank to the stream, we were sweating inside our chest waders. Although the sun was setting, it was a warm and humid. Nofish were rising, so we sat and talked with a pair of waiting anglers who said they were from Indiana and were camped nearby. After awhile I slipped into the stream, wading carefully over the slippery, bowling ball-sized rocks to near midstream so I could cast to the far bank under some trees where I thought I saw a swirl. For an hour or more I tried everything, but couldn't move a trout. A few fish fed on small, sulphur-colored flies which were hatching, but I couldn't catch them, not on a dry fly, nymph or emerger. Even my green drake nymphs were ignored. Finally, just before dark, the drakes began coming off the water and trout started feeding with splashy rises. Big fish began showing. The next hour would be great, I told myself as I knotted on a white, deer hair, extendedtody coffin fly. How many nice trout could I catch? Well, the answer was "not many." With fish pouncing on floating naturals all around me, I cast and cast without getting a strike. Upstream, where my friend and a few other anglers were, I occasionally heard the splashing of hooked fish. As it grew too dark to see, in exasperation, I switched flies, tying on a smaller sulphur spinner ana immediately hooked a trout. After another fishless half hour, I pointed my small flashlight on the water's surface. Hundreds — thousands - of huge green drake spinners were floating by me. Why couldn't I take fish? My flies had worked during drake hatches before, both on Penns Creek and other stream^. I tied a drake spinner back on my leader. It was too dark to see now, so every splash I heard near where I thought my fly floated, I struck. Finally, after dozens of false alarms, I felt resistance. A good fish, too. He felt huge, strongly surging downstream. I was a oil disappointed when I slid the net under the trout and saw it was just 14 inches before releasing it. After stumbling to shore, I found my friend had little more luck than The old man was still sitting on the porch. Judge: Fish feel pain HAMM, West Germany (AP) — A court has fined two organizers of a fishing contest about $700 each for cruelty to animals, ruling that fish feel pain when hooked and pulled from the water. The April 18 decision grew out of a suit filed by an animal rights group against a local angling club that staged a fishing contest two years ago.-' The object of the contest was to see which fisherman could catch the. most pounds of fish in two days. After the fish were pulled in and weighed, they were returned to the water. Civil court Judge Horst Brinkmann based his decision on testimony .of experts called in to determine whether or hot fish feel pain when hooked, and if they suffered during the time they were out of the water. "'."' Four wildlife experts testified that an increased heart rate and labored ' breathing of the fish after they were pulled from the water indicated that they feel pain. '•'.;' Brinkmann ruled that fishing was permissible if fish were quickly killed, and if they wer* caught for ! , useful purposes. Photo by Km Hauinger THE AUTHOR WITH a Penns Creek brown trout taken on a green drake imitation last week. For many anglers, "fishing the drake" is a rite of spring, an annual event rivaling the opening of buck season or bear hunting for hunters. Although the hatch is prolific, the fishing is seldom easy. I, catching just two fish. But one, he said, was a beauty, about 17 inches. A veteran of many drake hatches who had lived near State College for years, he was not nearly so frustrated as I was. After we trudged the mile and a half back through the thick, pressing blackness only a forest at night can provide, the old man was still sitting on the cottage porch, dimly silhouetted against the overcast night sky. How he recognized us in the dark, I don't know, but be did. "So, how did you do?" he asked. "Not well, but we had a splendid evening," my friend answered. "I'm disgusted," I said. "I had high hopes. I don't know if it was our flies or what." After a long silence, the old man said, "Son, this is the best hatch there istotake big fish. People come from all over to fish it. Few do really well. You hav« to bt good." We left the old man then, him fondly remembering his dead dog, me thinking about what he said and my friend no doubt recalling past Penns Creek evenings, We were all comforted by the knowledge that the drakes will hatch again next May. Solunar Tables Times below were taken from Mrs. Richard Alden Knight's original Solunar Tables. 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