From Turkey to Stream

Joe Alberico visited the OESJ sixth grade to help continue students’ knowledge of the brook trout.  This presentation is part of the Trout in the Classroom program; students have been raising brook trout all year and are set to release them next week.  Joe is a fly fishing specialist, Trout in the Classroom coordinator and entomologist (we call him the “insect guy”).

Joe taught sixth graders how to identify all stages of the stonefly, mayfly, and caddisfly—the brook trout’s favorite snacks.  He led them through a dichotomous key and students quickly were able to tell the difference.  Joe shared his fly fishing philosophy of “CPR”—catch, photograph, and release.  He emphasized how important this program is and highlighted ways we can conserve our beautiful NY waterways and wild creatures.  He also shared photographs of different fish he caught and then released.

A highlight of the presentation was when Joe demonstrated his fly tying skills.  After the sixth grade had dissected a wild turkey, the feathers were saved.  Joe showed students how to tie a fly using the turkey feathers.  Joe tied a gold ribbed hare’s ear and a royal coachman salmon fly.  He brought many different fly tying materials, like a calf-tail, hare face and ears, peacock feathers and chicken feathers.  Students were in awe as Joe created intricate flies out of these materials.