Sunday, October 11, 2009

10.10.09 Taking the NY State Guide test in Ray Brook

     I finally gave up studying for my NY State Guide license test around 3 am. I was back and forth between the Boy Scout Fieldbook, notes the NYSOGA people sent me, and links to all over the DEC website. I had my fill of, but wasn't sure I knew enough of, weather conditions, topographical maps and the compass, boating safety, fishing regulations, land use, sanitary food preparation and dishwashing, emergency shelters and treatment of victims, and the all favorite cathole preparation and use. I felt I had prepared well, but wasn't sure how in depth the test would go. My brother Ryan came up shortly after I fell asleep and we settled down for the first night in the new lodge. 
     Ryan turned off the alarm at 6:30 so luckily a phone call from Cindy around 7:30 got me up in a panic. I ran over to Stewart's to get some shampoo and soap so I could shower before heading up to Ray Brook. Surprisingly, the shower was great, nice hot water, good pressure,and no leaks.
     I arrived in at the DEC complex at 8:40 and didn't find anyone else waiting around or in the building. I thought I was at the wrong place for a minute. Just before 9 three more people showed up to take the test and so did the monitor. We all joked around about the lack of study material provided for the guide exam. There are suggestions, but no "according to" sources. We sat down in a large classroom and opened our packets, which contained inside the different types of guide license tests we were taking. All candidates have to take the general exam, and I chose the fishing and small boating exam as well. I started out strong on the general exam, but then ran into a bunch of questions that threw me- best type of kindling in rainy weather-still don't know, two lines nearly touching on a topographical map- I said cliff. I finished the exam and then went back to the ones I wasn't sure of. I didn't change answers during my review of the test, just filled in the blank ones with a best guess approach. 
     I then moved onto the fishing exam, which was more an open book test from the DEC Fishing Regulation book for 2010. First thing, what about the cost of a non-resident fishing license this year- up to 70 dollars!!!! There were questions on the number of rods each angler could have, maximum number of points on a line, where you can legally fish for trout in such-a-such county. It wasn't hard, just frustrating to go back and forth in that little book a hundred times! Then the came the boating test, not many questions, mostly common sense, but it was the ones on right of way that killed me. A sailboat approaches a powerboat- who has the right of way, and yada yada- those I don't know if I faired to well on. So for me about an hour an a half later I was done. It was what it was. I felt I got more right than wrong, I just hope enough to pass. 

     Later that day I took my cameras and headed off to find some fall anglers along the West Branch. I started near the Flume in Wilmington and finished up at the steel bridge on River road. That section seems to always hold working fish. There tons of rises to tiny blue winged olives, about size 24. I met a guy fishing below the bridge who was on them and caught, and kept a few. He said he releases fish all year, but after October 1 he takes some to eat because of the high mortality rate during the winter mostly due to anchor ice.  It was fun to be on the river with camera in hand, although strange that the last two times up here I didn't bring my fishing gear. Looks like I won't wet a line for trout in New York till the Hendricksons start in late April/ early May.