Our featured Member this month is – Eric Stanczyk
I believe most people that fish can trace their passion back to a defining moment, a moment that if things were different perhaps we would be talking of quilting rather than fishing. My defining moment was at the age of five being tempted, by my father, with the reward of an orange soda if I could catch the last remaining brook trout from a small gin clear pond at, family friend, Jake Hullar’s Spring Pond Fisheries. Probably meant more as a fool’s errand but the foot long male char was more than willing bordering on suicidal to be caught that day. During the short sprint back, trout in hand, to where the adults were relaxing without kids, I decided that fishing and fish, especially brook trout, were more important than anything else. At the age of 8 when most kids talk of being firemen or baseball players I told anyone that asked that I wanted to be an Ichthyologist, I think I was 35 when I finally learned to spell it correctly.
Concentrating on classwork was never my strong suit unless it directly equated to fish or fishing but after three decades of trying to figure out how to get paid to fish I landed a position at Carpenter’s Brook Fish Hatchery. In addition to raising trout for a living I also work for the US Fish and Wildlife Service doing stream assessments for Eastern Lake Ontario. Now I spend my work days keeping fish alive and the rest of my time is spent trying to find the time to fish as much as I can.
It seems cliché but life is short but sweet…nine planets around the sun only one does the sun embrace upon this watered one. There is so much of New York State and of the United States that we take for granted. Twenty five years ago I promised myself that I was going to fish in every state before I die. Having fished in 21 states so far I realize how incredibly fortunate we are as New Yorkers to have relatively easy access to some of the greatest fishing in the world. With 29 remaining I hope to have enough time to finish my quest.