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Catching Memories


Elmcrest youths enjoying fishing and swimming on Skaneateles Lake

On a hot Wednesday summer afternoon, four boys from Elmcrest’s Cottage 8 boarded Brewster Sears’ Windjammer, joined by their supervisors Pam and Daniel. They were headed for a fishing expedition on Skaneateles Lake. Settled in with lifejackets, they were welcomed by Captain Sears, and his son Colton, first mate and also a captain.

Brew explained that their hunt that day was for salmon, rainbow, and lake trout. He set the lines with colorful lures, with equally colorful names:“Dipsies, Spoons, Clownfreak,” Reels with depth rigs were spun out and mounted on rod holders for trolling.

The boys were primed for a catch, and Brew explained how each would have a turn to reel one in as he demonstrated the technique. And then…a hit! Wayne reeled in the first, a lake trout that twisted out of the hook at boatside. Azrie captured a small rainbow trout the Sears released, and Clarence brought in a large walleye at the finish.

Michael was more fascinated with the sonar system that identified the depth and location of fish. His questions elicited equally fascinating information. Do fish see color? How is the depth of the lake measured? How many fish has Brew caught in one day? What is the most he has caught in a year? What does it mean when the rod bounces? 

Answers: Yes. In feet. 12 to 15. 200. The fish often swipes the tail of the lure (as with a smaller fish to stun it) then turns and bites.

This day to remember was capped off with a rollicking swim. The boys were impressed with Brew and his son and they, in turn, found the boys attentive, respectful, grateful, and polite.

Brewster Sears generous spirit extends to fishing excursions with the Wounded Warriors, taking these brave veterans out to fish. He has hosted the children from Elmcrest on his fishing boat for five years. He happily recalls the young boy he asked a question of some time ago. “Have you ever seen a fish this big?” The boy responded: “Mr. Sears, I have never seen a fish before that wasn’t on a plate!”