2018-04-14 / Outdoors

INSIDE THE OUTDOORS

Warm weather welcome for trout opener

Warmer temperatures forecasted for this weekend are just what the doctor ordered as trout-fishing season begins, but as of press time it was looking as if streams may still be running higher and murkier than preferred.

After a frigid start to April, the warmer weather may boost water tempera­tures to the point where the trout have some interest in feeding. I would guess that bait, artificial lures, wet flies and nymphs would be the best bet for anglers.

There may even be some activity on the surface with a handful of trout taking hatching flies.

Early in the season it is imperative to fish deep. Ex­tra weight is necessary to get down to where the trout are.

The best fishing will most likely be in the afternoon as both stream and air tempera­tures reach their peak for the day.

Northcentral Pennsylvania is blessed with many miles of stocked trout streams. These tend to get most of the publicity and fishing pressure each year. How­ever, for every stocked trout waterway, there are dozens of small mountain streams harboring populations of wild trout.

A relatively small number of anglers opt for our numer­ous native trout streams, and perhaps this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. These fisher­ies are not able to withstand the heavy fishing pressure that occurs on most stocked waters.

Wild trout fishing has two large challenges that deter many. Due to tree cover and trout holding in small pools, fishing wild trout streams re­quires more accurate casting that is sometimes unconven­tional.

Additionally, wild trout are much more wary and require stealthy approaches and better technique than fishing for freshly stocked hatchery trout. Add to these chal­lenges the fact that most wild trout aren’t as big as their hatchery cousins.

Any wild trout angler will testify to the need for stealth when approaching a pool. Some like to use trees or other obstructions to block them from the sight of the trout as they approach.

I like to fish standing in the stream, crouched down as I work my way upstream. Trout are stationed in a stream facing into the cur­rent, which means 99 percent of the time they will be looking away from me. I find that I spook very few trout on small mountain streams using this technique.

If the fishing is not going well on your favorite stocked trout stream this Saturday morning, consider pursuing wild trout in the afternoon. The beauty and solitude on these streams is worth the extra challenges and every wild brook trout is a colorful gem.

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