The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


March 22, 2014

Ken Maurer outdoors column: Wait is almost over

— The early trout opener is upon us. This coming Saturday, village idiots from across the commonwealth will head to trout streams in the southeastern corner of the state.

Most of the anglers will be out there to have a good time and soak up some fresh air and hopefully some sunshine.

Men, women and children will test their angling skills. Almost everybody will have a good time. They will help each other untangle lines, net fish and bait hooks.

At every creek however, there will be at least one idiot who will cast over everybody’s lines, yell at kids and generally be a loud-mouthed jerk.

Opening day is a blast, but you have to have a lot of patience. If you can’t handle crowds, sleep in. Or, study the geography of the stream you have chosen and walk.

A 10- or 15-minute walk from the road or bridge can make all the world of difference if you can’t handle fishing in the presence of others.

There are two schools of thought on the subject. Some people like to have a party and fish together, for others it a more solitary sport. Both ways can be fun, but if you like nature and solitude you have to walk away from the roads and the bridges, otherwise you are guaranteed to have company, at least on opening day.

Actually, opening morning is the wild time. By afternoon there is plenty of room on most streams and there are always some trout left. I’ve gone from not sleeping the night before the opener to walking away from the crowds, to avoiding the opening day altogether.

I get plenty of solitude by waiting a few days and walking a little.

This year’s early opener is probably going to be cold. For sure the water will be cold. My guess is that drifting a small worm or other bait very slowly along bottom is going to be a good way to catch fish.

If we get some warmer weather between now and the opener it is conceivable that the trout might chase a spinner or other artificial. Sometimes with a flashy spinner or plug, you can pick off a couple of the opening-hour hungry ones — then you have to coax the rest of them.

Remember, if someone falls in, don’t laugh. At least not until you are sure they are not hurt and will not drown.

If all is well, laugh at will. There’s nothing better for you than a good laugh.

One of my best trout fishing memories is when I was fighting what turned out to be an 18-inch brown trout and my buddy stepped off the bank right across the stream from me.

He did a face-plant into the mud and water right in front of me. How could it get any better? And, oh yeah, I laughed.

Doggonit — I can’t wait for trout season!

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