The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


April 19, 2014

Don Steese outdoors column: Out for trout

— So another trout opener is in the books here in the Keystone State.

Trout were caught, more in some places than in others, but a good time was likely had by all — and the best part is that the fishing is only going to get better as the weather finally starts to warm.

We headed to camp on Friday, got the camp set up, then settled in to trade lies until bedtime.

Saturday morning we headed to our local run and caught a limit or two (we never keep any fish but if we had we’d have each had a limit). We caught both wild and stocked fish and I was lucky enough to land a wild stream-bred brown, a rarity in this stream in recent years.

Back 15 or 20 years ago, wild browns were fairly common, but not any longer. To my eye, wild browns rival native brookies for beauty!

Sunday was much the same with some native and some stocked fish. We didn’t set the world on fire but the fishing was good enough.

On Monday, we headed for a stream that’s been a long-time favorite. Part of this stream is catch-and-release, artificials only, and another part we like to fish is open to all tackle and subject to the regular five fish creel limit.

We started the day on the catch-and-release section and it seems the planets had aligned themselves perfectly! I landed 15 or so within the first hour, five on the first five casts! My buddy also caught a few before we decided to move on to the unregulated area of the creek. On that stretch of water I got skunked while my pal caught 10 or so. All-in-all, a great day on the water.

Come Thursday evening, a buddy calls and says he and another buddy of mine are going to give Penns Creek a try on Friday and would I like to tag along? What could I say?

Friday on Penns Creek wasn’t much for quanity but the quality of the fish more than made up for the lack of numbers.

We ended up catching four fish among three guys, but two of them were a 19 ½-inch palamino and an absolutely gorgeous 22-inch hook jawed brown!

Just in case you’re thinking we all had good luck, think again. One angler caught both of those lunkers!

My guess is that Good Friday 2014 will go down as the best day he’s ever had on big Pennsylvania trout. This fella is the most serious fisherman I’ve ever met, so if anybody’s going to have a day like that, it’d make sense that it would be him.

The only downside to our day on Friday was the fact that we had to clean up a good amount of discarded monofiliment fishing line that someone had discarded along the stream bank. Thoughtless slobs that do things like that shouldn’t be able to get a fishing license.

My one buddy told of finding a poor little Baltimore Oriole tangled up in a tangle of discarded fishing line.

He was able to cut the poor little thing free but he wasn’t sure if the lovely little creature was going to make it or not. I sure hope so and I also hope that the brainless baffoon who dumped that line there never catches another fish!

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