Wildwood Outfitters Blog and Fishing Report
As steelhead make their way back to the depths of Lake Erie, anglers across Pennsylvania turn their attention back to the trout streams. Brooks, browns, and rainbows become the fish du jour once again as we wade into waters from mountain trickles to sprawling tailwaters. Here are a few things to consider as we enjoy the start of prime trout fishing in the Keystone state!
The 4 weight rod is a welcome sight after a long, cold winter. The familiar feel of the cork and ease at which it casts bring back memories of great fish caught last season, and with it the excitement of more to come. Unfortunately, those grand hopes can be dashed without proper care and attention to gear from year to year. Leader and tippet tend to rot when sitting in storage for a prolonged period of time, so check the strength of all line material before heading out on the water. Losing a fish because of weakened tippet is a bummer, and easily avoidable for those who pay attention to the little details before ever leaving the house!
Trying Something New
Fly fishing, specifically when it comes to trout, is blessed with a myriad of different techniques, styles, and methods. Sometimes anglers fall into the rut where they become bored with the monotony of trout fishing, but that's partially their own fault! Devote this season to broadening your scope and trying something new, whether that be streamer fishing, contact nymphing, dry fly fishing, or exploring previously unfished water near home! The thrill and excitement of a new frontier can be just what the doctor ordered to rekindle a lost love of fly fishing for trout.
While there is nothing wrong with harvesting stocked fish within the regulatory limits, certain steps should always be taken to ensure minimum harm is done to trout. Fish should always be held over, or halfway in, the water. That way if they slip out of your grasp they don't fall onto dry land or rocks, often to their demise. There's something to be said for the manner in which a trout is handled when caught, and respecting the caught fish allows others the opportunity to share in that same joy by landing it later! Trout should also never be handled by the gills. It's extremely detrimental to their well-being and, as a side note, holding a trout by the gills makes for a terrible picture. The safest (and often best photo opportunity) way to hold a trout is with one hand around the tail and the other cradled gently underneath the fish right below its pectoral fins. An angler's hands should also always be wet before touching a trout.
Respect Private Property
Pennsylvania is blessed to have the second-most miles of trout water in the country, only behind Alaska. That's an incredible fact and demonstrates the amazing opportunity we have to pursue trout here in PA. With that said, much of that trout water lies on private property that landowners are gracious enough to allow anglers onto. It's imperative to the longevity of our sport that we respect their property and leave it the same, or better, than we found it. Don't litter, and park only in designated areas or pull-offs to create as little disturbance as possible. Anglers aren't owed anything by someone who owns property on a trout stream, and it's important to remember we are guests there!
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