Season Opener Tomorrow
Inside the Outdoors, April 11
, 2014

Well it’s here folks. Trout season begins tomorrow, April 12. To some, it couldn’t have come soon enough. Others are still procrastinating whether or not they should buy a license due to their very busy schedules. It seems to be a known fact these days people just don’t have the leisurely time they used to have 30 to 40 years ago.

For those who are heading out to go to their favorite fishing holes be it at lakes or along streams, the following are some suggestions that all fishers should keep in mind while in their pursuits of accomplishing their goals.

First, plan ahead. Wasting time will only minimize one’s chances of catching sought after fish and limiting out if that is the strategy.

Know your route. It’s fine and dandy to think all one has to do is follow a stream, for example, from point A to point B, and that will accomplished with little effort. But unless one knows that body of water well, then there may be need to detour along one’s travels, and that will take up precious time.

For instance, one may be walking downstream along the bank when all of a sudden one encounters a clump of bushes or a large fallen tree ahead jutting out over a very deep hole. What will be the plan of action? Should one try to walk around it or maybe heading for the hills and then come back down on the other side and assume all will go well once one is beyond this drawback?

Knowing of these problem areas ahead will help one skirt around these issues and make for a more pleasant outing.

Sometimes when one is anxious to get going and leave one’s residence, he leaves behind certain items behind that are vital to having a good day’s trip. This includes lures he may have left on one’s work bench, hemostats that one meant to attach to one’s vest or even clothing, such as raincoats or parkas.

We here in the Commonwealth know all too well that showers will spring up out of nowhere, and if we aren’t prepared, we can get drenched in no time at all. If clouds prevail, take a raincoat. Manufacturers make them very light weight now, so one doesn’t have to feel he is dragging a piece of apparel along that will weigh one down.

Let others know as to where one is going and the time one plans to return. Anglers are famous for staying a little longer on lakes or streams. It centers around the risk factor of probability of possibly catching “the big one.” “If I just stay 30 minutes more, the chance of me landing that fish is greater,” one may state to his wife or parents. Being out in the wilds after being cooped up all winter may play into that pattern of thought.
If one plans to make a day of it and carries food in wrappers, throw-away containers or plastic bottles, dispose of them at home – do not leave them at the place of recreation. In other words, carry out all waste. If one notices trash lying along streams, for example, if at all possible, bag it and remove it from the property.

More and more land owners have forbidden anglers from fishing along creeks and streams because of litter distribution and elimination. One can do so much to help others including oneself by caring for others’ lands where streams run through them.

The word “respect” enters into the picture in so many ways when it comes to participating in the sport.

First, respect all wildlife. Do not disturb it. Enjoy the great outdoors by observation. This process can be a joyful revelation as well as a blessing.

Leave rocks, plants, trees, and artifacts as they were found. If one is on somebody else’s land, and in all probability, that is the case, don’t feel one has the liberty to cut shrubs away for easy accessibility to the water’s edge or deep holes, for example.

If one becomes board while waiting for that bobber to move on the open waters, take a book and read, or occupy one’s time with something constructive and not destructive. How many times has one come upon broken branches torn from trees, plants pulled up or holes dug in grounds belonging to someone else. Is that any way to respect others’ property? That doesn’t even deserve an answer.

And last, show consideration for the fellow fisher. Do not use offensive language in the presence of others, particularly children, push one’s weight around thinking he has full domain of a water basin and consider others’ space. Line entanglement may waste time and create hard feelings.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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