Boss Pleasers
Inside the Outdoors, June 3,
2016

CORRECTION: In the original version of this article, as published on June 3, the author accidentaly referred to the article's subject, Matt Demine, as "Pat Demine". The appropriate correction has been made to the article below. Apologies for any inconvenience.

How many times do anglers receive a magazine in the mail only to see on the front cover someone holding a large fish in their hands accompanied by the fisher having a big smile on his face? A note at the bottom stating usually accompanies it, “Story on Page 106.” So one anxiously turns to that page only to discover that beautiful brown trout was caught in a mountain stream in Upper New York State.

Many ideas run through the sportsman’s mind with usually one question that follows. “I wish we’d have fish around here like that one that we could catch. Then someone could take my picture and I could show it to my grandchildren.”

Well, guess what? We do, and a Latrobe resident has proved it lately day after day usually following his day at work.

As far back as I can remember Matt Demine has always enjoyed the challenge of baiting a hook to see what he could catch in the Loyalhanna Creek. And he has never come away without catching trout, among other species of aquatic life.

His success stories are numerous, to the least. Most fishermen and women just in thinking about all his outings would approach the subject ‘with baited breathe.’

Recently, Demine pulled up to my front door, jumped out of his red pickup with the biggest smile on his face that a young man could muster.

“Hey Pee Vee,” he stated. “You should see the fish I caught this evening not far from here in the Loyalhanna!” He then produced three trout, the largest being 17-inches and the other two, between 12 and 14 inches.

I usually have a modus operandi as to interrogation practices. This was no exception.

“So, what bait did you use?” I said. “Nightcrawlers,” he stated. “I always use worms and have landed lots of trout with them in the creek.” “Do you ever use anything else,” I inquired. “Sometimes I have used waxworms. One time I used a yellow Joe Fly and landed a trout.”

“Do you use the whole crawler or piece it,” I asked. “I usually only use half,” he said.

“What pound test line were you using?” “I like to use 6-pound test with a weight attached to it,” Demine stated.

“Where were you fishing that you got such nice trout?” was my next question. “Down by the roller rink,” he said.

“Wasn’t the water high?” I stated. “It sure was. In that case, you have to act fast, but just because the water is high doesn’t mean the fish won’t hit. They do, and I’ve got some really nice ones to prove it,” he proclaimed.

“Do you usually go out by yourself or with others?” I asked. “Normally, just by myself,” the enthusiast stated. “Occasionally, my neighbor will accompany me.”

“Do you fish other places besides near the roller rink?” I stated. His eyes lit up before disclosing his other locations. “Any place from what used to be called the Iron Bridge and up is great trout fishing waters,” he stated. Now the bridge is called State Route 982 Bridge over the Loyalhanna Creek. Some of us will still call it the Iron Bridge.

He went on to say that, “ I love to fish the waters that are above Kingston Bridge particularly around Ligonier.” Seeing if I can get him to talk about water basins other than the Loyalhanna Creek, I said, “Do you ever fish the lakes?” I didn’t sense any enthusiasm when he stated, “I have, and always caught trout, but I love fishing the Loyalhanna Creek!”

Here is a statement that would raise anyone’s eyebrows. “Every time I go out I catch a lot of trout!”

“What’s the biggest trout you’ve caught so far this season?” was my next question. “Eighteen and one-half inches,” was his reply, however, he never measures most of them. He did take time to mention a beautiful rainbow measuring sixteen and one-half inches.

Here is the one question that every angler is usually asked, “Matt, do you keep all the trout that you catch, or do you throw them back?”

His answer was surely unique when he replied, “After I catch some nice-sized ones, I take them home, clean them up, and then give them to my boss. He loves to eat them!” In my book I would call them ‘boss pleasers!".

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Now that spring has sprung, species of wildlife are having their young. The Pennsylvania Game Commission reminds all residents that keeping offspring as pets is strictly prohibited.

I recently watched a television program that showed children who kept baby raccoons in a cage as permitted by their parents, and actually gave them names. Upon learning about this, the wildlife conservation officers seized the animals immediately. They are known to carry diseases.


- Paul J. Volkmann
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