Steelhead Fishing Underway
Inside the Outdoors, October
5, 2012

Just as sportsmen are getting ready for the hunting season, word has reached my desk that the steelhead run in Lake Erie is underway. That means anglers from all over Penn’s Woods and beyond will be making their journey to a number of streams to catch the fish of their dreams.

Men, women and children will be clutching noodles rods outstretched toward the depths of Walnut, Elk, and Twenty Mile Creek, not to mention Trout Run as well. As word gets around, more and more avid anglers will be lined up along the banks of these waterways or in the waters themselves hoping that one of these monstrous fish will take the bait literally.

One Latrobe fellow told me, “I thought I was in love with one hole in the Loyalhanna Creek until I went to Erie. Now, you can forget the Loyalhanna. I love Erie more.”

“We will have 15 or 16 youth going to Lake Erie this year,” said Ligonier resident Drew Banas, member of Forbes Trail Chapter Trout Unlimited and head of a class of youngsters who will be trained under his direction. Not only will the youngsters be tying sucker spawn and egg sack imitations, but will learn how to properly cast and be taught in and around the waters.

“Everyone is looking forward to the trip,” said Drew and I know the mentors will have a good time as well.”

FTTU is a Latrobe-based organization that meets the third Wednesday of each month at the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve not far from the St. Vincent College Campus.

The organization’s goal is conservation, restoration of resources and in this case, education of youth.

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I received a phone call the other day that caught me off guard. A man asked, “Now that summer is over, is fishing done as well?”

When I told him that the water basins were just stocked with trout his reply was, “Hey, do you want to go with me and fish? We have the greatest chance of catching fish after the waters are stocked. What were the dates the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission put the fish in area waters?”

After informing him that it was done during the week and he’d probably be working, his tone of voice dropped. I said to him there was plenty of time left and we could do well once we decided where to go. Strategy was the key and I’m sure between the both of us, we could catch trout here and there.

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The chestnut crop this year was amazing. I haven’t had such big fruit in 38 years as I did just recently. Also the amount was staggering. I accredit the spring and summer temperatures and rainfall for the product I received.

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The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Board of Directors recently presented a proposal and approved to expand the mentored youth program for the years 2013-14. This would create a regulatory change to expand antlerless deer hunting opportunities under the Mentored Youth Hunting Program (MYHP) for that time period.

This came as a result of sporting organizations and interested parties expressing interest in the matter and passing on their opinions to the officials at the PGC.

“This change, along with the recent addition of fall turkey hunter to the MYHP,” said Ralph A. Martone, board president, “creates a wide range of opportunities for young hunters.”

If the change is given final approval at a subsequent Board meeting, beginning in the 3013-14 license year, adult mentors would be authorized to transfer on DMAP harvest permits issued to them to an eligible mentored youth. The DMAP harvest permit must be valid for the property on which the pair is hunting, and in the possession of the adult mentor at all times while hunting antlerless deer. Adult mentors may transfer to mentored youths only after the youth harvests an antlerless deer. A mentored youth may receive by transfer no more than one DMAP harvest permit each license year.

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Finally, the Kingston Veteran’s Sportsman’s Club will kick off their annual mentored pheasant hunt tomorrow, Oct. 6, on their premises. It is no doubt, rain or shine, the youth will come away each with birds not only talking about the one that got away, but carrying one or two birds on their person as the case may be. The event begins at 8 a.m. and will last until early afternoon. The Pennsylvania Game Commission will provide the organization with the game.

The young hunters first take part at shooting clay pigeons before heading to one of two fields. There they will test their accuracy before moving up the road. Being taught how to zero in on the target and handling each weapon, adults will supervise and teach the youth as to gun handling, follow-through and firing. Each young sportsman should have a taste of hunting by the time the day is over.


- Paul J. Volkmann
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