Trout Season Preparation
Inside the Outdoors, February 20
, 2015

It’s hard to believe that we are almost into March already. December is well behind us and that means only one thing – the trout season opener is just around the corner.

Back in December, I used to end my emails with the saying, “Think spring, winter is almost gone.” That was one way to plant a thought of new beginning.

With that in mind, as most anglers know in Pennsylvania, there are two opening dates for trout. In 18 southeastern counties, it begins April 4, while locally, the date is set for April 18.

Over the years, I have found that many times fishermen and women agonize over the fact that they cannot buy the preferred bait they need. Having a closed mind to the subject they either drive for miles looking for a shop that sells what they are looking for or don’t go fish at all.

Recently, I got out the fly tying vice, gathered some materials and purchased a few more and went at it, first tying the Latrobe invention, the nationally now-known Green Weenie. Turning to the Internet for instruction, there are now several different patterns in my fly box. Yes, folks, legendary Russ Mowery and Kenny Igo’s imitation has caught trout for many individuals. The first fly I ever used was this green-chenilled pattern and I was blown out of the water when I learned it caught trout.

Tagged as one of the easiest flies to tie, the one I used was very simple without a loop at the end. However, now it is stressed that the loop be included. I have tied endless variations of these flies and anyone who has the minimal amount of supplies can do the same thing.

While one is on the Internet, pull up the San Juan Worm. Here is another simple pattern to tie. Why not give it a try. Anything that imitates a worm will surely be a winner. One of the gentlemen on YouTube said he caught a 14-inch bass on this this fly pattern.

So, it’s amazing what one can do in the comforts of one’s home in preparation for this season opener. It must be stressed that both of these flies can be fished in both lakes and streams. Too often, when one sees a fly angler pictured, he or she is either is a small or large stream. I have seen a number of fly anglers fishing at Lower Twin Lakes. It was kind of refreshing to watch one toss his imitation not that far out at all and then gently pull on the line to arouse a fish’s attention.

When one fellow told me all he needed was a Green Weenie and that was it and he caught all the trout he wanted, that certainly opened my eyes.

Now is the time when dealers still may have some good pricing on trout packages. When it gets closer to the season opener, guaranteed, the costs of everything will go up. During trout season, I’ve known dealers to sell flies as high as $3 plus per fly each. Now, one may get them quite a bit less. My Green Weenies, sold at the Latrobe Indoor Vendor Market, first, second and fourth Tuesdays of each month up to May, at the American Legion, are anywhere from $.65 up to $1.60 each.

In addition to flies, I used to get one-sixteenth ounce Worden’s Rooster Tail lures by the dozen. Buying multiples may seem expensive, but sometimes when one buys in quantity he is given a better price. More important, it reduces one’s stress level, for if he loses one, he knows he has more on his person or at home.

One ex-professional with whom I’ve fished told me once he discovered lures that worked well for certain fish, he always bought in multiples for the reasons mentioned above. That applies to flies, as well.

If one is going to suspend imitation jigs, he should carry a cross section of bobbers on his person. All is relevant as to how far one intends to throw out the lures. Wooden bobbers certainly get the hooked items out there, however do cause a bigger splash and may startle the fish. Plastics do come rather large and don’t distract as much. If one is using two or four-pound test, sometimes Styrofoam bobbers are the best.

Here again, buy them by the bag in multiples. Snagging may become an issue and losing one’s bobber without back-ups may prove disastrous.

Finally, carrying bags of B or BB-sized split shots are invaluable. Try not to use them for natural presentation, but when push comes to shove, either of these will prove its worth.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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