Trout Anglers Abound
Inside the Outdoors, April 20
, 2012

It’s amazing when thinking about it. Visit any of the bodies of water in the area one or two days before trout season opens on April 14, and virtually there will be few people seen other than a number of persons taking walks around the lakes. But when trout season begins, there are so many people clumped together that the contrast is spectacular.

Such was the case recently. It can only be surmised that every one of those anglers had one thing in mind and only one thing – that they would be getting protein that evening from something they caught during that day, mainly trout and nice-sized ones.

And thanks to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, seldom does anyone go home empty handed. Of course, the trick is natural presentation. If an angler thinks he can catch a trout by wadding up a whole crawler on a hook, and then weighting the line down, he just may go home empty handed. It only stands to reason that fish will grab onto something that looks and acts normal – not something it has to call the troops in to help pull apart for a dinner.

There are more anglers each year that tell me they aren’t going out because there are simply too many people. “It’s maddening,” said one fellow who showed his true feelings by the expression on his face. It was grotesque, to say the least.

“I like to have space on either side of me,” said another. If one has never been to these lakes on the first day, especially when the season opens at 8 a.m., believe me – the term – “side by side” is very fitting here. County parks opened even earlier this year, I read.

When fishing Lake Erie when someone has tagged himself a fish, he usually yells, “Fish on” and everyone else brings in his line. Not so at these lakes. One just has to hope he doesn’t get twisted with someone else’s line.

The PFBC has always stocked fish of all sizes, including some breeders going around 24 inches. If one stands and watches long enough, he will see someone land one of these “monsters.” This is one of the few times when people will stop fishing and watch the angler haul in this lunker. Mouths fall open in awe and I’m sure a bit of envy fills the air.

In some cases, sportsmen and women have departed in short order and other times, it takes a little longer. But the bottom line is this. Skillets were warmed and lots of butter was allowed to melt next to the fillets. Many anglers ate well late week. I have one remaining hope. Some will catch trout and then wrap them and dump them in the chest freezer. There they will stay until fall. Then they will be dug out and tossed out. There are so many people who are starving. Have a heart and share your catch. You will be doing the right thing and be blessed for it, to boot.


If you have access to a computer and you want to learn all there is concerning fly fishing and the activities concerning it from Ligonier to Ohio Pyle, it is a must that one log onto and learn all there is about this area. Coordinated by the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, under the direction of Olga Herbert, the Laurel Highland Trout Trail has been the dream of its organizers, including members of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and Trout Unlimited.

It is an outstanding website, to say the least. There is so much to learn that one may spend literally hours just studying page after page.

For example, by pulling up “Fish & Streams,” one can read about “Our Trout Season,”
“Wild and Native Trout,” “Recommended Equipment,” and “Recommended Go-To Flies for the Trout Trail.”

In addition, there is so much information to be learned about the Trail that any trout angler should log into this site for the web designers did an outstanding job to help you, the angler understand where and what to use for the many waters.

I think it is one of the most outstanding websites for fly fishermen who may be coming from out of the area and visiting Ligoner and venturing down to Ohio Pyle via the many streams in the area. It also gives many fines shops along the way plus places to bed if so desired. It is my wish that all anglers log on to this website for there is something to learn for everyone who enjoys the outdoors.

As always, many have promised to share fishing stories with me, but few have actually stepped up to the place and written to me. So, this is your chance. If you care to write to me about fish stories, in addition to your name and where you are from, and where you were fishing, don’t forget to add your phone number so I can verify the information and maybe get a little more details. My email address is: Some folks stopped by to show me their catch. Now, that is one way to verify all the details!

- Paul J. Volkmann
Contact me by email

To buy my book, Off the Wall Favorites, call me at 724-539-8850.