Weather Brings Out Sportsmen
Inside the Outdoors, December 25,

When two Latrobe residents exited their vehicle recently behind their Irving Ave. homes, each was smiling from ear to ear because of their accomplishments.

It seems their pursuit of wildlife was found where the rainbow had settled after the warmth of the winter weather decided to make its presence known.

They were able to nab tigers, no less, catching and then releasing them.

What am I talking about, and where did they go to accomplish this task, may be the big question? Surely it had to be a foreign country where these enthusiasts succeeded. The answer may blow one’s mind.


“No way,” may be a popular follow-up.

All one has to do is mention tigers and one immediately may think of Africa as the place where these animals are found. And even though this is true, Matt Demine and Mike Thompson did not tag four-legged animals, but fish.

It so happened, they took advantage of the temperatures and headed over to Ligonier to do some fishing and found themselves a ‘honey hole.’ In due respect to their wishes, revelation of this place will not be revealed at this time.

Between the two anglers, they caught 23 trout, averaging 16 inches apiece, all rainbows, brown, brook and even the popular and most colorful tiger trout that in most cases ends up in the Loyalhanna Creek via Four-Mile Run that flows through Rolling Rock Club. Their baits – waxworms and nightcrawlers.

They both agreed that waxworms were the ticket. “The fish seemed to like them better,” Thompson said.

When asked if the gents kept any of them, Demine stated, “We always let them all go!”

So, weather should not be a deterrent if one wishes to pursue nice-sized trout in the waters from Ligonier downstream. Winter temps may be upon us, but that should not stop enthusiasts as doing what these two Latrobeans mastered.


Since sportsmen have not given me any stories to write as to their deer takes and manners of approach, I tend to fall back upon the one subject of which I am most knowledgeable – fishing.

Ever since the fishing license buttons have arrived on the scene once again, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has revealed this year’s pick for 2016.

The decision as to the favorite pattern came as the result of anglers’ favorite choice as votes were cast online for this outcome. “When they were counted, an overwhelming majority picked the brook trout pattern,” it said.

PFBC Executive Director John Arway stated, “ This has always been a fun survey to see what colors anglers like the most. This year we added some excitement by introducing the brook pattern. It’s definitely a little different and we didn’t know how our customers would react. But in the end, more than 70 percent of all votes favored the brook trout pattern,” he said.

Of the 5,300 votes that were cast, this pattern received 3,755. In second place was the teal-colored one with 393 votes, and third, green with 375.

Buttons may be purchased for $5.00 through the PFBC’s online store, regional offices and through the network of more than 900 licensing issuing agents. Children 15 and under can also purchase a button if they first buy a voluntary youth license for $1.00.

“Brought back by popular demand in 2014,” Eric Levis, press secretary stated, “the buttons resemble ones offered by the PFBC in the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s and again in 1974 and 1975. Each custom button measures one and three-quarters inches with a high quality, pin back design and features the angler’s custom identification number displayed on a paper license. As long as an angler is carrying a valid paper license, a valid button is the only display requirement,” he said.


I happened to be riding past St. Vincent Lake recently when I noticed a paddling of ducks swimming in a large gathering near the right side of the water basin.

It may be of interest to note that a group of mallard ducks is also called a sword, flush, and puddling. According to, birds in general are called a flock, a dissimulation or a volery of birds. But, each does have names given to each species assigned especially to them.

For example, each of the following have designated names:

  1. Cranes – sedge
  2. Crows – congress, murder
  3. Doves – dule, flight, dole, cote of coves, a piteousness of doves
  4. Eagles – convocation
  5. Falcons – cast
  6. Finches – charm, trembling
  7. Geese – gaggle, skein
  8. Grouse – brace, covey
  9. Hawks – cast, kettle
  10. Kingfishers – concentration
  11. Larks – exaltation
  12. Loons – raft
  13. Ducks – paddling, raft, team, dopping

- Paul J. Volkmann
Contact me by email

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