I know that this is an old cliche, but it really is amazing how rapidly time goes by. Also, the older you get, the faster it seems to go. It seems like yesterday when we were getting ready for the upcoming hunting seasons. Now, they’re over for another year, and trout season is now upon us. Countless anglers are heading for their favorite streams, rivers and lakes in pursuit of brook trout, browns and rainbows, with a palomino thrown in every here and there. For a number of years, I did very little trout fishing. Then, once I retired, my interest was rekindled. Health issues have delayed my start of the season. Plus, as this is being written, it is rainy and cold outside.
For my father, trout fishing was, beyond any doubt, his favorite form of the sport. In fact, it was the only fishing he really liked. He would, of course, go after other species to accommodate me, even after I grew up, but trout fishing was special for him, and he was good at it. The first day of trout season was one of two days in the whole year that my dad cooked breakfast. The other was the first day of buck season. The menu was always the same, bacon & eggs. My mother would have cooked for us, but, for some reason, Dad liked to do it. Looking back on it after all these years, the breakfasts were not particularly well-prepared, but we enjoyed them, nonetheless. Excitement probably added to the taste, at least for the youthful me.
Despite his fondness for trout fishing, Dad was reluctant to venture far from home on our outings. Most of the time, our fishing was confined to Bear Creek, Buffalo Creek, Little Buffalo and Patterson. To this day, Buffalo Creek is still my very favorite trout stream, and the first day of the season nearly always finds me there. The crowding sometimes annoys me a bit, but the tradition makes it worth putting up with it.
Normally, trout fishing weather doesn’t bother me, but I haven’t felt all that great this year. If the streams are high and raging, I will stay at home, as I can’t deal with absolute hopelessness. I have never caught a single trout from a high and muddy stream, and I have no reason to think that that is about to change.
I like to use natural baits for trout, especially early in the season. My favorites are redworms, salmon eggs, mealworms and maggots. I also like some of the dough type baits that are now popular, although my success with them has deteriorated in the last couple of years. As for salted minnows, I have never been able to master fishing with them. Usually, I can’t keep them on my hook, and even when I can, I must not fish them the right way. The last couple of years, I haven’t bothered to take them along. When it comes to salmon eggs, it seems as though the shrimp and nightcrawler flavored ones are the best consistent producers, although corn eggs have produced for me, too.
Here are just a few other considerations to keep in mind for trout fishing. Don’t overlook landowner relations. While usually associated with hunting, this is a major factor in trout fishing, too. Many streams run through private property. If you were a property owner, and had vandalism and litter to contend with every year, how would you react? You just might post your land, and who could reasonably blame you?
After this seemingly never ending winter, getting out there and fishing for trout will be fun, regardless of our success. Here’s hoping everyone has a great season.