New York’s April 1 trout kickoff usually a challenge

April is finally here and the opening day of New York’s trout
season has come and gone. For some reason, trout season in New York
is not the all-out party and holiday it is in some states, most
notably Pennsylvania. Without a doubt, New York has excellent trout
fishing, world-class to be sure, but the April 1 opener just
doesn’t generate the enthusiasm it does just a few miles south of
here. Right now, most of the streams here in the Southern Tier are
very high and there’s still shin-deep snow along the banks of most
and it’s unlikely they’ve even been stocked yet.

Yes, there will always be those braving the elements and high
water to fish for trout here in New York on opening day, but rest
assured, the opening of trout season in the Keystone State will be
greeted not just by diehard trout fishermen but by entire
families.

I’ve always thought the mid-April opening day for trout in
Pennsylvania was a lot more civil than New York’s April 1 date. I
fish both states but I always try to drive the few miles into
Pennsylvania to enjoy the opening day enthusiasm. I can expect to
see fishermen lined up on streambanks waiting for the eight o’clock
opening time, while boat fishermen jockey around a cramped parking
lot looking for a spot to park their trailers. A few years ago, a
thin layer of ice covered most of the surface of a lake very
popular among trout anglers, but this hardly deterred anyone.
Fishermen in aluminum boats used them like miniature icebreakers
plowing through the thin ice sheet with an even thinner boat hull
in an effort to get to favored fishing spots. Apparently, none of
these modern-day Captain Smiths heard of the Titanic, and why none
of these boats sank is still a mystery to me. Shore anglers crowded
around open areas, enthusiastically casting live bait or night
crawlers to the edge of the ice while down the road a little way,
the local volunteer fire department was holding a pancake breakfast
for hungry fishermen. I enjoyed the scene and seeing fish caught
but I knew the next day was Sunday and that the crowds would be
gone and I’d have the lake to myself. It seems enthusiasm only
lasts so long.

Categories: New York – Mike Raykovicz

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