Thoughts of spring trout fishing in Pennsylvania brings comfort in the cold
As I type these words, the windowsill thermometer reads 10 degrees, and the weather forecast predicts another snowfall and more low temps still to come. In moments such as these, when the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be growing ever more distant, we must throw another log on the fire and psychologically trick ourselves into "thinking spring."
In all reality, spring fishing is not very far away in the future. Trout stocking schedules have already been posted on the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission website, and the southeast regional trout season opener kicks off in just six short weeks – that is if the ice even melts by then.
But now is the time for plans to be made and gear to be readied. The neglected fly-tying vice will soon see plenty of action in a last ditch effort to replenish last season's waning fly assortment – a process I have put off far too long.
My fishing vest will be emptied of its heavy late fall salmon fishing tackle and restocked with 5x leaders, light tippet material, an assortment of nymphs and small foam strike indicators. Though I usually get out for some winter trout stream fishing, I'll admit it just didn't happen this year. The unbearably cold temps, coupled with several other life obligations kept me from the water.
The new depth finder/fish locator I purchased using gift cards from Christmas will finally need to be removed from its packaging and given closer inspection. Figuring I wouldn't be using it until the weather warms anyway, it still sits in the neat box in which it came. As the days of launching my johnboat in a crystal clear lake draw nearer, however, I realize some careful study of the owner's manual will soon be necessary.
Rods will be inspected, reels will be cleaned and new lines will be spooled. Waders and boots will get a thorough scrubbing, and my new pink fishing button be affixed to my chest pack with pride.
Though winter may be at the peak of its fury, I know, as all anglers do, that it can't last forever. Soon enough, the cold winds and snow will subside, giving way to warmer, sunnier days – those perfect for spending time at one's own special stretch of water. For now, my thoughts of spring fishing and simple preparations will carry me through.