Always much-anticipated trout opener again delivers
I experienced another productive opening day of trout season with my daughter, Lindera, and her husband, John. We enjoyed the weather, too — certainly the nicest that we have experienced in recent years.
Although I am 68 years old, I still look forward to the opening day. In my opinion, looking forward to things makes life worth living. What would life be like if we had nothing to look forward to?
The stream was at a nice level with a good temperature, but a little bit off color due to the half-inch of rain that fell the day before. We started the same place that we did the previous opener on this stocked stream. Although we could see a few other anglers, there were definitely fewer people there when compared to past years.
Lindera and I started together, with John a little bit downstream. John picked up several trout quickly, Lindera caught one and I missed eight in a row. It was a new opening day record for me, but not the kind of record that I wanted to set.
We were all fishing spinning lures, so beating the water to death does nothing. The trout either hit, or they don’t. We moved quickly upstream — casting to all likely-looking spots and politely by-passing other anglers.
Based on boot tracks and the response of the trout, we could tell that we cast into areas that had been fished before we arrived. However, when we got away from the highway, we found many more out-of-the-way stream sections that had not been fished.
We had covered almost two miles of stream and I was worn out by early afternoon. Although each of us experienced a few slow periods, collectively there was rarely a five-minute period when one of us didn’t catch a trout.
Looking at our statistics, we landed almost the same number of trout that we caught last year on the opener. In fact, I caught exactly the same number — 22. John had 26 this year, and Lindera caught 19.
We caught a good number of wild brown trout, but Lindera caught the only native brookie — a 9-and-a-half-inch gem. John caught the two largest stocked trout. All of our trout were carefully released in hopes that someone else would enjoy catching them on another day.
If you read my last April’s opening-day blog, you know that we also carry binoculars and also look for birds while we fish. We spotted 48 different bird species, but we had no exciting finds such as last year’s pair of American bitterns. I did see my first palm warbler and broad-winged hawk of the year.
The trout, the birds and the shared experiences — it was an excellent opening day. Although I will visit many streams during the next few months, I will still look forward to our family opening day in April 2020.