Pennsylvania Youth Trout Day always a good thing
It is always a welcome sign that spring is on the way when I take my camera and head for a local trout stream to photograph youngsters – accompanied by a parent or adult licensed fisherman – trying their angling luck on Pennsylvania’s Youth Trout Day.
And so, on this cold overcast morning that produced a smattering of light rain, I hopped in my truck about an hour after this notable day legally began and drove to the stream five minutes from my home.
Not expecting many young anglers to be stream side – owing to the unpleasant conditions – it was an agreeable surprise at the first stop to see quite a few young people and their escorts spread out along a nice stretch of this flowing trout water.
In truth, action seemed limited as no trout were being pulled in during the few minutes I watched. However, I asked one father as he was leaving the stream with a young son in tow if he and his boy had any luck. He replied, “A couple.” Asking where the fish were so I might be able to get a photo of the boy holding the trout, the father flatly said they had released the fish. Fair enough.
Moving on to another five spots where I knew anglers might be over a couple of miles of the stream, I was amazed at the significant number of parked cars and angling groups. It was easily more than I can remember in any years past, when visiting the same stream on the same special day.
Ever since the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission first announced the onset of this cheerful and untroubled opportunity, an event they were providing for the state’s youthful trout anglers, it must be deemed a successful endeavor.
There was always going to be complaints from those who were never a part of this particular day, rather frivolous objections such as “This takes too many fish away from the normal opening day.” or “The kids don’t fish, the parents do.”
But the reality of this occasion is that it brings both young fishermen and interested parents to trout waters at a time they never had available in the past. And these children truly enjoy a memorable experience of catching trout, or just sharing time with other youth anglers. The special day may well be responsible for a memory that moves that child as an adult to not only become a dedicated fisherman, but to also be one of those people who protect and enhance our waters.