2018 PA Trout Opener - A Statewide Tradition

The statewide opener for PA trout is slated for 8am this Saturday, April 14th. As you walk the banks of streams looking for some space or circle a reservoir to find the best spot to post up for the day, you cannot ignore that feeling of excitement that builds in anticipation for that first cast. Freshly stocked trout are laying in holes and under structure directly in front of you; a lot of them completely visible to the naked eye.

It is as if time is standing still. You look up and notice anglers frequently checking watches and cell phones for the time. Minutes seem to take hours and although we are wishing for time to jump and for that clock to signal it’s “Go Time”, we find ourselves very present in the moment. Nothing else really matters on that Saturday in April when men, women, and children crowd the banks of PA streams, lakes, and reservoirs waiting to unleash a fury of bobbers, sinkers, and baited hooks.

This year I challenge you to hold off and wait on that first cast. Instead of racing to beat everyone to the first hole or big fish, stand there and watch the pure joy and excitement experienced by your fellow anglers. You will see mothers and fathers helping their children flip bails or push buttons. You will see the ripples on the water after the bait reached its landing zone and the subsequent pointing as big fish swim for cover or ready themselves for a feeding frenzy.

Friends will be passing their polarized glasses to prove to each other that the big one is hiding under a log in the deeper depths unseen to anyone else. Further downstream someone will be playing tug of war with a tree after a poorly executed cast, most likely a result of the winter rust that set in on their technique. You will see an arsenal of fishing poles and bait accompanied by different drifting and reeling techniques. Spinning rods and fly rods will be heard whipping the air as they fling artificial lures, wet flies, streamers, worms and salmon eggs into the water. You will have a first row seat to some of the best bait presentations and some of the worst. There is beauty in all of it.

As you work towards reaching your daily creel limit, I hope that you find the time to truly appreciate the fact that having the opportunity to experience the statewide opener is all we can really ask for. Good weather, bad weather, fish biting, or fish hiding; it is the start of one of Pennsylvania’s greatest traditions. Friday night I plan on sitting with my buddies around a fire at camp taking bets on who will catch the most fish, who will catch the most snags, and which Bunker will fall in the stream first.

These are the moments we will cherish for the rest of our lives. The fishing action is starting, so get out there and get after it. Remember to enjoy the time you are spending with your family, friends, and fellow anglers and reflect on past memories as you do your best to create new ones that will last a lifetime. From our team to you... Good luck!

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