Are You Missing Out on Other Great Fishing?

Posted by  Wednesday, May 21 2014 6:00 am
expert

AreYouMissingOutGreatFishing blogOne of the greatest aspects of fishing is that it can be pursued at so many levels; directed toward so many species. And while there's something to be said for staying within your comfort zone — revisiting familiar waters and applying favored tactics — it can be quite refreshing to take on new challenges.

Depending on your particular geographic area, there are likely potential adventures available that are outside your comfort zone. In my own case I've spent decades pursuing smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleyes and muskies. While I've trout fished a lot, trout fishing typically took a back seat to other species. When I focused on trout, it was usually on special regulations streams that are stocked. But Pennsylvania has miles of streams and rivers (some say more than any state other than Alaska), many of which support wild trout, like native brookies in mountain streams and big streambred browns in limestone streams. I came to the realization that I was missing out on a lot of great sport and had better get at it while still young enough to take on the physical demands such fishing often demands.

So, for the past couple of years, I've become a quite dedicated wild trout angler. Not only has it been a great experience, it has opened up many options. For instance, like much of the eastern part of the country my area was pounded with rain last week. I had to cancel several guide trips on the Allegheny River due to high water. Reservoirs were high and off color. While I could have hit a couple smaller lakes for largemouth bass, instead a buddy and I explored a remote trout stream I've wanted to explore.

The day was a highly productive one. The creek was running full, but still clear. We caught several dozen streambred rainbow and brook trout. Hiked six miles in the process (discovering some potential grouse hunting spots along the way). And never saw another soul. 

So do yourself a favor this fishing season — explore some element of angling that you've been overlooking, perhaps one that's piqued your interest but you haven't gotten too yet. It doesn't have to be a new species; it can be an unfamiliar tactic or perhaps a different lake. Chances are it'll be a rewarding endeavor.    

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Jeff Knapp
expert

Jeff Knapp, of Kittanning, Pa., has been covering the outdoors for over 20 years. He's been published in a wide variety of national, regional, state and local publications. He also operates the Keystone Connection Guide Service, which focuses on fishing for smallmouth bass on the Allegheny River, as well as other species in select western Pennsylvania waters. 

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