Well there I was standing stream side last week when the temperature had pushed its way up into the forties. Wearing a lightweight sweatshirt, a ball cap, and carrying a pair of gloves tucked in my back pocket. Which were there just in case my hands got chilled from releasing the trout I was catching.
But it wasn’t needed as the air was warm, the skies were blue and the snow was receding quickly. Which was really nice to see as the day before Punxstawney Phil had predicted an early Spring and we got a light coating of snow that day.
But it all worked out and made it feel as if spring is just around the corner. As the rising temperatures warmed the streams this caused the rainbow trout were more than happy to eat my offering of wax worms. That was until after I landed and released around a dozen before calling it a day.
But the real added touch that made it seem like spring is close was the turkey tracks I spotted along the stream bank as I walked back to the car. Which made me think, I’m already casting. Possibly my favorite time of year, especially after surviving a dreary, dragged out winter.
This caused me to shift my thoughts from fishing to possibly starting on some preseason scouting. As nothing is more exciting than going for a long hike in search of flocks of hens. As you know soon the gobblers will also be doing the same thing. Because spring is when a gobblers passion runs high, and my blood pressure jumps when his gobble makes my heart pound whenever he sounds off just at day break.
Which for many outdoorsman presents a problem. We all enjoy being stream side during the early part of trout season, but when the birds begin sounding off our passions turn to hunting those elusive, gobbling turkeys. So those of us who wouldn’t miss spring turkey hunting for anything else have learned to trout fish year around. That way it doesn’t cut into our fishing, as who wants to hit the water and have a booming long beard sounding off on the hillside behind you.
To put it simply, these two activities work to keep you happy in both situations. As spring invites you to get out and trek the backwoods, it is the perfect time to fish those Class A streams off the beaten path for native trout. Which in turn gives you the opportunity to locate those undisturbed turkeys which may put you in the ideal location on the season opener.
But if you’ve already been casting a line it can minimize the confusion and indecision of trying to decide which of your springtime passions will win out. As with just a little forethought you can have a cast and blast season without burning the candle at both ends. As spring only comes once a year and I’m sure you want to make the most of what it offers.
So get out into the woods near you and enjoy the amazing opportunities that we are privileged to have in this country. Enjoy those days where the temperatures continue to rise, and the snow slowly recedes. As those signs of nature that put us in the right frame of mind for what we’ve been waiting months for are beginning to take place.
David Orlowski is a writer, hunter, fisherman and outdoor enthusiast from Potter County. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association.