If you enjoy trout fishing in Maryland, the time is now. Water quality, flows, and destinations are still full of great fish. The state has done a good job in getting this year’s hatchery product into your favorite watersheds. Next years’ stockers have already arrived in the hatcheries and will become fat and healthy for future stockings.
Check out the Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources website for stocking schedules and reports. Their “Anglers Log” section highlights some incredible trout catches. My favorite is a huge Golden Trout caught by a Ravens Beanie-wearing kid on Deer Creek. I love when kids get lucky.
Golden trout of all sizes certainly are fun. These albino Rainbow Trout are the result of years of research in the West Virginia Hatchery Program. These sterile trout fight harder than trout of equal size and add a nice challenge when fishing. I swear that the fish that you see are the hardest to catch.
Maryland also stocks brown, rainbow, and brook trout for the public to enjoy. Now I know that the Fly Fishing purists hate stocked trout. In a place like Montana, trout will survive and reproduce despite incredible fishing pressure. In Maryland, it is a different reality. It is important to provide recreational fisheries that are fun, educational, and productive. Without interest and excitement in our fisheries and the outdoors, these resources will disappear. Maryland is “America in Miniature” so there’s room for something for everyone.
HUGE monster trout are also released in all of the designated trout waters. Some of these monsters are over 10 lbs. It takes 2-3 years to grow these massive “Brooders”. When you are using light gear and line, these “Pigs” are a true challenge.
There are few things in life that are as exciting as catching a fish, hunting, and the outdoors. A stocked trout stream is truly the ultimate “day care”. Kids need distractions that are healthy and fun. If you want kids to make better choices, teach them how to fish and hunt. It’s not expensive and the rules, limits, and regulations are models for the rest of life’s adventures. I have never seen a person not get excited when catching a fish. These motivated sportsmen become the voters that will protect our natural resources in the future.
A great fishery for kids right now is the current Hickory Shad run along the banks of the Susquehanna River. They call the shad, “Poor Man’s Salmon”. These amazing fish fight, jump, and will excite any angler. Catching and releasing these 2-4 lb. fish is addictive. The Nungesser spoons and shad darts used for lures are cheap and effective. The river has an awesome trail along the western banks for biking and hiking also. Many of the anglers are friendly and helpful, especially to women and kids. A basic medium action rod with 6 lb. test line is adequate. Bring the camera to record the huge smiles and the day’s adventures.
Tight lines, big smiles, and great stories are what inspire us to be fishermen and sportsmen. Every legal and ethically harvested fish, crab, or wild game is a trophy. We may forget a bad day at school or work but we never forget the big trout, striper, or buck. Continue to support and enjoy our precious resources. Oh, and don’t forget to take a kid or rookie out for a great day of fun!