Fishing Limits!

2When I moved to Montana from Maryland years ago, I was surprised about what new fishing I gained and what I had lost. 2200 miles is a long way between fishing holes. My summer jaunts to Big Sky Country allowed me to enjoy the best trout fishing in the world. Trout Trek road trips were always an adventure. Living in Montana full time changed things.

After catching every trout in the state of Montana at least 3 times, I started to miss the other species of fish. It is true that you can catch perch, walleye, pike and some other types of fish in Big Sky Country, but the seasons are short and the drives are long. Montana watersheds also have “consumption warnings” on most species of resident fish. Any waters that emerge from Yellowstone Park contain lead, arsenic, mercury and other toxics that are a result of the park’s geothermal features. Gold mining and farming have added other toxins to the water.

Maryland also offers a variety of great fishing choices. They call Maryland, “America in Miniature”. We have Mountains, oceans and bay fishing. It truly is a wonderful destination. The western county’s trout fishing was complimented by the access to the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. This meant more diversity for the kinds of fish we can catch.

Now Maryland is no “Posterchild” for clean waters and healthy fish, but protection of the resources are improving. Not only are there finned fish but there are shelled fish as well. Oysters in Maryland are the real deal in Maryland and not a “Rocky Mountain Oyster” from the genitals of a bull. Steamed crabs are just amazing. I have missed them so much.

I love fishing both destinations. The Big Sky freedoms are unsurpassed. Nothing is more incredible than the salmon fly hatch along the Madison River. Ice fishing in Montana is also fantastic. My days spent on Hyalite Lake and Canyon Ferry were always outstanding.

When I moved west, my Buddy told me I would be back. “You are going to miss the salt water” he said. He was right! There is something about the diversity of fishing and salt water in Maryland and neighboring states waterways. Soon I will be catching the run of yellow and white perch in the Chesapeake Bays tidal tributaries. Big roe perch are fun to catch and tasty to eat.

Next, the Hickory shad will arrive for their annual spawn. These “Poor Man’s Salmon” are great fighters and can be caught until your arm falls off. Their big cousins the White shad are next. They are bigger and even stronger than their smaller cousins.

Trout fishing in Maryland is more about stocked fish but is a great social experience. Opening day is a celebration of a crowd of people whipped up over fishing. What a great thing. The “Grand Slam” includes Rainbow, Brook, Brown and Golden Trout! You can trout fish in historic places near Thurmont and Camp David or along Antietam Creek and local Limestone streams. These places are where the roots of trout fishing began. The Brook trout streams in western Md. are beautiful and uncrowded. There are also several nice “Catch and Release” designated waters for fly fishing fun.

Whoever named “Crappies” never ate them. What a great eating fish and so much fun to catch. They are abundant in the lakes and rivers throughout the state. These are a great fish to teach kids on. Throw in the Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Pike, Bluegills and catfish, and a nice fishing buffet emerges.

The salt water creates a destination for everything from White Marlin to stripped bass. Surf fishing or boat fishing allows wonderful access for family fishing fun. The Chesapeake Bay is a wonderful waterway to boat and fish. There is an incredible diversity of “Things” to catch.

I really believe that if more folks would go fishing, life would be easier. Everyone smiles and laughs when catching a fish. Life’s problems are forgotten and we look forward to taking the next cast. It doesn’t matter where or when you fish. It is just important to keep fishing. My Dad always told me, “You won’t catch anything unless your bait is in the water.”

There are no limits to how much fun you can have fishing. When things get tough, the tough go Fishing!

Tight lines,

Montana Grant