trout-train-1Trout season is not over. Stocking continues, and the fish are scrappier and bigger than ever! Today I fished the North Branch of Muddy Creek in Pennsylvania.  I have fond memories of this creek from fishing with my Dad, and friends. Fishing requires a long hike up the railroad tracks.

Walking along the railroad tracks was always a challenge. Who can stay balanced, while walking the track, the longest. My Father, was pretty good at staying on track, even with hip boots on. We talked about the world and the challenges of life, as we tracked up the rails.

Fishing with my Dad was easy. He would smoke a fat King Edward cigar and laugh every time he hooked up. He welcomed my company, and I learned all I could. Today the Stocking Train came rolling up the tracks. I did not know the creek was to be stocked. There was already plenty of trout to catch.

Local fishing clubs do an amazing job of supporting or sports fisheries. Whether they operate trout Coops or drive a stocking train up the tracks, their service is greatly appreciated. They truly take pride in stocking trout for anglers to enjoy. Today’s trout were from the state hatcheries and were nice sized. Browns and rainbows were on today’s menu. Many of the browns would survive the season and make the creek their home.

The Stocking train stocks trout in the obvious spots. Carrying a heavy bucket of trout and water is no easy task. The creek banks are steep and slippery. When the train stops, the youngest stocker scrambles down the bank. A line of bucket swingers form, and the trout are passed from one stocker to the next. The trout quickly swim away and spread out along the stream.

Trout during this time of the year are bigger and feistier. They have been fattened up in the hatchery longer than earlier stockings. Today’s trout were from the state hatchery of Pennsylvania. A warden was on site to ensure security, and represent the agency.

The trout train was loaded with oxygen fed barrels, and the trout were netted into them. Many of the helpers were older veterans of many trout seasons. Only a few were youngsters. Most of the youngsters were in school.

The train engineer is older. No one else seems to know how to operate the vintage train engine. This unique stocking is rare today. Several miles of trout stream are only accessible by walking the tracks. The exercise is a positive thing, and the fishing is worth the walk, even if you can’t balance your steps along a railroad track.trout-train-3

Fishing is a wonderful thing. Catching diner tastes better than buying it. It is easier, and cheaper, to buy your dinner at the grocery store. Somehow, the dinner you provide just tastes better. Fishing is an amazing way to relax, and stay stress free. When things get tough, take a ride on the trout train!

Tight Lines,

Montana Grant

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