The Incomplete Angler
April is usually a fine month and especially so this year. The soil is thawed, there are buds everywhere and grass is greening. Wild turkeys are cackling and gobbling—their mating season is on. The brooks, streams and rivers of our watershed are all open. How terrific!
The fisher’s clock is now set to prime time. Caddis and early mayflies are hatching, and the trout are feeding on them greedily. Local chapters of Trout Unlimited have already scheduled events and meetings. River shoreline clean-ups are on the drawing board. Hope you will participate. Read more
This year has started off as one for the books. Without touching on climate change (heaven forbid), it is undeniable that this has been an unusual winter in our area. So far those who love to fish haven’t even been able to get a quick fix or two. This is no time for ice fishing, as lake and pond ice has been questionable. So what is a fishing enthusiast to do?
I read recently of a person who fished “all the time—sometimes on the water and sometimes in books.” I, too, have found that when I’m not actively on the water I like to be at least reading about it. Read more
This is destined to be a great year, especially for those who will be enjoying time on the water. We are off to a good start in January, aptly named for Janus, the god of beginnings. The word January also derives from the Latin word “ianua,” meaning “door.” January is the door to the coming year. Read more
My final column of the year is perhaps my most important one. This is when I announce my choice for 2015 River Champion. This prestigious recognition and long-standing tradition (starting now) is to acknowledge that individual or group that has done extraordinary work to enhance our fishery. Read more
Typically, trout season means an early April start, even if it’s only the ceremonial first cast of the season followed by an enhanced “hot chocolate.” Early-season trout fishing can be challenging, but as water temperatures move into the mid to upper 60s, everyone is in the game. For some, a couple of weeks is enough, while the more seriously addicted trout fishers look forward to a series of mayfly hatches through mid to late June. When the water temperatures warm into the 70s, responsible cold water fishers set their rods aside until the water temperatures drop back down. Read more
I like to think that everyone remembers the first fish they ever caught. I am referring to a person’s first fish in a very personal way and not in a generic way, like the first fish that Mark Kurlansky wrote about in “Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World.” Kurlansky detailed how the early railroads used codfish from our East Coast waters to sustain their workers and the people from the towns and villages that sprung up along the railroad. (Today, the stocks of codfish are dangerously diminished from overharvesting). Read more
In our region of the Delaware River, the more serious (or perhaps compulsive) fishing enthusiasts generally consider the fishing seasons to run from April 1 through the end of October, perhaps, or when the snow starts to fly. The obvious exception is, of course, “hard water” fishing, aka ice fishing.
August can be a tough month particularly for trout fishers. Responsible fishers will not wet a line, even on a catch-and-release basis, once the streams or rivers hit a water temperature of 70° or higher. Read more
Successful anglers come in all shapes, sizes and skill levels. Sometimes it is the very first cast in a brand-new fishing career that happens to produce the “fish of a lifetime.” Read more