The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

March 21, 2014

Fishing is all about being in the right place at the right time

The Daily Star

---- — I got an email from the Department of Environmental Conservation to remind all of you that trout season begins April 1. Now as some of you remember, I got mixed up one year with deer season because they changed the opening day. But there’s no doubt where I’ll be on April Fool’s Day: I’ll be skiing.

Many years ago, we had a winter very much like this one. You know, snow in woods and fields and several inches of ice on the streams. It sure made fishing tough, but I persevered. I went up the creek from my house, broke a hole in the ice and drifted a night crawler down into the pool. Surprisingly, I caught a couple of nice native brookies.

A couple of years later, a friend said he was going to Cannonsville Reservoir for opening day. Reluctantly, I went along. The streams were too high to fish, so why not try something different.

We parked at the Trout Creek bridge and walked down the shore about 300 yards. Two other fishermen were close by, but we certainly weren’t crowded. By then, the ice had receded about 200 feet from shore, making it perfect for fishing.

Don clipped a 3-inch silver spoon onto his swivel and cast it clear out onto the ice. With a twitch of his rod, he flipped it into the water and let it wobble its way toward the bottom. He cranked the reel erratically and immediately had a hit. That brown trout weighed three or four pounds. Wow! First cast and first fish.

I wasn’t quite so lucky. It took me 10 or 12 casts before I got one on. He broke off before I could get him to shore. By noon, we each had three nice fish, with the largest weighing nearly 6 pounds.

One of the fellows just above us got the trophy. He caught a reservoir brown that weighed more than 14 pounds. There are plenty of fish there to be caught and you can print out a free permit to fish online.

Years before, I had fished the reservoir closer to Deposit and caught a couple in the six-pound class. A silver spoon and 10-pound test line is all you need. They hit really well as the ice melts back from shore. Later on as the water warms, the fish go deeper. Then you need a boat.

I have used this same technique when fishing for brook trout in the Adirondack back country. I hiked into Long Pond one spring day using snow shoes to navigate the trail. The ice was nearly gone, but the brookies were fat and hungry. I kept five that were 12 inches or better.

Later on that season, I fished that same pond and got skunked two days in a row. It just goes to show that with fishing, timing is everything.

It reminds me of that old saying, “You should have been here yesterday.”

What’s Happening?

Speaking of trout fishing, The Dave Brandt Chapter of Trout Unlimited will host its Introduction to Fly Fishing Course at Hanford Mills Museum in East Meredith from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 10. To sign up or for more information, call Marge Harris at 607-263-5767 or Dave Plummer at 607-563-1978.

Rick Brockway writes a weekly outdoors column for The Daily Star. Email him at