Opening day of trout season passed and I didn’t even realize it.
It’s different today than it was many years ago.
I was always ready to fish on April 1. When winter finally thawed into spring, I was on the local streams even if there was snow on the ground and ice on the creeks.
I remember heading up the creek by my house and having to break ice to get a worm into the frigid water. I’ve caught many nice brookies that way, despite the weather.
One opening day, an old friend of mine and I started at the Hartwick Rod and Gun Club and fished down to the South Hartwick bridge. Every pool had a trout or two. Steve and I caught a number of nice browns and brook trout that morning and none of them were stocked the day before. Each of us easily could have limited out that morning.
But again, it’s different today. Fish aren’t in the creeks like they were in the past.
I talked to a fellow who lives on the Otsdawa Creek the other day. He and his son had fished a section behind their house. Over the years, there were always trout in the creek, but not anymore. They fished for a couple of hours and never got a bite. He asked for my opinion on the subject.
I feel there are several reasons for the demise of trout in our local streams. The main problem is food.
Since we’ve had two major floods in recent years, the creek bottoms have been severely scoured and their levels have dropped dramatically.
Harrison Creek, which runs along Route 23 in front of my house, is several feet lower than the adjacent ground than it was when I grew up.