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Trout season opens in Pennsylvania

April 17, 2005|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - Fishing for trout in Franklin County can be either an urban or rural experience.

Along Edenville Road northwest of Chambersburg, fisherman walk into a farmer's meadow and fish in Dennis Creek.

In downtown Chambersburg, a fisherman can buy coffee and a doughnut at Sheetz just a few steps from his favorite fishing spot.

The well-stocked Falling Spring runs through the borough, and on the opening day of Pennsylvania's trout season Saturday, many fisherman cast their lines into its water as traffic rumbled past.

Beside the Franklin County Administrative Annex on North Second Street, friends Kenny High and Jeremy Kauffman pulled in trout, throwing most of them back.

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By 9 a.m., each had several keepers on his string.

Sitting on the high stone wall above the Falling Spring as traffic streamed by, High said he had fished at the spot for 14 or 15 years.

"I usually get my limit," he said. "The fish like the shade under the bridge."

He plans to cook his catch on the grill, he said.

Kauffman sat on the other side of the stream, baiting his hook with white bread.

"No crust and no sinkers," he said. "Let it float on top. That's the secret."

Three years ago, he and High camped out overnight to be sure of getting their spot, Kauffman said. He plans to cook the fish in aluminum foil on the grill.

Cars were parked near the intersection of Loudon and South Franklin streets as fishermen stood on the sidewalk and threw their lines over the stone wall and into the water. In the north part of town, fisherman in waders climbed down a steep embankment behind Wilson College to fish in the wide creek there.

Best friends Michael Hart, 14, Thomas Holden, 15, and Sam Coyoc, 14, all of Chambersburg, got to their spot on North Main Street between Coyle Free Library and United Towers Apartments early.

When Sam's rod bent, Michael advised him to "grab hold of the line from the top of your rod and pull it." The line snapped anyway; it was caught on debris under the bridge.

Thomas hadn't pulled anything from the Falling Spring by 9:30 a.m.

"It takes patience, something I don't have," he said. "I did good last year." Sam had an 8-inch fish and Michael had a 9-incher.

For bait, the boys had "corn, power bait, worms and one hot dog bun."

"There's a social component to the opening day of trout season that's probably equally important to the act of casting your line in the water," said Dan Tredinnick, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Close to 2 million anglers fish in Pennsylvania, and the commission sells nearly 1 million licenses, about 10 percent to out-of-state residents.

Trout season runs from April 16 to Labor Day; special regulations allow fishing year-round on some waters.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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