Trout fishermen angling for a bite or two

April 03, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER |
  • Daniel Young, right, and friend Kyle Beaver, both of Greencastle, Pa., fish in Conococheague Creek near Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pa., on Sunday, the second day of trout season.
By Roxann Miller/Staff Writer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Mark Hollinshead of Orrtanna, Pa., has been hooked on fishing since he was 10.

Not even a crushed ankle could keep him away from Pennsylvania’s opening day of trout season on Saturday.

“I just like the serenity and the peace of fishing. When you feel one on the end of the line, it makes your heart beat a little bit faster — whether it’s a big one or not,” said Hollinshead, 45.

After 26 years of fishing at the exact same spot at Wilson College, Hollinshead wasn’t going to take any chances with his luck.

So, he set up his fishing gear and baited his hook with salmon and peach PowerBait to entice unsuspecting trout.

“I love fishing. I’ll go fishing as much as I can,” said Hollinshead, who caught his five-fish limit on the first day.

Eager angler Larry Glace III drove to Chambersburg hoping to reel in the “big one.”

He couldn’t wait for trout season to open on April 16 in his hometown of Tyrone, Pa., so he, his father and grandfather traveled two hours to fish in Chambersburg on Saturday.

“I wanted to get some practice in,” said the youngest Glace with a sly smile.

Trout season began Saturday for the following counties: Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and York.

The rest of the state will have to wait until April 16 to fish for trout.

Even though 20-year-old Glace seemed optimistic about catching his favorite fish for dinner, he hedged his bets and kept the phone number for the nearest Chinese restaurant handy just in case he didn’t catch a single trout and needed to order takeout food.

“I just like fishing and getting out together. Catching them is just a bonus,” said Glace’s father.

Every year, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocks about 3.2 million trout in waterways across the state, according to the agency’s website.

About 850,000 anglers buy a fishing license each year, according to the site. A resident fishing license costs $22.70 and a trout-salmon permit costs $9.70. A license is required for anyone 16 and older. Licenses can be purchased at sporting-goods stores and online at

On Saturday, the Chambersburg Rod and Gun Club poured buckets of fish into Conococheague Creek at Wilson College.

“It’s like delivering fish to the fishermen,” Chambersburg Rod and Gun Club Trout Committee spokesman Jerry Seylar said with a smile.

Seylar said 400 rainbow, brook and brown trout were put into the water by Loop Road and 400 more from Boyer Mill Road to Wilson College, which was the group’s last stop.

“We generally stock 15,000 to 20,000 in April and May every year, and we also stock in the fall,” Seylar said. “We do this to keep everyone happy.”

Sanjeev Ramroop, 11, of Chambersburg, tried as hard as he could to snag one of the trout dumped into the creek. But he had no luck.

“If you dump them in, they are shocked,” said Ray Beltz, 59, of Fayetteville, Pa. “But, it you place them in slowly, you have a chance at catching them,” he told Sanjeev.

As the more experienced fisherman, Beltz tried to pass on a few fishing tips to the young fisherman.

“You put it (PowerBait) on the hook like this so it looks natural,” Beltz told Sanjeev, shaping the bait into a teardrop shape before casting the line into the water.

“He taught me a lot, like to keep my fishing gear organized and how to take the hook out of the fish’s mouth quickly,” Sanjeev said.

Just downstream was Robert Gwynn of Chambersburg, a relatively new fisherman who seemed undaunted by the fact that he hadn’t caught anything.

He brought most of his family members and several friends to opening weekend of trout season.

“We’ve just been out here trying,” Gwynn said. “This gives the kids something else to do other than play video games. It gives them something constructive to do.”

“Opening day is special because it signals the end of winter and the beginning of spring,” John Arway, executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, said in a news release. “It’s great if you catch trout, but the day is really about getting out of the house, enjoying the outdoors, and spending quality time with family and friends.”

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