The problem with opening day is usually the number of people on the trout stream. I solved this problem a while ago by going crappie fishing the first weekend. This way everyone is fishing for trout and I can go fishing and catch crappie.
But veterans have an even better idea.
Project Healing Waters went with trout Unlimited on a trip while trout fishing last week. My son-in-law is a Vietnam veteran and he learned to fly fish. He says he’s not that good a fly fisherman yet, but he’s trying. I hear the tales of his misadventures and adventures. Project Healing Waters operates out of the Wheeling Vet Center, and they teach vets to fly fish, build poles, and tie flies.
Then they take them on a trip. Last week they went to a beautiful campsite at Harman’s Luxury Cabins at the North Fork of the South Potomac. It is near Elkins, W.Va., in the mountains. The guys caught the trout and had a great time. The cabins here are gorgeous and look right over the water. They have all fished and learned to use gear and actually practice. These veterans all deserve to fish and relax. They watched over us when asked.
Unfortunately, there are no natural trout streams in Washington County.
One of my favorite trout streams in Washington County is Aunt Clara Fork near Burgettstown and Kings Creek. Both are great trout streams and I loved going to the Devils Den area to fish. Opening days would find Eileen and I there and throughout trout season it was our favorite close to home. Another beautiful trout stream near you is Templeton Run. The weather is nice in the spring.
In terms of size, Kings, Templeton, and Mingo Creek are all small streams, but they are stocked. Mingo is clear and easy enough for children to fish, but it is also the most fished. Little Chartiers creek is stocked and of the three has good water flow. It has a silt bottom which creates muddy water if it rains. It joins Big Chartiers which flows into Lake Canonsburg.
Traveling a little further we find Jones Mill and Laurel Hill State Park. The pond, which is a nice hike, and the creek are great fishing. There is a spot on Laurel Hill for fly fishing only, but it is well marked. My favorite spot is just before the water hits the lake. This water is beautifully clean and cold. Usually when I go to this creek, about an hour from here, it’s for the bigger trout. Last year I had a huge golden trout that drove me crazy on this creek. I picked it up on an artificial lure spoon, the only section of the stream, while fishing with my daughter and my son-in-law.
Neshannock creek is a nice peaceful fishing trip. I like to fish for Volant at the bridge and in the waters of Neshannock Creek. This trip is straight up 79 to New Castle and a bit further. Meadow Run is another good trout stream and is in Ohio Pyle.
Finally, if you really want to get out a little further, head for Sugar Creek near Franklin. This is a nice trout stream for anyone wanting to catch larger scale trout. There are big trout here in this well known trout stream. The last time I was up, I did very well.
There will be a gun show at the Arden Fairgrounds on April 8-9. It is again hosted by the ARH. Hopefully there are reasonably priced weapons and supplies. Hope is eternal.
George Block writes a weekly outdoors column for the Observer-Reporter.