Trout generate current of excitement

OUTDOORS

March 27, 1994|By LONNY WEAVER

The put-and-take trout season got under way yesterday and, as usual, I was right in the middle of the festivities at the Westminster Pond and Beaver Run.

I've got a lot of pals who frown on my addiction to hatchery trout. These fellows get a case of the snobs from time to time and shudder at the thought of me not only committing the crime of catching trout with bait, but compounding the felony by actually eating those I hook.

I modestly admit to some historic measure of success on these hatchery, put-and-take trout. The biggest mistake I see repeated by frustrated pond trouters is that of using tackle that is too heavy for the fish.

Any rod set up to handle line heavier than 6-pound test is far too heavy, and the ideal is probably 4-pound test mono.

I've got a dandy old Fenwick 4 1/2 -foot fiberglass spinning rod matched with a mini-sized Diawa reel that never has seen line heavier than 4-pound test and more times than not has been teamed with 2-pound test. It's just about perfect for some secret native brook trout streams that I've hoarded over the years.

For general purposes, though, I think most of us are ideally served with a 6 1/2 - to 7-foot graphite ultralight spinning rod and matching reel. This will work well in small trout streams, yet enable you to cast a reasonable distance over stocked ponds and the larger streams.

I have no pride when it comes to this game and strongly endorse all sorts of standard hatchery-fed trout fare. Cheese balls, worms of all varieties, canned corn and salmon eggs are sure-fire fish producers.

But, I think I may have stumbled on the best of the best -- Trout Nibbles, which are canned by Berkley under their Power Bait line. They are scented, cheese ball-textured floating baits that have out-fished everything I have ever used on these trout.

I fish it like a salmon egg by simply impaling it on a #10 to #16 salmon egg hook. For pond trout I get best results by using a sliding sinker but for stream fish use a split shot just heavy enough to bounce the bait along in the current. On the larger hooks you may want to use more than one Nibble.

Don't despair if you had to pass up opening day. There are still hundreds of trout waiting to be your dinner.

Available county waters playing host to put-and-take trout are Westminster Pond, the Farm Museum Pond in Westminster, Piney Run Reservoir as well as the Piney Run mainstem downstream from Arrington Road; Beaver Run upstream of Route 91 near Finksburg and the Patapsco River from Route 32 at Sykesville downstream to the North Branch of the Patapsco River.

In a couple of weeks I'll please my uppity pals and trade bait for flies and a delicate DT5F line.

If fly fishing has caught your interest, but you feel like you are waving a long carrot around the streams, Dr. Jim Gilford's Fenwick Basic Fly Casting Schools in Frederick might be of interest.

Gilford has been running this school for many years. The school dates are April 23-24, May 14-15, June 11-12, July 9-10, Aug. 20-21 and Sept. 17-18. It costs $150.

Call (301) 663-3966 or write Fenwick Fly Fishing Schools, 7003 Glen Court, Frederick, MD 21702.

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