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Rod, Gun & Game: Perfect time to take a youngster fishing

TAKE A KID FISHING —Early Season Trout Fishing can identify new focus for modern youngsters. Record numbers of fish will stocked in Erie County streams this spring. Photo courtesy of Forrest Fisher.
This unusual short delay in the traditional Western New York spring thaw has left many inland lake waters frozen solid with little runoff for streams set to be stocked with April Fool’s Day hatchery trout. April 1, a Tuesday this year, marks the opening day for the New York State inland trout fishing season.

NYSDEC fishery biologists have a terrific plan for spring 2014 Trout Stocking, in which the anticipated number of yearling and older trout to be stocked will exceed previous years, with some trout in the 12 to 15 inch size range. The majority of stocked rainbow and brown trout will be eight to 10 inches in length.

If you are looking ahead to taking an early spring fishing trip to one of our premier Western New York inland trout streams, try Wiscoy Creek in Pike, East Koy Creek at Hermitage or Gainesville, the Little Buffalo Creek in Elma or Lancaster, the east branch of the Cazenovia Creek above East Aurora, but below Holland, and so many other little streams and ponds too, like Sprague Brook Park or the pond at Springville Field and Stream sportsman’s club. For Erie County, check the DEC website for specific locations of fish stockings at

With nearly 20,000 trout being stocked in Erie County streams alone, the numbers going in are up, a good sign for a successful early fishing season. If you have grandchildren, call them. No grandkids? You have friends and neighbors – they don’t fish, but they have kids, call them! Then invite their parents too! Most folks not a part of the outdoors from childhood, have no idea about the fun we all share in the outdoors.

They don’t know about the fresh air, the adventure, the outdoor meals, the hearty laughs, the shared moments, the incredible taste of an open-fire hot dog cooked on a stick, or a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich with open-fire percolated coffee – or hot chocolate, though we would settle for that percolated coffee over a Coleman stove flame too – you may have to search for a coffee pot like those old coffee bubblers.

There are bonding opportunities by the ton-full, thanks to the simplicity of the birds, the bugs – though not many at this time of year, the bees, deer grazing in the cow pasture at sunrise, the eagles, hawks and owls keeping watch overhead – you’ll hear their songs, the crows squawking from watchtower trees that you are invading their turf, bluejays answering squawks with an attitude back to those crows. It’s fun to find that special opening day fishing zone, your fishing zone, if not for just the simple fun of it all. There is an incredible message of relaxation to be discovered with inland trout fishing.

Generations before us talked to their offspring of these moments to be shared on this special day next week. They offered a plan for opening day of trout season where kids got sick for one day, parents too, and everybody headed for the trout ‘criks.’ This year, make it an incredible day and an entertaining moment in the history of your family. Inspire hearts, talk about the love of your God and country, and express your commitment to sharing in all our incredible outdoors.

Outdoor Calendar:

- March 28: Indoor Winter 3D Archery, West Falls Conservation, 55 Bridge St., Friday fun shoot, 7 p.m., fee/week, call Mike Cummings at 337-0126.

- March 29: WNY Trout Unlimited, Annual Banquet and Fundraiser, Lucarelli’s, Lackawanna, 6 p.m. start, call 826-4178 for information.

- March 29: 12th Annual Outdoor Show & NYS Big Buck Scoring Day, S&S Taxidermy, Rte. 219 (455 S. Cascade Dr., Springville), call 592-2404.

- March 30: Winter 3D Outdoor Winter League, Annual shoot-Off competition for league members, West Falls Conservation, 55 Bridge St., breakfast starts 7 a.m., call Mike Cummins at 432-6035.

- April 1: SCOPE Safe Act Rally to Albany, bus trip, visit online at for information.

- April 4/5: NYS Hunter Safety Archery,, register on-line, Hawkeye Bowmen Clubhouse, 13300 Clinton, Alden.

- April 5: Niagara Musky Association, 20th Annual Anniversary Awards Banquet, Pearl Street Grill & Brewery, 76 Pearl St., Buffalo, 6-11 p.m., call Scott McKee at 225-3816.

- April 5: NYS Hunter Safety Archery, Springville Field and Stream, home study course, 8900 Chase Rd., register in person at Concord Town Hall.

- April 5/6: NYS Hunter Safety Training,, register on-line, Erie County Conservation Society, 13319 Miller Ave., Chaffee.

- April 5/12: NYS Hunter Safety Training, visit, register on-ine, Southtowns Walleye Association, call 627-0147 for information.

- April 10: State of Lake Erie Meeting, 7-9 p.m., Southtowns Walleye clubhouse, 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg, call Helen Domske at 645-3610 or email

Send outdoor information to Forrest Fisher, 10 days in advance, at

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