As I write this, warranted or otherwise, it is all but impossible to avoid talk of the Coronavirus. For me it has already exceeded the saturation point with talk of quarantines, hording and general hysteria wearing me down on social media and television alike. If there is a silver lining in the saga thus far, it’s that open-water fishing season is finally upon us. While things could change at any point, for the time being one of the safest places to be is outdoors, either on your own or in small groups, and that’s just the way I prefer to fish.
For many, trout fishing in the spring is a way to kick-off the start of open-water fishing. Even those anglers with deep ties and allegiance to saltwater pursuits have some trout gear in their stash, dusting it off each spring even if only for an outing or two as they play with freshly-stocked fish. On the other end of the spectrum you have the hardcore trouters, only happy to fool a true native on flies the size of your average no-see-um or gnat.
While anglers in Massachusetts are afforded year-round angling for their favorite trout species, those of us who reside in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine must wait for all waters to open in order to harvest trout en masse. Certain states, such as Connecticut and Vermont for example, have special catch-and-release regulations to supplement off-season angling; please refer to your state’s specific guidelines for further details.
- Connecticut, April 11: A Trout & Salmon Stamp is required if you intend to harvest any trout, or if you plan on fishing in any of the trout management waters across the state, in addition to your freshwater fishing license.
- Rhode Island, April 11: In addition to a freshwater fishing license, a trout conservation stamp is required of any person wishing to keep or possess a trout, salmon, or char caught in Rhode Island waters or by any person fishing in a “catch-and-release” or “fly-fishing ONLY” area.
- Vermont, April 11.
- New Hampshire, April 25.
- Maine; North Zone: April 1; South Zone: January 1 in lakes and ponds, April 1 in rivers, streams and brooks.
Now with all those lines in the water this month, at least a few of you are certain to hook into a nice fish or two. With any luck you will also have a digital camera handy, so when you land that first fish of the year snap a few quick pictures and email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a brief description of the catch including angler’s name, general location where the fish was landed and any other pertinent details which you would like to share. Please do your best to be mindful of the scene as well as the condition of the fish and be sure to shoot in vertical format. We will then sort through the best images received and put at least one of them on the cover of an upcoming weekly reports supplement of The Fisherman Magazine. If several great shots are submitted, then you will likely see a few images pop up in the coming weeks both on the cover as well in the printed reports section of the weekly and monthly editions of the magazine and the weekly Fishing Forecast Video which comes out on YouTube every Thursday. Special consideration will be given to action shots, photos including happy, smiling children and scenes that convey the enjoyment of fishing.
So regardless of whether you are a bait fisherman or prefer the fly rod, or if you are a fanatical purist or the fun-seeking fair-weather angler, that next trout just might land your smiling face on the cover of an upcoming copy of The Fisherman Magazine. Good luck!