There are wonderful places to fish, The Madison, Armstrong’s spring creek, Alaska, Washington’s Olympic peninsula, the Snake, the Missouri, exotic fisheries in Argentina, New Zealand, Christmas Island and others. I find myself watching TV programs featuring these places. I listen to wonderful speakers describing their adventures at far away fisheries. Outdoor magazines are full of articles describing places I can only fantasize about. Places I have no hope of ever getting to. One day I was giving a talk in the New York metropolitan area. I couldn’t help but wonder how these people survived not being able to fish every day. Every fishing trip is an excursion! I had the luxury of being able to fish every day. My beloved Little Lehigh wss only twenty feet from my door! The thought process continued to develop. Instead of coveting the fishing adventures of others, I should think about the fishing opportunities I have! We eastern Pennsylvania fly fishermen have wonderful angling opportunities! Unlike many exotic fishing destinations, we have fly fishing opportunities 365 days a year. Winter trout fishing is available. We don’t have to spend the winter waiting for springtime and fly fishing. Pennsylvania’s Spring Creeks provide excellent fly fishing all winter. We don’t have to wait for a “run” of fish. We don’t need a “window of opportunity” to go fishing. We can fish all year. How many “destinations” can say that? If you want to catch big fish, no place in the world provides the chance to catch a lot of big fish than the Great Lakes tributaries. While our western colleges are driving for six hours to get to a trout stream, we can be on a Great Lake trib in a couple of hours. We don’t have to get on an airplane and fly forever to fish the surf. The Jersey shore is a couple of hours away. Then there is the Susquehanna. Not many Smallmouth fisheries can compare to it. It’s in our back yard. If you’re interested in catching wild stream bred trout, do a little research. Wild trout fishing opportunities are plentiful. The Delaware provides big water trout fishing as well as Muskies, smallmouth and my favorite, American Shad. It’s next door. Eastern Pennsylvanian Anglers don’t ever have to sit around waiting for the season. We can fish every day! This is truly unique! This Thanksgiving while some of our protégés are waiting for the run, or watching their waterways freeze, or booking flights to Christmas Island, I’ll be fishing the Jersey surf for Strippers or maybe I’ll hit a Great Lakes tributary for Steelhead or simply spend a couple of hours on a Pennsylvania trout stream before Thanksgiving dinner. An eastern Pennsylvania fly fisherman has a lot to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you get to wet a line.
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