Trout Fishing on Opening Day

by Erich Martin

Apr 7, 2019

Situated in one of Washington State’s most picturesque landscapes, White River Campground in Mount Rainier National Park makes the best basecamp if you visit the area in search of salmon and trout. It caters to many fly fishermen, but is also a great place to relax among the scenic Pacific Northwest surroundings. © Christy Hembree |

Tips / Other

For many, trout fishing season indicates the true beginning of spring. Brisk mornings give way to warmer afternoons as the changing seasons make themselves felt.


Depending on where you are located, the opening day of trout fishing can be a totally unique experience, packed with friendly faces. Check out your local fish and game administration’s website for information on when the actual season begins. In Pennsylvania, for instance, opening day differs not only from surrounding states, but also from county to county.


Anglers who live in or near mountains will have no trouble finding truly wild trout to catch on opening day. In the south and other places far from the cold mountain streams, trout are trucked in and loaded into the still frigid water. Oftentimes, the waterways will warm up to a temperature not suitable for trout, and they will die once the water gets warm.


The nature of stocked waterways in southern states and counties far from native trout and salmon means opening day has the potential to be absolutely packed. A small lake stocked with trout will attract shoulder-shoulder anglers and enough boats to make the water feel congested. My advice is to show up early. Back in the day, folks would camp out the night before, making sure they had their spot ready for the official start of opening day.


If you plan on having any luck at all, you need to be fully prepared mentally, physically and also in terms of your gear. Use light line. Trout are fickle and will bristle at heavy line. Luckily, trout are small and manageable with two and four pound test. If you aren’t sure what to bait up with, grab some PowerBait. This stuff smells good, at least, according to some friends I used to go fishing with, but it is exactly what you are looking for if you are going for some keeper trout.


Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with those around you. Most anglers, especially on packed days, are open to talking about their fishing adventures.


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