I avoid opening day like the seven plagues of Hell! Too many people, no manners, lots of drunks, horrible language in front of men, women and kids. On another forum several people stated that they packed the Jaegermeister before they even bothered to load a fishing rod!
Usually the first trip I make to any state park after an opening day, I spend at least a couple of hours picking up trash and debris from around and in the river. It doesn't matter which park/river I go to - they all get trashed on opening day! With state budgets cut to the bone, there are few (if any) state empoyees available to pick up after all the slobs have departed.
You could not pay me enough to attend a Missouri trout opener in one of the state parks. If I go anywhere it will be to one of the smallest trout streams where there is at least some semblance of tranquility.
I'm not a fan of opening days; although I can see the advantages they offer. Money for the local fly shops, extra fishing licenses the state sells, the introduction to new fisherfolks... The negatives I see for the most part the crowds, and the attitudes you run into. Since I retired I have my own personal Opening Days, usually the Monday after; I like them much better.
I use to live next to a creek that stocked in maryland. Before the season would start nonsportsman bums would be down there taking fish out form the pool right under the bridge. they would show up right after the stocking was done. I would call mddnr or best i would run them off at night from my property, They lost there appatite for stocked trout? when miss remi 870 spoke first. Thats why I hate oppening day, brings out the nonsportsmen.
I've always headed up to the Eastern Sierra about a month after the opener and spend the weekdays leading up to Memorial Day weekend fishing when there are few people around. I'm driving home when the hordes are just arriving for the long weekend.
Many of the lakes still have ice on them through mid May, and sometimes later. I've also found that I would rather fish in places where there is less pressure. Several of the rivers and streams in that area are open year 'round with restrictions (barbless, catch-and-release only), which I don't mind. When it's cold, there are fewer people, and you can fish anytime.
I have to agree with Frank. It has always fascinated me that so many people go up to the Sierra Nevada mountains in the summer, and the prospect of finding solitude seems elusive at best. However, if you hike in just a few miles, solitude is available with not too much effort. Most people still don't deviate very far from main roads and campgrounds.
I once backpacked into the Hoover Wilderness (just outside Yosemite) in August. I spent five days exploring, but was never further than 5-10 miles from the hordes. I saw maybe two or three people in five days. Small effort...big pay off.
Growing up in southeast PA I always liked the "tradition" of opening day, but hated the closed season (and the crowds). Once the PA Fish Commission split the opening day into two regions it pretty much killed the tradition (and doubled the crowds).
Since moving to Utah - no closed seasons, no scheduled fleets of stocking trucks, no opening day - I can honestly say that I prefer it this way.
Since the thread has been resurrected, figured I'd drop my own impression... the majority of waters I fish don't close. Opening Day was good for one particular reason:
Opening day facial hair! It's like No-Shave November meets Civil War Formal, and may have been the result of losing a bet at the bar in Roscoe the night before... The rest of the day was full of consistent but generally snobby risers and a hook bent straight by a hard-fighting fish which I never had the pleasure of seeing! That and a few bucketfuls of rain and proof that the Orvis Pro Guide jacket does a pretty darn good job of keeping water out.
Opening day, no way! I might think about it if you could eliminate the drunks, or those wishing to haverest fish at the wrong time. Or those thinking somone else will pick up their trash. (Basic yuppie fishers the world is here to surve me type of attitude. Bull Shi_ type, dig me I bought a $70 shirt to come out today! I stoped hutting for these types of people.)
Give me a cold, wet, raining, ice freezing in the guides type of day. Where me and or a fishing bud can be out with the stream to ourself. Enjoying nature and the fish. Have fished a day before in the above described conditions without a bite and had a wonderful time just being out enjoing nature.
I can't vote one way or another. The sole purpose of "opening day" is for economical purposes. I don't benefit from it in any way, so I won't vote "yes", but at the same time, it does drum up business for my buddies at the local shops for a little while. Honestly though, I think it would be more beneficial to keep the hatchery supported and DH streams open and stocked regularly except during the hotter months (where applicable) and close the Wild fisheries during spawning season. That would allow trout fishermen an option to still fish the stocked waters during spawning months, while allowing the wild trout to spawn without being harassed (especially here in the GSMNP where our native brook trout population is on a steady decline). The shops wouldn't get the April "boom" of customers, but I think it would lead to more steady business throughout the year and better angling opportunities for everyone.