If you do an opener, what I gather is people do it for the same reasons you might attend a family reunion or a class reunion. Fishing's only part of the experience.
Based on what I have seen over the years including talking to many people who actually do attend the opening day; I would say it is less like a family reunion (at least the ones I have attended) and more like a Super Bowl - the event is simply being there, drinking and partying, while the game (fishing) is a very small part of the action.
I hear from a friend that its not always like that. He said the same thing flyfisher said. I think I might try to go during the week sometime!
Go to ANY of the trout parks during the week days or in the off season and you will have the entire park to yourself. Best time I ever had in a trout park was in May, we came down on a sunday and left Friday morning. There was 2 other campers in the whole park......out of like 300 camp sites. I cant tell you how many fish we caught, probably 100+ each.
It is what you make of it and what you are use to. unfortunately I do not live in an area of pristine wild trout water like some people, so trout parks are about as close as I can come. I guess because I go on opening day almost every year now for the last 7 years it doesn't seem that crazy. I agree with everyone else that it is empty during the week. It is a family park its were I learned to fish for trout, so its always special to me. That's why me and my brothers drove three hours down to the park to fish all day and then drove back the same day.
I know "put-and-take" and "stockers", etc are an anathema to many trout fisherman. I can kind of see where those guys are coming from. I don't agree, but sort of see where they might feel that way. Here's the 2-cents from somebody who grew up in Missouri and started fly fishing for trout there.
Don't get me wrong, I love fishing for trout where nobody's around and you can see mountains in all directions. Some of those places demand the perfect approach, the perfect cast and the right fly. On the other hand, I've fished a number of beautiful, secluded wild trout streams where the fish run for the nearest logjam or undercut if they catch the slightest glimpse of you. But, if you stayed out of sight you could catch them on almost anything. At Bennett or any heavily fished tailwater the fish don't care if they see you - they see people all the time. But Lord, they can be so fickle sometimes a stick of dynamite would be the only thing that worked. Every trout fishing situation has it's challenges - its all good. I can get as far away from the Real World at Bennett as I can on the North Platte. Trout fishing is magic.
I caught my first trout on a fly rod at Montauk State Park, a sister park to Bennett. I haven't got over it yet. Many people have mentioned the family-oriented nature of parks like Bennett. So true. I've seen a lot of kids catch their first trout on a fly rod there and I'm positive many of them, like me, never get over it. A lot of those kids will travel all over the country fishing for trout in more "Real Trout Fishing"-type trout fishing locations, far from anyone. But when they come back to Bennett, they'll have a ball and not care if somebody is close to them. Probably strike up a conversation.
Every trout fishing situation has it's challenges - its all good. I can get as far away from the Real World at Bennett as I can on the North Platte. Trout fishing is magic. I caught my first trout on a fly rod at Montauk State Park, a sister park to Bennett. I haven't got over it yet. Many people have mentioned the family-oriented nature of parks like Bennett. So true. I've seen a lot of kids catch their first trout on a fly rod there and I'm positive many of them, like me, never get over it. A lot of those kids will travel all over the country fishing for trout in more "Real Trout Fishing"-type trout fishing locations, far from anyone. But when they come back to Bennett, they'll have a ball and not care if somebody is close to them. Probably strike up a conversation. Three cheers for Bennett!
You can meet a lot of neat people there, and I certainly have. I love solitude when fishing, but I get a lot of it in camp since I'm normally camping alone. A person to strike up a conversation with is a nice thing on the water.
---------- Post added at 10:14 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:03 PM ----------
Originally Posted by Flyfisher for men
One thing else to look for is the moss cutting schedule. Try weaver's tackle for the days and times. Some people love it and some hate it.
Why you might hate it: When they're doing it, it will make parts of the stream tough to fish with all the vegetation floating around till it goes downstream. (you can always go upstream).
Why you might love it: It makes scuds and nymphs absolutely deadly. They get dislodged and its chow time.
Personally, I like it.
---------- Post added at 11:51 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:40 AM ----------
Yep, I avoid the park when they plan on weed-cutting.... You can sometimes click on the "calender" link or look at the little "events" window on the right on their website ...bennettspringstatepark.com.... to see which days weed-cutting is planned.(thats if Eddie who works in the store remembers to mark the weed-cutting dates on the website calender, I notice as of right now, he hasn't marked the days on the calender).....Best to call them really, cause last year a couple of the dates that were marked were wrong, because the weed-cutter broke down. The park can be very un-crowded on weekdays. I had one weekday last year when it was drizzling rain, I just put my raincoat on....absolutely nobody else in site. Found a good place with no trees behind me to interfer with my back-cast and had a good time. Nobody else there.....But when others are there, they are usually nice people and fun to talk to. Here's a video I made last year that shows the dreaded weed-cutter in action..... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKj3j4piFP0
Man that reminds me of opening days from year's past on Bushkill Creek back in PA. Everyone is lining the banks by 6:30a, many have camped out... about 7:45a people start moving into position and lining up across all of the lowhead dams... everyone looking at each other waiting for someone to make the first cast. Then at 8:00a sharp the mayhem begins!
It was an annual event, but I don't really miss it.