Pa. man’s creation turns into his business

When Joe Renosky of Indiana was a mere lad, his mother would drop him off along Yellow Creek to fish. Some hours later, she would pick him up in town. Today, Renosky owns that same stretch of Yellow Creek and owns the famed Yellow Creek Trout Club that offers some pretty terrific fishing.

One day as young Renosky was fishing, he noticed another angler having some success with Mepps spinners. That angler suggested that young Renosky could actually make his own spinners to use so his mom purchased a start-up stock of supplies for him and Joe began to do just that – fashioning his own spinners.

These homemade lures and spinners caught a lot of fish. Pretty soon, other anglers were watching him and asking what he was using. So Renosky, even then the astute entrepreneur, began to sell his lures and spinners to other fisherman.

From that beginning, (which reminds me much of Opie Taylor from Mayberry TV fame) Renosky has a huge fishing lure and related items business in Indiana, owns 400 acres on each side of Yellow Creek and now hosts anglers such as Ben Roethlisberger, who came there with his father to fish, and Max Starks, also a former Pittsburgh Steeler who came one day while I was there so I got to glimpse him from afar.

Renosky has improved his selected stretch of Yellow Creek with over a score of jack dams. Club members have the privilege of fishing every day of the year except the opening day of buck season.

It was through my hunting buddy Joanie Haidle that I met Renosky. He had invited her to hunt turkeys on his land and I was just tagging along. The first morning we arrived at his cabin before dawn and got ourselves set up against a huge oak tree overlooking a small orchard near his cabin, which he had told us would be the best place. But we heard nothing that morning so we tramped/drove around trying to rouse a gobbler that would talk but had no luck.

Next morning would be very different. That day, Renosky himself hunted with us and took charge of the day. We set up again at that same little orchard and this day there was gobbling everywhere. After awhile a crowd of turkeys came sneaking in but before they got within shotgun range they made us out and simply turned and walked away.

Well, no matter, Renosky said, he knew where to go from there. Trouble was, the only way to get there from where we were was by quad. We hopped on the quads and went from one good spot that he knew to another. We’d set up at each spot and Joanie would call and we’d wait but the birds just did not cooperate. Every turkey hunter has days like that.

Then Renosky pointed out the mountain on the other side – which looked like Pike’s Peak to me – and said we would ride the quads down this steep side and up that even steeper side where surely there would be gobblers just waiting for us to get there.

For reasons I won’t go into here, I had a real phobia about riding the quad down and then up to that horridly steep and wild place. I swallowed my fear and hung on for dear life. As long as I didn’t have to look I was in only a mild state of panic. Even my ever-present Guardian Angels breathed a sigh of relief when we finally dismounted on that far peak.

It was no doubt some of the most gorgeous terrain I’ve ever seen in Pennsylvania. Renosky’s land was perfect turkey terrain and Joanie’s calling was superb, as it always is. But it was to no avail. I hope to be able to visit there again.

It was worth it all, however, just to get acquainted with Renosky’s line of Walleye and bass lures, spinners and jigs. He even gave me a look at the newest invention which is not on the market yet but I can give you an advance tip: look for the “Add-A-Buzz, a new top water for Bass and the new “Spin-A-Shad” the new underwater plug for Bass and Musky.