Mentored Youth Trout Day is right around the corner

The statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day is this Saturday, April 6. Fishing hours will be from 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

All stocked trout waters are included in the Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day. Special regulation areas, such as catch and release fly-fishing only or delayed harvest artificial lures only, are not included in the mentored youth program.

To participate, anglers under the age of 16 must have either a Mentored Youth Fishing Permit or a Voluntary Youth Fishing License and be accompanied by an angler 16 years of age or older who possesses a valid Pennsylvania fishing license and current trout/salmon permit.

The Mentored Youth Fishing Permit is free, and the Voluntary Youth Fishing License costs $2.70. Either of these can be obtained at any fishing license issuing agent or online at www.GoneFishingPA.com. You will need to furnish the child’s address, social security number, date of birth, height and eye color to acquire the permit. Both the young angler and his or her mentor are permitted to fish on the youth days, but only the young angler is permitted to keep two trout seven inches or longer.

The first Mentored Youth Trout Day occurred in 2013 as a pilot program confined to 12 designated lakes in southeast Pennsylvania. That experiment proved successful enough, and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) expanded the program to 29 designated lakes and ponds throughout Pennsylvania for 2014. In 2015, the program was expanded statewide to include all trout waters stocked by the PFBC and managed under Commonwealth inland waters regulations. Additional information about the Mentored Youth Trout Days program is available on the PFBC website, FishandBoat.com.

To make sure things go as smoothly as possible, the PFBC offers the following guidelines for conduct during the special youth days: “Please keep in mind that this is not an opportunity for adults to get an early start to trout season. The PFBC discourages a group of adults to ‘fish’ with one youth, or to fish while the youth is playing elsewhere, or is too young to fish. The PFBC also discourages youth organizations from using this as an opportunity to get a large group of youth fishing, with minimal adult supervision. Remember, mentoring works best when it’s one-on-one interaction.”

The Mentored Youth Trout Day is a great opportunity to introduce a young person to trout fishing without the crowded atmosphere that often occurs on some waters on a typical opening day. I would encourage any angler who knows a youngster who would like to go fishing to take advantage of this event. Make it fun for them. Get the kids out this week to practice with their equipment. Put a bucket or other targets in the backyard for some casting practice and make a game of it. Not only will that help the youngsters learn how to cast and handle their gear, it will build some anticipation and also alleviate so many problems on the water.

My biggest regret regarding the Mentored Youth Trout Day is I have never been able to participate in one of them. I love teaching kids to fish, but since the Mentored Youth Trout Day became a statewide opportunity in 2015, I have had a prior commitment prevent me from getting out with a budding angler on that day. Unfortunately, my schedule will cause me to miss the youth day this year again.

Remember, however, that any day is a great day to take a kid fishing, so I will certainly be on the water with some young anglers whenever I can this season.

The ninth annual Fly Tiers Reunion will be hosted by Seven Springs Mountain Resort at the resort’s Sporting Clays Lodge located at 777 Waterwheel Drive, Champion, on Friday, April 5, beginning at 6 p.m.

The event will showcase some of the country’s finest fly tiers who will be demonstrating their fly-tying skills while tying their most effective fly patterns. Scheduled to attend the event this year will be Tim Flagler, Bob and Bobby Clouser, Tom Baltz, Bob Patlen, Scott Loughner, Joe and Jody Messinger, Tim Cammisa, Dave Allbaugh, Reggie Regensburg, Mike Hogue, Josh Miller, Randy Buchanan, Greg Heffner, Gordon Chesney, Chuck Furimsky, and Andy, Jocelyn and Stone Fresch.

Outdoor writer and co-author of the book “Keystone Fly Fishing,” Len Lichvar, along with Headwater Books publisher and author Jay Nichols, will also be present to sign copies of the book and discuss angling destinations locally and around the state.

The event is free and open to the public. Beverages and food will be available for purchase and door prize drawings will be held.

For more information contact Sporting Clays/Fishing Manager Justin Sparklin at 800-452-2223 Ext. 7899 or email fishing@7springs .com.