Advice from seasoned fisherman

This letter is in response to the July 3-4 mailbag letter “Fishing for wild trout should be preserved” by Nick Vrabel of Altoona.

The article Vrabel refers to can be found by googling “Pennsylvania Bait Anglers Beware.”

I fish strictly with minnows. I’m 74 years of age and have caught trout every month of year, including January and February, for I’d say the last 15 years.

I’m not positive, but I think I have only killed one trout the last two years.

Ninety-nine percent of the trout caught I’ve hooked cleanly in the mouth jaw area. I usually hook and land between two to 20 fish in about four to five hours of fishing.

Frequently I catch small-mouth and large-mouth bass, fall-fish, yellow suckers, rock bass and occasionally even a bluegill or sunfish.

I will agree that “only” a “dry-fly” fisherman has less chance of hooking a trout in lip/jaw than myself or any of the feather guys using wet flies, nymphs and streamers.

The possibility of the wet-fly streamer, nymph fisherman is so similar to using bait that as many fish can engorge or swallow deeply a nymph, wet fly or streamer as I do with a minnow.

It’s almost a duplicate type of presentation and engaging the hook to the fish.

If I hook one deeply — and that is a rare occasion — I snip my leader and allow a 10-cent hook in the fish and always take care of releasing and reviving the fish slowly and gently in shallow water until it’s breathing normally and slowly swims back to the current.

I doubt that many fly fishermen snip off their $5 fly the way I snip off my 10-cent hook to help the fish live.

In closing I’ve taught and preached and acted with a creed “be an Indian — don’t leave a moccasin track behind.

When I leave the stream my fishing vest is filled to the top — to its limit — cans, bottles, cigarette packs, styrofoam cups on and on.

I have never — never — seen an “orvis boy” ever pick up one piece of litter along a stream.

It is below their dignity as they believe a 74-year-old minnow fisherman has thrown it there.

Ed Hill


PSU’s greed knows no bounds

I have had Penn State season football tickets for 45 years.

There was no season in 2020 so I rolled over my tickets to 2021 with the guarantee that there would be no price increase.

Now that PSU has decided to go to mobile ticketing, if you aren’t a smart phone owner, you will be charged an extra $65 for paper tickets.

It seems to me that Penn State found a way to break the no-raising ticket prices guarantee, and if you aren’t tech savvy, you’re out of luck.

This is not how you treat loyal supporters.

There will be a lot of empty seats in 2022.

John McNichol


Baseball often rewards failure

A pro forward in basketball misses seven of 10 3-point shots — benched.

A pro bowler misses the head pin seven out of 10 times — never makes a nickel.

A pro wide receiver drops seven of 10 passes — benched.

A pro golfer shanks seven of 10 tee shots — never plays on the weekend.

A pro hockey goalie lets seven out of 10 pucks get by him — benched.

A pro soccer goalie lets seven out of 10 balls get by him — benched.

A pro tennis player hits the net on seven out of 10 attempts — out of the money.

A pro baseball player fails seven times out of 10 times at the plate — he gets a raise.

Go figure.

John Soldo



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