Saturday April 7th was the opening of the IL. inland Trout Opener. As the sun rose on the horizon and turkeys cackled in the background, thousands of IL. anglers hit various streams,lakes, and ponds in hopes of landing a Rainbow Trout. Twice a year the IL DNR stocks farm raised Rainbows throughout the state, once in spring and again in the fall. Every year the Spring opener has kind of become a tradition to me. Ever since I was 13 years old I have fished the opener. Now it has become a tradition for my son as well.
3:30 A.M. on that Saturday it was up and adam. We gathered our gear, stopped for doughnuts and coffee, and off to the stream to claim our spot. We soon arrived at our destination, Pickasaw Creek in Chemung. There were about a hundred or so anglers sitting on the shore anxiously awaiting the 5 A.M. start of opening day. As soon as 5A.M. struck the clock it sounded like rocks hitting the water as everyone tossed there lines in the water.
In the first hour we had caught 2 fish and soon there after we had 3 more. Most anglers that had fished the Pickasaw that morning didn't walk away empty handed. There where tons of kids on the banks with ear to ear smiles ringing in on there face. The trout season is a great way to get kids involved in fishing, and I recommend it to all.
The most interesting part of this trip was when I got to talking with an older gentleman that was tossing flies after the crowd had cleared. We both agreed that most waters in IL. aren't necessarily suitable for Rainbow Trout to survive. As most of the trout that where stocked in the Pickasaw where probably going to die off in the summer months if they weren't caught and consumed. Then this older gentleman proceeded to inform me that years ago they used to stock Brown Trout rather than Rainbows because the survival rate of a Brown in these waters was much greater. Over the past few years I have heard rumors of Big Browns being caught in this stream, but never really thought twice about it, and now it clearly makes sense. I think I am going to be investigating these waters a little more this summer.
Here are a few pics from the days catch, hope you enjoy!