Robert Vierck fished with his dad on and off his whole life.
When his dad was 93, Vierck flew back to State College from Honolulu, where he was living at the time, to take his dad fishing for opening day of trout season.
“He caught a 14-inch brown trout, and it was one of the most exciting days of both of our lives. Just to have him have the enjoyment and the camaraderie of being out on the stream, and with his old fishing friends from Tyrone. It was a great moment for both of us,” said Vierck, Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited president.
Opening day of trout season is Saturday (with an official start time of 8 a.m.), and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has prepared by stocking more than 3 million trout throughout the state.
“The best part of opening day is not so much the fish you catch as ... the friends that you enjoy the day with and being outside,” Vierck said.
But Vierck doesn’t wait for opening day to get out to the stream, he fishes year-round.
One of the benefits of the area is that many of the streams are wild trout streams that aren’t stocked, he said. When the streams aren’t stocked, like Spring Creek, they can be fished any time of the year.
“We’re blessed in central Pennsylvania with Spring Creek, which has the highest number of trout per mile of any stream in Pennsylvania and significantly higher than almost any stream in the entire country,” he said.
SCCTU’s primary function is the preservation and conservation of Spring Creek, but the organization also provides outreach programs, such as its Veterans Service Program and classes for kids and families about casting, fly-fishing and general fishing techniques, Vierck said.