I’ll always remember the time I stood waist deep in a trout stream and watched a guy teach his significant other how to fly-fish. The sport isn’t as complicated as most people make it out to be, but this man chose a very technical fishing venue — tiny mayflies, flat water and finicky trout. Needless to say, all did not go well.
Fishing is supposed to be relaxing and fun. That’s why most of us enjoy it. A rookie needs an opportunity in which there’s a decent chance for success — or at the very least having a good time. Fortunately, there are a lot of local opportunities when anglers can share the sport and get someone started the right way.
Fishing with a guide is one of the best ways to take someone for the first time. Guides teach people how to fish, and it is often easier to have someone else take the role of teacher. Locally, the best opportunity to fish with a guide starts very soon with the striper run. Just do a Google search for “Hudson River striper guides.”
A spring striper trip on the Hudson is a lot of fun, from learning to catch bait to tying into a decent striper. The great thing is, the guides have safe boats and all the gear and knowledge needed to succeed. This is a great trip for a new angler.
Another excellent local opportunity starts soon when panfish become available. Spring is one of the best times to catch panfish, and this simple style of fishing is an easy way to teach someone the basics. Any spinning rod rigged with a bobber and some minnows are all you need. There are many places around here to enjoy spring panfishing.
If you don’t have equipment, some of the public libraries actually lend out fishing gear. This is a great way to try fishing and see if you like it without investing any money.
Also, be aware of upcoming free fishing days. Every year the Department of Environmental Conservation sets aside a couple of days when anyone can go fishing without buying a license. If you know someone who has not gone out and fished in a while — or never has tried it — these free fishing days are a great opportunity.
There are two days coming up in June (24-25) for some early summer fishing. If you want to take someone along on the salmon and steelhead streams (or anywhere else), there is another one this fall on Nov. 11. The Department of Environmental Conservation is considering adding additional free fishing days for next year.
Bringing another angler into the sport is very rewarding. It’s great to share the experience, and there are plenty of chances to do so in the Capital Region.