July in our section of Penn’s Woods is a great time for fishing whether it’s the Susquehanna River, Rose Valley Lake or the stream, creek or crick of your choosing. Our area has some of the finest fishing you will find anywhere. My favorite fishing spot has always been the Loyalsock Crick. It is teeming with smallmouth bass, trout and the occasional walleye. Even when the fish aren’t biting, it’s just a beautiful place to be. This tradition I passed on to my son Jimmy — who is a much better fisherman than I am. I think it has something to do with the whole patience thing.
Mother Nature and flooding have always changed the fishing patterns in our area. It amazes me how The Loyalsock changes with each flood. You learn the new topography of the crick and fish on. However, what happened during the Fall flood of 2016 affected a local fishing-friendly organization in a much more dramatic way.
The Lycoming Creek Angler's Club has been around since our Great Nation's Bicentennial. For those of you counting at home that's 41 years. Wow! Is that hard to believe! It seems like yesterday my family enjoyed the Bicentennial parade downtown. It was a great All-American event and as a kid I gathered up more candy than even at the Mummers’ parade. Good thing I had a good dentist in Dr. Tice — never had a cavity back then.
Now back to the beaten path that I often stray away from. The Lycoming Creek Angler's Club does great work locally for the fishing community and promoting fishing for a lifetime.
They are best known for their annual Kids’ Fishing Derby, which had almost 300 young folks between the ages of 3-13 participate this past June 3rd. Every child gets a prize and the largest trout is mounted free. Tip of the fishing hat to Andy's Taxidermy for this great proof it wasn't a fish story. What a great event and way to get boys and girls hooked on fishing and to appreciate our great outdoors!
They also stock streams across the county for local anglers from all walks of life to enjoy. Many of the trout they raise are released in handicapped accessible fishing areas. This is a great idea the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission had to make sure those who face a much more difficult challenge than casting a line can enjoy being stream or creek side. My Uncle Ron (Maietta) dropped this knowledge on me and is a huge proponent of this program. Incidentally, Uncle Ron also took me to my first fishing derby when I was a young buck. It was held at Red Run Rod and Gun Club and I had a ball.
At the end of last October the over 700 members of the Lycoming Creek Angler's Club did not know if this year's programs were even going to be possible. The 9 inches of rain that fell around and north of the club did tremendous damage and destroyed their hatchery and raceway. The raceway is the area needed to separate and raise different size trout. Almost 11,000, and that is not a misprint, 11,000 trout were lost during the flooding. Damage was estimated near $20,000.
What an unbelievable effort by the members of the club to clean up and not miss a beat this year. Three machines were used in the cleanup and stream repairs were done with the help of the PA Fish and Boat Commission Habitat Division, the Lycoming County Conservation District and generous volunteers. As of June 20th the club was happy to inform me that they have around 11,000 trout back in their nursery.
Obviously there are still many more repairs that need completed and the club has taken a significant financial hit.
Steve and Elaine Berger have been members of the organization for 20 years. They reached out to me and provided all the information and asked for my help, which also equates to your help. The Lycoming Creek Angler's Club along with the help of the Consolidated Sportsmen Club are holding a 2017 Shoot for More Trout. Club President Mark Foresburg and Steve are the main organizers of the event, which will be held Sunday, August 13th at Consolidated Sportsmen of Lycoming County, 6386 State Route 87.
It will consist of a 100-target gun challenge for $20. Obviously we are talking clay birds. 50 trap, 25 wobble and 25 sporting clays. In addition there will be great raffles, games and of course prizes and trophies for top gun.
Pre-registration is encouraged but you can register the day of the event beginning at 10:00 a.m. First shots are expected to be fired around 11:30 a.m. It sounds like a great event to benefit an even better cause.
If you are interested in helping but not shooting, corporate donations begin at $25. Individual donations can be made in any amount. Donations can be made payable to: Lycoming Creek Angler's Club, Attention: Steve Berger 937 Cemetery Street, Williamsport, PA 17701.
For more information you can call Steve Berger at 570-447-2917 or email him at Seregreb4@verizon.net. He also wanted me to remind all shooters hearing and eye protection is mandatory.
God Bless America.