Fishing with dad: brothers brave cold for first day of trout season

Kris B. Mamula, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Outdoors

“I’ll help you,” Max called out, before taking the rod from Declan. Slowly he coaxed the hook from beneath a rock.

Fishing teaches kids patience and problem-solving skills, but the real magic happens when they start to get the hang of casting a line to just that spot where the fish are feeding. Trout prefer deeper pools in colder temperatures, but they move to shallow water as the sun warms things up, Mr. Claflin told the boys.

And casting — it’s all about timing, getting the knack of pulling back, then snapping the rod with just the right flick so as not to overshoot the target.

“As a dad, when you seem them cast, it’s just like, wow,” said Mr. Claflin, a Pittsburgh police officer.

It was mid-morning, about two hours after they arrived, when Declan slipped on a steep bank, his right foot sinking into the icy creek, soaking his leg up to his knee. “Time to go back,” Mr. Claflin announced.

“It’s not that cold,” Declan said. He pulled back his rod to cast again.

Max said he got a bite, “but it didn’t stay on.”


“How’s your foot, bud,” Mr. Claflin asked Declan.

“It’s getting little warmer,” the boy said. “It feels a little bit better.”

But it wasn’t long before he grew quiet and said, “I’m done. I want to go back.”

The three of them climbed the bank to the Montour Trail, the shortest route back. A “leaf fish” was the only catch of the day, which Max had reeled in.

Both boys laughed about the catch as they walked away with their dad.

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