When local rivers are running high and dirty, some unsafe to wade and others only marginally suitable for throwing big streamers, it’s nice to have another option. Moreover, when the short resident trout season ends at the end of September and the only fishing left is migratory species near the mouths of rivers and some warm water fishing, it’s great to have somewhere to turn.
To this effect, I decided to try something new this year. The trout ponds at Glen Haffy’s Fly Fishing Club offer some excellent stocked Rainbow Trout fishing for about 8 months out of the year. As an added benefit, they also enjoy a healthy population of native Brook Trout that enter one of the ponds from a small spring creek. The ponds are nestled within hundreds of acres of conservation land and offer excellent fishing in a truly serene atmosphere.
Normally, I’m not a fan of pay-to-enjoy outdoor activities, especially when it comes to fishing. To this end, I have to admit that I had certain preconceptions about what my experience would be like at Glen Haffy. I pictured very easy to catch stocked Rainbows, a commercialized feel to the club and a certain attitude from members. To my pleasant surprise though, none of these preconceptions were true. What I found instead was a challenging but rewarding little piece of paradise, with quiet, friendly members who share a common passion.
Compared to fishing rivers, a completely different skill set is required and often as much (or more) experimentation is necessary to fool fish. Of course, having a very healthy and well maintained population of fish does improve odds at times.
The price point seems about right, where it’s high enough to keep away the crowds of non-serious anglers, but low enough that it’s affordable to those with a lower budget. Kids fish for free with a member, which of course is nice for someone like me who has three of them. In fact, I think it’s an ideal environment to introduce children to fly fishing, with plenty of fish and wide boats that provide stable casting platforms with unlimited back casting room.
Although there’s still lots of season left at the ponds this year, I’ll admit that I’m unsure how much value I’ll end up getting when it’s all said and done. I anticipate more regular trips after resident trout season closes, though I imagine if I were to calculate the cost per day for my number of visits, it will end up being a lot higher than I care to admit. If I lived a bit closer (it’s about a 40 minute drive right now), I’d likely get more use out of it. Still, it’s difficult to put a dollar amount on the opportunity to catch fish like the one below in such a setting any day of the week.