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Trout Trail opens 2nd season

| Thursday, March 21, 2013, 7:03 p.m.

The Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor and Forbes Trail Trout Unlimited debuted the Laurel Highlands Trout Trail last spring, a first-of-its-kinds event focused on attracting visitors to the area for fly fishing while introducing them to everything else the area has to offer.

The group will kick off the second trout trail 7 p.m. April 2 with an opening reception at the Lincoln Highway Experience Museum located at 3435 Route 30 East, Latrobe, near Kingston Bridge.

The event will feature a viewing of the film “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,” sponsored by Forbes Trail chapter. Wine and appetizers will be served. Cost is $5 per person. Pre-registration required by March 28 at or call 724-879-4241.

“It is so much more than a fishing trip,” said Olga Herbert executive director of the corridor group. “By partnering together, we all work toward bringing people into the Laurel Highlands and experience the great things we have here — streams, art, culture, history and outdoor recreation.”

The purpose of the event is to educate people about fly fishing and introduce them to the top 10 area streams for fishing; to bring visitors to the area to also experience the region's other cultural, historical and natural sites and to encourage visitors to stay overnight, eat and shop along the 70-mile trail.

“The Trout Trail is important,” said Monty Murty president of Forbes Trail Trout Unlimited chapter. “It not just about fishing, it is about tourism and economic development.”

Murty said local merchants and business owners have the opportunity to impact the economic development by realizing the value of trout anglers to tourism in the area.

“Fly-fishing venue brings more than just fishermen into the community,” he said “Fly-fishermen tend to travel more. They bring their families and tend to stay in resort areas.”

A full calendar of activities beginning in late March through August provides numerous opportunities to experience what the trout trail has to offer.

“The trout trail offers something for the family to do,” said Murty.

Various fly-fishing classes are scheduled for all levels of experience and all ages.

Many of the classes will be taught by Leo Vensel, a reknown fly-fishing expert. The Federation of Fly Fishers certified casting instructor will lead guided visits to the top 10 streams along the trail.

“We are also offering a wonderful program for kids at the Ligonier Valley YMCA while parents walk to a wonderful catch and release fish area off Route 711 near the fort,” said Murty.

Venzel will also be the guest speaker at the Laurel Highlands Trout Trail Rendezvous event planned for 2 to 6 p.m. April 20 at Hidden Valley Resort.

The event will include casting demonstrations. Hidden Valley chefs will demonstrate a variety of ways to prepare trout and will offer tastings. Cost is $25. Register for this event at or call 724-879-4241.

New to the program this season are three date nights at Foggy Mountain Lodge in Stahlstown. Each night 10 couples will have the opportunity to learn about fly-fishing together at the lodge's stocked lake followed by dinner. Date nights begin 4:30 p.m. May 26, June 30 and June 28. All fishing equipment will be provided. Cost is $65 per couple.

“We want it to be successful experience for everyone especially the newbies,” said Herbert.

As the event heads into its second season, the trail committee hopes to see an impact on tourism as a result of their efforts. Herbert said the trail's website has experienced more than 3,000 hits since it debuted last year.

“We're trying to get people to reconnect with the outdoors, reconnect to nature,” Herbert said. “More than 3,000 people know about it.”

Go to for a map and information about the top 10 streams and a schedule of events for the 2013 trout trail.

Deborah A. Brehun is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-238-2111 or

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