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Westmoreland

Spring weather appears just in time for the first day of trout season

Patrick Varine
| Saturday, April 14, 2018, 2:18 p.m.
Daniel Brummett of North Huntingdon cuts a line with his teeth after a catch during the opening day of trout fishing season along the Loyalhanna Creek on Saturday, April 14, 2018 near Ligonier.
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Daniel Brummett of North Huntingdon cuts a line with his teeth after a catch during the opening day of trout fishing season along the Loyalhanna Creek on Saturday, April 14, 2018 near Ligonier.
Mark Richadson, of Jeannette, and his cousin Tom Swanson, (right) fish along the waters of the Loyalhanna Creek during the opening day of trout fishing season Saturday, April 14, 2018 near Ligonier. Richardson said that he and his cousins have been fishing on opening day for nearly 35 years. This was the first year they traveled to the Loyalhanna. 'We usually fish Turtle Creek,' said Richardson. 'But this year it was too polluted.'
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Mark Richadson, of Jeannette, and his cousin Tom Swanson, (right) fish along the waters of the Loyalhanna Creek during the opening day of trout fishing season Saturday, April 14, 2018 near Ligonier. Richardson said that he and his cousins have been fishing on opening day for nearly 35 years. This was the first year they traveled to the Loyalhanna. 'We usually fish Turtle Creek,' said Richardson. 'But this year it was too polluted.'
Above, anglers young and old line the banks of Keystone Lake at Keystone State Park on the first day of trout season, Saturday, April 14, 2018.
Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
Above, anglers young and old line the banks of Keystone Lake at Keystone State Park on the first day of trout season, Saturday, April 14, 2018.
Jim Gunkel of Coraopolis shows off the 21-inch trout he caught at Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg on the first day of trout season, Saturday, April 14, 2018.
Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
Jim Gunkel of Coraopolis shows off the 21-inch trout he caught at Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg on the first day of trout season, Saturday, April 14, 2018.
Above, Jim Gunkel's 21-inch trout, caught at Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg on Saturday, April 14, 2018.
Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
Above, Jim Gunkel's 21-inch trout, caught at Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg on Saturday, April 14, 2018.
Boats dot Keystone Lake south of New Alexandria on the first day of trout season, Saturday, April 14, 2018.
Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
Boats dot Keystone Lake south of New Alexandria on the first day of trout season, Saturday, April 14, 2018.
A fisherman enjoys a little peace and quiet around 8:30 a.m. on the banks of Keystone Lake. Saturday, April 14, 2018, was opening day for trout season in Western Pennsylvania.
Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
A fisherman enjoys a little peace and quiet around 8:30 a.m. on the banks of Keystone Lake. Saturday, April 14, 2018, was opening day for trout season in Western Pennsylvania.
Zach Kimmell, 30, of Latrobe, hadn't snagged a keeper just yet, but showed his latest catch at Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg on Saturday, April 14, 2018.
Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
Zach Kimmell, 30, of Latrobe, hadn't snagged a keeper just yet, but showed his latest catch at Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg on Saturday, April 14, 2018.
Anglers line the banks of Twin Lakes in Greensburg for the first day of trout season on Saturday, April 14, 2018.
Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
Anglers line the banks of Twin Lakes in Greensburg for the first day of trout season on Saturday, April 14, 2018.
Spring finally appeared consistently for a few days leading up to the opening day of trout season on Saturday, April 14, 2018. Above, a fisherman surveys the scene at Keystone Lake near New Alexandria.
Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
Spring finally appeared consistently for a few days leading up to the opening day of trout season on Saturday, April 14, 2018. Above, a fisherman surveys the scene at Keystone Lake near New Alexandria.
Dom Molinaro of Irwin reaches out for a catch during the opening day of trout fishing season along the Loyalhanna Creek on Saturday, April 14, 2018 near Ligonier.
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Dom Molinaro of Irwin reaches out for a catch during the opening day of trout fishing season along the Loyalhanna Creek on Saturday, April 14, 2018 near Ligonier.
Anglers unhook catches during the opening day of trout fishing season along the Loyalhanna Creek on Saturday, April 14, 2018 in Westmoreland County.
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Anglers unhook catches during the opening day of trout fishing season along the Loyalhanna Creek on Saturday, April 14, 2018 in Westmoreland County.
Brothers Josh and Phill Riggle, (left), prepare their lines and gear before heading down to the stream during the opening day of trout fishing season along the Loyalhanna Creek on Saturday, April 14, 2018 along Route 30.
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Brothers Josh and Phill Riggle, (left), prepare their lines and gear before heading down to the stream during the opening day of trout fishing season along the Loyalhanna Creek on Saturday, April 14, 2018 along Route 30.
Mark Richardson, of Jeannette, connects his bait, wax worms, on his line before casting out during the opening day of trout fishing season along the Loyalhanna Creek on Saturday, April 14, 2018.
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Mark Richardson, of Jeannette, connects his bait, wax worms, on his line before casting out during the opening day of trout fishing season along the Loyalhanna Creek on Saturday, April 14, 2018.
Russ Ray of Seward ties a line before heading to the stream to fish with his son during the opening day of trout fishing season along the Loyalhanna Creek on Saturday, April 14, 2018 next to Route 30.
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Russ Ray of Seward ties a line before heading to the stream to fish with his son during the opening day of trout fishing season along the Loyalhanna Creek on Saturday, April 14, 2018 next to Route 30.
Marty Bannias of Irwin catches and releases a trout during the opening day of trout fishing season along the Loyalhanna Creek on Saturday, April 14, 2018 near Ligonier.
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Marty Bannias of Irwin catches and releases a trout during the opening day of trout fishing season along the Loyalhanna Creek on Saturday, April 14, 2018 near Ligonier.
Anglers fish the Loyalhanna Creek during the opening day of trout fishing season along near Ligonier on Saturday, April 14, 2018.
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Anglers fish the Loyalhanna Creek during the opening day of trout fishing season along near Ligonier on Saturday, April 14, 2018.

Zach Kimmell was waiting in line outside Twin Lakes Park at 4:30 a.m. Saturday, fishing gear at the ready.

Kimmell, 30, of Latrobe was among thousands of anglers throughout Westmoreland County hoping to get a bite on the opening day of trout season in Western Pennsylvania.

"I've reeled in about 15 fish so far today," he said around 10 a.m. "Nothing substantial yet."

Just a few feet away, Jim Gunkel of Coraopolis was the envy of his group of friends, with a 21-inch trout tied up in the water near his feet.

Gunkel has been making the 50-mile drive to Twin Lakes for nearly 15 years.

"It's a family thing," he said. "We get the kids and we all come out."

During a spring that has been inconsistent, weather-wise, anglers were able to enjoy a beautiful morning with blue skies and temperatures in the mid-60s.

"So far, the weather has been the best part," said Michael DeLabio of West Newton, who has spent the first day of trout season at Keystone State Park north of New Alexandria for the past decade.

"We have a camp up here," DeLabio said. "We were out at 4 a.m. Nothing caught yet, though."

Farther down the banks of the lake, Terry Dinkfelt, 52, said he drove about 60 miles from South Park to fish at Keystone. Between Dinkfelt and his family members, there were nearly 10 lines in the water.

"We got out around 5:30 a.m.," he said. "We always do pretty good in this area."

Tom Fazio of Greensburg usually spends the first day of trout season in creeks around his home, but decided this year to bring his son Brandon, 11, to Keystone State Park.

"I wanted to take Brandon somewhere a little simpler," Fazio said. "I like coming out and just being by the water, enjoying the scenery and watching the kids play and have fun."

Tom Burke of Bethel Park has been coming to Twin Lakes to fish trout for the past 13 years.

"We knew someone who lived out this way," Burke said. "He invited us to come with him. We come out with the kids and the grandkids."

Burke's family likes to up the ante a bit as well.

"We have a little contest for who gets the first fish and who gets the biggest fish," he said. "We bet a dollar."

For Kimmell, the day is a perfect chance to enjoy a little tranquility.

"I work six days a week and I just like to come out and relax," he said. "Get away from work, the wife and kids are at home, and I come out here and have some fun."

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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