Snow, cold creates positive outlook
Winter brings an equal amount of disorder as it does delight.
One person's hassle is another's bliss when it comes to the snow and cold weather that's gripped Armstrong County this week.
Off road means one thing to someone who's slid on a snow-covered highway and something different to a snowmobiler on a trail. Falling on ice isn't any fun but fishing on it is. And when it comes down to shoveling out the driveway or building a snowman with your children — it's not a hard choice to make.
"I'm not personally a big fan of this weather but I have fun being out in it walking my dog," said Sarah Dorsch, 24, of Kittanning.
Dorsch was out for a walk in the snow banks along the Allegheny River in Kittanning across from the YMCA on Thursday afternoon with her four-month-old Sheba Inu puppy, a small Japanese dog bred for the mountains that resembles a fox.
The Sheba Inu is suited for inclement weather. It has a thick undercoat that protects it from temperatures well below freezing.
Dorsch said her "Molly" is always excited to get out for a walk no matter how bad the weather.
"She loves to dig and put her nose in the snow," said Dorsch. "The snow can be deep and she's small but it doesn't stop her. She moves around in it chasing snowflakes. She doesn't mind being in the rain either."
"It makes me smile watching her play in the snow," she said. "It's fun seeing a big mound of snow on her face."
Dorsch thinks she picked the right dog for Western Pennsylvania weather.
"She adapts to anything," said Dorsch.
Good for business
"The snow and cold extends my business for me with the ice fishermen," said Mark Transue, owner of Transue's Tackle on Butler Road in West Kittanning. "Spring is still the biggest but without the ice fishermen, and some fly tying people, it would be really slow."
Transue said he had some customers in his bait store Thursday who are just getting into the hobby of ice fishing.
"They like to fish and they just had to get outside," said Transue.
The men bought some gear from Transue including tip ups ( a rig made especially for ice fishing). They also bought some bait.
"Bass fishermen like the shiners (large minnows), lake trout fishermen like the fat head minnows," he said.
Transue also sells wax worms, maggots and meal worms.
"Those three baits are always used for pan fish," he said.
Transue said ice fishing got a boost this year with the early-arriving winter.
"Winter came hard and fast, it froze up early and it should stay frozen for a long time," he said of the lakes, ponds and creeks. "Even if it warms up a little, the fishermen like it, it's not freezing out there for them, but the ice is still there."
"Some guys can't sit around all winter. It's nice that we have the ice."
Transue said if he didn't have ice fishermen, he wouldn't have anyone to talk to in the winter.
"I like talking to fishermen," he said.