March 11, 2010
Cermele: Why I Hate Geese During Trout Season
By Joe Cermele
A buddy of mine sent me a link to the painting at left. It had me cracking up because this beautiful piece of art (painted by Roby Baer) sums up a bane of my spring trout fishing. I found it so amusing I nearly ordered a print, then decided that I've lived this scenario too many times and will again in the coming weeks, so why hang it on the wall when I can have the real thing? I bet you know the drill. You're carefully sneaking to a run or pool you know is holding trout. You can picture them gently rising. You're watching the water, not your feet when all of a sudden....HONK! HONK! HONK! HISSSS! Wings are flapping, the big male Canada goose is charging and your heart stopped so hard you need to check your underpants. You never see the nests until you're on top of them. But it gets worse.
If you're lucky, you can give the geese a wide berth and eventually get to your spot. I, however, often find that the dang things nest right where I need to be to get at my intended pool. They love river islands. They love setting up camp behind fallen trees. You hop over, nearly step on them and it's game on. I've tried to stick it out and fish regardless, but the honking and false charges ruin the serenity or they splash down in the run, spook the fish, and I move along. They win.
Canadas are a big problem in my home state of New Jersey and many other places. Obviously ruining a spot or two during a trout trip is no real concern, but the fields and local parks covered with a nice layer of green goose turds are a problem. Having a picnic, playing catch, or walking your dog through toxic waste is not fun. They also destroy crops and have no real predators out here. I can easily obtain a permit to legally destroy eggs, and every year I say I will, but I end up not thinking about it until April when I get too close to a nest and all hell breaks loose. Any good goose tales to share? I'm sure some of you have fended off a Canada or two - JC