George Block Column

Fishing, turkey hunting, wildflowers show that spring is here

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It's hard to believe, but just three weeks ago, I sat at home and watched a cold front pass through, wondering what to do.


Now, it is warm, and I can't decide whether to hunt turkey, fish for trout or catch a dinner plate full of crappie.


While fishing the other day, I noticed that the hillside at the Dormont-Mt. Lebanon Sportsmen's Club was covered with the delicate and blooming Dutchman's Breeches. Not only has fishing season begun, but so has the time when many of the wildflowers are in their prime.


A good place to combine a fishing trip with a flower viewing is along the Templeton Fork of Enlow Creek in the southwest corner of Washington County.


• Old age isn't what it is cracked up to be. The term golden years is a lie used to distract us from our afflictions.


Nothing is more frustrating than to be catching fish and then get snagged on some submerged hidden lure catcher. In most instances, that means tying on a new hook or lure.


Seeing that low visibility 2- or 4-pound line in the shadows can be a lesson in futility. In fact, when the light is really bad, I have felt more than once like giving up and going home.


What really annoys me is that I could retie a line in a matter of seconds when I was younger.


I'm sure I'm not the first one to face this problem. I could switch to a heavier line, but I don't want to do so. With that in mind, I have to try other avenues.


More magnification in my glasses might help. In this case, it would be nice to have magnification that flips down when used and up and out of the way when not needed.


I am sure such things are made.


Another answer might lie in the line itself. I remember when my late brother-in-law, Jack Daniels, used a yellow line that is seldom seen. We laughed at his line, but I must say that he did catch fish.


Not only did he catch fish, but he caught trout in clear mountain streams. With this in mind, I intend to experiment and see if the line makes that much difference.


My intention is to carry two poles, one loaded with my usual low-visibility 4-pound line, the other with a yellow 4-pound line. If crappie are hitting on the low-visibility line, I'll swith to the yellow and see what happens.


It's worth a try.


Is it a smart idea? Remember, fish are dumb and to catch fish, you must think like a fish.


• By now, most readers of this column know that Henry Rifles get their centerfire receivers finished in Washington County by Lesleh Precision, Inc.


Like many others, Henry is having difficulty keeping up with demand, despite working around the clock.


This past week, the company announced the introduction of the Henry 1860. The original Winchester 1860, which I believe was deisgned by Tyler Henry, was chambered for the .44 rimfire.


Since that round is no longer being made and can't be reloaded, the new Henry 1860 is chambered for one of the oldest centerfire rounds, the .44-40.


By utilizing this cartridge, the company is staying with tradition. It is making an old-style rifle with an older cartridge.


Many are familiar with this rifle, but for those who are not, it was the model carried by Kevin Costner in the movie, “Dances with Wolves.” It is distinctive for its lack of a wooden forearm and twist front-loading tubular magazine.


Henry already makes a lever rifle in the 45-70, although they are hard to find. I would expect these new rifles to become available soon. Maybe if I'm good, I'll get to play with one in the future.



George H. Block writes a Sunday Outdoors column for the Observer-Reporter.


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