Smalley’s Tips for fishing Pine Grove Pond

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Pine Grove Pond opened last Saturday.

Located on Rose Crossing, just west of the Whitefish River, this urban fishing pond was the brainchild of landowner Robin Street and Jim Vashro, former Region One Fish, Wildlife and Parks fisheries manager.

It is truly one of the fishing gems in the Flathead Valley.

FWP stocks the pond with rainbow trout and makes sure there are plenty of fish for youngsters.

Hint! Hint!

Pine Grove Pond is popular with school groups and families and provides an awesome and safe opportunity for kids to catch fish.

To learn what types of fishing gear are appropriate for youngsters, I contacted Chancy Jeschke at Snappy Sports Senter in Kalispell.

“We try to match the gear to the age of the youngster,” said Jeschke. “Kids 3 to 6 years of age should probably start with a spincast outfit, which some people call a ‘pushbutton reel.’”

“These outfits come with a 3-foot rod, 4-8 pound mono line, and cost around $20.

“Youngsters 7-12 years or so should be able to handle a traditional spinning reel, with 5 ½ to 6-foot rod.

“For kids under 3, we have popularly-themed ‘toy-store type stuff.’”

One Snappy’s endcap included tyke rods of Barbie, Mickey Mouse, Tinker Bell, Frozen, and Toy Story.

Even though all reels have a functional anti-reverse—for kids who can’t remember which direction to crank—Jeschke cautions parents to have patience with young crankers.

All reels come loaded with line.

For youngster to catch a “whopper” at Pine Grove Pond Jeschke recommends a “bobber and worm.”

“Half a nightcrawler on a size 8 hook about 2 feet below a 1-inch bobber” is Jeschke’s hot tip.

“Older kids with spinning gear can catch trout by casting and retrieving a Thomas Cyclone, but for younger kids with casting problems, you just can’t beat a bobber and worm.”

Because of a sloped bank in some places, Jechke recommends a landing net and, also, a life jacket for very young kids.

C’mon, parents and grandparents. Pine Grove Pond has plenty of hungry trout.

Go get ’em! (But be sure to check the fishing regs first!)

Jerry Smalley’s Fishful Thinking column appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

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