April 16, 2018

The start of trout season this year was a raging success. I fished, I feasted, I got burnt.

As generally uncomfortable as this year has been thus far, we could not have wished for finer weather to fish in. Mifflin County’s trout season began just this past weekend. As I usually do, I spent the weekend with friends and family at Poe Valley state park.

The first couple hours of fishing season were spent wandering about, searching for some elbow room by the lake or creek. There were quite a lot of fishermen present. Fortunately, they couldn’t catch them all and I did eventually squeeze in by the creek and retrieve my limit of five trout. Considering how many trout were stocked in these waters, we had our pickings of fish. Catch one that’s just too little? Throw him back! plenty more where that came from.

With at least a dozen friends and family catching fish all morning, we were in store for quite the feast that evening. Little did I know, the trout wouldn’t be the only ones getting fried. I first noticed the reddening of my arms shortly after noon. By then the sun was high in the sky and the temperature had surely soared over 80 degrees.

I hate to be the guy complaining about a beautiful sunshiny day in April, but I wasn’t prepared. With no sunscreen and no clothes to shield my flesh, I was forced to don a wide-brimmed hat and hide in the shade. This effort turned out to be a little senseless. There was no protecting my arms from the radioactive rays. Fortunately, the hat did wonders to prevent the burning of my neck or face but my arms remain cherry-red.

Most of the pain has already subsided but this burn will stick in my mind. May it serve as a reminder that the sun doesn’t love me. Even as it shines brightly upon the most wonderful of days, it’s always cooking you, slowly but surely.

I won’t be forgetting my sunscreen anytime soon.



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