Brett Boyer is a little old for the kind of excitement some feel before Christmas, but he could barely catch a wink on Fishmas Eve.
"I could not get to sleep," the 21-year-old said, laughing about the insomnia.
A laborer in Muncy, he was among the thousands taking to the streams and lakes during Saturday's opening day of trout season.
Armed with rod, reel and tackle and eager to feed a combination of meal worms, nightcrawlers and salmon eggs to try to catch his limit of five trout, 12 inches or longer, Boyer walked down to a hole in Muncy Creek in Hughesville with his friend Kurt Miller, 21, also of the borough.
Miller, a contractor with a demolition company, was tired after the work week and set to relax.
They said they planned to fish all day or until they got their limits.
Not to be outdone, Danielle Holgate, 20, of Milton, was just as eager to get started.
Although she was a novice Holgate had the help of her boyfriend, who is an avid fisherman and stood by her side.
"I wanted to try it," Holgate said. "I want to see if I like it."
When asked what brought her to Lycoming County, others in her group offered how it was shoulder-to-shoulder fishing on White Deer Creek in Union County.
The aroma coming from the Boy Scout Troop 70 food stand near Muncy Creek was enough of an allure to stop some from fishing for a while.
Donuts, coffee, chile and hot dogs lured the anglers to the Scout stand.
A troop leader confessed they'd seen better opener days.
While the day was relatively warm and sunny, creek levels were low.
Meteorologists said scant snow and not much rain led up to opening day.
Still, the warmth caused a significant jump in license sales, 20 percent statewide, according to a report by John Arway, executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
He said the commission estimates 53,000 more anglers have bought licenses this year compared to last.
"Last year, we had a cold and wet start to the fishing season," Arway said. "This year we've had significantly warmer weather and anglers are excited to get out and start the season."
However, the areas of exposed rock bottom along tributaries of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River showed the scars of the worst flooding in history.
Twisted trees lined the banks. Gouged out parts of the creek near Picture Rocks and damage seemed to go on for miles. September's flooding changed the dynamics of the waterway, giving it and others in the area an apocalyptic appearance.
Sometimes trash could be seen along the banks dotting the landscape in Picture Rocks, a sweet spot for fishing.
"We feel like when you go north you are working for them," said Jared Hunsinger, of Bloomsburg, a community that was partially sunk by the floodwaters. Hunsinger said traveling along Route 220 and fishing with worms and minnows always seemed to generate success, if not in the catches, in the scenery.
"I've been coming here forever," said Jim Reichard, of Danville. The creek at Picture Rocks was lined with fishermen, including a man who works as a corrections officers in Coal Township and choose to fly fish.
Picture Rocks Hardware provided the live bait for Matthew Shetler, 14, Bryce Gavitt, 15, and Logan Reynolds, 15. The boys said they also would use spinners, to attract fish.
Outside Tivoli United Methodist Church volunteers were under a tent holding a soup sale. A former "hot location near a concrete bridge in the village was empty. It was just after 8 a.m. and nary a visitor except a gentleman in a pickup truck with a white dog in the passenger seat.
"I'm from Harrisburg and have a friend who lives in Hughesville," he said. The water trickled by, so low one could leap across at points. "I'd rather it be on the low side rather than high and muddy," he said. When asked his name, he said, "I'm just the guy with the white dog."
Down along the creek Hughesville Baptist Church volunteers handed out "gifts of love," a pack of snack mix so anglers' energy levels were kept up.
If there's any indication by the foot traffic at Shirey's Outdoor Supply, 5 S. Main St., Montgomery, it should be a good fishing season.
Black Hole Creek regularly gets a share of visitors, said Michaelene Shirey, who co-owns the store with her husband Mike.
They opened March 31 and described the lead up to opening day as "steady."
Shirey's has, among other things, live bait such as nightcrawlers, wax worms, meal worms, spikes (maggots), and minnows. Their main supplier is from Jersey Shore.
"It's the young children seeing the first trout fishing materials ... it's a warm fuzzy feeling," Shirey said.