Castin' a line: Wayfarer Co. gears up for trout season

Fishermen and women, are you ready to take to the lakes and streams?

April 1 marks opening day of the trout season and Jake DeCapio has been busily stocking the shelves at The Wayfarer Company, preparing for the big day.

With 30 years of opening days under his belt, the life-long fisherman and native of Marcellus said he has to have thousands of dollars of orders in and the shelves loaded with gear before the rush.

"It's really busy," DeCapio said. "We have people from out of state who come here to fish."

The bait and tackle shop caters to Otisco and Skaneateles lakes as well as Nine Mile Creek, which just happens to flow through the area across the street on Route 174 from the once dilapidated building.

Nine Mile Creek is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery each season and usually lets 20,000 fingerlings swim free. The creek offers a more consistent fishery and is also one of the premier trout fishing spots, and that's something DeCapio would know.

"I have a compulsive disorder with fishing," he said smiling.

When he was a kid, finding tackle was difficult -- there weren't many bait shops around, the Internet wasn't in use and if you didn't have a driver's license you were out of luck getting to the shops in Syracuse.

"This was a dilapidated building," DeCapio said. "When I was I kid it was a hassle to buy any kind of fishing gear -- I saw a need."

After many years of being a bar and then falling into disarray, DeCapio purchased the property 13 years ago and brought it up to code. The location fit perfectly for the use of the building.

On opening day, Daniel's Grill in Marcellus will cater a fisherman's breakfast from 7 a.m. to noon at the bait and fly shop. Coffee and breakfast sandwiches are on the menu along with many other treats.

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