A Weekend of Decent Spinner Fishing
During the week leading up to Saturday, June 6, 2015, I was having a hard time deciding where to go fishing with my brother MarkAngler. The water levels on mountain freestone streams were low here in south-central Pennsylvania. On Friday evening I finally decided we'd hit a rather popular section of a rather popular limestone stream at daybreak. The hope was to get in at least four hours or so of undisturbed angling and hopefully catch a pile of trout.
I got up at 3:30 a.m. and met MarkAngler at 5:00 a.m. streamside. From there we walked downstream for about twenty-five minutes before beginning to cast our White Bead Gold spinners.
As has been the case all too often this year, the action was really slow at first. It took sixteen minutes for me to catch my first trout, and much to my consternation, MarkAngler had already warmed up his pencil.
But we don't really do any serious competing. We both know that whoever makes the most casts to the most trouty-looking spots is likely going to come out on top.
We fished until noon, though the last couple hours involved moving around several other anglers. We tallied 108 trout between us. We were pleased considering the conditions.
After we parted ways I drove about an hour to a small freestone mountain stream that I knew would be low, but I had a real itch to fish because the trout are beautiful.
Before beginning to fish I walked down a hollow well away from the stream for about a mile. The ferns smelled great. Hay-scented ferns are one of my favorite smells, right up there with bacon frying, wood smoke, and fresh coffee brewing.
A patch of common wood sorrel caught my eye along the path to the stream.
And of course, the fishing didn't disappoint me though the water was lower than it often is in August on this creek.
A few wild browns were caught, including this 12"er.
It was nice to see a healthy hemlock branch shading a pool where a bank beaver lives. Maybe it won't be shading the stream for long?
My last trout of the day was this 9" native brook trout. I closed the day with 115 trout in 9.50 hours.
On Sunday morning, June 7th, I again got up at 3:30 a.m. and drove in the pre-dawn darkness to another rather popular stretch of a very popular stream.
This time the fishing was actually pretty good, with wild browns coming to hand with regularity.
But the action died before 9:00 a.m. shortly after catching this 14" out-of-place stocked rainbow trout, likely due to the trout seeing some metal recently. After 3.50 hours I had 40 trout. A bald eagle flew past just minutes before I quit and headed elsewhere.
From there I drove to a section of stream I hadn't fished yet this year, and in 3.50 hours caught an additional 49 wild trout.
During the hike back to my SUV a healthy patch of rank-smelling poison hemlock grew along the creek.
By 3:00 p.m. I was ready to begin fishing on a small mountain freestoner that holds a good population of native brookies, but wild browns dominate the stream.
One wild brown after another was fooled by my White Bead Gold spinner.
Despite the low water the stream has a certain beauty to it, with many rocks and logs covered with green moss.
A few cinnamon fern fronds stuck out over the cool water.
In 2.00 hours I caught and released 38 wild trout, giving me 127 trout for the day in 9.00 hours.
Overall it was another pretty decent weekend of trout fishing here in south-central Pennsylvania. We need rain dearly though for the good fishing to continue.
- Frank Nale -