While we’ve been getting decent rain in the east it hasn’t been quite enough to put everything in the ‘wheel house’ so as usually I was pining over notes on Friday night in search of a location to fish on Saturday AM. I was meeting Kwright in the AM for the first time this year so I felt a little bit of extra pressure to pick a winner. Normally if a location doesn’t pan out I’ll drive all over kingdom-come to find a better spot but I don’t like doing that to others. It’s best to just pick correctly from the start. So after a lot of weather watching I made a choice and the text was sent on the time and meeting spot.
When we arrived the day was starting out a complete mess. I had forgotten my fanny pack for the first time ever. It holds everyone. Cameras, spinners, forceps, licenses, drinks, bug spray, you name it. Everything is in there. Luckily I am a very redundant person so I have a store of spinners and everything else in my main bag. My reel was already on my rod by chance, I’d printed an extra license that was in my glove box, and since Kwright was with me he was able to fill the gaps on anything else I missed. Dodged a ‘reel’ bullet there for sure! So it was on to the fishing!
When we hit the water it looked really nice. The flow was excellent and I’d clearly nailed it from that perspective.
But as has been the case on this year for me, and on this forum as a whole, the fishing was less than stellar to start. It took up a good 10-15 minutes to land our first trout and the fishing was slooooow after that. At the end of the first hour we’d split on only about 9 trout.
Having company and not a lot of other options worth fishing the thought of leaving only lightly crossed my mind. I figured we’d press on, catch a few trout, and bail out around 10am for home with our tails tucked between our legs. That was juuuuust about the time that the day decided to turn EPIC. Happens a couple of times a year and you can never really see it coming. We had just left a shallow wide channelized stretch and I sent my spinner up into a nice deep run. Bang! Big trout number 1 of the day in the form of a 17” wild brown.
The habitat continued to improve and Kwright went to work on some trouty looking spots.
And was rewarded for his efforts with the first real bruiser of the day, a 20” hoss of a brown!
I would rate Kwright as a very good spin fisherman. His casting accuracy is higher end with only minimal errors. The difference between he and I was marginal as shown by the fact that for the first 3 hours he was edging me on numbers. You need to be making good casts to trouty looking spots to do that and be doing it quicker than I do. He was good. I had my moments though and continued my damage on the bigger trout when this heavy 17.5” hit my offering.
5 minutes later I felt another heavy trout again and quickly scooped up with 16.5” wild brown
4 big trout would constitute an insane day anytime but we were just getting warmed up on this one!
As we approached a bridge that I’d driven past 100 times I commented to Kwright that ‘I’ve always driven past this and said how good it looked but have never fished it’. I was excited to fished it finally even if I came up empty handed. The run was deep in the back side of the abutment. I sent my spinner right to the head of it and began my retrieve. I quickly felt a good hit but missed and continued my reeling hoping for a follow-up. Boy did I ever get one! As my spinner started to come into sight I saw an absolute tank in pursuit. I screeched “BIG TROUT” just at the beast closed its mouth over the moving blade. The set was true and the battle was on. God, I love those moments! Even writing about it makes me smile! After a minute or so I scooped up the heavy 21” brown for his photo op.
I was on cloud 9 at that point. That was just about the time that Kwright got into the act with another momentum building fish.
The habitat continued to be excellent
And the big trout rolled in when I added this 17” brown courtesy of Kwright missing him twice haha.
We even tossed in a few Native Brookies
At around 11am Kwright needed to head out and the timing was perfect as we’d just made it to his truck that was ditched about 1.5 miles upstream. Little did we know that this truck keys were sitting in my glove box 1.5 miles downstream haha. So off we walked. Since the fishing was so good I elected to stay for a little while longer so I hopped back in where we had left off and 5 minutes in, BANG, another big trout hand.
I kept working the stream at a methodical pace. Each cast holding the anticipation of the next big trout. I had a true heightened sense of things I’ll call it. I approached a tributary entering the main stem and could see another golden trout sitting right at the entrance. I made a good cast and the fish didn’t budge but my rod tip did as I latched into yet another large trout. He leaped several times before I scooped up the 17.5” rainbow.
I hammered out a bunch of other trout from the tribs mouth. I’m not sure why they were stacked there being that the main stem was a comfortable 62 degrees. But they were and I hammered on them pretty good.
For the next hour + it seemed as though things had finally tailed off and the big trout action was done for the day. I sure as heck wasn’t complaining having handled and released 8 trout over 16”. Nearing my exit point I plunked my spinner into a rather innocent looking run. I felt a tap but could tell the trout missed the spinner. I was confident that the next pass would yield a solid strike since it had already played its hand by telling me its location. My next cast was deliberate the I assumed an athletic stance in preparations for the hit. I felt the thud and ripped my wrist back. My rod doubled over under the power of the trout and I instinctively cranked the drag two turns counterclockwise to relieve the stress on the line. He was heavy and the swift current did nothing but help him. My equipment is specifically put together to handle this over and over though so in the end I won and he lost. At 21” it was quite the way to end the day!
I fished a little bit longer thinking I might be able to turn a 10th big trout but settled in at 9 on the day. I got back to the truck and was BEAT and hungry. I wasn’t prepared for an outing lasting till 3PM but it was action I couldn’t pass up. The stars align sometimes and you end up with perfection. It’s a rare thing that you just have to ride out when it happens.
That will probably be my signature day for the summer season. I can’t imagine that I’ll have another outing like that but there’s a lot of summer left so it will be fun to try!