Tackling a Tough Stream. - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Tackling a Tough Stream.

With waters receding on some of my favorite streams and rain forecasted in copious amounts for Saturday I figured Iíd get up early a hit a stream bright and early before work. Wild Browns were on the menu! I was laying in bed last night trying to come up with something interesting for the day. Iíve caught plenty of trout over the years and had many options for catching a lot of trout this AM but sometimes thatís not the most interesting trip for me. Been there done that. I felt like challenging myself on a stretch of stream that I hadnít fished in many many year. Itís been so long since the fishing is always quite difficult. Taming the wild beastÖ.now that sounded right up my alley for the morning!
Just to add to the level of difficulty I had to string up and use my backup reel as the parts for my Ci4 havenít arrived just yet. Probably not the best time to be picking on a stream that beats me more often than not.
When I arrived I noted that, as usual, the stream looked exactly as I expected it to look. Itís was pretty much at ĎWheel-Houseí levels. On any other one of my more angler friendly creeks it might have been a field day but this morning I was hoping that it would allow me to do some sort of damageÖ.any damage haha.

My first cast in my somewhat usual starting point, and sometimes my usual hop out point as well haha, yielded the usual nothing. The next several casts the same. And then it happened! A trout!!! A trout so soon!!!!!! Sarcasm should be noted but I was optimistic that action like that would continue. I was fine with working hard for my trout today. It was almost the whole point. The next few minutes were weak in decent habitat before hooking into a nicer fish.

The fishing was as good as itís ever been but even at that it was slower than I would normally like. But since I was catching trout on a stretch of stream that typically gives me fits I was having a blast. What was giving me fit was my reel. The Ci4 is an extension of my body. If it was appropriate to sow it to my hand I would. Going back to a normal Stradic felt like going back to the stone age as if I was using a stick, string, and cork bobber haha. The feel was just completely different and I lost a lot of fish due to it. I only count fish that I land, pick up, and release back to the stream. I donít count hooked fish, played fish, fish that fall off at my feet, or anything like that. To count a fish I have to release it deliberatly in some manner. The reel was killing me. Fish were hitting close and I wasnít feeling them. The trout would thrash as my boot and pop the hook over and over. Frustrating to say the least. I should have paid for next day air on those parts haha. The Stradic was doing the best she could though and thatís why itís a backup. She did well enough to land this nice 15Ē wild brown in shallow water.

And the scenery was excellent

Although it wasnít all excellent.

Those white spots on the hemlock branches are the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid doing its damage. It wont be but a few years till this tree is forever lost from its foresty home. Many of the larger hemlocks were either dead or had significant die back. They all had heavy infestation and the area will no longer have Hemlocks within 5-10 years.

And Gypsy moths carpeted the trunks of every oak in the area. The infestation here hadnít defoliated the trees 100% but just 10 miles south there isnít a oak leaf to be seen for miles and miles. Itís been a really bad year in the east.
I wish there was something I could do for either but thereís nothing I can do but watch it all die. Bummer.
After 2.75 hours Iíd handled and released 38 wild browns. On my last cast I hooked the 39th and it was an interesting fish.

Once again this proves that trout arenít nearly as delicate as people think. This gill is torn completely lose and the fish was fine. Most likely it was bleeding like a stuck pig when it happened. Seeing this is the reason why I rarely keep bleeding trout. Most of them surviveÖ.at least thatís been my observation over the years.
Either way, a victorious day on a tough stretch of water! Weíll have to see what this weather does the next few days. Fishing tough water is fun but it would be nice to dial up a long day smash fest. Itís been a few weeksÖÖÖ
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 03:12 PM
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Re: Tackling a Tough Stream.

Good stuff my friend. I can almost hear you say "A trout!"

You've heard me say it a few times before, a bleeding fish has a 0% chance of survival if you put it on a stringer. Return it to the water and the chances have to improve and if they don't, the stream will reap the benefits.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 03:43 PM
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Re: Tackling a Tough Stream.

No better way to start the day off!

The campground we are staying at is completely infested with gypsy moths. I have lived in eastern PA all my life and have never seen it this bad.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tackling a Tough Stream.

Ya no shade at all probably where you're at! There's some spots on the way north that are completely defoliated. It looks like it's May 1 with a green understory but the trees haven't leafed out yet. Pretty creepy. Theres so many in some areas that when the breeze stops it sounds like it's raining.....it's not rain...it's catapiller poo.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 04:25 PM
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Re: Tackling a Tough Stream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trout 2003
Theres so many in some areas that when the breeze stops it sounds like it's raining.....it's not rain...it's catapiller poo.
Haha. We have a canopy over our picnic table and you're right, when the breeze kicks up a bit, you can hear the "pellets" hitting the roof top. Pretty gross when I think that I'm walking around eating and drinking with no lids or covers over my food or drink...
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tackling a Tough Stream.

Probably some of the cleanest poo you'll ever eat man! not much to that diet haha.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 06:48 PM
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Re: Tackling a Tough Stream.

What website do you go to to find out an estimate for an expected rainfall?

Luckily, I haven't seen a gypsy moth caterpillar yet this year here in south-central PA. The hemlock wholly adelgids seem to have been really hammered by the frigid weather the last two winters, too. I'm sure that's just a temporary setback for them.

I tend to think of tough streams as ones that are hard to navigate, whether because of slippery rocks, bank-to-bank deep water, rhododendron, etc. Of course, any stream with trout I never write-off entirely because there will likely be a day when it will be worthwhile to go there. Some streams with few trout are still fun to fish.

Thirty-nine trout before work is a good way to start the day.

You continue to tempt me to pick up a Ci4 reel. Shame on you.

Thanks for the report.

I can be contacted at [email protected].
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-26-2015, 10:14 AM
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Re: Tackling a Tough Stream.

nws.noaa.gov puts out a good precipitation estimate along with each forecast
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-26-2015, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Tackling a Tough Stream.

Ya that one and weatherunderground general forecasting page will give decent predictions too. Theyre all useles though until you see the radar haha.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-26-2015, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Tackling a Tough Stream.

Also Frank.....be very very wary of the latest model Ci4 if you ever wanna go that route. The Ci4+. I use the first generation Ci4 (not the plus) and the feel is completely different. Night and day. I bought the new Ci4+, used it for 30 minutes, and returned it the next day. I hated it. There's something about new X-Ship system they have in it that, at least to me, killed the feeling of the spinner on the line. I think it was that it was such an effective gearing system you could no longer feel the weight of the spinner attached to the line. You know, that subtle spinner drag. Gone was the throb. It's hard to describe but there is a split second where a trout hits and the spinner stops throbbing but before you feel the actual hit. The millisecond was gone from the hook set equation. It was killer when it came to hooking trout.

I didn't care for it one little bit but maybe others like it. I'm currently shopping for 2013 Ci4 used. If not there is a very good chance I leave the Shimano line of reels and find something else. Been using Stradics for 20 years now. Hard to imagine changing but all of the high end Shimano models now use the X-Ship technology and there are a lot of new 6:0:1 reels on the market in the last 2 years. Troutspinner bought the Sustain and insists it's better feeling then the Ci4+ but I'll need to feel that to beleive.
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