A Signature Day
When I catch a hundred or more trout in one day I call that a "Century Club Day," and when I top 200 trout in one day I call that a "Signature Day." This year I was wondering if I'd ever have a Signature Day as I fished low water in May and June here in south-central Pennsylvania. Blair County had even been placed on a drought watch.
Then on Saturday, June 27th, the rains came.
We got so much rain that even the little mountain freestoners were unfishable on Sunday, June 28th. I hated to miss a day of fishing on that Sunday, but I knew high water always comes down sooner or later, while low water can linger for months.
I waited with great anticipation for Friday, July 3rd, 2015. Streams were still higher than I would have preferred, but I was confident the action would still be good. I chose a small mountain freestoner, but on this day it was more like a large mountain freestoner.
I began at 5:45 a.m. due to waiting a little while for dawn to penetrate the forest canopy. A heavy brown was landed in the first minute.
And just ten minutes later another nice brown couldn't resist the temptation of striking my White Bead Gold spinner.
At the end of the first hour I had landed 14 trout. The high water limited places to cast.
Rhododendron lined the stream in places.
Some of the wild brown trout were quite pale, but that's okay.
After a while I got comfortable with fishing the high water.
During the second hour my tally jumped from 14 trout to 43 trout. By then I knew something special was in store.
Although most of the trout were wild browns, a few native brookies were in the mix.
Swamp milkweed grew in a wet area along the creek.
It is typically pink, but one specimen was white.
The largest wild brown was caught late in the day. Obviously, it has been feeding well. After 9.25 hours my little notepad revealed that 212 trout had been caught.
A nice patch of running ground pine grew along the path as I walked back to my SUV. When I was a kid we used to pull some of this vine from the hillside behind my grandmother's house each year before Christmas. My mother made decorations from it, including a garland on the mantel above the fireplace.
Overall I had a great day. It was nice to finally have one of those outings where the trout just seemed to come to hand one after the other with little effort.
Luckily I didn't run into any of these today.
- Frank Nale -