I spent most of early summer on bigger pieces of water and traveled outside of my home range to fish new places. Thus, I have neglected many of the productive streams that are within 15 minutes of home. I made it to 2 of them today.
I started early on a stream where I got completely skunked last year when I fished it. That doesn't happen on wild trout streams. This stream is highly acclaimed by a PFBC stream survey, but I've never heard of anyone fishing it. It has been given a lofty classification in the system they use to identify wild trout waters. As I said, I got skunked on it last year. I was determined to catch trout here today.
I started at the mouth of the stream where it dumps into a sizable lake.
I fished 1.5 miles of stream and only caught chubs. I fished every bit of water that I could possibly get a spinner into. I kept thinking that at any time I would get into the trout. I really thought that the big hole above or below this old dam would start it off.
But no trout here. The stream didn't even look like a "trout" stream.
Finally, another half mile upstream and at the next old dam I found them.
And then on the next cast...
And the stream looked more trouty here too with more rocks, less mud, and rhododendron starting to line the stream.
Then I started catching the other species that showed up in the survey.
Even after I started "catching trout", it never really picked up. I went almost 2 hours without a trout, then the last 1.5 hours produced 13 trout. The water just ran out at that point. There is road that comes within 1/4 mile of where the trout showed up so maybe next spring I will try again.
I stopped at home to eat and change after a fall or 2 in the water and headed out to another nearby stream that I was much more confident in.
The 2nd stream has the most colorful brookies of any stream I fish, and some of the largest. It is on a popular piece of public ground, and there are people around every time I've been there, but I rarely see anyone else fishing. Today was no different. The water was brought up a smidge last night, making it just fishable. This stream isn't very long, so 3 hours is all it took to fish the length of it.
The trout did not start out big or colorful.
But that soon changed. This was the largest of the day at 11".
Most all others were in the 6-9" range.
This last picture shows one of the spinners I made last year. I had silver hooks and swing blades which don't spin as freely in shallow,fast water. I only have a few left and I'm hoping to lose them soon.
There is only 1 "big" hole on this stream.
I usually don't catch anything there because people swim here so often. But I did this time, a respectable 8.5"er.
This was the 48th and last trout of this stream. 16 trout per hour here is pretty good especially in august.
Somewhere in the middle of the 2nd stream, I made a bad cast and launched over a branch. I immediately pulled the spinner out of the water to free it from the branch, and as it left the water, an aggressive little brookie went along for the ride.
After reading the stream survey over again from stream 1, they actually found trout much lower in the watershed than I did, but that was 14 years ago. Interestingly, they surveyed stream 1 and stream 2 in the same day, and remarked how similar they were in aquatic life and trout biomass, but that was a long time ago.