What can ya say.......sometimes it's just your year. I catch good numbers of big trout most years. I've tinkered and adapted a spin fishing styles that helps me I'm sure. I'm proud that I tend to catch them in places that you wouldn't even think big fish live. Just seems my style finds them. This year has been really good though for true monsters. Not only have I had that big day catching 9 large trout but I've managed to be consistent with big trout in what seems like every other outing at least. Usually a spin fisherman has to make a choice to go after a lot of trout or big trout. My goal each week is both and I've become lucky with that. I owe it all to lots of hard work and effort to improve the craft over the years. Something I still try to improve weekly.
This weekend’s adventure was a pretty simple one for a change. Waters have dropped to unacceptable levels in all except 2 locations for my standards. At least there wasn't hours of pining over data during the week. From Monday onwards all I did was watch the weather to make sure no storms rumbled through to disrupt things. Since Craig didn't have much going on we decided to fish together for the day. I always enjoy his company and good things tend to happen when we're together on the stream. We joked about that very topic as we waded up the dimly lit strong flowing creek. It was still a bit too dark to effectively fish so we just hung out for a little bit. We weren't worried about other fisherman as neither of us had ever once seen another angler on this waterway.
Finally enough light hit the water to make casting worthwhile and even though my first cast was to a less than likely looking spot I still managed to catch a stinking wild brownie haha! Was the dreaded first cast trout going to plague us for the day??? NOPE! At the top of the same pool I latched into our first large trout of the day. After a good fight I released the 17" wild brown back to enjoy the rest of its weekend.
The fishing was only 'ok' for the first hour with decent numbers of Native Brookies and wild browns coming to hand. We approached a pool that I'd fished many times over the years. It always looked like big trout water but I'd never taken a big one from it. After a few 10-12" trout coming from the lower half I sent a pin point accurate cast of a narrow slew at the top of the pool and immediately felt the powerful attack of a big fish. I instinctively cranked the drag counterclockwise two turns while the fish buried it nose in deep water. At no point did either Craig or I get a look at the fish but it was fighting hard and not budging so we both wondered how big it was. Thoughts of 25-26" were dancing in my head. I catch enough big fish that I can guess pretty well how big it’s going to be just by the feel on the rod. This one was different though as it was definitely fight above his pay grade. Eventually it surfaced though and I had the Audacity to say “Not as big as I thought” haha. Craig laughed at me and called me spoiled haha.
After a somewhat longer than normal fight of about a minute I scooped up the 20” wild brown to admire. He was thick and heavy.
It was nice having Craig there to take the picture instead of messing with the tripod. A nice change from the norm. The trout was no worse for the wear as it swam off to restore its pride in the coming day’s haha.
I told Craig “talk about trial by fire”…..I had my new ‘backup’ rod out with me today. I’d made some changes in design based on comments I’d received from a very nice fellow here on the board. I didn’t expect the rod to be tossed into the game so intensely but it worked masterfully the entire day. I tore apart my other back up a few weeks ago because it wasn’t quite up to snuff to me. The QC department deemed it unfit for use any longer. This one definitely makes the grade and sometime, probably in the near future, it will take the primary spot. For now though it will have to take a back seat to the ‘Green Machine’ until the day comes that it meets its end.
Anyhow…..back to the fishing. Craig and I continued to poke and prod our way upstream and the fishing got better and better mostly for native brooks but also wild browns. The natives were BIG today too, up to 11” at times.
Sometimes we even caught more than one at a time.
And the stream, out in the wilds of PA, couldn’t have been a better backdrop for the day to unfold.
On any normal day the large and colorful brookies would have stolen the show. Not when Craig and I fish though. There’s always something crazy that happens.
Around the next bend came a large pool with all sorts of tree trunks sprayed around it from past floods. If ever there was a big trout castle this was it. Craig gave me the nod, bless his heart, and I put my spinner snug up to the back of the deepest water trunk in the pool. Half way through the retrieve I saw the submarine approaching fast from below. I couldn’t have reeled fast enough to keep that spinner out of its mouth. This fish just devastated the turning blade as I was freaking out above the water surface. I just shouted out my usual “BIG FISH!!” and the battle was on. I knew this fish was really big though, especially for a small stream with all those tree trunks. It was screaming drag all over the pool and I was aggressively pursuing him to keep him out of the tangles of brush. I knew I needed to steer it out of that pool into the small pool below so as soon as it turned my way I gave the fish an opening and it took it downstream. Without all the obstructions I was much more confident in landing him and within another 45 seconds I was scooping up the 23” brown. Trust me, there was no saying this fish wasn’t big enough haha.
After a few pics I slid the big guy…or girl…..back into the water and off it went healthy as can be to hopefully fight another day.
Shortly after that Craig and I decided to call it quits on another epic day on the water. I had plans to fish Sunday as well but I was overly content with the day so I went home to relax and tie on one with the wife and some good ole rum and cokes.
A few hours into that and I wasn’t waking up for a bomb siren the next AM lol. It didn’t matter though as Saturday was a goooood day!