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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Two Similar Days

Two Similar Days

Each summer there comes a time, usually after it hasn't rained much for several weeks, when the trout streams seem to go into what I call the "summer doldrums." This time is marked by what appears to be a diminished interest in spinners by the trout, and the fishing becomes rather slow.

One way to counteract this problem is to find streams where the trout seldom see spinners, but this is rather difficult to do when the mountain streams are too low to enjoy and anglers are concentrating on the limestoners. Meanwhile, some of the larger waterways are borderline too-warm to fish for trout.

I don't think we are there yet this summer, but I can sense this time is coming if we don't get substantial precipitation soon.

On Saturday morning, August 15th, 2015, I decided to fish a stream that I hadn't had much luck on in recent visits. However, I felt it just had to be good sooner or later.

But today was not the day either. The fishing was kind of disappointing. In 4.00 hours I landed 46 trout, including this rainbow.



It took a while for this young buck to identify me as danger.



At that point I decided to drive to a tiny mountain stream that holds its flow better than most freestone streams I'm familiar with.



I had no illusions of catching 54 trout to hit the century mark for the day, especially when the first hour yielded just six little wild trout, including this brookie...



...and this red-spotted brownie.



I kept seeing partial tracks and weeds knocked over and thought maybe someone had fished here recently. Then I saw these tracks. Either a cub black bear or a young sasquatch was ahead of me. Apparently this one had his shoes on the wrong feet.



The activity from the trout gradually improved. I figured it would get even better once I got upstream from where I had quit on my only other visit this year to this rivulet back on May 23rd. I started to think that hitting 100-trout was attainable.

Taking photos of this uniquely-colored native brookie slowed me down.



But it was worth recording the moment. I fished 4.50 hours and caught and released 55 additional wild trout, giving me 101 trout in 8.50 hours for the day.



On Sunday morning, August 16th, I decided to fish this small stream first.



Similar to yesterday, shortly after daybreak a small buck materialized upstream.



A branch from a small catalpa tree grew out over the creek.



As did some swamp milkweed.



The surroundings are starting to take on that "late summer" look.

I fished here until I came to "Posted" signs. I caught 38 wild brown trout in 3.50 hours.



Next up was a place I had fished just once in my life and that was about two months ago. It's the kind of place I doubted any spinner fisherman had fished since my last visit.

The first time I fished here the trout acted like Kamikazes, hitting my spinner with wreckless abandon. I hoped similar action would ensue.



But many of the trout were clearly wary of my White Bead Gold spinner. I went troutless in many spots, even though when I waded past trout often scurried away. It's amazing how trout remember not to make the same mistake again. I fished 3.00 hours and caught 39 wild brown trout.



Cup-plant was bloomng along the stream. This was my first time to ever see it.



Since I still had time, I decided to close the day by going to a little mountain stream, similar to yesterday. Luckily, it still had a decent flow for August.



Not many trout were out feeding, and several times I contemplated quitting, but I kind of wanted to catch 23 trout to hit 100 for the day. I figured sooner or later things would pick up.

That's when this gorgeous wild brown trout charged my spinner from a good six feet away and grabbed it without hesitation.



Similar to the attractive brookie yesterday, this trout was worth a second look.



My 100th trout of the day was this 11" wild brown. Note how the diagonal rows of large red spots are very similar to the 12.5" wild brown in the previous two photos.



In 2.50 hours I caught 24 trout, and similar to yesterday I closed the outing with 101 trout in 9.00 hours.

- Frank Nale -

I can be contacted at [email protected].
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 06:53 PM
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Re: Two Similar Days

Great fishing and nice fish Frank!
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 08:27 PM
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Re: Two Similar Days

Neat! Thanks for sharing. Love the three red dots on the second top fin on the trout in the last picture.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 02:41 AM
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Re: Two Similar Days

Good stuff as usual Frank. The color of the brooks are amazing.

Thin water is definitely the rhythm of late. Let's hope these storms to come will give us a little action.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 11:18 AM
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Re: Two Similar Days

That Brook and Brown are spectacular. Like High Def versions of the normal Brook and Brown.

Your experience is exactly why I rarely fish the same stream more than once a summer. I will fish larger streams a time or two but almost never fish smaller streams more than one. Trout will remember a spinner alllllll summer long from my experience (as you obviously know Frank). You'll smash them up the first time to a stream and then a month later it's just never the same. You still may catch a lot of trout but it's nothing like that first time typically. Trout stream management is one of the biggest struggles inexperienced spinner fisherman have. I once had a section of stream that was amazing. I'd go there twice a summer and the numbers were mind boggling. Then a guy on this site PM'd me about fishing the section and doing excellent. He then PM'd me 2 weeks later about it again and for the next 2 months he fished it 2-3 more times. I went back the next season and could hardly move a trout on a stream that I would have to try harder to not catch fish then to catch them in the past haha. To this day that section of stream is no longer productive enough to visit and my hunch is that guy is still fishing it routinely. He's probably happy with the measley catch total he gets not understanding how much better it could be if he would just bounce around and allow a lot of time between visits. Of course there will always be exceptions to this as nature works in crazy ways.

I can tell you this. My best outings of the year are ALWAYS on streams that I haven't fished in at least 2 years! This stat never varies. I'm not advocating 2 year breaks but I'm just saying that the numbers dont lie. My top 5 all time outings were on streams that I hadn't fished for 2 years. Take it for what it's worth.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 07:15 PM
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Re: Two Similar Days

Very nice pictures and great write-up...gives me the itch again...Come on Tuesday!

Catch-and-Release wild trout.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 09:47 PM
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Re: Two Similar Days

Nice thick browns from that last small stream. For the last few years I've been fishing most of the streams twice. This year, with all of the choices I had in the june rains, there are many I will not get to and the rest I will only make it to once. I'm excited to see how those streams fish after a 2 year break or only being fished once the year before.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2015, 11:10 AM
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Re: Two Similar Days

I promise you that unless a spinner guy is there right before you they will fish awesome.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2015, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Two Similar Days

Njoyinlife wrote: "Love the three red dots on the second top fin on the trout in the last picture."

That's the adipose fin. I hadn't even noticed that until you pointed it out.

The other fins on a trout are the dorsal fin (top middle), caudal fin (the tail), pectoral fins (under the head), pelvic fins (bottom middle), and lana (spelled backward so as to not get censored) fin.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2015, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Two Similar Days

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trout 2003
That Brook and Brown are spectacular. Like High Def versions of the normal Brook and Brown.

Your experience is exactly why I rarely fish the same stream more than once a summer. I will fish larger streams a time or two but almost never fish smaller streams more than one. Trout will remember a spinner alllllll summer long from my experience (as you obviously know Frank). You'll smash them up the first time to a stream and then a month later it's just never the same. You still may catch a lot of trout but it's nothing like that first time typically. Trout stream management is one of the biggest struggles inexperienced spinner fisherman have. I once had a section of stream that was amazing. I'd go there twice a summer and the numbers were mind boggling. Then a guy on this site PM'd me about fishing the section and doing excellent. He then PM'd me 2 weeks later about it again and for the next 2 months he fished it 2-3 more times. I went back the next season and could hardly move a trout on a stream that I would have to try harder to not catch fish then to catch them in the past haha. To this day that section of stream is no longer productive enough to visit and my hunch is that guy is still fishing it routinely. He's probably happy with the measley catch total he gets not understanding how much better it could be if he would just bounce around and allow a lot of time between visits. Of course there will always be exceptions to this as nature works in crazy ways.

I can tell you this. My best outings of the year are ALWAYS on streams that I haven't fished in at least 2 years! This stat never varies. I'm not advocating 2 year breaks but I'm just saying that the numbers dont lie. My top 5 all time outings were on streams that I hadn't fished for 2 years. Take it for what it's worth.
I have a hunch that next week I'll be posting a photo of a brook trout that will make the one in this thread look small and bland. Just a hunch, of course.

I mostly agree about resting streams between visits. This is probably the biggest pitfall with spinner fishing. It's not like fly fishing where two guys can fish the pool in front of their camp every evening for a week and do well every time (relatively speaking, of course). I think, too, that this supports my belief that spinners don't represent food to the trout because if spinners did represent food, then I think trout could be caught more often on them.

My minimum rest for a stream between vistis is two weeks, but much longer is better. As you said, a lot of it depends on how many trout are in the creek. The more trout there are in a stream the more often it can be fished productively with spinners. And I don't think using a different colored spinner on the second trip through makes all that much difference.

I also agree that the second time through is usually not nearly as good as the first time, particularly small mountain streams. That's why when I travel to north-central PA each year I typically fish a different stream each visit. Locally I fish the same streams fairly often, some probably as often as ten times in a year, but generally there are diminishing returns.

One thing for sure, it's easy to tell if the trout haven't seen spinners in a long time. I think this is why sometimes it seems that large trout are not too bright. They probably have been hiding with a full belly most of the time, and when they finally show themselves to a spinner fisherman, it may be the first time they've seen a spinner in years, and they attack like Kamikazes.

This is also the reason spinner fishermen generally don't share stream names or where they have fished recently. That's sad and seems selfish, but it's a necessary evil if they want untouched streams and a better chance for good action consistently.

I can be contacted at [email protected].
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