'Fraid It's Going to be a Long Year - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
 5Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,220
Back To Top
'Fraid It's Going to be a Long Year

'Fraid It's Going to be a Long Year

Many years ago I came up with a term to measure the level of excitement enjoyed while fishing with spinners. I call it the Anticipation Factor, or “AF” for short. A level of “10” is the best, generally meaning that the action is so intense that a trout is expected on nearly every cast, while a “0” means there’s so little action that it’s time to quit or find another stream to fish. I also adjust my AF depending on the circumstances and the stream I’m fishing. For example, an AF of 10 could be obtained on a large stream while catching few trout if they happen to be large trout and I’m expecting more. The level of anticipation depends on the situation. Achieving an AF of 10 is what motivates me to pursue trout with spinners.

A quick look back into my statistics for the month of May in the last five years (2012 – 2016) reveals that I caught 9,838 trout in 646.25 hours during 75 days. This averages out to 15.22 trout per hour (TPH) and 131.17 trout per day (TPD). On 68 of the 75 days I caught 100 or more trout. My best days in those years, beginning with the year 2012, were 201, 251, 241, 149, and 279, respectively. May was my best month of the year in four of these five years.

To say I have high expectations in May would be an understatement. This year, however, is different due to the drought we had last summer and autumn. How many trout would there be in streams this year? Would limestoners be adversely impacted as much as freestone creeks? These are the questions I’ve been trying to answer since January. Unfortunately, my growing mountain of evidence seems to be pointing in the wrong direction, though I haven’t seen any total bona fide collapses in trout populations, except possibly in the upper reaches of one small mountain creek. Attaining a high AF has been basically nonexistent since I don’t factor in low trout populations unless I’m fishing specifically for large trout, which is rare.

During the week of May 15th through 19th I think I got a pretty good sample of what is in store for 2017 since water levels and weather conditions were darn near ideal all week. Here are the results of my adventures:

Monday, May 15th, 2017:

Although I saw very few trout in this south-central stream during low water last autumn, this morning I chose the stream that yielded my best days in three of the last five years (251, 241, and 279 trout).



In the very first pool I caught two sublegal wild browns, then lip-hooked this fine 16.5” wild brown with my White Bead Gold spinner in the dim morning light.



Dame’s Rocket was blooming streamside.



But as I moved upstream I couldn’t help but ask myself, “Where are all of the trout?”

After 4.25 hours and only 51 trout and well over a mile of stream, my AF had dropped pretty low. It was time to go to another stream.

The next stream was equally slow and after 1.50 hours and only 13 trout I knew it was time to go to my next preplanned option. The highlight on this stream was fishing about fifteen minutes through marginal water to reach a deep pool where I cranked out this fine 16” brown.



Next I drove to a small mountain freestone creek hoping to catch a minimum of 39 trout to hit 100 for the day.



Some wild trout were caught.



But it became clear very quickly that catching 39 trout was not going to happen. In fact, after a while I wondered if I would catch even one more trout. I caught 20 trout in 2.25 hours and fished about a mile and a half of water. My total for the day was 84 trout in 8.00 hours.

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017:

Today I chose a small mountain stream that usually coughs up a hundred trout like clockwork.



The fishing was slow, and I mean really slow.

Occasionally a nice native brookie was landed, including this 10”er.



Some were very attractive.



The “Trip Computer” of my Garmin eTrex10 GPS unit, which I just recently learned how to use after watching parts of about twenty YouTube videos since the directions that came with it appear to have been written by a second-grader, showed I had fished 6.10 miles in 8.75 hours. I had 97 trout but the prospect of catching even one more seemed remote so I decided to book it back to my SUV.

A nice patch of wild geraniums grew along the trail on the way out.



Wednesday, May 17th, 2017:

Today I chose a mountain freestoner that typically surrenders over one hundred trout on a May outing.



The flow was great and the trout cooperated, though many good spots seemed void of trout. I fished 8.00 hours and caught 123 wild trout. Most were wild brown trout. The air temperature was 90-degrees during the hike out.



Thursday, May 18th, 2017:

I got up at 3:30 a.m. this morning and drove to a little mountain stream. I began fishing at daybreak and had good action for a while, but it would peter out at times.

Though dead trees in a stream make good cover for the trout, they also provide what I call “nursery water” since it’s pretty much impossible to fish spinners in some spots.



Some small wild browns were landed.



But if it had not been for running into a good head of stocked trout, the overall action would have been pretty slow.



I caught 48 stocked trout and 71 wild trout, a total of 119 trout, in 8.00 hours. The air temperature was 91-degrees during the walk back to my SUV.

Friday, May 19th, 2017:

Like the stream I chose on Monday, where I hadn’t seen many trout during last autumn’s low water, today I chose a similar stream hoping that there were more trout than I feared.



The sizes of the trout I caught revealed the ages of the trout. Assuming the trout hatched in February, many of the trout I caught were right around 5.5” long, which would make them about one year and three months old. The young-of-the-year would still be minnows, probably less than 2” long.



Individuals in the next age group, ones two years and three months old, had a larger girth and were mostly around 8” long.



Trout in the next age group, centered around 3 years and 3 months, were around 10” long and had a much larger girth than the trout that were a year younger.



In 8.25 hours I tallied 108 trout. Many pools appeared troutless like on other days this week.

Probably the neatest thing of the day occurred in the afternoon. I’ve been paying a lot more attention to the birds that I see while I’m fishing, as well as their songs, and in fact own a few CD’s with bird songs, as well as several field guides. Today I was surprised when I came upon two extremely rare whistlepig warblers along the stream I was wading.



Overall for the five days I caught 531 trout in 41.00 hours. This calculates out to a 12.95 TPH average and 106.20 TPD, both well below normal for this time of year.

It will be interesting to see how the fishing goes in the next few weeks. Right now my expectations are a little on the low side, but things could change.

- Frank Nale -

I can be contacted at [email protected].

Last edited by FrankTroutAngler; 05-20-2017 at 04:26 PM.
FrankTroutAngler is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 05:07 PM
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,319
Back To Top
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankTroutAngler View Post
'Fraid It's Going to be a Long Year


A quick look back into my statistics for the month of May in the last five years (2012 – 2016) reveals that I caught 9,838 trout in 646.25 hours during 75 days. This averages out to 15.22 trout per hour (TPH) and 131.17 trout per day (TPD). On 68 of the 75 days I caught 100 or more trout. My best days in those years, beginning with the year 2012, were 201, 251, 241, 149, and 279, respectively. May was my best month of the year in four of these five years.

To say I have high expectations in May would be an understatement. This year, however, is different due to the drought we had last summer and autumn. How many trout would there be in streams this year? Would limestoners be adversely impacted as much as freestone creeks? These are the questions I’ve been trying to answer since January. Unfortunately, my growing mountain of evidence seems to be pointing in the wrong direction, though I haven’t seen any total bona fide collapses in trout populations, except possibly in the upper reaches of one small mountain creek. Attaining a high AF has been basically nonexistent since I don’t factor in low trout populations unless I’m fishing specifically for large trout, which is rare.

During the week of May 15th through 19th I think I got a pretty good sample of what is in store for 2017 since water levels and weather conditions were darn near ideal all week.

It will be interesting to see how the fishing goes in the next few weeks. Right now my expectations are a little on the low side, but things could change.

- Frank Nale -
Although your outings are below your expectations, you still had some very good fishing. For some reason, your pictures are not showing in the post. I've often had that problem on this website for some reason.

I agree that the trout populations are down. Your stats are very interesting and informative. My May trout totals are much worse that what I typically catch as well.

Hopefully I will be able to see the pictures the next time I log in. They add so much to the posts. When that happens I'm sure I will have additional comments since your pictures are so good.

TT

Last edited by Trout Traveler; 05-21-2017 at 05:29 PM.
Trout Traveler is online now  
post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 05:21 PM
Hooked on HuntingPa
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: PA
Posts: 434
Back To Top
I remember the first time I saw a ground hog in a tree. I was about 12. It blew my mind. I am going to be in SC PA next week for a work trip. I was excited at the prospect of trying some new streams. I won't let your report spoil my "AF" though.
troutdoorsman is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 08:24 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Chester County, PA
Posts: 12,092
Back To Top
Quote:
Originally Posted by troutdoorsman View Post
I remember the first time I saw a ground hog in a tree. I was about 12. It blew my mind. I am going to be in SC PA next week for a work trip. I was excited at the prospect of trying some new streams. I won't let your report spoil my "AF" though.
I saw few back in the day (@ 1960 - 1995) climbing trees; but since then I have seen quite a number of the buggers climbing and in the lower branches of small trees. I think they may be doing some sort of evolution shtick or something.

Saw one the other day texting while driving.............

Good night Chesty, wherever you are......
jimsdad is offline  
post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 10:12 PM
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,319
Back To Top
I looked at your post again Frank and saw the pictures and they are great as always. Beautiful stream and trout pictures.

I never seen groundhogs in a tree before. As my Dad would say, "They didn't read the manual."
Apparently they disregard the ground part of groundhog.
Trout Traveler is online now  
post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 10:16 PM
Diehard Outdoorsman
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: SW PA
Posts: 4,118
Back To Top
Giant eagle has cheap fish.
Laylow is offline  
post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-21-2017, 07:59 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Chester County, PA
Posts: 12,092
Back To Top
BTW Frank, the pics are marvelous, always enjoy them.

Not for nothing, but them dead trees across the stream. When they finally fall into the water, are they going to impact the fish? I know about nature taking its course, but still - would that be something to worry about in terms of stream and fish future?

Good night Chesty, wherever you are......
jimsdad is offline  
post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-21-2017, 09:00 AM
Part of the Community
 
Potters finest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: 5C
Posts: 147
Back To Top
Wow Frank what great pics and story. Your bad days would be great days for me! I've noticed some of the mountain streams haven't been as productive early in the year as usual, maybe last summer has numbers low up here.
Potters finest is offline  
post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-21-2017, 09:47 AM
The Man
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: PA
Posts: 6,863
Back To Top
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimsdad View Post
BTW Frank, the pics are marvelous, always enjoy them.

Not for nothing, but them dead trees across the stream. When they finally fall into the water, are they going to impact the fish? I know about nature taking its course, but still - would that be something to worry about in terms of stream and fish future?
What harm do you think fallen trees would cause to the streams and fish?

Last edited by troutbert; 05-21-2017 at 10:19 AM.
troutbert is offline  
post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-21-2017, 10:21 AM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SE PA
Posts: 20,117
Back To Top
I just got wrapped up from a Huntington County fishing trip centered around the McAlevys Fort area and the fishing was 'ok' at best. The first stream we fished was a popular stocked stream that also holds wild browns and native Brookies. Fished it for 1.5 hours and caught 20 smaller wild browns between us and a few stocked trout. Some excellent habitat coughing up a big 0. I didn't worry too much as the stream is heavily fished at times and not that amazing to begin with. We then moved to a nearby stocked stream that flows into a small stocked impoundment. The stream is class B wild trout. We fished there for another 1.5 hours and found excellent numbers of stocked brookies but did not see a single solitary native Brookie the whole time. The bigger thing I noticed was the amazing number of dead and dying ash and hemlock trees. It's is honestly an absolute travesty I that area. Some of the hemlocks that weren't dead yet we're so cover in the white wholly casings that they almost appeared frosted. They'll all be dead soon. That area is going to be a total wasted land in 5 years. Even now the stream was challenging at best with all the downed trees. It's a vision into my future and all of our futures around the state. It was really a depressing experience in a lot of ways.

Didn't mean to hyjack. Just figured this small report belonged in here.

I'll be very interested to hear about the rest of your adventures this Summer Frank. My hunch is you'll find a nitch before long that will provide what you're looking for.
Trout 2003 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome