Today marked my first solo fishing trip of 2017, where time wasn’t a factor. When I was looking at the weather forecast Wednesday evening and trying to decide where to go, it looked like Central and Eastern PA were going to be bombarded with rain all day long on Thursday. When I woke up Thursday to make my final decision, one of my potential target areas seemed to be on the cusp of the heavy precipitation area, and with that, my mind was made up.
As soon as I pulled up to the first stream, I could hear through the forest that the flows were up. When I finally laid my eyes upon the stream, I was quite impressed – water was up and slightly off colored, but more than fishable. Within the first couple of minutes, I was releasing my first trout of the morning.
The action continued to be really good and I was picking trout off at a decent pace as the rains began to pick up.
When I laid out my loose plans for the day, my plan was to fish the first stream for about 2.5 hours and then move onto the second stream and fish it for 2 hours and then possibly move to a third stream depending on how I felt and how the day was panning out. Well, plans changed in a hurry when I hit an unexpected posted sign 30 minutes into fishing on the first stream. I hiked backed to my car and drove around looking for a place to pop back into the stream further upstream, but I couldn’t find a reasonable parking area that didn’t involve a time intensive hike back to the stream. With that, I was off to the second stream.
The second stream, which is one of my favorites, didn’t disappoint and the trout were brought to hand on a fairly consistent basis.
Some trout were fairly big…
…others, not so much.
A few times, the rains would become quite intense. So intense that I would retreat into the forest and check my email and read the news – gotta love smart phones.
Here was a muskrat trying to hide from me after he disturbed a pretty decent pool.
The trout were coming to hand at such a good pace, I didn’t mind the terrible weather. Two and a half hours later, I was hiking back to my car and ready to venture off to the third stream.
View from the top on stream number two.
The third stream is a tributary that dumps into an ATW. Before I entered the trib, I fired a cast upstream on the ATW and was greeted by a stocked brown (only stocked trout of the day).
The third stream action started slower than I had hoped, but it eventually picked up.
The heartbreak of the day occurred in the run below. I hooked into a decent trout in the 17-18” range, which I fought for a minute or two until I thought he was ready to surrender. Well, just as I got my camera out, the trout charges towards my leg and uses my leg as a pick – he buried the treble into my left wader leg and made his way to freedom. Well, now I have no picture of this beast and I have a hole in my waders. I was quite thrilled after that…
The action was still really good and when I started doing the math in my head, I knew that catching trout number 100, was not that far off.
Trout #99 was a typical 6” wild brown that had a lot of spunk and leapt out of my hand before I could photograph him. When I came upon the below hole, I knew that #100 lurked in it’s depths.
My first cast was met with a ferocious and heavy hit, but I didn’t set the hook. My next cast barely hit the water and I felt the hit. I set the hook and brought #100 to hand. Not huge at all, but he only had 1 eye – that’s unique enough for me!
The ‘bad eye’ side.
I fished for another 30 minutes and was able to bring another 19 trout to hand. I could have kept fishing, but I was happy and content with the day and since I was near my car, I decided that the day was done.
When all was said and done, I brought 119 trout to hand (and 1 sunfish) in 5.25 hours. All trout were wild browns with the exception of 1 stocked brown and 1 stocked brookie (below). Since the weekend is still young, I’m hoping to get out another morning or two over the holiday weekend.