Five Late May Outings - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Five Late May Outings

Five Late May Outings

The trout fishing here in central Pennsylvania has been pretty good lately, though not as good as it usually is for this time of year. Below are the results of my last five outings.

May 21, 2017 (Sunday):

Trout were breaking the surface and large mayflies were helicoptering by as I stood streamside at a long flat pool waiting for it to get light enough to begin casting my White Bead Gold spinner. I was pleased to see all of the activity since this stream had gotten very low and quite toasty during last summer’s drought.



Unfortunately, the action on the end of my line didn’t match the pounding the mayflies were getting. However, since I was right beside a parking lot I figured these trout had probably seen their share of lures in the last month or so.

I was using my heavier spinning rod since large streams typically don’t require the accurate casting that smaller mountain streams demand. I think I can feel trout hit easier with the stouter rod, but spinner placement, particularly under overhanging obstructions, is difficult and sometimes impossible.

It took eleven minutes to land my first wild brown trout of the morning.



I began picking up wild browns at a steady but semi-slow pace once I got away from the parking lot pool. At one point I hooked a large brown of 17” to 18” on the far side of a wide flat pool and played him over to my feet. Unfortunately, the hook came free at that point.

But as I moved upstream the action slowed to a crawl. The hour and a quarter before I quit yielded just four trout. I don’t know if someone got ahead of me or if the heavy hatch was holding the trout’s focus, but it was time to leave after 35 trout in 4.25 hours.

From there I drove to a small mountain stream where two previous visits this year made me think few trout survived the conditions of last summer.



The water level was much better than on my two prior stops here this year and the trout were hitting pretty well.



A fawn along the bank caught my attention. It was about the size of a two liter bottle of soft drink.



I often see trees growing in the woods that appear to have had the soil eroded away from their roots. Of course, it’s actually caused by a tree growing out of or on the stump of a tree – and then the stump rots away. Here you can still see the stump.



I fished 4.75 hours on this mountain stream and caught 88 small wild trout, giving me 123 trout in 9.00 hours for the day.

May 23, 2017 (Tuesday):

This morning at daybreak I was again waded into the 56-degree water of the same stream that I had fished on Sunday, though I was obviously on a different section. Thoughts of having an uninterrupted day of hauling in heavy wild brown trout had brought me here. The air temperature was a cool 47-degrees and the flow was again ideal.



And this time I wasn’t disappointed. Heavy trout came to hand with regularity.



Since this creek has several stocked streams flowing into it, there’s always the chance of catching some stocked trout, like this 15” rainbow.



Here’s a 14” golden rainbow which I spotted before casting.



In 6.75 hours I caught 114 trout, though only fifteen or so were fooled in the final two hours as the action wound down.

I then fished a stocked stream for 1.50 hours and caught 18 trout. My total for the day was 132 trout in 8.25 hours.

May 24, 2017 (Wednesday):

Today I got up at 3:30 a.m. so that I would have plenty of time to drive to a small mountain stream and arrive well before daybreak, hopefully to discourage any latecomers from parking in the final upstream parking lot on the creek.

The flow was a little lower than I had expected, but still good. The water temperature was 52-degrees and the air was 56-degrees. The sky was cloudy. Conditions were near ideal. Now if only the trout would cooperate.



No trout were even seen in the first ten minutes and I began to wonder if maybe last summer’s drought had done a number on the stream.

But gradually a few trout were brought to hand, including this red-spotted wild brown.



At times the action was good, but at other times it dragged on. I know other anglers fish this stream with spinners, so I thought perhaps the trout were suffering from Metal Fatigue. Since I’m retired now and have only a finite number of good destinations within an hour or so of my residence, I’m more inclined now to stick with a stream longer than I used to since I don’t want to use up too many good destinations quickly. Today I stuck with the stream hoping more trout would cooperate farther into the headwaters and salvage the day.

As it turned out, the action did pick up slightly in the final hour or so, but the action was never anything special all day.
After 8.25 hours my GPS unit showed I had covered 4.94 miles and had caught 101 trout.

May 25, 2017 (Thursday):

I had to watch the weather closely leading up to this morning as rain was scheduled to arrive in the early morning hours. My hope was that it would hold off as long as possible, though we could use some rain again, since I knew the creek would get high and muddy from urban runoff a few hours after it rained.

It took about twenty minutes to walk into the stream and it was already raining in the predawn light, as it had during the drive here.

I didn’t take too many photos since rain and digital cameras don’t mix well. Suffice it is to say that I fished in the pouring rain up until about 9:30 a.m. when it pretty much ended. The trout were out en masse until the stream got too muddy to enjoy at slightly after 11:00 a.m. In that time I tallied 92 wild brown trout in 5.25 hours.

Maidenhair fern, one of my favorite subjects to take pictures of, was growing along the trail during the hike back to my SUV.



While driving home I realized that it must have rained more around home as the streams were roaring high. I wanted to catch eight more trout to hit the century mark for the day, so I went to a little mountain stream that has no roads near it. Any runoff there would be clear and natural.



It too was quite high, and since it has a high gradient, there were very few spots where I could even cast my spinner. It took 1.25 hours to dupe eight wild browns and native brookies. My total for the day was 100 trout in 6.50 hours.

May 26, 2017 (Friday):

My alarm sounded at 3:00 a.m. today and by 3:30 I was on my way to a little stream in the 260,000 acre Susquehannock State Forest in north-central Pennsylvania. Like my unsuccessful visit on April 29th to another small mountain stream in the general area, I knew going there was a big gamble due to last summer and autumn’s drought, but thoughts of having a quiet day in the mountains catching beautiful native brookies and wild browns one after the other overrode my caution.

The stream and conditions looked great.



The first half hour yielded just three trout, and then I fished pool after pool after pool and didn’t even see another trout until I caught my fourth trout in a large pool at the end of the hour. At that point, after fishing .99 miles, I decided to tuck my tail between my legs and hike out.

During the walk down the hollow I decided to chuck my second preplanned destination since it too was a very small rivulet. Instead, I decided to go to a larger stream. Of course, with the morning now nearly half over, I knew there was a good chance I might run into other anglers.

An angler was just exiting his SUV at my first choice, so I drove farther upstream and luckily no one was at my next stop.



The water temperature was nearly 54-degrees and the air just a degree or two higher. A misty rain and occasionally a more intense rain fell at times, though most of time it was just cloudy. The sun peaked through the clouds now and then.

I began picking up trout on my White Bead Gold spinner immediately, much to my delight. This 16” wild brown was my fifth trout on this stream at the eleven minute mark and helped take the sting off my blunder of going to the small stream at daybreak.



Most of the trout were native brookies.



This fern grew along the water. It might be ostrich fern but I wasn’t sure.



The action was very good most of the time and I couldn’t help but smile from my good fortune. Then two mergansers flew downstream past me and for roughly the next mile of water the action was slow to non-existent. When it started to get better I flushed a great blue heron and we all know that puts the trout down.

Gradually the trout reappeared and though it was getting late I had a hard time deciding when to quit. I kept telling myself I’d give it another fifteen minutes, and an hour later would still be telling myself the same thing. In 6.50 hours I caught 121 trout and covered 4.20 miles of water per my GPS unit.



It took 58 minutes to hike the 3.3 miles down the trail to my SUV. My total for the day was 125 trout in 7.50 hours. For the day I walked 9.74 miles.

My total for the five days of fishing was 581 trout in 39.50 hours. This averages out to 116.20 trout per day and 14.71 trout per hour.

I plan to get in a few more outings in May. I’m glad we got the rain since it hadn’t rained much here in south-central PA since the beginning of May. May is shaping up to be a pretty decent month though I do now believe the drought of last summer did a number on at least some of the small streams in the north-central portion of the state.
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Last edited by FrankTroutAngler; 05-27-2017 at 04:23 PM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 06:27 PM
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That last Brookie pic Frank...WOW. that's one of the best trout pictures I've ever seen in my life. Your camera captured that pic perfectly. Light..... everything must have been perfect. Nice.

This is a compliment......for your age, it's amazing how you hammer out the days. I just finish day two of long fishing days and I'll probably take tomorrow off to rest up. It's one thing to do 3-4 hour trips day after day but 8, sometimes 10 hours day after day, slipping on river cobble and dipping under branches. It's impressive.

Seems like you year is gradually improving so I'm happy to hear that.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 08:16 PM
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great pics and story. really like the colors on the brookies
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Trout 2003 View Post
That last Brookie pic Frank...WOW. that's one of the best trout pictures I've ever seen in my life. Your camera captured that pic perfectly. Light..... everything must have been perfect. Nice.

This is a compliment......for your age, it's amazing how you hammer out the days. I just finish day two of long fishing days and I'll probably take tomorrow off to rest up. It's one thing to do 3-4 hour trips day after day but 8, sometimes 10 hours day after day, slipping on river cobble and dipping under branches. It's impressive.

Seems like your year is gradually improving so I'm happy to hear that.
Thanks for the compliments.

I've found that probably the best days to get the richest photos is when it is cloudy but still bright. That seems to help make rich-looking photos. Also, that brookie in the final photo was a real beautiful one even though it didn't have the orange coloration I like. It also helps to take lots and lots of photos so that as least a few are good. Most of my photos are garbage.

I'm 59 years young and I find myself going around obstructions rather than through them nowadays. That's a good sign that age is catching up. I definitely don't move up streams as fast as I once did, though I still maintain a pretty good pace. I also believe it is good to push myself in order to maintain my stamina. I want to be able to stay active for as long as possible. Sitting in a chair watching TV in my old age doesn't appeal much to me, but it'll happen sooner or later unless I get some terminal illness while still "young".
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 09:39 PM
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That little wild brown with the numerous red spots is my favorite of your post. I've never fished in NC PA, well nothing east of St. Mary's or north of State College. The stream pictures you post of that NC region are always quite attractive. I'm not sure I'll make it there any time soon, but I enjoy viewing your excursions there. How do you carry your fake net while you fish?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 10:20 PM
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I'm cracking up over the term 'fake net' lol.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by troutdoorsman View Post
That little wild brown with the numerous red spots is my favorite of your post. I've never fished in NC PA, well nothing east of St. Mary's or north of State College. The stream pictures you post of that NC region are always quite attractive. I'm not sure I'll make it there any time soon, but I enjoy viewing your excursions there. How do you carry your fake net while you fish?
The fake net is actually a real net, it's just that I never use it to net trout. As you know, it's just a prop to make photos look different. I particularly like taking photos with the Orvis logo showing along with a nice White Bead Gold spinner. I found it many years ago. I'm still waiting to find a net with the rubber mesh so that I have something different for photos. Maybe I'll buy one.

I have a metal ring about the size of a penny hooked on my fishing vest near my neck in the back. I clamp the net to it and just reach around and unhook it when I want to use it in a photo. I find that carrying it there is the least intrusive place though it adds even more weight to my vest, which probably weighs close to ten pounds when I carry two 24 ounce bottles of water, a camera, an extra fishing reel, binoculars, a spool of line, tablet, pencil, pencil sharpener, matches, some Tums for when the fishing is lousy, hook sharpener, pliers, cell phone, wallet, keys, film canister full of WBG spinners, nippers, extra nippers, extra pencils, water thermometer, plastic bag for picking up trash - most notably helium balloons, paper towels for emergencies, clear goggles for dim light fishing, polarized sunglasses, raincoat when necessary, some used spinners, flashlight, GPS unit, extra tablet, extra pliers, stick of glue, and probably a few other things. I'd stick an extra fishing rod in my vest if it would fit.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by FrankTroutAngler View Post
The fake net is actually a real net, it's just that I never use it to net trout. As you know, it's just a prop to make photos look different. I particularly like taking photos with the Orvis logo showing along with a nice White Bead Gold spinner. I found it many years ago. I'm still waiting to find a net with the rubber mesh so that I have something different for photos. Maybe I'll buy one.

I have a metal ring about the size of a penny hooked on my fishing vest near my neck in the back. I clamp the net to it and just reach around and unhook it when I want to use it in a photo. I find that carrying it there is the least intrusive place though it adds even more weight to my vest, which probably weighs close to ten pounds when I carry two 24 ounce bottles of water, a camera, an extra fishing reel, binoculars, a spool of line, tablet, pencil, pencil sharpener, matches, some Tums for when the fishing is lousy, hook sharpener, pliers, cell phone, wallet, keys, film canister full of WBG spinners, nippers, extra nippers, extra pencils, water thermometer, plastic bag for picking up trash - most notably helium balloons, paper towels for emergencies, clear goggles for dim light fishing, polarized sunglasses, raincoat when necessary, some used spinners, flashlight, GPS unit, extra tablet, extra pliers, stick of glue, and probably a few other things. I'd stick an extra fishing rod in my vest if it would fit.
Wow, I thought I carried a lot of stuff in my vest.

More great outings and pictures Frank.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 11:12 AM
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The list of things you carry is incredible. As an eagle scout, I can say that you definitely exemplify the motto, "be prepared".
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 11:50 AM
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Nice trout as usual. It's always been kind of interesting to me catching stocked trout miles away from where they were originally stocked. Looking forward to reading your next post. Hopefully the first half of June provides better fishing conditions than this past month.
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