As water levels in the SE continue to drop to normal summer water levels, despite the random T-storm, I can't help but think back to recent weeks and the ample flows they provided. I always feel a lot of pressure to fish as much as possible from mid May through mid June as I know the party is coming to end when July water levels force me to retreat from my stable of low water producers. While low water spots are fun and take the edge off, they are never as exciting as the full deck of cards that early summer provides. In recent weeks I traveled back to SWPA to visit my elderly grandparent and while I was there I spent a few days on the water chasing wild and stocked trout. I started on a stream that I hadn't seen in many many years. In fact when I last visited it only had a handful of native brook trout in the entire stream but now has robust number of natives. Water levels were good if not a little high and cold.
and although there were almost no large individual brooks out this day (they are there) I did catch well over 100 trout for the morning before making the LOOONG walk back to the truck
During the walk out I notice many, what I think, are Birch Sawflies on rocks around the stream. They're a large big so you definitely notice them.
The following day I returned to a stream that has quickly become a personal favorite. Air temps were an unseasonably cool 46 degrees when I arrived but the trout didn't care and I had an awesome day catching wild brown, native brooks, and a PILE of holdover stocked trout.
On the walk out, after catching 163 trout for the day I was greeted by a double rainbow from a distant thunderstorm
Back to the eastern shore I came for this past weekend. On Thursday I grabbed a little time to hit one of my favorite eastern waters and man were the wild browns out and about. Every likely looking spot held a trout and the action was excellent from start to finish.
Most of the trout were on the small side with the exception of this 18" wild brown that hit near the end of the trip
On the walk back this hen had no problem introducing me to her youngins'
Another 120+ trout for the day made my Friday at work much more tolerable leading into the weekend. I had to sit out Saturday with lots of company at the house but Father Day was my day and I was out of the house early headed for what might be one of the most popular and famous trout streams on the planet. Widely considered the birth place of American fly fishing but also very private and exclusive with clubs. NY and NJ elite travel weekly to test their skills on the miles and miles of expensive heavily stocked club water. I, of course, opted for some of the public open water available since I don't have millions to waste on a lease and I don't fly fish often.....both of which are huge disqualifiers for fishing some of the more prime locations on the stream. Regardless I did my damage on some big beautiful water.
Along my travels I saw this terribly emaciated
whitetail that showed all the symptoms of CWD
That being said I highly doubt it was CWD. Probably just a very very sick deer with only a few days to live at the most. She wouldn't leave the stream and just stared at me like a zombie on the walking dead.
I moved past her and restarted my on-slot of the rich peoples wash-down fish haha
After 4 hours it was getting warm and I elected to head out with 60+ fish to hand. There were a lot of flowers on the water back like this Fox Glove.
I steered clear as it was numerous and is extremely poisonous. Fox Glove is a Cardiac toxin and an effective one at that. It should never be messed with without proper protection.
Blue Flag was also very common.
The air temp was hot at 90 degrees and the rail grade was just scorching on the walk back. I was happy to get back into the AC of my truck for the ride home. We'll see what the rest of the summer holds but I'm pretty sure I'll no longer have the pick of whatever trout stream I wanna fish. Water's getting meager and by this weekend I'll be traveling far and wide to find suitable conditions. It's what I do and it's all part of the game though I suppose.