Old Favorites and Monster Browns! - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SE PA
Posts: 20,117
Back To Top
Boy time is flying this summer. Hard to believe it’s already the 2nd week of July. For the most part the weather has been nice and although the steams have hovered about being low forthe most part, I’ve been able to chase enough water here and there to keep the ole’ knees wet.
The last full weekend of June found me on a stream that also happens to be one of my very favorite streams in this great state, but also a stream that I haven’t fished in 2 seasons. My personal policy is that even if I love a stream I will typically not fish it when the conditions aren’t within a specific range of flows. I’ve found it to be counter-productive to blow a stream up and educate the trout to spinners when the fishing is going to be less than ideal. Sure you can catch fish in low water but it will only make things more difficult for you when the time is right. I follow this rule so tightly that I haven’t fished my #1 and #2 streams in over 3 seasons because they’ve been low with I can fish them or perfect at the wrong time for me. Patience is a great strength of mine and all of the streams I enjoy eventually come back to me and on this weekend I finally got back to this one with perfect conditions and my patience was rewarded with exceptional fishing.
As I started my outing a red fox crossed the stream in frontof me

ZakAppleby, on Flickr
And like I said, the conditions were worth the wait.

20180415204513_IMG_2356by Zak Appleby, onFlickr

The fish were out and I mean everywhere. Both stocked and wild trout where activeas could be and that combination is some of my favorite type of trout fishing. All of the fish were in excellent shape.

20180415184733_IMG_2345by Zak Appleby, onFlickr

The wild browns out numbers the stocked holdovers a good 3 to1 which is a great ratio for fun fishing.
20180415195153_IMG_2352by Zak Appleby, onFlickr

Throughout the morning I took a lot of time to soak in the sights and sounds of this special place as I just never know when I’ll be back. It could be later this fall or it could be in 3 years. I just neverknow so I try to savor my time on favorite places

20180415214442_IMG_2370by Zak Appleby, onFlickr

And apparently others, others that I dislike very much, also enjoyed the bountiful number of trout the stream had to offer.

IMG_20170627_125900by Zak Appleby, onFlickr

I was able to cover a lot of water in the 6 hours I fished and scratched that itch about as well as it could. Everything really came together great and I caught and released well over 150 trout for the day. On my walk to my truck I took one last look at a favorite and tipped my hat before hopping into my truck to head for home.

20180415215510_IMG_2377by Zak Appleby, onFlickr

After a few days of slaving for ‘the man’ and anxiously watching rains and water levels I was eager to get back on the ‘crick’ and to another special place for me. Again Iwas in pursuit of stocked holdover fish and a smattering of wild fish. Boy the stockers were out! This stream was a flip flop of the previous with a stocker to wild ratio of 3:1 or more.

20180415204504_IMG_2355by Zak Appleby, onFlickr

IMG_20170629_093355867by Zak Appleby, onFlickr

It was a total blast catch rainbow after rainbow from almost every likely looking spot. I love the predictability of stockers that have been in the stream for a while. Little did I know however, that this outing was going end up being about so much more. This was not a stream that I’d ever caught a big trout from but that was all about to change. I’d caught well over 50 rainbows and ahandful of wild browns and native brookies when I approached a rather innocent yet productive spot that I’ve taken many trout from in the past. 1, then 2 rainbows fell to the spinner on the first couple casts. I sent 3 or 4more casts to different points of the small pool. I just about ready to move on when I let that normal last cast out to the head riffle. Of course I expected nothing but my spinner stopped dead in its tracks and the raw power of a monster brown took control. It was everything I could do to crank my drag over 3 times counter clockwise as the stream giant shot out of the riffle and down into the heart of the pool. It takes a great fish to get me really excited and panicky these days and this fish triggered all those feelings. I had very little control over it other than to keep the pressure on while I silently prayed that it didn’t shake loose or snap me off. It porpoised over and over and each time I couldn’t believe my eyes at how heavy the fish was for such a small stream. After the first couple heavy runs I knew Ihad the upper hand and just kept good leverage on the fish until the battle was finally over. As I lifted one of the most unexpected fish of my life out of the water the smile was a mile wide

IMG_20170629_150605by Zak Appleby, onFlickr

At 22” and god knows how heavy it was most likely my ‘Fish of the Year’. I may catch a larger fish but the near wildness setting and the surprise of the moment will make this one hard to beat. It took me a few minutes to start fishing again as I sat on a boulder, dried myself off, and just laughed like a crazy person all alone. It was truly one of those moments that only an outdoorsmen could understand. I did eventually get back into the action and as luck would have it, some 3 pools later, this 18” wild brown snatched up my spinner and posed with me.

IMG_20170629_150237by Zak Appleby, onFlickr

And then not long after that this heavy 20” holdover rainbow got into the act.

IMG_20170629_150119by Zak Appleby, onFlickr

It’s always days like this that I’m on a schedule but shortly after that last big fish I sadly had to leave the stream and head for home. The entire walk back I just couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be a trout fisherman on this day. It really was one of those times that truly remind me why I do this so seriously. Magical.

Since I’d caught the BIG trout bug a little and the conditions were good I set the alarm for 4am the next morning and decided to try my luck again. As Trout Travelerwill attest, big trout tend to come in streaks so when you get one you best try to ride that horse as long as you can. I only had about 2 hours to fish and the water was really really high but dang it anyhow if 2 more larger trout of 18.5” and 19.5” didn’t fall.

IMG_20170623_103717by Zak Appleby, onFlickr

IMG_20170623_074707by Zak Appleby, onFlickr

The following day found me on yet another favorite stream (Ithink it’s safe to say that all trout streams are my favorite!) Trying to continue what had become the theme of the week with a sense of confidence while on my drive through the darkness. I already knew conditions would be big trout happy and felt like I was in a bit of groove. The day was about to deliver.

IMG_20170703_091030040by Zak Appleby, onFlickr

On my 3rd cast I hooked and landed a nice little wild brown followed by another. A minute later I sent a cast to the run entering the pool (another theme of the week) and a big trout hammered it and ripped back into the pool. He was moving faster than my snail like reflexes could respond to and like that SNAP my line gave and he was gone. Being so early in the morning I wasn’toverly disappointed but instead excited about having so much time ahead of me yet and optimism that more big fish would show up.
The trout were really out like only few times I’ve ever seenon this stream. By the days end Iwould have my second best day ever there but we’re not at that point yet haha.
A good 2 hours of happily catching smaller trout passed with no big trout sightings as I approached a typically very productive pool. One that ironically I’d never seen a larger trout from in years of fishing it. Ieven thought it in my head that it would be cool to finally have a memory ofthis spot like so many others in my mind. After a few smaller fish in the heart of the pool I tossed the spinner into the upper riffle and BANG! Heavy fish on. He ripped me this way and that but this time the line held and victory Was mine

IMG_20170710_144312 by Zak Appleby, on Flickr

A satisfying fish at 20” with still plenty of water to fish.

After missing the swipe from another big boy I latched onto another log about an hour later. This one also just nipped the 20” mark.

IMG_20170703_151539by Zak Appleby, onFlickr

Things were working out and I was having a blast. Small, medium, and big trout were out. What more could a trout fishermen ask for!?
As I continued to meander my way up the brook I had that level of anticipation that only actively feeding big trout can give. I was catching lots of smaller trout but itwas almost a ‘get out of my way’ feeling with each of them as I work my way from pool to pocket. They were fun to catch but they only added to the build and anticipation of the next heavy strike. I was working a rather long featureless riffle and sent my spinner in between two closely place boulders causing an 18” deep swirl. I expected a small brown to hit but an absolute beast was staged up and drilled my metal. He hung in the shallow pocket neither moving upstream nor down. He just stood his ground and head thrashed with all his might. After a few seconds and probably realizing that his current tactic wasn’t going to work he turned and shot down stream 1000mph into the swift riffle below. My drag screamed out of the Shimano Ci4 as the large brown ran. I also ran……down the stream after it. There were a few obstructions that concerned me so I tightened the drag a bit to apply more pressure on thefish. There came a point where enough was enough and I tightened the drag further in an effort to just end it. That did the trick and the fish tired outin no time.

IMG_20170703_152056by Zak Appleby, onFlickr

At 21.5” it was a really good fish and my third over 20” forthe day. If I’m really fortunate that will happen once a year. I found a nice little deep resting pocket with a good oxygenated current and released the fish to rest up for a bit.

The day was wearing on and I had about 250 yards of water left before reaching the point where I always exit the stream. Since it was nearing 2PM I knew I wasn’tgoing further that. There was one more huge pool in front of me, the biggest on the entire section of stream, and I was excited to try for one last bigger fish. As usual the pool itself gave him only smaller wild browns but many of them. AsI approached the swift run at the top I just knew it was going to happen. Sure enough……………….
IMG_20170706_110308_200by Zak Appleby, onFlickr

20 ” and HEAVY. This fish was thick as all get up. My 4th 20+ for the day.

I grabbed a few more smaller wild browns and as I stepped out onto the bank to leave I peaked at my counter for the very first time to see that I had crested the 200 mark for the day. The 5th time that’s happened this season. This was one of those days that I’ll think back on for years to come for sure.
I can’t ask for much more out of a few trout fishing excursions. To be honest if I don’thave another great outing the rest of this year I’ll be content with the few I had last weekend. Fishing simply cannot get better than that in any way shape or form so I would be good to go into the winter with those as a lasting memory of the season past. Good news is……..I’m sure there are a lot more memories to be made in the coming weeks! Pa trout fishing……it’s awesome!

Last edited by Trout 2003; 07-10-2017 at 03:35 PM.
Trout 2003 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 11:05 AM
Regular Member
Wild Trout 24/7's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Cambria Co.
Posts: 1,487
Back To Top
Wow! Loved the story kinda makes you feel like your right there in the heat of the moment. Trout travler, looks like you have some competition!!
Wild Trout 24/7 is offline  
post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SE PA
Posts: 20,117
Back To Top
Gosh I wish. TT is Mr. Consistency lol
Trout 2003 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 01:21 PM
Hooked on HuntingPa
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: PA
Posts: 434
Back To Top
Ah to live in the "red zone" with all those fox.... I've been curious as to all of these monster trout you've been catching and the story certainly did them justice. So it looks like you've completely committed to going brass bead only on the spinners?

I like the teaser with the barely visible road signs in that 20" brown picture.
troutdoorsman is offline  
post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 03:00 PM
Frequent Contributor
bjb2799's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: SE PA
Posts: 662
Back To Top
Wow! Those are some awesome numbers - both quantity of trout and size of the trout. Even the holdover rainbows have some decent and vibrant colors to them. Glad to see someone is able to take advantage of the favorable stream conditions.
bjb2799 is offline  
post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 03:03 PM
Regular Member
bigguy54's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Elk County, 2 H, Pa.
Posts: 1,416
Back To Top
Just a terrific post, really enjoyed the writing accompanying the pictures!!! Thanks for sharing!!! :-)

Benefactor Life Member NRA
Veteran - U.S.Army
bigguy54 is offline  
post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SE PA
Posts: 20,117
Back To Top
Dang if I could just have you out here for one trapping season I'm sure you could solve my problem. My area is completely overrun with Reds. A guy 5 miles down the road trapped 37 off my buddies farm last year alone. One stinking farm! I've got 5 farms that could all use trappers.
Trout 2003 is offline  
post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SE PA
Posts: 20,117
Back To Top
As for the spinner........Yes, the plastic terminal bead is a thing of the past. For me personally, it was nothing more than an ornament. I wasn't able to see it in the water so it didn't help me see the spinner at all. The fish react no differently. All it did was make the spinner lighter thus allowing the blade to impart more spin thus creating more line twist. The heavier the spinner body the more difficult it is for the blade to turn it in the water. If you had a spinner blade attached you a brick you'd never have line twist if you know what I mean. Plus the extra weight has not hurt at all. Also of note is that I finally got my shipment from Worth of new spinner blades and they are identical to the old Cabelas blade (color is a little different) and don't create line twist like the Haggens brand do. I feel like I finally have the setup that I've been trying for all these years. I've been fiddling with Franks spinner design for 2 decades trying to create one with at least reasonable to very little line twist and I've finally done it. Even last week I let Kwright use one and he admitted that the amount of line twist was better and managable. Some of them still do twist up pretty good so it's not perfect but I would say that 2 of 3 have little to literally zero line twist. It's so much more enjoyable now. Line twist would makes me lose my mind.
Trout 2003 is offline  
post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 05:15 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: lackawanna/wayne
Posts: 1,525
Back To Top
great pics and some really nice looking fish
hunter-trapper21 is offline  
post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 10:29 AM
Regular Member
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,319
Back To Top
Originally Posted by Trout 2003 View Post
Gosh I wish. TT is Mr. Consistency lol
Not really. I tend to get big trout in streaks like Trout2003 mentioned in his post. I think I target big trout more than most too. I often use larger spinners than many in this forum and use plugs too. Doing those two things definitely reduces my overall catch rate, but I'm OK with that.

Trout2003 has caught four 20 inchers in a day on multiple occasions, something I have never done. My highest day for 20 inch trout is 3. Maybe I should try smaller spinners on big streams once in a while.

I have no doubt that if Trout2003 decided to concentrate on catching big trout, he'd catch more than me.

Superb post by the way. Excellent story and pictures. I especially like the tanker brown you caught. Those thick browns like that often don't turn out to be as long as you first think they are. That happens to me a lot, but catching those heavy fish is a treat.

By the way, Trout2003 has a pet great blue heron.

Last edited by Trout Traveler; 07-11-2017 at 10:31 AM.
Trout Traveler is offline  

Quick Reply

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


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

Email Address:


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