August Recap & Ramblings - The Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-03-2017, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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August Recap & Ramblings

August Recap & Ramblings

August can be a tough month for trout fishing if the water is low and the air is hot, unless you are one of these.

DSC_1836 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

Last year, in 2016, I fished just six times in August and caught only 366 trout on spinners, which was my worst August since 1995. Of course, we had a major drought last year. This year, however, water levels were much better and things measured up.

DSC_1883 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

Since I’m retired I can choose my days to fish better than before when I was limited mostly to weekends. This year I fished twelve days in August and tallied 1,139 trout in 100.00 hours of fishing.

DSC_1816 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

This averages out to 11.39 trout per hour (TPH) and 94.92 trout per day (TPD).

DSC_1856 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

I caught 100 or more trout on eight of the twelve days that I fished.

DSC_1855 (2) by Frank Nale, on Flickr

My best day was 129 trout.

DSC_1852 (2) by Frank Nale, on Flickr

I caught 11 hawgs, which I define as trout that are 16” or longer.

DSC_1846 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

Last year through the end of August I had caught 6,109 trout in 460.50 hours spread over 58 days of fishing. This averaged out to 13.26 TPH and 105.32 TPD.

DSC_1858 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

This year I have 8,450 trout caught in 670.50 hours spread over 83 days, for a 12.60 TPH average and a 101.81 TPD average. I’ve fished 25 more days so far this year and have caught 2,341 more trout. I’ve fished 210.00 more hours so far this year, too.

DSC_1884 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

I’ve caught 29 hawgs so far this year as opposed to just 15 last year through the end of August.

DSC_1861 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

I have 59 Century Club days (100 or more trout) this year; last year I had just 39 at the end of August.

DSC_1849 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

Though I consider it nothing more than an incidental statistic, this year I’ve caught at least one hawg in each month as well as having at least one Century Club outing in each month, including January and February.

DSC_1820 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

I think the odds are that I’ll be able to continue this string most likely into November, but it could be difficult to do in December when the days are so short.

DSC_1834 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

One day while fishing I got into a good head of what I believe are wild rainbow trout, which are still somewhat of a novelty to me.

DSC_1896 (2) by Frank Nale, on Flickr

I had one notable wildlife event in August. While fishing a rather large river I spotted an osprey upstream from me perched on a sycamore tree which hung out over the water. A nice-sized trout hung along the thick limb at its feet.

As I approached it flew upstream and out of sight with the trout. About an hour later I flushed it from another sycamore tree and it flew upstream and around a curve out of my sight, still carrying the trout. Next thing I knew it came flying frantically back downstream with a mature bald eagle in hot pursuit. Right in front of me at no more than twenty feet above the water it dropped the trout, which splashed into the water about twenty feet upstream from me. The trout was originally about 13” long. Both birds flew off in different directions when they spotted me, otherwise the bald eagle would probably have retrieved the partially eaten trout.

DSC_1892 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

On Saturday, August 26, I went to the PFBC’s first Wild Trout Summit with my brother Mark, who is a well-known outdoor writer in Pennsylvania. Before the program began he introduced me to John Arway, Executive Director of the PFBC.

DSC_1839 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

I remembered that I had met Mr. Arway many years ago at a stream improvement project organized by my brother Paul on upper Halter and Cabbage creeks in Blair County through the Blair County Chapter of Trout Unlimited. I mentioned to Mr. Arway that I had seen him there, along with Ron Tibbott of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission. Turns out that Mr. Arway remembered being there and said it was during his first week of work for the Pennsylvania Fish Commission. He said Ron Tibbott had hired him. I thought that was interesting trivia.

I have since dug out my old daily journals and found that this occurred on Saturday, June 7th, 1980. Among other things, I wrote, “Ron Tibbott and John Arway represented the PA Fish Commission.” By the way, Cabbage Creek is home to probably the highest natural waterfall on a limestone stream in the state. It’s a “tumbling” waterfall rather than a “drop-off” waterfall, but it is attractive when the stream is flowing well (which is rare anymore). The falls is probably twenty to twenty-five feet high. Some of the stream improvement devices we built are still functioning. Though the stream is nothing more than a small limestone spring, I once caught a 16” wild brown along a log bank cover device that we built.

I thought the Wild Trout Summit was worthwhile. I was particularly interested in the way some culverts under roads block the upstream migration of trout. This isolates populations of native brookies and limits genetic diversity.

Though I have always been a staunch supporter of the PFBC (as well as the PGC), here’s the question I submitted for the Q&A session at the end of the program:

“Slate Run (7.23 miles), along with Francis Branch (1.69 miles), located entirely in the Tiadaghton State Forest in Lycoming and Tioga counties, is currently regulated as “Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing Only.” I’ve heard that this is one of the most beautiful streams in the state, but I’ve never seen it or fished it because I don’t fly fish.

Why should fly fishermen have what amounts to private club water all to themselves? I could understand it if this was on private land and the landowner demanded it, but this stream is entirely on public land, yet only a small privileged group can fish there. To me this isn’t much different than what the Spring Ridge Club attempted to do on the Little Juniata River (trying to make public land private), except that the PFBC, acting much like the Spring Ridge Club, has succeeded in making a private stream for fly fishermen on public land.

In the spirit of fairness to all anglers, would you please consider changing the regulations on Slate Run (and Francis Branch) to, at minimum, include artificial lure anglers, such as “Trophy Trout Artificial Lures Only,” or “Catch-and-Release All Tackle”?”

Obviously, this question was not used during the Q&A session, but I hope that at least some of the PFBC administrative team read it. I don’t believe there is any defensible reason for keeping all of Slate Run and the best section of Francis Branch Catch-and-Release.

As a constructive suggestion, I also mentioned that I’d like to see them add the Class B, C and D streams to the map on their website.

As August came to a close I noticed great lobelia was blooming.

DSC_1868 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

Sneezeweed was also blooming.

DSC_1873 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

This means that autumn is not far away. It’s my favorite time of the year to pursue wild trout and I’m really looking forward to it.

- Frank Nale -
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-04-2017, 11:59 AM
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You had superb fishing, particularly for August. Lots of trout and lots of big trout. I think the most big trout I've caught in August is eight.

I think you'll be able to extend your monthly big trout streak even in December. There's almost always at least a few warm days in December. With how cool this year has been, we could get what is typical for January in December.
I hope you'll be able to keep it going. My monthly big trout streak came to an end in July since I didn't fish during the month.

That's an interesting experience with the osprey dropping the partially eaten trout close to you when being chased by the eagle. It's too bad we can't train eagles to eat great blue herons.

I'm glad to hear that the Wild Trout Summit was worthwhile. Hopefully some good initiatives come out the summit.

Thanks for submitting the question about Slate Run. I asked a similar question years ago when the now defunct Selective Harvest Program was proposed. Like you, I didn't get an answer either. I fly fished Slate Run briefly several years ago and it is stunningly beautiful. I've driven along the Francis Branch and it's really nice too. I agree there is no good reason for the entire 7 miles of Slate to be FFO. Judging by the outrage that occurred when the PAF&BC proposed changing all the DHFFO areas to DHALO, allowing spin fishing on Slate Run would be treated by some (not all) fly fishers as the impending apocalypse. I think the only stronger outcry would be if it were proposed to allow spin fishing on Fisherman's Paradise or on the FFO section of the Letort.
I'm not proposing lifting the FFO regs on the Letort or Fisherman's Paradise by the way (although I think the no wading rule on the lower end is dumb and should be ended). I do think that at least part of Slate Run should be open on a C&R ALO or All Tackle C&R basis.
Unfortunately, I don't think that will happen. I'm also quite sure I'll receive some pointed criticism on why the regs on Slate Run shouldn't change.

I'm also looking forward to fall fishing. I look forward to it every year. I hope there will be good flows to enable a big year class of trout.

Last edited by Trout Traveler; 09-05-2017 at 01:45 PM.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-06-2017, 04:47 PM
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Wonderful post as always Frank, thanks for sharing and the time it took to post!! :-)

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-06-2017, 06:59 PM
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great pictures and story. Some really nice colors on some of those browns
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-07-2017, 11:51 AM
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I can tell things are condensing for you due to the lack of stream photos haha. Getting a little more secretive ;-)

Nice post. 11 big fish in August if really good.....for any month.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-12-2017, 06:52 AM
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If you want more wild rainbows come visit me. Neat osprey encounter you had there. I had a similar experience with an eagle dropping a trout onto my car along the Clarion River about 15 years ago.
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