Unexpected Results in Low Water - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-07-2017, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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I decided to venture out and fish on Friday. It rained a little on Thursday but not enough to do any good. It looks like we may be getting some much needed rain from Tropical Storm Nate, as long as the path doesn't change.

I went to a popular large limestone stream. The water was very low and clear and my expectations were very low. I got off to a decent start, catching eight wild browns between 9 and 13 inches during the first hour. I had three others throw the hook.

As I approached a long deep pool, I saw a fisherman ahead of me, so I waded out and walked upstream a long way and got back in. But once I waded back in, the action was lousy for a while. I had a few follows but only a couple of hits so I switched to a Lucky Craft plug. I caught a 13 ½ inch wild brown in a nice riffle before reaching a split. When fishing with someone I often fish the left side, but since I was fishing solo, I fished both sides of the split.

A large brown followed my plug out from the bank but didn't hit. Two casts later, a different brown rolled out from the cut bank and grabbed my plug. A few minutes later, a 15 ½ inch wild brown lay at my feet.



More often than not, when I fish that stream, I catch at least one 15 inch trout. I moved up a little further and made a cast under an overhanging tree. Another nice trout came out, enticed by the swimming action of the plug. He grabbed it and I set the hook. He zoomed back toward the bank but I was able to subdue him. He measured 16 inches. When I saw the water conditions at the start of the day, I figured I had maybe a 10 percent chance of catching a big brown, so I was very happy to land one.



I caught another 15 incher before I reached the top of the split, so I moved to the other side. I caught four more trout in the right split, ranging from 9 ½ to 15 3/4 inches.



As I moved up I encountered a stretch of shallow water, so I switched back to a spinner. I caught four browns on it between 9 and 15 inches. I reached the tail of a huge deep pool and caught a small bass on the spinner. I decided to switch back to the plug and see if I could attract something larger. It did attract something larger, a 13 inch smallmouth bass. Surprisingly, the only trout I caught there was only 8 ½ inches.

I walked up around the big pool but had a long stretch of little action. I tried both spinners and plugs but only got a few follows. When I got above some fast water into a calm stretch, I decided to try the plug again. I had several trout follow it back to me, then bolt once they got close. On the next cast, I saw a nice brown following my lure, so I crouched almost to water level and the trout struck. He zoomed around me in a circle before I brought him in and measured him. At 16 ¾ inches, it was my second big trout of the day.



I continued to use the plug and kept getting follows but not a lot of hits. Three browns of 10-13 inches fell prey to my plug and two others hit and got off. I tried a spinner in some fast water and caught a 10 ½ inch brown before switching back to the plug.

As the lure wobbled on the retrieve, a hefty brown couldn't resist and piled into it. After setting the hook, the brown leaped clear of the water three times but was unable to shake the hook. At 17 ½ inches, it was big trout #3. I had several nice trout including a big rainbow follow but not hit.

I reached another split but was surprisingly unable to catch a trout from either side. I had reached a long slow stretch and thought that the plug would continue to work in the slow water. That proved correct as a heavy brown ambushed the lure next to the bank. Unfortunately, I stupidly tried to rush him in and lost a brown that was close to 20 inches.

Trout continued to follow and bolt after seeing me but I managed to land three browns from 10 ½ to 12 ½ inches before I saw a big silver flash and felt the weight of a really heavy fish. A huge rainbow kicked up a ruckus on the surface, sending water flying in all directions. I had elected to use my small rod that day since the water was so low and had much difficulty subduing the fish. After several minutes I led him into the shallows, measured and took a picture. The tape stretched to 24 ¼ inches. It is my largest trout of the year to date. I wanted to take a self timed picture but due to the length of the fight, I decided against it.



A few minutes later, I caught a 10 inch rainbow before I lost the plug. Since I had reached the end of the deep water, I tied on a spinner since the next stretch was shallow pocket water. I caught eight browns between 7 and 13 inches before I made the extremely long walk back to my car.

For the day, I caught 40 trout (38 browns, 2 rainbows) and 2 smallmouth bass. Four trout were 16 inches or longer, with the largest being the huge rainbow. Four trout were between 15 and 16 inches. I had at least four other trout that were in that size range follow without hitting. I often catch trout on both spinners and plugs in the same day but usually I catch a lot more on spinners than plugs. On days when I catch a decent number on plugs, I generally don't do as well on spinners. On this day, I caught 22 trout on spinners and 18 on plugs. For the most part, I caught trout on the slower water on plugs and on spinners in the shallow water. The trout weren't showing much interest on spinners in the slow water.

I hope to fish one day next week, hopefully after we get a good rain.

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Last edited by Trout Traveler; 10-09-2017 at 07:26 AM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-07-2017, 12:35 PM
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Thats a great fall day! I come to expect your hog pictures now... The water in the last stream pic actually looks ok. I'm not sure what it looks like in early summer so I guess I don't have anything to compare it to.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-07-2017, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troutdoorsmen View Post
Thats a great fall day! I come to expect your hog pictures now... The water in the last stream pic actually looks ok. I'm not sure what it looks like in early summer so I guess I don't have anything to compare it to.
Thanks. I thought I would catch a lot fewer trout and maybe be lucky to catch a big trout or two.

The water level is very low for that stream. I think the excellent water temperatures (57-61) and the mostly cloudy skies helped.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-08-2017, 09:57 AM
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If you were fishing where I think you were fishing I can understand why a lot of the trout had an aversion to spinners.

It's amazing that you caught the same trout twice such a far distance apart in the stream (photos #1 and #3). Just joshing.

Congrats on another great day. You picked a good day to hit the low water.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-08-2017, 10:01 AM
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Nice
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-08-2017, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FrankTroutAngler View Post
If you were fishing where I think you were fishing I can understand why a lot of the trout had an aversion to spinners.

It's amazing that you caught the same trout twice such a far distance apart in the stream (photos #1 and #3). Just joshing.

Congrats on another great day. You picked a good day to hit the low water.
Oops. I must have copied the wrong link. Thanks for pointing that out. It's fixed now.

It very likely is the stream you think it is. I thought maybe you fished there earlier in the week.

Last edited by Trout Traveler; 10-08-2017 at 10:34 AM.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 07:30 AM Thread Starter
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Tropical Storm Nate is here now. I'm hoping for at least 2-3 inches of rain. The small streams desperately need it. The large streams are low too, but the small streams really need a good soaking.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 10:26 AM
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Looks like you had a really good day given the conditions. It's been awhile since I've wet a line, so I'm hoping the forecasted rains impact some of the streams in NEPA and allow me to hit the water a couple of times this weekend.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 10:47 AM
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Oh look!!! A trout fishing post!!!!! Pretty quiet in here these days. That is one fiiiiiiiine day there Andy. Happy to hear you got into them cause as you know things are meager out there right now.


Doesn't look like this rain is amounting to very much, at least in my area. Every little bit helps though and maybe more rain will come later this week and so on. I'm hoping to still get out 1-3 more times during the fall before hunting 100% takes over. All depends on the overnight temps and as of right now they are very favorable.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-12-2017, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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I fished again yesterday. I fished a different section of the same stream. The water was still low, though a little higher than last Friday.

The fishing was again slow and I had to grind out every fish. It took me 1/2 hour to catch my first trout, a 10 1/2 inch brown which hit a Lucky Craft plug. I caught only four other trout the first hour, the largest being a 13 inch brown.

It rained intermittently all day, sometimes heavily. I wore my rain jacket almost all day.

A few minutes into the second hour, I dropped a cast hard against the right bank. The water wasn't deep but there was cover. A dark shape rolled out and grabbed my spinner. He cleared the water several times but eventually wore down and I brought him in. He measured 18 inches.



A short time later I cast along the same bank and saw a large wake trailing my spinner. It followed the spinner all the way in. I crouched as low to the water as I could to avoid being seen but the brute still didn't hit and darted away. I'm not sure how big he was, but he was larger than the brown I had just caught. I caught an 8 1/2 inch brown a few minutes later.

I reached a deep slow stretch so I decided to try my plug again. I landed browns of 11 and 9 1/2 inches before I felt the plug stop so I set the hook and felt a heavy trout. It thrashed at the surface and then dove, but I managed to bring him in. Initially I thought it was going to be just short of 16 inches, but I was surprised when he measured 16 1/2 inches. It was raining too hard to take a good picture. Because of the rain, I only took one picture all day.

Reaching shallower water, I switched back to the spinner and landed several browns between 9 and 12 1/2 inches. I had quite a few follows from small trout and a nice trout in the 14-15 inch range hit and slipped the hook.

As I neared a deep stretch, I caught four more browns, ranging from 9 1/2 to 12/ 3/4 inches. The area I reached was too deep to wade and I decided I would fish the deep pool then walk back below where I had parked and fish back to my car. As I was wading to the bank to get out, I cast to an overhanging tree and a heavy trout pounced on my spinner. A beautiful 15 1/2 incher lay at my feet within a couple of minutes.

I made the long walk back and got in. The heavy rain had created a line of cloudy water along the left bank. I hoped that would make the big trout more active but for the first 1/2 hour, I only had a couple of follows and hits. A large rainbow followed my spinner in without hitting. About 20 minutes later, my spinner was intercepted by a heavy trout. My second 15 inch brown of the day was released after a spirited fight.

The remaining water produced several more browns, but nothing over 13 inches. I caught a nice 14 3/4 inch rainbow. Rather than resume fishing further upstream, I decided to drive to another large stream in the area and try a section I hadn't fished since last fall. The water wasn't cloudy at all there.

The trout seemed averse to spinners, so it's likely that section had been fished by a spinner angler recently. I only caught five browns, four on plugs and one on a spinner. The largest was only 11 inches.

For the day, I caught 34 trout; all browns except for one rainbow. I caught a small bass and a fall fish as well. 25 hit spinners, the remainder hit plugs. I caught two hog browns and two between 15 and 16 inches. This has not been a good year for me for catching high numbers of trout, but it has been good for catching big trout.
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