A Taste of Autumn - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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A Taste of Autumn

A Taste of Autumn

The last half of September and the beginning of October was the driest and arguably the hottest stretch of the entire year here in south-central Pennsylvania. With stream levels at their lowest point of the year, 90-degree air temperatures and a blazing hot sun, I kept watching the weather for that window of opportunity to pounce on a trout stream.

While waiting and waiting, I occupied my time with other things.

I saw many beautiful waterfalls on my first trip to Ricketts Glen State Park.

DSC_1933 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

I took a couple bike rides on the Pine Creek Rail Trail, the longest trip of which was a little over 50 miles from Waterville to Blackwell and back.

DSC_2029 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

The highlight of that ride was sneaking up on this black bear fishing for the leftover stocked trout in the low water of Pine Creek.

DSC_2037 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

Lots of blue-stemmed goldenrod grew along the Pine Creek Rail Trail.

DSC_2008 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

Another time I rode a section of the Ghost Town Trail from Dilltown to Ebensburg and back, which was a little over 38 miles.

A noteworthy sight along the trail near Vintondale was Eliza Furnace, a well-preserved iron furnace which operated from 1846 – 1849.

DSC_2054 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

After seeing this stream in Indiana and Cambria counties along the Ghost Town Trail, it sure made me glad that I live east of the Allegheny Front in Blair County.

DSC_2043 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

But on Friday, October 6, 2017, the weather broke and a cloudy day was forecast. It didn’t take long for me to blow the dust off of my spinning rod and plan an outing on a stream I had been saving for just this kind of day.

DSC_2095 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

I arrived streamside about a half hour before daylight, my enthusiasm having overridden my sense of timing. I sat in my SUV for a few minutes before getting out and booting up in the 63-degree air temperature. Then I walked over to the stream and stood there a while under a cloudy sky waiting for first light. Ominously, no trout were breaking the surface in the dim light. All was still.

The water temperature was 59-degrees and the flow was low but decent. I began casting at 7:10 a.m. and covered nearly forty yards of stream before an 8.5” wild brown splashing on the surface with my White Bead Gold spinner dangling from his jaw broke the silence. I was pleased with this since I was trying to keep my expectations low given the recent conditions. My goal was to catch just 58 trout to reach 9,000 trout for the year on this my 90th outing of the trout season.

Then I made a cast along some large rocks on the far side of the stream in water about three feet deep. Instantly I felt the telling, slight tap of a large trout. I set the hook hard and the fight was on! I quickly brought the 16.5” wild brown in to my feet.

DSC_2056 (2) by Frank Nale, on Flickr

Much to my surprise and delight, twenty trout were fooled during the first hour. Obviously, these trout hadn’t seen any metal for quite some time.

DSC_2080 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

Based on where I was fishing, I knew that if no other anglers jumped in front of me during the first hour or so that I’d likely have the entire stream to myself for the entire day. I saw no other anglers except for a great blue heron and an osprey. The action continued and my smile widened.

DSC_2065 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

The hours passed rapidly and I even needed to sharpen my pencil once. Good thing I carry a pencil sharpener. The tally grew. Around 1:30 p.m. my 100th trout of the day was fooled.

DSC_2113 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

The trout were out everywhere, even in shallow water, much like what I typically experience later in the autumn. This 17” wild brown was in a side channel that had only a trickle of flow; moss covered the rocks – it was almost stagnant. But this trout chased my spinner for a good twenty feet before destroying it in kamikaze-like fashion.

DSC_2100 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

As the day progressed the stream habitat worsened, but I continued onward, not wanting the day to end.

Some rainbow trout were fooled.

DSC_2091 (2) by Frank Nale, on Flickr

After 10.00 hours of fishing I reached the spot where I usually quit when I fish this stream. My notepad showed I had caught 174 trout, which was my second best day of the entire year.

I was quite pleased with the sizes of the trout I caught, particularly for this stream. A good head of sub-legal brown trout and many yearlings show good spawning success in the past couple years – one sign of a healthy creek.

DSC_2079 by Frank Nale, on Flickr

Brown trout: 2 – 4”, 2 – 4.5”, 5 – 5”, 1 – 5.5”, 4 – 6”, 4 – 6.5”, 10 – 7”, 12 – 7.5”, 24 – 8”, 14 – 8.5”, 27 – 9”, 6 – 9.5”, 8 - 10”, 1 -10.5”, 6 -11”, 4 – 11.5”, 7 – 12”, 1 – 12.5”, 7 – 13”, 4 – 13.5”, 3 - 14”, 3 – 14.5”, 2 – 15”, 1 - 15.5”, 1 – 16.5”, and 1 – 17”.

Rainbow trout: 1 – 6”, 5 – 7”, 3 – 8”, 1 – 8.5”, 2 – 10.5”, 1 – 11”, and 1 – 14”.

DSC_2088 (2) by Frank Nale, on Flickr

Overall it was a nice taste of what I hope is going to be a great autumn season for fishing.

I can be contacted at [email protected].
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 12:35 PM
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Wow! Great outing Frank! It seems likely that stream hadn't been fished with spinners for a while.

I enjoyed the pictures from your outing and your bike rides.

Last edited by Trout Traveler; 10-09-2017 at 04:31 PM.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2017, 04:04 PM
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Ya that's a dang fine outing considering it was had before the latest rain. Very well done!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2017, 05:19 PM
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Was the 6" rainbow trout a wild fish?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2017, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troutdoorsmen View Post
Was the 6" rainbow trout a wild fish?
Probably not but I don't know for sure.

I can be contacted at [email protected].
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2017, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankTroutAngler View Post
Probably not but I don't know for sure.
Wild rainbows are pretty few and far between but anything is possible.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2017, 05:39 AM
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Nice
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2017, 08:45 AM
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Wonder if there is any aluminum in that stream lol.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2017, 04:25 PM
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Very nice, beautiful fish, thanks for sharing!!! :-)

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-17-2017, 11:18 AM
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This area of the state has a bunch of old blast furnaces. I love the area surrounding that old furnace; had lots of good years hunting in those hills, and more still to come (hopefully!) Ya, there's a bit of aluminum in that stream, and other metals too I'm quite sure. But you would be surprised about what else is in there...

A bad day hunting rabbits beats a good day of anything else!
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