I usually prefer to include more than one outing in a post, but since I took a lot of pictures, I decided to include the details from just one day.
After the area received some welcome rain, I traveled to one of the larger streams in the area since the smaller streams were still low. I parked my car and walked downstream with the intention of fishing back to my car and possibly beyond.
I waded in gingerly, as this section is very tricky to wade. On my fourth cast a trout struck but slipped the hook, a phenomenon that would repeat itself many times over the course of the day. A short time later a small trout hit and this time I landed the feisty 9 inch wild brown. An eight incher was next, followed by two more strike and lose trout. A flip cast to a pocket next to the swift flow yielded a nice 14 ½ inch wild brown. Shortly thereafter, an 11 ½ inch brown was added to the tally. I had four trout and three LDRs (long distance releases
) in the first 20 minutes of fishing. I hoped that the good action would continue, but I expected it to slow do wn. I caught three more browns in the remainder of the hour, two 11 inchers and a 15 inch female.
Since the action had slowed and I had reached slow, deep water, I decided to try my Lucky Craft plug, which has been very good to me lately. I had several follows before a trout struck, cleared the water and spit the lure spitefully in my direction. Finally, I felt some resistance on a retrieve and set the hook. A hefty brown rolled on the surface, then took off downstream. The hooks held and he quickly tired. I led the nice 15 ½ inch brown to my feet, snapped a picture and released him. About five minutes later, a 12 ½ incher was added to my tally. Soon after, the interest in that plug waned and I switched back to the spinner. Only two more trout, browns of 9 ½ and 10 ½ inches were fooled in the remainder of the hour.
Several small trout followed and short-struck my spinner, but none held. A 9 ½ incher piled into my spinner and came to hand, followed by a 12 incher. I worked through the tail of a deep pool toward the head, which had a strong flow. Sensing there was an opportunity to catch a larger trout, I tied on a Countdown Rapala. On my second cast, I felt a solid strike. The heavy brown dove deep, then cleared the water. Surprisingly, the hook held, and I brought the 15 ¼ inch beauty to hand.
Two casts later, another heavy trout smashed the plug. I set the hook and line burned off my reel. I saw a big silver flash and expected the rainbow to leap, but he never did. Within a couple of minutes, I led the chunky rainbow into the shallows, measured, snapped a couple of quick pictures, and removed the hook. The rainbow measured exactly 16 inches and was my first hog of the day.
I moved up above the fast water flowing into the pool and switched to a spinner to fish the shallow water at the tail of a long pool. A nice brown zipped in, grabbed the spinner, then submitted after a minute of sustained pressure from my 6 ½ foot medium light action rod. The colorful brown measured 13 ¾ inches.
It had warmed up considerably from when I started fishing, and I close to my car, so I walked over to my car and removed a light pullover and my jacket. I talked with a fisherman that pulled up and asked where I had fished. He had fished a few miles upstream from where we were and had not caught anything.
I waded back in, but the action the next hour was terrible. I had a few follows but landed only one trout, a gorgeous brown that I thought was going to be big trout #2. The tape extended to 15 7/8 inches; just short.
I considered moving to another section, but decided to keep going. I walked around a deep slow stretch and re-entered the stream at the head of the pool. Three trout were landed, browns ranging from 9 to 13 ¼ inches. I pulled the plug between two large rocks and suddenly felt the weight of a heavy trout. Line ripped from the reel and the plug pulled free. I never saw the trout, but I'm sure it was in excess of 16 inches. In the next 10 minutes, the trout decided to stage a hit, leap, and be free party. Four consecutive trout pulled that maneuver.
As I moved upstream, the trout again stopped responding to the plug. It's amazing to me how often that happens. You fish water similar to what you were fishing and what worked before no longer does. It's one of the many interesting aspects of trout fishing. So, I went back to the spinner. On the first cast, bam! I set the hook after the solid strike, and this time, the hooks held. As I knelt to measure the brown, I thought, "This one is going to be close". 15 ¾ inches, just short... again.
I fished past a campground and noticed a woman filming me fishing. Unfortunately, I didn't land any while she was filming. As I moved upstream, I picked up five trout, ranging from 10 to 13 ¾ inches, all on spinners.
Being a fairly long way from my car, I considered walking back, but decided that I would fish just a couple more spots before heading back. I tend to think that a lot, but often keep going. Over the next hour, I caught five more trout and lost several others. The trout were all browns, between 6 ½ and 11 inches. As I neared a bend in the stream, I recognized it as place that I had caught a few big trout in the past, but also had a bad habit of losing them there. As I retrieved the spinner along the left bank, the telltale tap signaled me that I was about to do battle with another large trout. I set the hook and the trout went airborne. "Here it comes", I thought. The hook remained buried in the trout's jaw and as I brought him close, I knew I had hog #2. To my surprise, he measured 16 ½ inches. I thought he was going to be longer than that when I saw him.
I caught two trout of 11 ¾ and 13 inches in a side channel, but saw a fisherman upstream from me. I returned to the main channel, figuring that he had fished through there already. My plan was to cross the stream, walk back to my car, and either try another section or else try another stream nearby. As I prepared to wade across, I made a cast quartering upstream. A 10 inch brown smashed my spinner and a 10 ½ incher followed suit on the next cast. A few casts later, an 11 ½ incher came to hand. A few minutes later, browns of 13 ¾ and 10 inches hit on consecutive casts and were landed.
I made several casts without any response and I figured I had reached the spot where the other angler had started fishing. Still, I decided it was worth moving up further to see if that feeling was correct. Back to back casts produced browns of 10 ½ and 11 inches and happily showed me I was wrong. Browns of 11, 14, and 10 inches then pounced on my spinner and I had no more thoughts of going anywhere else.
My next cast dropped right next to the bank and was instantly engulfed by a large trout. My second 16 ½ inch brown of the day was released after a battle across heavy current. Three browns between 8 ½ and 10 inches followed before I saw my first redd of the season. I had been carefully looking all day but hadn't seen any. That was the only one I saw. I expect to see a lot more in the next couple of weeks.
It was getting darker, but I wanted to keep going to see how long my run of fortune would last. I caught several trout between 8 ½ to 10 inches before reaching the tail of a large pool. A heavy, 14 inch egg-laden female was the first trout I landed there. After that, I was visited by the leapers again, as three straight trout, hit, cleared the water, and launched the spinner in my direction. I heard a high pitched giggle and thought for a minute that the trout were laughing at me.[IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.huntingpa.com//forums/images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/IMG] I quickly realized that there were two people in the yard of a nearby house.
I made a long cast along the right bank. A large wake appeared behind my spinner. About half way in, the trout struck, and I set the hook. The big brown headed for the deep water, but I steered him away from it. He soon tired and came in. He measured 16 ¾ inches, my largest trout of the day.
I caught three more trout and lost another of the leaping brigade before I decided I'd had enough. My tally for the day showed 56 trout; all browns except for one rainbow. I caught 25 in the last two hours, when I was considering leaving. I estimate that I had another 16 to 18 trout hit and get off. 47 of my trout hit spinners, the remainder hit plugs.
The sizes of the trout were quite impressive. Four were at least 16 inches, with the largest at 16 ¾ inches. Five trout were between 15 and 16 inches. Two of those 15 inchers were barely short of 16 inches. As I made the long walk back to my car, I was very happy that I had ignored the inclination to go elsewhere. Sometimes I'm guilty of staying in one stream section too long. This was not one of those times.
Interestingly, I took the water temperature four separate times. It was 53 every time, one of the few times I have not seen any variation in the water temperature.
Some heavy rain is forecast for this weekend. The NE and SE look to get the most. The rest of the state is supposed to get far less rain. Hopefully those areas will get more than forecast as they need it. The overnight temperatures are supposed to be very cold, which will likely create difficult fishing conditions.