2017 Was a Heck of a Year! - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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2017 Was a Heck of a Year!

It's been a few years since I put a summarytogether but I figured it looked fun, I had a little time, and was recentlybrowsing some pics from the year and figured 'what thehay'. It wont be as long as the others but that's ok. I don't keep even remotely the statisticsthat TT or Frank do. They are/were both number crunches by nature and bytrade haha. It's in the blood! It's pretty impressive reading their year ends though. The detailis second to none. There is no question that doesn'thave a statistical answer. Detail.......

Trout fishing for me in 2017, like most years, didn't get started until midMay. I'm probably one of the few diehard troutguys that actually packs their gear away from late fall thru mid Spring infavor of strictly hunting activities. My personal policy is that I almost never fish when the night time temp isn't at least 50 degrees. I do this because other activities like hunting and wood cutting tend to be far more effective and successful past times when conditions get colder (Successful for me of course). Having lots of outdoors hobbies is my thing.....much to my wife's dismay haha.


This year was a fairly normal year for me in the fact that I was able to get out a decent number of time and I was able to squeeze in trips when conditions warranted. I had several monster outings in 2017. My 3 best days totaled 869 trout over 28.5 hours of fishing. A large portion of the trout I catch annually, almost all for that matter, are wild browns because I target them the most.


IMG_20170731_123946 by Zak Appleby, on Flickr


I targeted native brook trout strictly on only 1 single outing the entire season. That was mostly because I don't force things and if conditions don't warrant there are years were I'll catch almost zero native brook trout on purpose.


20180706182340_IMG_3709 by Zak Appleby, on Flickr


and I caught a few wild rainbows back in SWPA.


IMG_20170731_124544 by Zak Appleby, on Flickr


But for the most part it's brown trout brown trout brown trout and I like it that way for now just fine. I like the chance to catch a truly large fish and I tend to focus on those sorts of places when conditions warrant. That happened a lot this year and I was able to grapple with some serious PA browns at times. While my biggest fish was only 22.5" it was a stud of a trout from a very unlikely location that I'd fished many many times in the past and had never so much as seen a large trout. The habitat and stream size was appropriate but all I'd ever caught were small wild browns and stocked trout. When my rod was nearly ripped from my grasp I knew it was a big fish and I just prayed to please help me get it to hand.


IMG_20170629_150605 by Zak Appleby, on Flickr


I caught 11 trout over 20" over the 3 months of summer which is not my best year and I left a lot on the table during those prime times. I'll hop to improve on this stat during 2018 with any luck and decent water levels.


As usual my outdoor pursuits happen for far more than just catching trout or killing deer, turkeys, or waterfowl. The sights, the sounds, the smells. I love every second of it. Some of the things that we get to see out in the wilds of PA...... Things that ordinary people will never get to see in their entire lives sitting on a couch or playing video games......


20180601192422_IMG_2845 by Zak Appleby, on Flickr


Things that almost insist that the good lord put them there specifically for you yourself to witness.


20180607183131_IMG_2894 by Zak Appleby, on Flickr


20180529175721_IMG_2815 by Zak Appleby, on Flickr


There is no doubt in my mind that I would be just as eager a trout angler if I was still drifting worms or casting flies, regardless of whether I was catching 10 or 200 trout in an outing. Catching a lot of fish is great. It takes me to very specific and special places. But the things I get to see when I'm there......that's what makes the trip more often than not.


So anywho....for the season I was able to make it to the stream 31 times. It always seems like a lot more but when you only really trout fish for 3 months out of the year, I guess that is a lot haha. I do fish a few times in May and a few times in September and October but I make my hay in June, July, and August. During those 31 outings 18 of them exceeded 5 hours of fishing so short trips are pretty normal for me. In all 31 outings I managed to catch and release 3,580 trout over 168.25 hours on the water. That works out to a little over 21 trout per hour. Even though 11 of my outings were 3 hours or less in nature, glorified pre work trout runs, I was still able to average 118 trout per trip aided by the monster outings mentioned above. My low catch day of the year was 20 trout over 1.5 hours and my biggest day of the year was 311 trout over 9 hours of fishing. 3,580 trout represents my best year to date which surprised me a little bit but having a bunch of really big catch days aided me tremendously. Actually had I not decided to make this post I wouldn't have even known so it's possible I've broken that in the past and not known it since I don't keep a running spreadsheet of that stuff. Maybe someday as I still have all my journals from the past 25 years of spinner fishing.


I've been mentioning to my wife already that I'm really looking forward to getting back on the stream and really looking forward to some 3 and 4 days fish-fests this early summer in other areas of the state that I don't normally fish. I'm looking forward to the adventure.


20180504222546_IMG_2558 by Zak Appleby, on Flickr



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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 05:09 PM
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Pretty impressive. What spinners do you favor and what rods, and reels do you use?

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 05:10 PM
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The places you fish look pretty cool too.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 08:06 AM
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My goal this year is to spend some boot time fining wild streams. I know that there are some in the Montco/Delco/Chesco area...I'll find them an I'll fish them.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 08:21 AM
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Pretty amazing stats! You started your year with a succession of huge outings. Congrats on a great year!

Some very nice stream and trout pictures in your summary.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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DD, my setup consists of a 2017 Shimano Stradic Ci4 1000, which is on the pricey side of things, a custom made MHX rod purchased from mudhole tackle, and 6 lb stren magnathin line.

The rod is a bit stiffer than most are accustomed too but it helps with setting the hook on quick striking trout. There are some decent rods on the market that would fit the bill well enough though. I've also built rods for guys but that usually cost quite a bit even though I don't charge any profit or overhead. I was building 1 or 2 a year for guys but last year I built none. Not a big deal however since it's just my time I save haha.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 11:32 AM
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I remember reading your stories and it seemed like you were on a month long terror with 200+ days! At least thats the way I remember it. I am also shifting my daydreams toward trout fishing.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Haha there was a nice run there around early June where everything just came together. For the season I had 2 days over 300 and 3 other days over 200, pretty much all within a 1 month window. I was lucky enough the pick correctly there for a little bit. That luck eventually wears off though hahaha.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 01:45 PM
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Congratulations on what was probably your best year.

The number of 20"+ trout (11) that you caught is amazing considering how little you fished and the fact that you didn't fish much in the autumn when big wild trout are most available. I've gone many a year without catching one that was 22.5" or bigger, so that's a really big trout in my eyes.

Your TPH average is impressive.

For any anglers out there reading this who are interested in keeping statistics, it's really not all that difficult. I typically hold my stream thermometer out in the air while walking to the stream, and then when I get there to begin fishing I write down in my small tablet with pencil (not ink because pens don't write well if the paper gets wet) the date, stream, spinner, time, air temperature and water temperature. It takes probably only a minute to do this. Sometimes I record the WT shortly after beginning to fish since I keep my thermometer on a string and can drop it in the water while fishing, thus taking less time.

Then, while fishing, immediately after catching a trout and before making my next cast I get out my tablet and write down, for example, " 9 BK 705," which means I caught a 9" brook trout at 7:05. Following this procedure assures me that my count is correct; the worst that could happen is to forget to write down a trout, in which case I would be understating my catch. When I finish fishing a stretch of water I simply get out my tablet and write down the number of hours that I've fished and circle it. That's it. All other number crunching is done at home so little fishing time is wasted.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankTroutAngler View Post
Congratulations on what was probably your best year.

The number of 20"+ trout (11) that you caught is amazing considering how little you fished and the fact that you didn't fish much in the autumn when big wild trout are most available. I've gone many a year without catching one that was 22.5" or bigger, so that's a really big trout in my eyes.

Your TPH average is impressive.

For any anglers out there reading this who are interested in keeping statistics, it's really not all that difficult. I typically hold my stream thermometer out in the air while walking to the stream, and then when I get there to begin fishing I write down in my small tablet with pencil (not ink because pens don't write well if the paper gets wet) the date, stream, spinner, time, air temperature and water temperature. It takes probably only a minute to do this. Sometimes I record the WT shortly after beginning to fish since I keep my thermometer on a string and can drop it in the water while fishing, thus taking less time.

Then, while fishing, immediately after catching a trout and before making my next cast I get out my tablet and write down, for example, " 9 BK 705," which means I caught a 9" brook trout at 7:05. Following this procedure assures me that my count is correct; the worst that could happen is to forget to write down a trout, in which case I would be understating my catch. When I finish fishing a stretch of water I simply get out my tablet and write down the number of hours that I've fished and circle it. That's it. All other number crunching is done at home so little fishing time is wasted.
Agreed. I keep a tablet with me too and record each trout I catch, though somewhat differently than Frank. I record the size, species, type lure (spinner, plug, spoon) and regulations of the stream section.

So if I caught a 12 inch wild brown on a Rapala, it would say:

WBn 12" R GR (general regulations)

For 16" or larger trout, I record a more complete lure description:

WBn 17" #5 CDBlR GR (#5 Countdown Blue Rapala)


I record the time spent fishing and water temperature separately.

I have a spreadsheet where I enter my information and it flows into the various tables and pivot tables I use.
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