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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-06-2018, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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It Can Pay To Stay

It Can Pay To Stay

Patience is not one of my virtues, and with trout fishing this translates into leaving a stream and going to another one if the fishing is slow or non-existent for the first fifteen minutes. In recent years I’ve tempered my impatience by extending this trial period to a half hour since so many anglers are fishing spinners now that it is common to have periods of slow action, particularly near access points.

To avoid other anglers or where they’ve fished spinners recently, this time of year I tend to fish inaccessible creeks where I hope few fishermen have wet a line, particularly lines with a flashy lure at one end.

It’s rare to ever see a boot track along this rivulet regardless of the time of year.



This stream is over an hour hike from the nearest road.



And although these creeks are so small that I doubt they would interest many anglers, the native brook trout can be surprisingly large.



Another part of my strategy is to hit a limited-access but slightly more popular stream at first light and hopefully fish upstream far enough that no other anglers will pass me during the day and put down the trout.



And though this has been a late spring compared to recent years, by picking the right days I’ve been able to fish these streams when the water temperature was relatively high enough that many trout were out feeding, including this 13” wild brown.



Overall I’ve experienced decent success this year, but I’m already approaching one thousand trout behind last year’s pace which culminated with 10,598 trout.



I have typically avoided the larger streams, both due to high flows and the likelihood of running into other anglers. But on Friday morning, May 4, 2018, I decided to roll the dice and start the day on a larger stream. I longed to have a day-long adventure catching wild brown trout in big water, something I hadn’t done yet this year. If it tanked my backup plan was another little mountain brook.



I began fishing at 6:20 a.m. The air temperature, at 66-degrees, was unusually warm for the beginning of May. The water temperature checked in at 61-degrees, which, from what I’ve read, is the optimum temperature for wild brown trout. The flow was ideal. The sky was cloudy.

On my first cast I lost a small brown in the shallows, and a couple casts later a heavy 12.5” wild brown put up a fight unlike the little native brookies I’d been pursuing recently. Dreams of a fabulous day flashed through my mind.

But then, just like that, the action died. To me the conditions couldn’t have been better, but I have no control over whether the trout had been seeing a lot of metal recently. Twenty minutes later a 5.5” wild brown nailed my White Bead Gold spinner. Despite my lack of patience I decided to continue upstream where I’d be getting farther away from the access point where I began.

It took another sixteen minutes before my next trout came to hand, a 10” wild brown. It was quickly followed by an 11”er. A few minutes later a wild brown just ˝” short of 16”-hawg-status grabbed my spinner.



The next half hour passed troutless. A nice pool was ahead. I decided I’d either keep fishing or cut bait at the upper end of the pool, depending on the action.

The entire pool, perhaps one hundred yards long or more, yielded just one 11” brownie (and a 16” smallmouth bass, which I don’t count). However, I was missing quite a few trout, likely due to either the line twist I was experiencing or perhaps a dull treble hook. Rather than quitting, I decided to cut off about twenty feet of line and tie on a new spinner to see if this would change my luck.

From that point forward I began to capitalize on my strikes. Soon a 16” wild brown was landed.



At 2:02 p.m. I recorded my one-hundredth trout of the day in my small tablet. Besides the larger trout already mentioned, I had caught another 15.5” brown as well as two 14.5” browns and a 14”er.



I fished until 4:45 p.m. (10.25 hours of actual fishing time…I deducted ten minutes for photos) and ended up with 133 trout. In the final section I added my largest trout of the day, a 16.5” wild brown, plus two more 14.5” wild browns. It took one hour to hike back to my SUV.

Coltsfoot, which started to bloom unusually late this year, was still blooming.



I even found a patch of red trillium that had a few uncommon yellow-colored trilliums mixed in.



Overall this was my best outing of the year so far. I again was reminded that it sometimes pays to stay even when the action is slow in the beginning.

- Frank Nale -

I can be contacted at [email protected].

Last edited by FrankTroutAngler; 05-07-2018 at 07:17 AM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-06-2018, 04:42 PM
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Great color on the brookies. They’re what I like to fish for when I trout fish.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-07-2018, 12:04 AM
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Great outing! Beautiful streams and trout, especially the brookies.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-07-2018, 08:05 AM
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Sounds like a great day of fishing.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-07-2018, 08:20 AM
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Nice report

Are you really old enough to remember when there were huntable numbers of deer on public land?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-07-2018, 08:45 AM
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Amongst other things from reading your photo essays on this site I've definitely followed your examples over the years where you time and time again post about miserable starts that sometimes last over and hour. Next thing you know you're over 100 trout for the day. Not that long again I was 5-10 minutes and gone but I fight through it now and it's definitely paid off a few times over the past couple of years. Nice outing and I'm sure you're action is going to start to become feverish before too long here.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-07-2018, 08:51 AM
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I know I've seen a yellow trillium, but I can't remember when. Neat find. The first picture looks like you must be way up north. Nice fish!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-07-2018, 09:11 AM
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Pa's ever growing list of class A streams that are added every year have put a bit of a damper on many of my local spots. I have crossed boot tracks on 2 of the 3 places I went fishing this week. Managed around 10 tph even with the recent anglers. Just hope we're not seeing each other's boot tracks! Always look forward to seeing your posts. Some beautiful fish too.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-07-2018, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Trout 24/7 View Post
Pa's ever growing list of class A streams that are added every year have put a bit of a damper on many of my local spots. I have crossed boot tracks on 2 of the 3 places I went fishing this week. Managed around 10 tph even with the recent anglers. Just hope we're not seeing each other's boot tracks! Always look forward to seeing your posts. Some beautiful fish too.
I still have a few wild trout streams where I've never seen a boot track or run into another angler, but those have become few and far between. They're mostly really small creeks that probably don't excite people who are looking for larger fish. The Class A list has helped me find a few new streams but it is also a curse.

I can be contacted at [email protected].
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-07-2018, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Trout 2003 View Post
Amongst other things from reading your photo essays on this site I've definitely followed your examples over the years where you time and time again post about miserable starts that sometimes last over and hour. Next thing you know you're over 100 trout for the day. Not that long again I was 5-10 minutes and gone but I fight through it now and it's definitely paid off a few times over the past couple of years. Nice outing and I'm sure you're action is going to start to become feverish before too long here.
Slow starts have pretty much become the norm for me unless I'm on some remote stream. One of the great things about fishing spinners is that I can plug along at only seven or eight trout per hour (or less) for a while, thinking I'll never hit one hundred, and then I have a couple hours of twenty-five or so and I hit one hundred rather easily. I really believe the main reason for the slow action in most cases is that the trout have seen spinners recently. Believe me, twenty years ago I also most never had so much slow and inconsistent action. I also believe that a number of the local streams that I fish just don't have as many trout as they did a few short years ago. I would attribute this to very low summer water levels, but this is just a guess.

Another thing that I find interesting is this. A few days ago I was fishing the stream in photo #2. I had around 90 trout for the day and was catching trout at a good pace. I felt confident I'd hit 100 trout with ease, particularly since I was way up in the mountains and about an hour from the nearest road (though there were old boot tracks along the stream). Anyway, all of a sudden the action died. No trout out anywhere...pool after pool. I thought, in disgust, "What is going on?" Then I caught a glimpse of a large bird taking off in the distance, flying upstream low over the creek. About a minute later the great blue heron flew downstream high over the valley. I fished up to where I had last seen it before the trout action picked back up. I would never have thought there would be a GBH way up in the mountains on such a small creek. One GBH could do a number on such a small stream.

I do expect the fishing to become much better soon. This has been a really late spring so right now it's more like fishing in April, which is usually a lot more inconsistent than in May.

I just read in Pennsylvania Outdoor News that through April 18th fishing license sales are down 8% this year compared to last year. The article says only 423,514 licenses had been sold, down 110,187 from last year during the same time frame. I'm not sure how the 8% was calculated because my calculator shows this as a 20.6% drop, but either way maybe fewer anglers will be on the streams this year. No mention was made as to how many fewer trout stamps were sold.

I can be contacted at [email protected].
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