Quest for the 400 Trout Day....and a few other 'smaller' outings - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-04-2018, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Quest for the 400 Trout Day....and a few other 'smaller' outings

Over the past week I've been really lucky to be able to enjoy a few days on the water under near perfect conditions and ample time to spend. A far contrast from the past few springs where water has been meager at best. It took awhile for streams to come back to fishable levels after all the rain we got 2 weeks ago but when they did they yielded over a 4 trip period like they never have in my fishing life.

For the first trip I chose a stream that I hadn't been able to fish for 2 years now. As I've mentioned in the past I don't force trips to streams unless conditions are perfect or the best possible available conditions around. In fact, my favorite stream in the state I haven't fished for 3 full years now. PICKY. Being picky pays off though at times. The stream was a tad lower than I was hoping it would be and the 49 degree night had the fish on the chill a little to start the day.

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Eventually things got rolling as the heat of the day arrived. I pretty much expected that to be the case so I wasn't too concerned about the slow start. Most of the trout caught on this day where wild browns

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But some brooks were mixed in as well.

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I had to fish a pretty long distance to get to my bike but in that time I caught and released 214 trout before thoroughly enjoying my 4 mile down hill ride on a rather hot and sticky day.


On the next outing I thought my 'favorite stream in the state' mentioned above would finally be perfect soI figured I'd give it a run. When I drove over it I could see that it was indeed flowing absolutely peeeeerfect and I was excited dreaming of another monster day that was sure to come haha. I parked the truck and got all decked out. As I strolled down the steep slope from the parking area I couldn't help but notice fresh boot tracks headed in the same direction. Hoping it was turkey hunters I persisted but the action was d-e-a-d and there were boot tracks everywhere. I wasn't going to fight it so I ran back to the truck and drove a mile upstream.....boot tracks. I drove another mile.....boot tracks!! Whomever it was covered some serious water and I know when I'm beat so I started planning my next move and that was to a stream that I hadn't fished in aloooong time now. Maybe 8-9 years easy. I always enjoyed it but it held only brookies and I don't fish for them as much as I used to plus there aren't a great deal of brook trout streams around these parts. The fishing was never historically amazing but it was close and I wanted to get back on the water fast. I knew something was brewing when the first rather innocent run coughed up 5 trout in about 90 seconds. The most shocking part was that they were all wild browns.

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This stream has a lot of different faces as it changes from a mountain stream.

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To an open woodland stream

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And even a meadow spring-like stream at times

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Each of those sections gave up serious fish. There were times when it was literally every cast.

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One very interesting thing I saw was that this stream was just LOADED with tadpoles in the actual stream bed. I was a bit surprised I was catching anything at all because I can't imagine that every trout in the creek wasn't taking full advantage of the opportunity every night. The poles' were in very shallow water but I'm sure aggressive browns were gorging on them nightly.

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After finally getting to my check out point I looked at my ticker to see 216 trout caught. Almost all of them browns so the stream has completely transitioned in that little time period from a brook trout fishery to a much more robust brown trout fishery. Amazing how fast invasive species can take control. The walk outto my bike was a rather pleasant walk through a clearly over browse forest.





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I let a few days pass as I contemplating my next play. I scheduled a day out of the office while the wife worked and the kids went to school. I had an unlimited amount of hours to relax and fish hard. I wanted a big day so I worked my notes as hard as I could to pick the right stream. You can never really tell how post Memorial day fishing is going to go with all the pressure that comes with that weekend but I just put that aside and picked the best spot I could. Again, the stream was a tad lower than I expected but I was there and I was going to give it a try.

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As usual the fishing was a little slow from the start but I've gotten used to that of late. It was still pretty good and within an hour it got consistently excellent.

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Several years ago I had a goal of catching 300 trout in a day and it took me a long time to achieve that goal. I've done that three times now so I came into this season with a goal of landing 400+ in a day. It wasn't necessarily a goal that I aimed to meet this season but it was just something that I wanted to see if I could do when the time was right and things worked out. Obviously to catch that many trout in a day, you've got to have a lot of things going your way and that doesn't happen every day. Well by 12pm I clicked over the 200 mark and the fish were just rolling in as I hit some harder to access spots. 4, 5, 6, even 10 trout were coming from single runs and pools. I was completely int he 'zone'. Totally dialed in.

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My mojo was only slightly interrupted by the rude cow that through it was polite to cut me off.

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I peered at my phone to see 2:30PM when I crossed the 300 threshold and knew I had some decent time left. I still wasn't sure how I was going to plan therest of the day but figured I'd see how the next hour or two treated me before deciding whether to just go for it or not. As I reached the end of what I could fish for this stream I looked at my clicker and 352 trout looked back at me. It was almost 4PM and I had a decision to make. Head for home or grind. I was tired, hungry, and my hips were sore but with hours of day light left I decided just go for it. I put the peddle down and headed for stream #2 on the day,another stream I hadn't been to in years and years. When I parked the truck I could hear the stream and when I saw it was HIGH. This wouldn't be the first time that leaving a stream breaks the 'zone' for me and I struggle badly. The fishing was very very slow at first. It was so slow over the first 20 min that I thought I might fall short. Thankfully I started to get back into my comfort zone and started catching some fish. Since the fishing wasn't crazy I picked up my pace a lot and started covering a tremendous amount of water as quickly as possible. Time was not onmy side now anymore. Even though I was moving fast I still took notice to the beauty of my surroundings.

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I wasn't expecting to catching any stockers on this stream but this golden shot out from under a rock and surprised me good!

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I knew I was gettin' there but didn't want to look at the number as I often have a lot of trouble catching the last few fish if I know I'm close to a milestone. I just kept trying to make good casts and solid hook-sets. As I finally made to the last possible spot and fittingly missed a really nice brown on my final cast of the day lol. I stepped out of the water and checked the count. 407. I'd fished as hard as I ever had over a 12 hour period but it was well worth it. The quick ride back to the truck was a pretty cool feeling. I drove home and told my wife who just shook her head and laughed at me lol. She ‘gets’ my passion for the Great Outdoors but also said I was totally nuts for fishing that long. I can appreciate her feelings haha.

And not to make an already long post longer but I woke up the next AM, sore and groggy, and headed back out. Of course I was well drugged up on Motrin for sore joints. I was more in a 'leisure mode' for the day so I decided to break from the norm and tackle a remote brookie stream. Of course the day ended up being anything but leisurely.

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I'd only fished this stream once before for a short while so I planned to explore all of it on this day. I may have bitten off more than I could chew though as the gradient I knew and expected quickly became completely out of control much like you'd see in SWPA.

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But I kept going even though it was almost 90 degrees and border line oppressive. The rewards were behind many rocks and in the streams many deep plunge pools

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Eventually I came upon this most unexpected dam in the middle of know where. The was loaded with 10" brookies and a good 2 miles from the nearest access. It was quit the impressive structure andI certainly hope that someone is keeping a very close eye on it because it backed a tremendous amount of water and if that thing ever goes it’s gonna be bad.

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And with that I logged 178 additional trout before the long sweaty hike up the steep hillside to my bike.

I was dog tired after all of that and probably lost a few pounds in the process but for the 4 trip session I caught a little over 1000 trout which marks my best 4 outing stretch ever....by a long shot. It hasn't rained in a while and believe it or not streams are starting to get low-ish. I will probably be aggressive this week in an effort to cash in on a few more prime condition locations before all water drops out of the kill zone which should happen by this coming weekend in my area. It’s hard to believe but we're quickly approaching that time of year when streams in great shape become few and far between. Usually you have until mid-June and after that it’s a crap shoot at best. I'll try to stay on the rampage until then and be sure to share my stories here for anyone interested.

Last edited by Trout 2003; 06-04-2018 at 09:35 AM.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-04-2018, 09:48 PM
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Nice pics and looks like you had some great fishing!


What reel is that? I am about to order one and can't decide. But I NEED a new one...last summer catching catfish bait and never cleaning it or anything was a bad idea.

I see you put it high now...lol. You seem to change the grip size and reel placement as much as I do lol. Seems like different days a different reel placement helps me.


It's already turning to one of those summers...and I haven't made it out yet. Either too much rain or not enough. Streams went from on the low side to completely blown out class 5 mud rapids yesterday. I really hoped to fish today.

I am determined to hit a good day and go check the till life situation since I did that make it there last year at all.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-04-2018, 09:53 PM
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Totally awesome and thanks for taking us along. Since I live more than 1000 miles away could you tell me the width of the above streams you were fishing. Just trying to get the full picture of what your trout water is like.

One big difference I see is the lack of alders. Most of our brook trout streams are spring fed but stained from flowing thru swamps with literally tag alders from bank to bank and in many places overhead, too. very few streams around here flow thru hardwoods, at least close by anyway. I would have to drive an hour or more one way to find those type of streams.

Enjoy Mother Nature's Glory, everyday!

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-04-2018, 09:54 PM
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??????? Unreal! Thats quite uncommon dedication there. Did you wet wade on your 407 day? My legs always feel great the day after wet wading in cold water. I've done some long days (6-8 hours) in relatively deep cold water. Maybe that would help your soreness?

And thats a great looking rainbow

Last edited by troutdoorsmen; 06-04-2018 at 09:58 PM.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-04-2018, 09:59 PM
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Kelly, you described what I fished in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan....night and day difference. We have a little of that here n there...but a majority of our wild trout are in streams like he posted.


A lot of our water is smaller and doesn't run as deep as they did in the Sandy Michigan streams too. Michigan I had to fish and fish. Here, it's not uncommon to cast a few times and keep moving to the next hole with some dead water in between.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mauser06 View Post
Nice pics and looks like you had some great fishing!


What reel is that? I am about to order one and can't decide. But I NEED a new one...last summer catching catfish bait and never cleaning it or anything was a bad idea.

I see you put it high now...lol. You seem to change the grip size and reel placement as much as I do lol. Seems like different days a different reel placement helps me.


It's already turning to one of those summers...and I haven't made it out yet. Either too much rain or not enough. Streams went from on the low side to completely blown out class 5 mud rapids yesterday. I really hoped to fish today.

I am determined to hit a good day and go check the till life situation since I did that make it there last year at all.



Hey Maus, nice to hear from you and hope all is well. So for the reel my primary one is a Shimano Stradic Ci4. While I think it is an excellent reel I don't necessarily think that it is a 'needed' reel. For our type of fishing you need to worry about gear ratio and most 6:0:1 reels will do the job juuuuust fine. I have a regular Shimano Stradic showing up today and that reel will serve as my secondary and backup reel although I will probably use it a TON this summer to break it in and get the 'feel' to where the Ci4 is at. The Shimano Sedona would probably suffice most guys that aren't at nutzo as I am. Maybe even the Sienna although I am not positive about gear ratios on them. The gear ratio is more important than the reel to me.




As for the grip, I've been using my current grip for at least 7-8 years now. It's very unique to me and when I give advice to other spinner guys I always tell them to not emulate me or FrankTroutAngler as I guarantee that the grips we use are absolutely NOT the right grips for 'you'. This style of spinner fishing is extremely specialized. Think of it like golf or baseball. Everyone has their own grip that they use that is most effective for striking the ball and everyone's is different. I used to emulate Franks grip in the back of the rod and it was just horrible for me. Id miss fish that I never miss now. My casting wasn't nearly as good. I had all kinds of issues. Heck, I would have the rod almost pulled from my hands on heavy strikes. Then I started to experiment and came up with a grip all the way at the front and my pointer finger pad is on the blank of my rod. That provides me personally the best feel, casting, hook setting ability, and leverage on hard strikes. It's made all the difference in the world for me. I don't think others should copy my grip though. It's fine to try is but the morale of the story is that everyone should experiment. If you feel that you aren't casting accurately enough or that you aren't hooking enough fish don't be satisfied. Make a change.


Tear them up this summer bud! Hope you really get into them.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 11:03 AM
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I fished a Sonora ( I think that's what the orange one was called) for years. 6 years I think lol. I bought it when I started in Michigan in 2012. It serves me well...till I neglected it lol.


You're right on about the trip and reel position. For me, I end up with it right around just below center. My pinky finger is under the reel and the rest are above it.

I need to copy the rod before I inevitably break it. I did crack the tip off in the truck door.. luckily it was just the tip and wasn't a huge deal.


I still have catfish on the brain lol...but this summer, especially now that I live further north, I gotta get after trout too...I am like 35 miles from the gill lice stream now.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 11:50 AM
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Some unreal trips right there! I love trout fishing, but 12 hours on the water... that's insane. You earned every trout you 'clicked off'.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 01:59 PM
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Beautiful trout!

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly49 View Post
Totally awesome and thanks for taking us along. Since I live more than 1000 miles away could you tell me the width of the above streams you were fishing. Just trying to get the full picture of what your trout water is like.

One big difference I see is the lack of alders. Most of our brook trout streams are spring fed but stained from flowing thru swamps with literally tag alders from bank to bank and in many places overhead, too. very few streams around here flow thru hardwoods, at least close by anyway. I would have to drive an hour or more one way to find those type of streams.



Hi Kelly, The stream on the BIG day averaged around 15 ft in width. On the other days they were a bit smaller in the 12 ft average range.
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