Wet Noodle - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Wet Noodle

While cleaning my garage in March of this year, I broke my #1 spinning rod for trout. I had cut and manipulated that rod over the last two years to get it exactly as I wanted it. It was stiff enough for immediate and reliable hooksets with enough flex that I could whip a spinner far out into the river. I ignored that problem until I started fishing frequently in the end of May. I had 3 rods to choose from, a 5’6” ugly stick, a 5’ ugly stick, or a 5’6” cabelas bass rod which was broken and was originally 6’. I went with the bass rod because the ugly sticks both were missing the plastic lining on the eyes, and I have had the rough metal knick my line before.

I’ve been fishing 16 times so far and I have been using that bass rod each time. I have grown accustomed to it, but it needs to be adapted or replaced. As many others have been stating recently, I am missing fish due to flex in my rod when I attempt to set the hook. I’ve lost some big ones, and many smaller fish. Its so flimsy I'm sure I could set up a standing wave sine curve in it but just wiggling it back and forth. I will build my own rod, some day…

While fishing with this “wet noodle” recently, I have done pretty well.

1.
I made it to a stream recently that does not hold fish into the summer. Its headwaters might support a wild fish or two, but not a population worth fishing. It is however, a very popular stream. On youth trout fishing day, and during the first two weeks of the season, the pull offs on this stream were packed. I have never fished it because it is a warm or cool water stream at best, and there are many better options, but since its less than 10 minutes from my house, I just had to explore this year.

Jxreek by eric reger, on Flickr

It looked ok, water was cool, so I started working. There were boot prints everywhere from previous days the first half mile, and only 5 trout were caught in that section. The stream went from deep woods to ag land, to running through some cabins… and there were a few trout here and there, but not much. I fished 1.6 miles of the stream and only in the last 100 yards did I start catching trout at a regular pace.
Jxreek by eric reger, on Flickr

Nothing big, but I ended with 18 trout with 7 of them coming in the last 100 yards. I needed to be home at a particular time, so I had to bail.

2. This is a stocked and wild stream that might be one of my favorites. I rolled up onto it at 6:30am to find the lower section a bit too stained for my liking. I drove to an upper section and it looked great.
Jxreek by eric reger, on Flickr

Some recent floods created new sand/rock bars along much of the stream.
Immediately wild browns and native brookies were coming to hand, the biggest of which was this 14.5incher.
Jxreek by eric reger, on Flickr

The steady mix of brooks and browns had my hopes up of catching another wild tiger. I have caught 3 total wild tigers, and one came from this stream 4 years ago. But, it was not to be today, strictly purebreds.
Jxreek by eric reger, on Flickr

4 hours gave up 107 trout here.


3. I got a few hours in the afternoon one day and I opted for another popular stocked stream tah gets “fished out” by mid summer. I knew it was still early enough in the year to provide good fishing.

June3-7 2018 by eric reger, on Flickr

Conditions were perfect and the stockers were anxious to be extracted. The first hole shown above gave up 9 brook trout.
June3-7 2018 by eric reger, on Flickr

Some of the holes by the road were void of trout, but the more removed waters were quite troutful. The deep hole shown above gave up 7 trout out of probably my first 10 casts. I walked along the shallows to reposition to work the top of the hole shown below.
June3-7 2018 by eric reger, on Flickr
I promptly caught 2 more from the fast water that dumps into the deep part. Then I sent a cast between the huge boulder and the smaller boulder near the left of the picture. My spinner was hit hard by a dark fish that dove straight down. Usually within a few seconds after hooking a trout I can identify the species. However, it wasn’t until I got my hands on this one that I realized that it was a tiger trout. In fact, I asked some friends to verify the identification just to be certain. It was very monotone without the more pronounced swirls. It measured 17”. June3-7 2018 by eric reger, on Flickr

There are quite a few ways that fish can get into this stream, and I’ve seen some other weird things here before, so I wasn’t surprised.

I kept plowing through water and average size stockies until I got to my bike. My clicker said 72 in the 3.5 hours that I fished. My previous best on this stream section was 41. I have fished this stream segment 8 times now in the last 5 years, so I’d say I hit it lucky on this day.

4. These last couple mornings have been COOOOLD. To the point that it pushes my 45 degree air temp wet wading boundy. My car read 48 degrees on this morning as I geared up exiting my vehicle. The morning was overcast. A few sprinkles fell during the first half hour. A deluge poured down at about 1 hour in and I took cover under a big dead tree leaning over. I waited 10 minutes and the rain ended. I was proud that I emerged from under the tree almost bone dry.The stream flow was as good as it could be.
Roar by eric reger, on Flickr

This stream has always been a producer of a moderate number of smaller wild browns with a smattering of native brookies. On this trip, the number of native brookies was wayyy up. It was likely just below half of my total. In past years, native brookies have tallied less than a quarter of my catch. The size of the wild trout was substantially larger too.
June3-7 2018 by eric reger, on Flickr
June3-7 2018 by eric reger, on Flickr

I was really pleased with this excursion. 57 trout in 2.5 hours before running into posted property was my highest ever total on this stream section.

5. I always feel more pressure than I know I should when I take friends fishing with me. My friend and co-worker Jason expressed interest in catching large trout as opposed to a large quantity of trout. So, I chose a stream that has reliably produced big fish in years past. This particular morning, the 45 degree air temp prompted me to don my hip boots.

Jason was spinner fishing. I think I fish too fast for most people when I spinner fish, so, not wanting to run ahead, I chose to drift a trout magnet and let Jason present his spinners to the trout.

As it turned out, this stream can be difficult to work with spinners for someone still learning to spinner fish.
June3-7 2018 by eric reger, on Flickr

It is obviously much easier to drift a rubber worm here than it is to crank a spinner through the raging rapids. But, Jason is dedicated to mastering spinners. To say the wading here is tricky would be an understatement, as you can see in the stream pic above. Shortly after taking this picture of Jason walking past a quad of perfectly healthy ash trees, he was emptying his boots out.
June3-7 2018 by eric reger, on Flickr

I knew the numbers would be low, but I thought we’d at least break 20 in 3 hours. We fell just shy. We did get some “hawg” trout. My biggest was 18. Jason had a 16 and a 17.
Untitled by eric reger, on Flickr

6. My daughter woke up early today, so I changed my fishing plans and we went after bass. It was a big day. She reeled in a fish all on her own for the first time. Luckily, this 10" largemouth was lethargic.
6.8.18 by eric reger, on Flickr
She wanted to reel in the next bass we hooked, a 13" lunker. It pulled the rod out of her hands.
She fell asleep like a rock after lunch so after knocking out a few chores, my wife let me slip out for an afternoon trouting.
I picked a nearby stream that will soon be too warm for good trout fishing. The suckers have moved in by the dozens and I couldn’t resist trying to catch this 24”er.
6.8.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

I buckled down and began picking off trout in “in-between” water. The holes were mostly empty or had highly educated trout scoffing at my metal. Using my favorite new color, I landed some high flying rainbows. While squatting down trying to get these fish to pose, they completely soaked me with incessant flopping and splashing. Pictured here are 15 and 16.5” rainbows.
6.8.18 by eric reger, on Flickr
6.8.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

As I was loading up to go home, I thought I’d give you a glimpse of the trout mobile…
June3-7 2018 by eric reger, on Flickr

If you see me parked anywhere, try downstream since I usually leave my vehicle at the bottom and have likely already fished up from there.


An aside… I have been seeing a lot more anglers on the streams this year. All of them except the ones I encountered in SC PA have been polite and pleasant to chat with and share the stream. I’ve been seeing anglers on almost all the streams I’ve been to, even on weekdays. Its encouraging that people are still interested in something as simple as fishing.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-11-2018, 03:56 PM
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Dang 18 days. HARDCORE! You're probably at 24 days by now lol. Lots a rain back there so keep tearing it up man. Thanks for taking the time to post all that.
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