JUNE trouting near and far - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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JUNE trouting near and far

About two weeks ago, I sustained a pretty good cut on my right hand (my hook removing hand) and needed stitches. I was advised to keep it out of "dirty" water for 10 days. I knew it would be tough, so I embarked on another fishing related quest in the meantime... I finally built my own rod!

I went off of trout2003's rod building post from a few years ago, and I asked him some pertinent questions along the way. I used an MHX rod, and also ordered all of my other supplies from the Mudhole website just to simplify the process and save on shipping. I kept the entire project under $100. Some of the materials like epoxy and flex coat and thread can be used again for future rod builds.

The rod went together nicely. Wrapping the guides was the most time consuming and tedious, but I got better as I went. I ordered supplies and had the rod built before my 10 days were up, so my goal was met.

I didn't take any picture of the finished rod, but I did include my rod in pictures with the first few fish that I caught using it.

I finished the rod around 8pm one evening, and I took it out at 6pm the next day to a native stream just 5 minutes from my house just to see how it felt. I landed this little guy on my 2nd cast.
7.1.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

I just covered a few hundred yards of stream to get the feel for it. With all that excitement I planned on making a longer effort the next day. I brought my friend Angelo along.

We fished a quick little stream that has occasional deep long pools.
7.1.18 by eric reger, on Flickr
This stream is not stocked by the state, but somehow stockers make their way up from the mouth. Our 4 largest trout shown below were all noticeably slender. The 3rd big fish measured at 18" and the other 3 were between 16 and 17.
7.1.18 by eric reger, on Flickr
7.1.18 by eric reger, on Flickr
7.1.18 by eric reger, on Flickr
7.1.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

Because we did so well on that stretch of water, I followed up on the next day fishing a lower section of that stream.
My first cast on this day brought a 17.5" bow.
7.1.18 by eric reger, on Flickr
My entry point on the stream was a few yards upstream of deep run so I actually caught this fish by reeling upstream. I hate doing that and I was nervous about my hookset until I landed it.
This stream section gave up some wild bows..
7.1.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

And rod bending stocked browns. This 16" bruiser really tested my rod. He kept driving his head down into the substrate, like he knew that he could get the spinner loose by doing that. (I was using an old ugly stik this day because I decided to put another flex coat on my new rod.
7.1.18 by eric reger, on Flickr


Back with my new rod in hand, I tried a stream that I have only fished once before. It sits in a high mountain mountain valley around 2500ft and sustains a pretty good flow for being up so high.
7.3.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

I have been catching a lot of "almost" huge natives this year. I consider 12" huge for a native. This one was a hair over 11". Its really nice having the inch markings on my rod. I used to just scratch my rod at different increments, but this is easier to see.
7.1.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

I was picking off native after native at an incredible pace. I was just under 100 trout, all natives, when, from a small unassuming cover under an overhanging rock, this 16.75" GRT darted out and grabbed my spinner.
7.1.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

I was proud of how well my wife's bike blended in with the Purple Flowering Rasberings where I stashed it at my exit point.
7.1.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

I have been taking my daughter fishing a lot, and that usually means trading trout for warmwater fish. But, she LOOOOVES using a net, so I took her to a local FFO and she had a blast netting fish for me. 7.1.18 by eric reger, on Flickr
7.1.18 by eric reger, on Flickr




Road trip
I know some of you hardcore anglers think nothing of driving an hour or two to fish. But, I rarely drive more than 25 minutes.
Before the areas east of me completely dried up, I wanted another go at some limestone water this year so I gassed up the subaru and headed east. Angelo and I headed out for a full day of pursuing stocked and wild trout. We rose very early and started casting before 5:30am.

My first few fish were in the dark. 7.3.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

Angelo switches between bouncing trout magnets and working on his spinner retrievals. Its not suprising, but its interesting how many fish he picks up after I work a hole with my spinner. Such was the case as I was leaving a pool just as ambient light was starting to crest the moutains… I had cast into a small riffle maybe a half dozen times at different angles and speeds, thinking I thoroughly covered the water. This is the water I'm referring to.
7.3.18 by eric reger, on Flickr
I told Angelo, "Lets move up, nothing here. He had been standing a few feet below me casting, and he moved up into my spot. On his first cast from my spot, his little Shakespeare Micro rod completely folded in half and his chincy little reel (he needs an equipment upgrade worse than I did) screamed at the top of its lungs. He knew that his equipment couldn't handle whatever was on the other end of his rod so he ran after the fish as it tore off downstream. I put my rod down gently (funny how much I take care of my rod now that I built it myself and know how much work went into it) and caught up to help land the fish.
7.2.2.18 by eric reger, on Flickr
The big rainbow measured 22.75". It was his biggest trout ever. Its amazing how much you can brighten up a picture taken with an phone camera.

All of this action happened before 5:45am. We fished til 7:30 then paused for breakfast and relocated to a section of stream much further up in the watershed in pursuit of wild fish.

The upper section of stream was much lower, but the fishing was hot. Wild browns often followed spinners in groups of 2-5 trout.
You can see how skinny the water looks in this picture, 7.3.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

but then right above this was a massive volume of water.

7.3.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

I think what was happening was that this limestoner was losing its flow to underground cavities, and then regaining that flow throughout the course of the watershed. This patter continued for 2 miles of stream we covered in this section. The biggest wild brown landed here was 14"
7.2.2.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

I had a 20" wild brown on but lost it after a few terribly violent head shakes. Bummer.

We did grab onto a few nice natives as well, including this 11.5" specimen.
7.2.2.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

Finally, this leg of our trip ended abruptly when the entire stream disappeared.
7.2.2.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

We looked 200 yards or so upstream, and with no sight of water, headed back to the car. As we were packing our gear into the car, we noticed a tight valley coming down to meet the stream we had just fished. We walked over to check it out and there was a little stream with enough water to warrant a few casts.
7.2.2.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

A handful more of wild fish were added to our tally from that little stream.


I had more fishing adventures in June, but I've been too busy to put it all together on here. I do love reading other people's posts, so I try to make a few of my own to help keep this thing alive. After a brutal week of high temps, I guess we can just hope for convective thunderstorms to keep the waters flowing into July.
pahoytman and Trout Traveler like this.

Last edited by troutdoorsmen; 07-03-2018 at 08:37 PM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 06:14 PM
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Nice trout and rod
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 07:14 PM
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Great pics

You do understand that most of us are still waiting for rivers to turn clear and floods to recede. I'm glad you're getting into some fish, tho............

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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I live in western PA and have only had 3-4 days tops in june that I couldn't fish due to high water. Theres always options for different water levels. You can see that some of the streams in my first few pictures are rippin. They were unfishable 12-24 hours before but their steep gradient allows them to drain off quickly. Look for those types of streams.

Last edited by troutdoorsmen; 07-03-2018 at 08:27 PM.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-04-2018, 05:30 PM
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Awesome! That rainbow is a beast! Looks bigger than 22". Glad you finally made that rod. That was a long time coming! Hope it serves you well for years to come !!
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 10:30 AM
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Did you use American Tackle NanoPlasma guides? They look gold in the pics. That's what I used on the rod I just finished. I used it yesterday for the first time and I really like the guides. They felt really smooth on the fight with no rubbing feel that I've had on some in the past. Not overly expensive either.




That big brookie....it almost looks stocked. I'm sure that one is native but that's not my point though. I've caught some really large native brookies over the years up to 15.5" and the one thing I notice about brook trout is that the larger they get the more like stocked brookies they begin to look. The fins are what I fall back on every time though for a wild fish. It's really the only way to give that warm and fuzzy about what you're thinking. It seems like it's that way for almost every species except maybe brown trout which tend to keep a unique wild look the bigger they get.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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The guides are black, titanium. Might be the lighting in the picture.

There have been some natives that I was almost certain looked like they were stocked. I had a 14" native two years ago, miles up a tiny trib where I had caught over 150 other natives prior to that. But, it looked stocked. Fins were in great shape, but the detail wasn't as sharp as the smaller fish. I got a few pictures (which I cant find now) and I examined them later at home, along with all the other information about where it was caught. My final call on that fish was native. So yes, I definitely agree that bigger brookies are tough to call, so other context clues need to be used.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 08:07 PM
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Great pictures and some beautiful fish also.....

What do you think of the MHX blanks? I used one in my last build and I am pretty happy with it.

Again, great pictures and thanks for sharing....
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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I've only had my MHX on the stream about 10 trips so far, but its far and away better than any store bought rods I've ever had.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-07-2018, 08:13 AM
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Those are some beautiful streams and trout. The big rainbow is really nice. The golden rainbow has the most vivid red stripe I’ve ever seen.

Are you catching stocked and wild rainbows in the same stream? I enjoy catching wild rainbows in PA. They’re very rare.

You have a beautiful daughter.

Last edited by Trout Traveler; 07-07-2018 at 12:05 PM.
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