I took two days off to fish on Thursday and Friday. I hadn't fished since the 4th of July and was anxious to get back on the water.
I didn’t start fishing until late morning. Due to flooding in my area, I had to drive a long way out of my way and then double back. When I arrived at my destination, as I feared, it was too high to fish. I drove to a nearby stream, and though it was high, it could at least be fished.
I waded into the mountain freestoner and began fishing shortly after 10 AM. It took about 10 minutes for me to catch my first trout, a ferocious 5 inch native brookie. 🙂. I had several trout hit and get off before landing a 9 inch wild brown, which hit in very fast water. That was an exception though, as I had very little success in the fast runs. Browns of 8, 7 ½, and 7 inches followed before a short lull in the action. I closed the first hour with another 7 inch brown, and three sub-legal brookies. Nine trout in an hour isn’t great action to begin the day, but given the high water, it wasn’t bad.
Hour #2 began with a 6 ½ inch brown. A short time later, a 10 ½ inch brown smashed my spinner and found its way into my net. Then I put on a trout losing clinic for about five minutes, where I missed every hit. Finally, a sub-legal brookie was unable to escape. The remainder of the angling hour resulted in three more brooks and three additional browns. One of the brookies was a nice 9 incher. The last trout of the hour was a pretty 11 ½ inch brown.
I fished through a stretch that I thought would produce well, but it only yielded a 7 ½ inch brookie. Finally, the action picked up and I landed five more brooks and browns, highlighted by an 11 ¼ inch brown.
The stream began to flatten out a little and the action improved. 11 trout came to hand in my fourth angling hour; 7 brooks and 4 browns. The fish of the hour was a 10 ½ inch brookie. A spotted fawn crossed the stream in front of me at the close of the hour.
I hoped the action would continue to improve, but I wasn’t expecting it to improve as much as it did. I landed 23 trout in my last full hour of fishing. At least 6-7 others slipped the hook. The best fish of the hour was a 10 inch brookie.
As I continued upstream, my back really started to hurt. I fished for another ½ hour before deciding I’d had enough for the day. In that time, I landed four wild browns and three native brookies.
I made the long walk back to my car, with my legs and back yelling at me the whole way. For the day, I caught 65 trout in 5 ½ hours, all on spinners, which was much better than I expected when I saw the high water. 33 were native brooks and 32 were wild browns. The biggest trout of the day was an 11 ½ inch brown, while the biggest brookie was 10 ½ inches.
On Friday, I fished a favorite large freestone stream. That area did not have near the rain that the rest of the state did. I took a chance on fishing a lower section, hoping it wouldn’t be too warm. I caught browns of 10 ½ and 11 ½ inches, but when I took the water temperature, my thermometer registered 68 degrees, so I waded out and drove upstream, where I knew the water would be cooler.
As is often the case there, I had a long stretch with no action before I saw a nice brown gaining on my spinner. I sped up the retrieve a little, and the heavy brown put on a burst of speed and piled into my spinner. The brown cleared the water twice before I brought him to my feet. He measured exactly 16 inches. Unfortunately, while trying to get my camera out of my vest, he slipped out of my hand, so I didn’t get a picture.
I caught a 13 ½ inch brown and an 11 inch stocked brookie before an armada of kayaks passed. Predictably, the action was non-existent for a long stretch after that. Finally, after over an hour without catching a trout, I hooked and landed a 10 inch brown.
I considered wading out and walking further upstream but decided to fish through a deep slow stretch. I was rewarded but a hard strike. I set the hook and a heavy trout burned line off my reel. I was surprised to see that it was a large rainbow and not a brown. I succeeded in netting the heavy trout, which measured 17 ¼ inches.
Not too long after that, I caught a 12 inch stocked brookie, then endured another trout-less stretch before landing a 15 ¼ inch brown. Right after that, I made a long cast, and a swallow, paused in mid-air to check out my spinner before resuming its normal activity. I enjoy watching swallows because they fly so effortlessly.
As I moved upstream, the sun came out, which is normally bad news on that stream. I caught only two more trout, a brook and a brown that were both 11 inches long, before wading out and walking back to my car. My waders were leaking badly, so I removed them and put on my wet wading pants.
I drove upstream to try one more stretch. A smallmouth bass hit and shook free. I had several trout follow and not hit. As I continued upstream, the action was non-existent. Near the top of the stretch, I hooked a 14 or 15 inch brown and a huge brown trout followed it in. I was so intent on watching the behemoth that I lost the trout I had on. The monster that followed was well over 20 inches. Before wading out, I caught a 13 ½ inch rainbow.
For the day, I only caught 12 trout; 7 browns, 3 brooks, and 2 rainbows. All hit spinners except one, which I caught on a Yozuri Pin’s Minnow. Two trout were at least 16 inches, and the biggest was 17 ½ inches. I had hoped to do better, but it was great to be on the water and see a huge trout, even though I didn’t catch him. I have a reason to go back!