I would think with all the rain that's fallen in eastern PA that I'd be tearing things up out here but it's been quite to the contrary. A few weeks back, 2 days before the rains arrived and smashed the region for a long term douse, I hit what may end up being my final low water excursion of the season and it just so happened to be my last really good outing for a while. I wrangled 100+ trout including many native brookies in the 10-13 inch range and a few browns including this savage that I really didn't expect.
This brookie was a special one. Its features were as striking as I've ever seen.
After that, and the heavy rains, I took a little trip back to SWPA that was squashed by T storms and I ended up fishing the Mon River for smallies instead
Once I got back to SEPA it was a whole different world from my last month of fishing. Flooding was the story and it was everywhere. Finding a place to even wet the line was the story. Catching fish was a whole other game for me at least. I'm actually not a big fan of late summer major rains from a fishing standpoint (great for the fish though). Once streams get low enough for long enough (as they've been over here) trout tend to get very pooled up and are extremely reluctant to spread back out after a heavy rain. They aren't dumb. They know that eventually, and usually quickly, waters will recede back to normal August levels and if they move they'll be forced to find sanctuary again. So they tend to stick to the summer cover for long periods thus leaving all sorts of excellent looking habitat vacant and it can leave you scratching your head at times if you don't realize it. The water looks great under current flows but in reality the cover your fishing literally had no fish. It can takes weeks for trout to decided to redistribute. That's been me the past 4 outings. The fishing has been good but never great and I haven't hammered them at all. What higher water has done, and why my fishing comes second, is it's provided relief for trout in the area that were surely starting to feel the squeeze. I'll take poor fishing for rushing waters like this.
And there are still plenty of fish to be caught even if the epic days of June are in the past.
If you ever want to know the type of fishing your in....how fertile a stream is and what the feeding situation is like for a particular trout, look no further then the size of a trout's head vs its body. I good example is this brook trout. You see that hump behind the head? That's an indication of a very strong feeding situation and his body is growing faster than his head. That's a GOOD situation. What you normally see from natives are very large heads and bodies that should not be attached to it. Take note the next time your fishing.
And of course even when I'm in the doldrums of late summer I always take notice to the amazing sights PA's woodlands have to offer me. Even if the I couldn't fish anymore I would almost certain still hike PA's waters for surprise moments like catching the sun's morning rays casting light through the post dawn mist.
Or coming around the corner on a new stream wondering what all that noise is only so see one of the most breathtaking falls I've ever come across in PA
There is always a reason to be fishing and it's not always to catch a ton of fish. I'd like to always catch a ton of fish but you know you're a true trout fisherman when you find a story in whatever mother nature gives ya ;-)