Mid Summer Doldrums - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2018, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Mid Summer Doldrums

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.


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This brookie was a special one. Its features were as striking as I've ever seen.


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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


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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.


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And there are still plenty of fish to be caught even if the epic days of June are in the past.


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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.


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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.


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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


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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 ;-)


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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2018, 01:36 PM
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Great pictures and story, thanks for sharing!!! :-)

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2018, 01:43 PM
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Wonderful story as always and awesome pics as well! Thanks for sharing. That brookie looks so cool, a bit of tiger in it?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2018, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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" a bit of tiger in it?"


Definitely not any Tiger but that fish is an excellent example of how a Tiger would get its worm marks. You will not see very many native brook trout with those types of markings on it. That distinct at least. That is a one of a kind brook trout right there.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2018, 02:57 PM
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Are the markings considered a variation of coloration due to genetics? I’m thinking along the lines of something like an albino for example, a rare gene mutation that only affects pigmentation/coloring.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2018, 11:25 PM
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That brookie is awesome looking!!!! That'd been one I'd measure and photo and have a reproduction done!



Even if I started getting rain out here, it'd take a lot of steady rains to actually make things fishable. My rod and Stradic have a couple hundred panfish on them for the year so far lol.

2 summers in a row like this out here. Kinda nervous for the trout.


Had a good size storm coming last night. It completely fell apart before it crossed the state line lol. Just watched another now do the same thing...or they will break south or north up over Erie.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-08-2018, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Ya I've noticed that Mauser. I feel bad for you guys although I have all the water in the world out here right now and still can't fish. Too much in most cases. I spent 2 hours this AM driving around and eventually just turned it into a stream scouting mission for future days. By 7:30 it was time to hustle to work. Of note I was shocked to see how many streams, Class A streams, were at or above, or at least approaching 70 degrees. One extremely popular small wooded stream that's loaded with browns in Carbon Co. was a whopping 74 at 6:15 am. That's bad for that early in the day. I never imagined it would get that warm. It must get near 80 by mid day. How browns thrive there is beyond me. So I ended up driving all over and visiting about 15 streams and taking temps to log into my data base for future reference. More info the better so to not waste time later down the road. The coolest stream I checked was a 63 degree wild brown trout stream. If it's 63 today.....it'll never be warm.


Back to the topic! I wish you plenty of rain soon Mauser. Just remember that your fish are going to be very pooled up. If you get to fish find a place that has compact habitat as best you can.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-08-2018, 12:35 PM
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I highly doubt I get to fish this year...unless I travel and really don't have the time for that.


I don't have years of detailed logs..but looking at the USGS map and seeing largely green over here tells me green doesn't always mean go. Lol.

Maybe I can take a trip to that bigger water we've talked about before. Have to look and see what temps it's hitting...or wait another month or so and hopefully some cool September rains fall...
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-08-2018, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Yes for sure. "Green" is "Flowing normal for this time of year" and is completely relevant to the month you are looking at. Green in August means straight up LOW. Green in May means tear it up. Even light Blue right now can mean low water in a lot of cases.


With THAT stream I think temps are always good. Just need to find the time.....and a cloudy day hopefully.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-08-2018, 02:32 PM
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Definitely noticing the fish pooling. Its a shame. Some pools I can see have many trout in them, even though the water may have risen after a storm, and only 2 or maybe 3 can be caught from those pools before others are spooked.
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