Continued from previous post
On Sunday, I returned to a stream that I had fished earlier in the year that has a good number of big trout. The creek was at a perfect level and when my stream thermometer showed 62 degrees, my expectations were high. Unfortunately, I got off to a slow start.
It took several minutes before I even had a follow, and several more before I had a strike. In a familiar pool at a bend in the creek, I felt extra weight and set the hook. A nice trout dove deep but was soon subdued. My first trout of the day was a surprise 12 ¾ inch rainbow. I had caught rainbows in other parts of the creek, but in the section I was in, I had only caught browns. About 10 minutes later, I lost a small trout, then landed a 9 ½ inch wild brown. After an extended stretch with only one follow, I switched to a Lucky Craft plug. It produced only one trout, but it was a nice 14 inch wild brown. It was also the last trout of the first hour I fished.
Angling hour number two was only slightly better. I caught browns of 8 ½, 9, and 9 ½ on spinners, and a 15 inch brown on a #5 Countdown Rapala. I was surprised at the lack of action, given the conditions. It was sunny, but I’ve had good days there under sunny conditions before.
The next hour began with an 8 ½ inch brown attacking my Rapala, but after several minutes with no response, I switched back to a spinner. I caught a nice 13 ¾ inch brown, followed by a 10 ½ and a 10 incher. Just before the end of the hour, I decided to try yet another plug, a Yozuri Pin’s Minnow. The switch resulted in a 14 ¾ inch brown, but no other trout.
I tried a different spinner, but only landed three trout in the next hour, but one was a nice 15 ½ inch wild brown. I was near my car but decided to fish a little longer. I caught five more trout and one bass in the remainder of the time I was there. The fish ranged from 8 ½ to 13 inches.
I fished that stream for 5.25 hours and landed only 20 trout, a low number given the conditions. I had hoped to catch at least a big trout or two but didn’t even see a trout that was over 16 inches.
Returning to my car, I thought about heading to small freestoner that I know well, but instead chose to gamble and head to one of my favorite big trout haunts, even though the water level was high. I arrived and headed for the stream to take the water temperature. The stream tends to warm in July and August, but the temperature was an excellent 62 degrees.
Shortly after starting, a medium sized brown smashed my spinner, cleared the water and threw the spinner in mid-air. A few minutes later, a feisty 8 incher hooked itself on my large spinner. About 10 minutes passed before a 9 inch wild brown raced across the swift flow to hammer the spinner.
I reached a favorite pool, where I’ve caught several large trout, but only had a small trout chase my spinner. I tried a large Countdown Rapala but had no interest from the trout community. I tied on a large Lucky Craft plug in the next section to see if that would stimulate more interest.
As the plug danced through the current, I saw a large dark shadow trailing the plug. It followed it but didn’t hit, but it was the first hog I’d seen all day, and it was easily 20 inches long. Two casts later, a heavy trout darted in and grabbed my plug. It cleared the water twice but could not shake free. It measured 16 ½ inches and was my largest trout of the day to that point.
That point didn’t last long, as on the next cast, another heavy trout drilled the plug. While I fought the big trout, the same hog brown that had tracked my plug before, followed the hooked brown to within several feet of me before hastily departing. I landed the heavy fish, which was 17 inches long.
Browns of 11 and 8 ½ inches fell to the plug and then I had a long dry spell. I switched back to a large spinner, which I used the rest of the time I fished. I caught 7 more browns, highlighted by a 16 ¾ incher and a 14 ½ incher.
For the day, I caught 34 trout and 1 smallmouth bass. 33 of the trout were browns, with the other being a rainbow. 25 of the trout hit spinners, with the remainder caught on plugs. Three browns exceeded 16 inches, with two more between 15 and 16 inches.
I was extremely happy to be back on the water again and was satisfied with the weekend results. I look forward to my next outing.