On Sunday I went to a favorite stream of mine even though I was wary of there being a large number of kayaks on the stream on a holiday weekend. Because of that, I started further upstream than I often do. As is often the case there, the action was very slow. I don't expect to catch a lot of trout when I fish there, the priority is to catch big trout.
A few minutes after starting, a small fish hit my spinner, popped out of the water and spit it out. It looked like a small bass. It took a little over 45 minutes to catch my first trout, a nice 14 3/4 inch brown.
It took almost another hour to catch my second trout, a plain colored 10 inch brown. I had a nice fish follow but not hit, and had another small fish hit and get off. Unlike the first fish I lost, that one was definitely a trout. I tried several different plugs and didn't get so much as a follow, and ultimately switched back to spinners.
As I reached an area where I've taken several big trout in the past, I waded closer to the far bank and cast from a different angle than I often do. On the first cast, a big trout charged out and hit my spinner so hard that it made a big splash on the surface. It's probably the hardest hit I've had this year. I set the hook and the behemoth cleared the water, then took off downstream. The drag on my reel sang as the big trout took line. I moved downstream and got to an angle where I felt I could better control the fish. I was afraid he would take off and the spinner would pop out, but after a few minutes I scooped my net under him. The hefty brown measured 21 1/2 inches.
After that, things were slow for a long while. After an hour of no action at all, I landed browns of 9, 11, and 8 1/2 inches. At the top of a split, a hog brown pursued my spinner. I crouched low to try to avoid being seen. The large brown followed the spinner to within a few feet of me, then returned to its lair. A few casts later, I caught an 11 inch brown.
I cast under an overhanging tree tight to the bank and immediately felt extra weight so I set the hook. I knew instantly that it was a big trout. It tried to burrow in the undercut bank, but I successfully kept him out and brought it in. The trout measured 17 1/2 inches. I didn't get a picture, as I only had my phone with me and it ran out of juice.
A little further up, another big brown struck. I had him on for a minute or too before the line went slack. The big trout managed to saw me off on a sharp rock. I only saw an outline of the trout, but I knew it was bigger than the previous large trout I had caught, but was likely smaller than the first one of the day.
Two fly fishermen were upstream from me, so I got out and walked around them, and skipped a long stretch to provide a large gap between us.
I fished up a considerable distance, but only caught two more trout; a nice 14 incher and a 9 1/2 incher.
I had already seen 6 or 7 kayaks and when I saw five more heading downstream, I decided to get out and walk back to my car.
It was a long hike and it rained hard briefly during my walk.
I drove to a mountain freestoner about 25 miles north that I had not fished this year. The water was lower than expected and I had to walk through long stretches of stream. I caught four trout from various pockets, ranging from 8 1/2 to 11 1/2 inches. I made a long cast next to the bank in a deep pool and felt an immediate hit. I set the hook and knew a big trout was on the line. I kept it from burrowing under the bank and brought him to my feet. I quickly measured him and snapped a picture. It was 19 1/2 inches. I have caught big trout in that stream before but didn't expect any in those conditions. I had one more big trout follow but not hit. I was close to my car and decided to call it a day.
I caught only 15 trout on the day, all browns, but three were over 16 inches and I had lost another big trout, so I considered the day a success.