I decided to fish on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, even though I knew the conditions would be poor. I hoped to catch some big trout. November is normally my best big trout month, but due to high water, I haven’t been able to fish any of my normal November hog producing streams.
I went to a medium sized limestoner. I parked on the lower end of its main tributary and intended to walk down to the mainstem. The spot near where I parked looked good, so I decided to try a few casts before heading to the main creek. On the second cast, a large trout followed my spinner back to me and on the next cast, he struck. I had some difficulty landing the trout in the swift flow. I had lost my net on my previous fishing trip early in the month, so I had to use an old net. The trout was a rainbow, much to my surprise. Almost all the trout I catch on that stream are wild browns. The big rainbow measured 19 ½ inches, so the day was off to a fast start.
I fished up a little further and landed a nice 14 inch wild brown before walking down to the mainstem. The water was high, fast, and a little discolored. I had a couple of follows and lost a trout before a heavy trout hit my spinner. Again, it was difficult to land the large trout in the heavy flow. Another big trout followed it in. The trout was 17 inches long and slipped out of my hand before I could get a picture. I only caught two more trout in that stream; wild browns of 8 and 12 inches, before I returned to the tributary.
I drove further up, parked the car and walked downstream. I knew I had to fish fast because high discolored water from a tributary was adversely affecting the stream. I caught three wild browns and lost another before it became too cloudy to continue. The trout were 9 ½, 8 ½, and 12 ¼ inches.
I thought about heading to another stream that I figured would be fishable, but it was close to an hour away, so I headed to a spring-fed tributary close by. The stream was clear. I had several follows and lost a heavy trout soon after starting, but the action was extremely slow. I caught only three trout there, wild browns of 11, 10 1/2 , and 10 inches.
For the day, I only caught 11 trout, all on spinners. 10 were wild browns and one was a rainbow. I caught two big trout and saw a third. I have a couple of days off coming up. I hope the conditions will be good enough to fish on at least one of them.
Miserable Sunday Fishing
I took a big chance yesterday and drove to a limestone stream that I had fished in October, but should have turned around when I saw how much standing water there was on the way there. It had to have rained heavily overnight. When I saw the stream, I knew there would be no fishing there. Instead, I drove to a small limestoner that I had fished previously in October. It was up but the water was clear. I fished it for an hour and a half and only caught three wild browns. They measured 7 ½, 11, and 14 ½ inches. I lost two trout.
I left there and drove to another nearby limestoner, which was high and very cloudy. I also fished it for an hour and a half, lost one trout and only had three other hits before I left.
For the day, I caught only three trout; my lowest outing of the year.
Possibly the Last Outing of the Year
I took a vacation day on Monday and drove to a very popular limestone stream. I knew it would be high but hoped it could be fished. When I arrived, I saw that it was high, but it was clear, so I decided to give it a try.
I waded into the rain swelled stream with low expectations. I had two follows and a hit early, but it took me about 15 minutes before I landed an 11 inch wild brown. The water temperature was 44 degrees. A few minutes later, a nice trout hit and took off downstream in the heavy current. I was afraid it would escape, but the hooks held, and I netted the 15 inch brown. I snapped a quick picture and released it.
Five more trout came to hand in the first hour. A 12 incher was first, followed by a 9 incher, an 11 ½ incher, and a 12 incher. My first six trout hit a large spinner. I tried a Countdown Rapala at the end of the hour and caught a 9 inch wild brown.
I switched back to the spinner and flipped a cast right next to the bank. A burly trout shot out and grabbed my spinner. After a few minutes, I eased my new net under the 16 ¾ inch beauty.
Unfortunately, the action the rest of the hour was extremely slow. Only two more trout were added to the tally, browns of 8 and 12 ½ inches.
I walked around a long stretch of very fast water, as I was sure it wouldn’t produce. I was looking for water that was flowing but had calm pockets where the trout could rest. I located one and waded in. A heavy brown smashed my spinner, took to the air and coughed the lure in my direction. Another trout barreled in after my spinner but didn’t hit. I lost another trout before I made a cast along the brush lined bank. A flash caught my eye and a big trout engulfed my spinner. The heavy brown made several determined runs, but I won the battle of wills and lead him to my net. The 17 ¼ incher was my second hog of the day.
My next trout was quite a step down at 8 ½ inches. It took a while to land my next trout, but at 14 ½ inches, it was worth the wait. The next three trout were on the small side, ranging from 8 ½ to 9 ½ inches. As I retrieved my spinner along a current seam, I saw two trout following my spinner. The larger one put on a burst but ran out of room, saw me, and hastily departed. A short time later, I caught a nice 13 incher.
As I approached a favorite section, I hoped for hog #3. A nice brown hit, but I knew it wasn’t a big trout. Still a 14 ¼ inch brown is a good fish. Two casts later, another heavy fish struck. My double hooked spinner held the spirited brown. It was bigger than the previous trout but at 15 ¼ inches did not qualify for hog status. I caught one more trout, an 8 ½ incher, before I returned to my car.
I only had a limited time to fish before it got dark. I missed three browns before an 11 incher was my final trout of the day. I flushed a grouse on the walk back to my car.
Overall, I fished for only four hours and caught 21 wild browns. All hit spinners except for one, which hit a plug. Two were over 16 inches and two were between 15 and 16 inches. I lost several trout in the heavy current. I didn’t expect a lot of trout, but had more action than I expected, and caught some very nice fish. I hope to fish a few more times before the end of 2018, but the weather and water conditions have been anything but predictable.