Lots of Driving, Not Many Trout - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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I had two outings recently where I drove a long time and distance but didn’t catch a lot of trout. The first was the day before Easter. The area had received heavy rain and I went off to scout some new streams, but due to the high water, I didn’t expect to get much fishing in.

The first stream I drove to was a new addition to the class A streams list, but it was too high and cloudy to try, so I drove to another stream that was nearby, or at least to the rutted dirt road that led to it. With all the water flowing down the road, I knew the stream would be muddy, so I left for another stream. The next stream was not only very cloudy, but heavily posted, so I decided to head to a mountain freestoner that I know well. I figured it would be high but might be clear enough to fish. When I arrived, I saw that the stream was indeed high, but was clearer than expected, so I got my gear together and hit the stream.

The stream was flowing very fast, so I fished the flat areas and slower spots. I had two trout follow before I had my first hit. The trout cleared the water and threw my spinner in the air. About ten minutes later I hooked and landed a 10 inch wild brown. I skipped some very fast moving water to hit a likely looking spot. I had three trout follow, but only one hit, and I whiffed on the hookset.

Further upstream, a nice brown pounded my spinner, then dashed around the pool. After a couple of minutes, I brought him in and measured him. He was 13 inches long. I continued upstream, fishing likely spots, but only had a few follows and hits. I decided to head to another stream.

It took a while to get to the next stream, but when I arrived, I was amazed at the volume of water coursing through the stream channel. I should have left right away, but I tried a few spots where the current wasn’t roaring. I had only one hit in a half hour before leaving.

After that, I drove past one stream after another that was either too high, too cloudy, or both. I finally reached a stream that I had last fished two years ago, under similar circumstances. The stream was up, but much more fishable than the other streams I had seen that day. I parked near a camp and walked downstream. It took a while before I had any action. An 11 inch wild brown was my first trout there. Shortly after that, I caught browns of 8 and 6 inches. I fished through several likely looking spots before I reached a deeper spot.




A nice brown slammed my spinner but got off right away. A few casts later an 8 inch native brookie grabbed my spinner and came to hand. On the next cast, a 7 inch brookie followed. As I moved upstream, I had several trout follow but not hit. My next trout was a 9 inch brown, followed by a line testing 4 inch brown.

The light was quickly fading as I headed for a spot I wanted to try before walking out.


I flipped a cast under a low hanging branch next to a logjam. A heavy trout grabbed my spinner on the drop. I had lost a big trout in that very spot two years ago and was determined not to lose this one. Keeping steady pressure, I led him across the heavy flow into my waiting net. The beautiful brown measured exactly 19 inches. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it was the same trout I lost two years ago. It was a great way to end a long, frustrating day.


I made the long walk back to my car. Like the first stream I fished, I had to skip some fast moving water. Normally, I fish fast water, but when it’s roaring in cold water conditions. I only caught 10 trout (8 wild browns, 2 native brooks) in four hours of fishing, but the hog brown made it worth the effort. I walked 5 miles on the day; a lot of walking for only 10 trout. I flushed a grouse and saw a bald eagle fly off a deer carcass.

I didn’t fish the next weekend due to high water but was anxious to fish this past weekend. We received more heavy rain on Friday night, so I drove a long distance to a mountain freestoner I figured would be high, but clear. I was surprised to see it wasn’t high at all.

Shortly after starting, a nice trout drilled my spinner. My first trout of the day was a nice 9 inch native brook trout.




About ten minutes later, a 9 inch wild brown became trout #2. It took another ten minutes or so before I landed a nice 12 inch brown, which was closely followed by an 8 inch brown. I lost three trout before landing an 11 inch brown and a 7 inch brookie. The water temperature was 56.


The first trout of the next angling hour was a 9 inch brookie. I missed a couple of strikes before landing a 7 inch brookie, and a couple of casts later, a 6 incher. As I moved upstream, I covered a lot of likely looking spots with only a follow from a small trout. I made a cast to the far bank in a shallow stretch of pocket water. As I pulled the spinner through it, a nice brown ambushed my spinner. I was very surprised at catching a 14 inch wild brown in shallow water and hoped I could duplicate or even exceed that effort.





Three more trout came to hand in hour number two; an 11 inch brown and brooks of 8 and 6 inches.


The next hour was my highest hour of the day. It produced 12 trout; 8 browns and 4 brooks. The biggest browns were two 11 inchers, the biggest brookie a nice 9 incher. I had four other trout hit and throw the spinner.

I caught five brook trout between 7 and 8 inches in the first half of the next hour, but the action died after that, which told me that I had entered already fished water. I walked back to my car and headed for one of its tributaries.


I only fished the trib for a little less than half an hour as the skies opened and made the stream cloudy. I caught one 7 inch brookie and lost two others in the brief time I fished. As I hustled back to my vehicle, the intensity of the rain increased. I was soaked by the time I reached my car.

I drove to a stream I had never tried, and it was fishable. However, it had a lot of the dread no trespassing signs. I found a spot with no signs and was ready to park and give it a try when the heavy rain returned, so I called it a day.

I only fished 4 hours and caught 31 trout, all on spinners. 17 were native brooks and the other 14 were wild browns. The biggest trout of the day was 14 inches. Overall, I walked 3.1 miles.

Last edited by Trout Traveler; 05-06-2019 at 05:24 AM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 09:22 PM
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Glad to hear that your line held during that struggle with that rod-bending 4" wild brown trout. Perhaps you could recommend this line to your fellow HPAers.

Nice hog wild brown. You always seem to catch one big trout when the action overall isn't especially good (i.e., the sample size is small).

I like the photo of the 9.5" native brookie. The stream photo just below it is really sharp.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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Glad to hear that your line held during that struggle with that rod-bending 4" wild brown trout. Perhaps you could recommend this line to your fellow HPAers.

Nice hog wild brown. You always seem to catch one big trout when the action overall isn't especially good (i.e., the sample size is small).

I like the photo of the 9.5" native brookie. The stream photo just below it is really sharp.
Thanks Frank.

The line I used in fighting the 4 incher was piano wire like Quint used in the movie, Jaws. I had the barrels ready just in case I needed them to wear him down.

Im always happy to catch a big trout, but getting one from a small freestoner is even better and catching a big trout that Im sure I tangled with two years ago made the day.

Glad you liked the pictures. I love fishing pocket water like that. As the season progresses and the trout get more active, water like that will become more productive.
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Last edited by Trout Traveler; 05-07-2019 at 08:57 PM.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 08:02 AM
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Sounds like you had a pretty good day, even if most of it was spent driving.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 10:56 AM
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Nice day, great pictures, thanks for sharing!!!

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 11:41 AM
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Sounds like a good day. Love the write ups and pictures.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like you had a pretty good day, even if most of it was spent driving.
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Nice day, great pictures, thanks for sharing!!!
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Sounds like a good day. Love the write ups and pictures.
Thanks very much! I had a difficult decision to make on Saturday. I did not leave early enough to go to the stream I wanted to fish. I didn’t want to fish behind another angler so I decided not to go there. That stream got pounded by rain on Saturday and was not fishable on Sunday.

I’m hoping to hit some larger streams soon. All the streams I’ve fished this year have been small.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 08:37 PM
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Good stuff Andy. I feel like you're just warming up. Good days ahead!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Good stuff Andy. I feel like you're just warming up. Good days ahead!
Thanks Trout2003.

I’d like to see the stream levels drop a little, at least on the larger streams.
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