A Good Day in Mid-May - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
 4Likes
  • 3 Post By Trout Traveler
  • 1 Post By Trout 2003
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,192
Back To Top
A Good Day in Mid-May

I had not fished since the first weekend of the month, so I looked forward to this weekend and the chance to fish. However, with all the rain, I knew that finding a place with reasonable stream levels would be a challenge. My first choice was a favorite high gradient freestoner, but it was at a high level and I knew that fishing it would be difficult at best. I chose to visit a very popular stream where I’ve had many good days. Being a Saturday in May, I expected to have company.

I parked my car, assembled my gear and walked in. It took about five minutes to catch my first trout, a 9 inch wild brown. My second trout followed in short order, a 7 inch wild brown. As I fished through a very deep slow section, I picked up 9 more trout, ranging from 6 to 9 inches. I moved above the slow stretch. As I walked through a field, I wondered how many deer fawns were concealed in the tall grass. When I waded back in, I was surprised that I didn’t get so much as a follow in three spots that almost always produce a trout or five.[IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.huntingpa.com/forums/images/Huntingpa_toucan/smilies/tango_face_wink.png[/IMG] My guess was that someone had moved in front of me. As I moved upstream, I only caught one 7 incher from heavy cover before I saw movement along the bank in the form of another fisherman. I waded out and walked upstream a long distance before wading back in.

My second angling hour started with a nice 11 inch brown. It was followed in short order by a 6 incher, a 10 incher and a 7 incher. I had a lot of follows and short strikes as well. I caught 11 more trout in that hour, highlighted by a dancing 12 inch wild brown.

12 inch brown

The action really picked up in angling hour # 3. I caught four trout in a six cast stretch to start the hour, which included another 12 incher. After losing two trout, I caught four trout in five casts. Before I knew it, I had reached the end of my third angling hour. It produced 20 trout, along with 3 lost trout.

I very often lose a lot of trout when fishing that stream, as there are a lot of small trout, which are difficult to hook, and their propensity to jump results in a lot of fish throwing the hook. To that point, I had only lost five trout, which I considered a low number for the number of trout I had caught. I remember thinking that maybe I wouldn’t lose a lot of trout on the day. Apparently, the trout heard my thought and started throwing the hooks with regularity. Most were very small, and all but one threw the hook after clearing the water. I caught eight trout in the first 45 minutes of the hour. When I again fished through a promising looking stretch with no action, I figured that I had caught up with the angler I had seen walk by in the previous hour. When I rounded a bend, I saw him. He was headed back to his car, but we talked for a few minutes. He told me that he had been fishing dry flies all morning and had only seen one rise. I told him I hadn’t seen any rises and only saw a couple of caddis flies come off. He told me that he had taken several trout using ant patterns. He asked if I was using treble hooks on my spinners and I told him that I often cut off the third hook and showed him I was only using double hooks. He nodded and we talked a little about the stream before we wished each other luck and he left.

A little further upstream, I arrived at a spot where I had caught my first big trout of the year the previous month, a 20 inch wild brown. I decided to try a small plug, figuring that the big trout wouldn’t hit a spinner again so soon. I rarely take big trout from the same spot in consecutive outings. I had tried a plug briefly earlier in the day with no action. On the first cast, a small brown smashed the plug then took to the air and spit it out. On the next cast, a 10 incher blasted the plug but this time the hooks held. It was my first trout of the year caught on a plug. Two casts later, another trout struck. I set the hook and the trout dove deep. I thought, “Could it be, the same hog that I caught before?”



Well, it wasn’t. Shortly into the fight, I knew it was a good trout, but it wasn’t a 20 incher. The question was, would it achieve hog status? As I brought him to hand, I figured it was going to be just short. He measured 15 inches, a very nice trout. I fished that stretch for another 15 minutes before I decided to head back to my car and get some lunch and take a short rest.


15 1/2 inch brown trout

After taking a break and eating my lunch, I headed for an upstream stretch I knew well. I expected to encounter several anglers, but when I walked downstream, I surprisingly saw no fishermen. I saw a goose with two goslings, the first little ones I had seen this year. Normally by this time, I’ve seen a lot of them. The first hour after I resumed fishing produced 12 trout and 4 lost fish. The trout ranged from 6 to 10 inches.


A 5 1/2 inch river monster[IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.huntingpa.com/forums/images/Huntingpa_toucan/smilies/tango_face_grin.png[/IMG]

The next hour proved to me that no one had fished that stretch earlier in the day. I caught 21 trout, my highest hour of the day to that point. The wild browns were between 6 and 10 inches. I continued, though my back had really tightened up. Halfway through the hour, I released my 100th trout of the day, a feisty 7 incher. I caught 10 more trout the remainder of the hour, making it my second straight hour where I had caught at least 20 trout. The biggest trout of the hour were two 11 inchers.

I considered leaving but it’s difficult to leave when the action is so good. I lost 3 straight trout to start the hour, and whiffed on a hookset on a nice fish, a sign that I was getting tired. I told myself I’d fish for about another 15 minutes; a half hour at the most. After that, I caught 7 trout in the next 15 minutes. I saw a good looking spot, and figured I’d fish that spot and then quit. My first cast to that spot resulted in an explosive hit. The trout was a 15 inch beauty and I decided that maybe I’d fish a little longer.

15 inch brown

I caught 9 more trout in the remaining time I fished. I had two more hours of daylight left and I knew that I could have caught a lot more trout, but my back was really bothering me, and I still had a lengthy walk back to my car, so I decided I’d had enough. On the way back to the car, I saw a hog brown next to a log jam that had a fish protruding from its mouth.

I ended up doing much better than expected. I caught 127 wild brown trout in 8 hours of fishing. I had 26 trout throw the hook, almost all due to aerial maneuvers. The size breakdown was as follows:

Sub-legals: 25
7-10 inches: 78
10-15 inches: 22
15 – 16 inches: 2

It was only my 6th outing of the year and by far the most successful (and the longest). According to my phone I walked 5.6 miles.

I hope the warmer forecast this week drops the stream levels.

TT
hunter-trapper21, BigJob and GSP66 like this.

Last edited by Trout Traveler; 05-20-2019 at 05:24 AM.
Trout Traveler is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 08:53 PM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SE PA
Posts: 20,092
Back To Top
Dang!! Check out the paddles on those browns!
Trout Traveler likes this.
Trout 2003 is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,192
Back To Top
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trout 2003 View Post
Dang!! Check out the paddles on those browns!
Thanks. Several had big tails.
Trout Traveler is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 06:13 AM
Hooked on HuntingPa
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: SC
Posts: 329
Back To Top
Glad you are having some good days in May. This has been the worst week of fishing I have had in 9 years. Every stream I fish is producing less than 1/3 of the trout I normally see and catch, often with long usually productive stretches where I don't even see a trout. I haven't seen one boot track and most of these streams are pretty remote, so I doubt it's a result of educated fish, unless the deer have secretly learned the art of spinner fishing since I have seen a ton of their tracks. Water levels have been just about perfect too. A bit cold though. Mostly mid 40s or below the first couple of days, and I did notice a very slight uptick in activity once it hit 48 or 49 degrees. On a positive note, my casting accuracy either improved significantly or I am getting stupid lucky.
jjgeorge2 is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,192
Back To Top
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjgeorge2 View Post
Glad you are having some good days in May. This has been the worst week of fishing I have had in 9 years. Every stream I fish is producing less than 1/3 of the trout I normally see and catch, often with long usually productive stretches where I don't even see a trout. I haven't seen one boot track and most of these streams are pretty remote, so I doubt it's a result of educated fish, unless the deer have secretly learned the art of spinner fishing since I have seen a ton of their tracks. Water levels have been just about perfect too. A bit cold though. Mostly mid 40s or below the first couple of days, and I did notice a very slight uptick in activity once it hit 48 or 49 degrees. On a positive note, my casting accuracy either improved significantly or I am getting stupid lucky.
I’ve only fished twice this month. I’m looking forward to fishing more with the water levels improving.

The water temperatures are likely a reason for the slow action. It’s difficult to catch a lot of trout with the WTs in the mid 40s. The WT on my most recent outing started at 57 and ended at 59.

With the weather warming up a lot, the WTs should increase and the trout’s activity should increase as well.
Trout Traveler is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome