A Personal Best, A Giant Trout, and Just Some Catching Up - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Boy it’s been a while since I had some time to make a post here. It took me forever cause I’m a stubborn ole man but I’ve started using Instagram and Facebook (PA trout anglers group) a lot more since It’s just so easy and not as time consuming. But HPA will always be near and dear so if something interesting takes place of course I’m going to come and post it here.
This season got off to a rather slow start for me this year. I killed my Gobbler early on the opening AM


so I thought ‘Great! More time to start fishing early’. But as luck wouldn’t have it the rain continued and the air temps stayed really low. Rather than start and educate some really good trout populations in an effort to press the situation,I decided to just lay low and bide my time waiting for conditions to be favorable. I love to trout fish but I’ve found over the years that it’s not worth it to just fish to fish (only myopinion of course) if your motive is to catch the most trout you can possibly catch in a day. Risk going to a favorite spot on a less than ideal day and even though the fish aren’t very active you’re still educating the trout so when you do return under excellent conditions the fishing is going to be less productive then it could have been. So with that on my mind I waited. It wasn’t until mid-May that I made it outfor the first time. Water levels were very tricky but I found a stream flowing well.


Unfortunately the fishing was far less productive than I’d hoped. I broke 100 trout on the daybut this stream can produce twice that number and has many times in the past. I create expectations in my head for streams and when they produce less I tend to sadly lose interest a little. It’s weird cause if a stream normally only produces 50 or 75 on a good day I am stoked with action consistent to that. If a stream normally does 200 and the fishing is only at a 100 pace I feel like I’mmissing out and get disappointed. It’s not the count that really matters actually but more the pace of the action. If I’m expecting fish after fish and only catching a fish here and there that end up amounting to quite afew then I still feel like I did a poor job in stream selection. Nailing the stream choice is probably my most favorite part of trout fishing. Even more than catching a lot of fish. I can’t catch a lot of fish or big fish unless my data and selection that day is spot on…..weirdo….
After that trip I had to wait a few weeks to get back out due to extreme water levels and more cold. Towards the later part of May I got back out a few times for some productive fishing but it really wasn’t until the early part of June that I wasable to crank the rust off the reel and start putting some miles on theboots. I would say that my first serious outing happened at that point. I picked a stream that I hadn’t fished in many many years. All the streams around my area were high but I knew that this stream always fished best when it was up way higher that you’d expect. With everything else off the radar I went after is. It was the first time for the year that I shook my head regarding incredible fishing and when I left the stream just after lunch time having caught well over 200 trout on the morning I knew I was finally in the groove.



The following weekend, feeling good about myself, I decided o head to my #1 stream. All week at work I sat back and watched conditions improved. Air temps at night warmed, rain stayed mostly away, and water levels dropped to prime levels. The night before, when I looked at all the data, I knew things were set up for the possibility of a monster day but I really didn’t envision what actually took place. The following morning I reeled in the dreaded first cast trout and wondered if the day was shot because of it. Several casts later I was reeling in trout number 3, then 5, then 7. Without even taking a step I was almost at 10 trout on the day and only a couple of minutes into my morning. A few more trout and the pool was spent. I clicked 11 trout on my pitch counter in only about 10 minutes of fishing. There was no way that would continue, I thought, but it did. Every pool, run, and riffle was the same thing and trout after trout came to hand at a wicked pace. 100 came fast and 200 came even faster. My kids weren’t even awake, most likely, when I passed 300 trout for the AM. Things slowed a little when the wind started up but picked up again fast and by early afternoon I was crossing the 400 threshold for the 2nd time ever. With a lot of water remaining a broke my previous personal best in the low 400s andset my sight on 500 in a day. It took me until a little after 4PM but I made it past 500 trout on the day. By the time I finally came to a sensible jump out point I’d caught and landed 520 trout on the day and figured that was more than enough. My legs were sore and I was getting a bit far from my bike so it was time to stop with plenty of light in the day remaining. The fishing was nothing short of breath taking during the entire outing and I felt like I had just enjoyed ‘one of those days’ that a fisherman only gets once in a long while. I was thankful that I had no other obligations to attend to that day and that I could just stick it out as long as I wanted. A rare treat in a working family man’s life as I’m sure some of you can appreciate.



After that outing a lost some taste for the #s game a little and wanted to catch some bigger trout so over the past few weeks, while still catching a good many trout, I’ve been lucky to catch a few bigger trout. Conditions have been good and I’ve caught close to 20 trout over 16” in length including a few 20”s and some real hammers well over 20”. One inparticular happened last week when I was fishing a favorite stream of mine. I’m not sure why it’s a favorite because I rarely catch a lot of trout from it and rarely catch big trout fromit. Maybe it’s because when I do catch a big trout there it’s an absolute monster. This probably goes back to my earlier note on expectations. Either way I look forward to fishing this stream annually and when I don’t get to I’m always a bit disappointed. As I approached a heavily fished pool I caught a few trout from the lower section when I set my sight on the ‘heart’. If you ask anyone that ever fishes with me regularly I make reference to the ‘heart’ of a pool on occasion. The heart of a pool is obvious to anyone, even the most novice angler. It’s subjective but obvious. It’s the spot you look at that is most likely to hold the best trout. For me it’s a spilt second review of a spot. Typically I advise, and take my own advice, to work around that spot without actually disturbing it. Cast to all of the other likely looking spots in the pool before going after the heart. This will help you maximize your catch in a certain spot. If you walk up to a hole and cast to the best looking spot first you are certainly most likely to get a reaction from a trout but more often than not the heart ofa pool is in the middle or head and when you hook a fish out of the heart you almost always disrupt the entire pool in the process. So save it for the last cast 😉. In my case the heart of the pool was a swift deep riffle entering the larger slow water of the pool. To the right was a large deep eddy that just screamed trout. I shot my spinner at aflat line trajectory and on impact the water boiled with the attack of a giant trout. My drag was already set at an appropriate tension but I knew this one was going to require even less resistance so I loosened the drag a little more and for the good reason. The fish made its first run and an epic oneat that. It shot upstream into the current and peeled line off like crazy. Istood there just waiting to hear that ‘CRACK’ that you hear when a large trout snaps a well maintained fishing line. Things held up though and it used a lot of energy in the process. After that it rolled around the pool for a minute before I slid it to my feet praying the whole time that I wouldn’t lose it before getting a picture. It was at that moment that the trout decided he wasn’t done yet and shocked me with a massive explosive run down stream. The fish ripped line off the drag as if my bail was just wide open. The whole setup was taxed to the max but even with that my Shimano Ci4 and custom rod worked incredible as a team andthe fish was thwarted in its best and final attempt to break free of my grasp. As I slid the fish to my feet and tried to scoop it up for a pic I really struggled due to how thick the fish was. That happens rarely but occasionally Icatch fish big enough that it’s a struggle just to pick them up. It’s a good problem to have though!


Here’s a few of the other trout taken over the past few weeks.





Along with some great fishing memories I also got to see some cool and beautiful things. I thought about Troutdoorsman and his trapping passion when I saw this 16” diameter tree cut down by some beavers. I’m sure they were really disappointed when the tree, located inches from the bank, fell away from the stream rendering it useless.


This flowering meadow was a real sight to see


And ranking as one of the most unusual things to come across on a trout stream……



Best part was catching a wild brown from right next to the truck, clearly using it as cover. How that thing even got here is beyond me.
Well, summer is now reaching its mid point and there’s only a few more weeks left of prime angling where huge days are a possibility. As far-fetched as it seems considering theyear of rain we’ve had, streams are bound to drop and trout will pool up before long. I’m going to try to make it out as much as possible and should anything interesting happen I’ll be sure to put a story up for your reading pleasure J till then Tight Lines all!

Last edited by Trout 2003; 07-08-2019 at 08:18 AM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 12:56 PM
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Instagram? Who would have known you were such a hipster haha.

Wow! 520 trout in a single outing is unimaginable - nice job!

As usual, you had some great pictures and I always enjoy reading through your write-ups.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I know! The social-media thing has always been a big hurdle for me and still is. That Facebook group can be a rough crowd but if you know how to deal with that it's really not that bad. People who are thin-skinned tend to have a lot of trouble there. Always end up arguing with people to no end rather than just discussing things. Plenty of doubters over there but the way I look at it is if people doubt they're never going to have an open mind and they'll always be stuck in their own style of fishing which is fine with me. As long as they're happy catching 2 trout or 200 trout I am very happy for them with that. Fishing certainly isn't a competition. A lot of people turn it into that though on Facebook. Instagram is quite a bit more civil. You can post a picture and a very short narrative and move on. Nobody really complains for the most part. All I know is that both venues are a heck of a lot easier to post to than it is here unfortunately. This post took me close to three hours to finalize because my web browser doesn't like HPA and all the other things that go into posting like hosting photos and stuff. I love this site but life has become so much more busy that it's very hard to set that time aside.

the 520 trout day was certainly a special type of action. I've had many many days this year where I've caught 20, 30, or maybe 40 trout in a day. It's actually been a pretty tricky year but when I post about those days I try to find a different story line to focus on because to me that's not a very good story. I've also had some really good days this year where I can write stories about the total number of fish caught. There's always a story in every outing, sometimes you just need to look a little deeper for it. In general though it probably hasn't been my best year although there have been some great and fun highlights during the process so far

Thanks for the compliments though.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 08:12 PM
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As always, nice pics and great reading. I've only gotten out once myself for a few hours because of the rain, so it was great to turn on the computer and see you and TT's trips. . Hoping for better weather and more posts.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 06:11 AM
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Great post! You had some amazing days, including a once in a lifetime day.

You caught some beautiful huge browns! I’m envious!

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 09:43 AM
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Great write up!. There is something different about reading a post on here compared to other platforms. You can get a lot more information in here to help the story flow. I like it. I'm curious about the measurements on that giant brown... I know posting measurements on facebook can start a ****storm, but we can handle it here!

Sometimes, if beavers aren't interested in using the main trunk of the tree for a structural component of their dam, they will just drop the tree anywhere so that they can chew the small branches off to store them for a winter food supply.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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That is very interesting about the beavers. I never knew that. Quite wasteful haha.

The bigger one was 24.5" and the other one at the funny angle was 21". Much like on FB when you hold them at funny angles they look soooo much better. Nobody holds a fish like I do against there body anymore and because of that everyone freaks out that they're smaller lol. Tape don't lie though haha.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Trout 2003 View Post
That is very interesting about the beavers. I never knew that. Quite wasteful haha.

The bigger one was 24.5" and the other one at the funny angle was 21". Much like on FB when you hold them at funny angles they look soooo much better. Nobody holds a fish like I do against there body anymore and because of that everyone freaks out that they're smaller lol. Tape don't lie though haha.

LOL I warned you about facebook. Im actually having a blast this year fishing spinners and appreciate the tips you have offered me. Making spinners and fishing them is a pile of fun, Im having a pretty good year myself using my own spinners. I never thought i would get into it but its very neat and a lot of stuff you can tinker with. I only hate seeing a pool that I know I would destroy with nymphs not produce because i cant get down to them, but learning every day. This morning brookies were the highlight of my year so far. Tomorows stream should be on fire with the rain we got today as long as it didn't blow it out totally. But living where I do there is always a plan be right down the road.

Great year and thanks again for the advice.

Proud member of Gobblers Anonymous Support Group [img]<<GRAEMLIN_URL>>/wink.gif[/img]
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 09:27 PM
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Mike- Just let your spinner sink before you start retrieving to get it down deeper. Depending on depth, sometimes I start retrieving as the spinner touches down on the water, and sometimes, I'll count to 3, or even 5 in my head while letting it sink.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Mike, I've enjoyed being a part of your process there. You're definitely ahead of the curve on most guys that start out with spinners but having a good background in fly fishing and understanding how to read water is a large part of the battle. There's a nice group of guys that I enjoy networking with on this site. we all don't share everything with one another but we all give tidbits here and there so that we can be a little bit more successful on the water. That's a good thing.
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