I fished three times over the holiday weekend and each outing was very different.
A long time friend asked me to take her nephew fishing. He's 16, visiting from California, and had never fished before. Since Thursday was Fish for Free day, he didn't have to have a license.
She dropped him off the night before and I showed him how to tie some knots and gave him casting instructions. The next morning we left early.
As we were walking across a bridge, two deer fawns ran across a meadow, then surprisingly walked straight toward us. They got within about 15 feet before they took off. Their mother wasn't in sight.
We fished two different sections. We were on the first section about six hours. I only fished about half the time. Since he'd never fished before, I was trying to guide him. Like a lot of beginners, he had a lot of trouble casting and setting the hook. He lost a trout within 15 minutes of starting and I was encouraged. Unfortunately, he didn't land any trout. He lost 7 or 8 trout. I told him that hooking trout is spin fishing's biggest challenge. He kept at it and never showed any attitude or disinterest. He's a very polite and personable kid and I enjoyed spending the day with him.
I caught 16 wild browns in the limited amount of time I fished. The largest was a nice 15 1/2 incher, which Pharoah is holding below:
After we walked back to the car, we had lunch, then drove to another section of the creek, which is stocked. (I probably should have taken him there first, but I'd never fished that section before). Shortly after we arrived, I caught a rock bass, which surprised me. I took the water temperature and it was 72, so we reeled up and went downstream of where we fished in the morning. Unfortunately there were two cars there, so we decided to call it a day.
I felt bad that he didn't catch any fish. He thanked me for taking him fishing, said he enjoyed a new experience, and that he wants to try it again next summer.
We walked 2.9 miles on the day.
The next day, I met Mark Nale on a very remote freestone stream. We walked in about a half mile before starting. We fished upstream around two miles before the heat and humidity made it too difficult to continue. I dunked my quick dry fishing shirt in the creek, wrung it out and put it back on before we made the long walk back. I still had a lot of difficulty dealing with the heat. It was so humid that my sunglasses fogged up when I tried to use them, so I never did.
We combined to catch 86 trout. Mark caught 49; 29 native brooks and 20 wild browns. His largest trout, which was the biggest for either of us, was a 12 1/2 inch wild brown. I caught 37 trout; 21 native brooks and 16 wild browns. My biggest trout was only 10 1/2 inches. We caught a lot of sub-legal brooks and browns and enjoyed every minute of the catching. I always enjoy fishing with Mark. My phone said we walked 4.1 miles.
I rested on Saturday but intended to fish Sunday. I felt lousy when I first woke up so I waited until I felt better before I headed out. Unfortunately, there was a fisherman parked where I intended to fish so I drove upstream a long way, assembled my gear and hit the stream.
I fished the main stream for an hour and a half before I reached a tributary stream. I caught 14 wild browns, 1 native brook, and a smallmouth bass in that time. The largest trout was a 12 1/2 inch brown.
I had only fished a short section of the trib previously, so I decided to fish more of it, figuring I could return to the mainstem if the fishing was poor. I wouldn't regret my decision.
The freestone gem produced 67 trout in 4 1/2 hours. 65 of the trout were browns, 1 was a 14 1/2 inch stocked rainbow, and 1 was a 10 inch stocked brookie. The stream is class A, but a private club needlessly stocks their section, as many private clubs do. My largest trout was a 16 inch brown which I caught under a low bridge. Due to its small eyes for its size, I believe that trout is a stocker. All the other browns were wild. I lost an absolutely beautiful brown that had a vibrant orange belly. It wasn't a hog, but if I'd landed that one, it would have been the trout of the day.
While fishing past a house along the stream, I caught 5 trout in less than 10 minutes while its owner watched. He laughed uproariously with each trout, then before going back in the house, asked me not to reveal the stream name to anyone. I of course, agreed.
I walked 2.7 miles for the day.
Pictures from the day: