My two most recent fishing trips were two weeks apart. The first was on July 13th and The 27th.
A Saturday Trip to a Pair of Limestoners
On the 13th, I visited two streams I haven’t fished this year. I parked my car and walked over to the stream. It was high and discolored, to my surprise. When I had driven past the upper section, it wasn’t discolored at all. I drove back upstream, parked my car, and got my gear ready. Due to the forecast high temperatures in the high 80s with heat indexes in the 90s, I used my wet wading pants for the first time this year.
I waded into the creek and within five minutes I had my first trout on the line, a 7 ½ inch wild brown. Its twin followed a few casts later. I took the water temperature and it was a cool 57 degrees. I had another brown slip the hook before I landed a very colorful 12 ½ inch rainbow that looked like a wild fish, but I know there aren’t wild rainbows in that stream. A few casts later, another rainbow struck. It was a heavy fish and I thought maybe I had a hog on the line. As I pulled him to my feet, I was sure he was a little short. A measurement of 15 ½ inches confirmed my suspicion. He slipped from my grasp as I was pulling out my camera for a picture.
As I moved upstream, I caught wild browns of 8, 10 ½, 8 ½, 9 ½, 9, and 7 ½ before landing a 10 inch stocked brook trout to end angling hour number one. I fished upstream another 15 minutes before reaching a posted section. I caught wild browns of 9 and 11 inches during that time.
I went to one of the stream’s very small tributaries. It is a spring creek and the water temperature was even colder at 54 degrees. The fishing started rather slowly, and I only caught three wild browns in the first hour I fished there. They ranged from 8 ½ to 10 1/2 inches.
As I moved upstream the fishing improved. The stream is very narrow and has tall grass along each bank. I flipped a cast along the right bank and saw a yellow flash as a 12 inch brown intercepted my spinner, followed by an 11 ½ incher. I made several casts along the left bank with no response. My next cast landed perfectly under some overhanging grass right next to the bank. Another brown shot out and drilled my spinner. I set the hook and the heavy fish darted under the right bank, but I maneuvered him out, only to have him dash for the left bank, then back to the right. He put up a spirited fight and I thought maybe this one would be hog worthy. 15 ¾ inches, so close. Unfortunately, this one also slipped away while I tried to get my camera out of my vest.
The fun continued as browns of 12, 10 ½, 8 ½, two 9 ½ inchers, 12, and 13 inches closed the hour. Almost all the trout came off the right bank. I continued for another ½ hour before I came to a fenced off section. I caught ten wild browns from 8 to 11 inches. I thought about continuing upstream, but I was very hungry and walked back to the car to get some lunch.
After lunch, I drove back to where I had initially parked to look at the mainstream. It was still flowing fast but had cleared. I fished it for 2 ½ hours and the fishing was slow. The water temperature was 66 degrees. I caught 9 trout during that time; wild browns of 9, 8, 9 ½, and 8 ½ inches, and four stocked browns ranging from 9 ½ to 14 ½ inches. I had a hog rainbow smash my spinner, then saw me off on an underwater log. The stream has a class A wild brown trout population but for some dumb reason is still stocked by the PAF&BC.
I returned to the tiny tributary, upstream of where I had stopped. The fishing wasn’t as good for some reason and I only managed five more trout, wild browns ranging from 7 to 9 inches.
I had several hours of daylight left, but I was tired and decided to quit for the day. I fished for 7 ½ hours and caught 52 trout. All were browns except two rainbows and one brook trout. I had 14 trout throw the hook. My app on my phone registered 4.8 miles walked.
Pictures from the day:
First Trip This Year to A Favorite Stream
I didn’t fish the next weekend due to family obligation. I made a long trip to fish one of my very favorite streams. It has a low trout population but the size of the trout more than makes up for it. A friend from my old place of employment met me early in the morning and we parked his vehicle upstream, then drove mine downstream. We assembled our gear and walked in. I expected difficult fishing due to the sunny forecast. I normally avoid that stream under those conditions, but it has been too high to fish most of the year. It was at a good level and I was afraid if I waited any longer, it would be too low for an extended period.
We waded in and after about 10 minutes, I landed an 8 inch brown. A short time later, I felt a heavy strike and set the hook. Line burned off my reel as the fish shot upstream, then turned around and headed straight at me, an obvious sign that I had a smallmouth bass, not a trout, on the line. It was a fine, healthy fish, a little over 12 inches.
Tim was about to move upstream, and I advised him to make a cast where I know there is a drop off that usually holds nice trout. He cast and a nice brown drilled his spinner. His first trout of the day was 15 inches. After I snapped a couple of pictures, he released the trout. I cast slightly upstream and felt an immediate hit. I set the hook and landed a 15 inch brown of my own a few minutes later.
About five minutes later, Tim dropped a perfect cast under an overhanging tree and a heavy brown piled into it. The brown cleared the water and put up a great fight before I slipped my net under him. The beautiful hefty brown measured 18 ¾ inches. I snapped a few quick pictures before Tim carefully released him.
As is often the case on that stream, we endured a period of no action before Tim pulled his spinner through a chute and was rewarded with another nice brown. This one was 17 ¾ inches long. Not too long after that, Tim caught a stocked brook trout and a brown that he estimated to be 12 inches.
While pulling my spinner through the channel in a split in the creek, a big brown flashed at my spinner. To my surprise, he returned two casts later, struck, and was off immediately. I knew he wouldn’t return and moved upstream. About ten minutes later, another heavy brown struck. I set the hook and the battle was on… for about 10 seconds. The big trout darted away as I mumbled to myself. Tim landed his first rainbow of the day, a colorful 12 incher, a short time later.
As I retrieved my spinner past a large rock, a hog brown struck, rolled, and was off. This time, I didn’t mumble. I wondered if I wasn’t setting the hook right. I checked my hook points, which were plenty sharp. I changed spinners anyway and switched to one with smaller hooks. My second cast resulted in a hit from a nice brown. As I brought him in, I thought it had hog potential. When he slipped into Tim’s net, I had a feeling that he was going to be a near hog, which are trout between 15 and 16 inches. The tape read 15 ¾ inches, the third trout with a ¾ inch reading.
There were three fly fishermen in a big pool ahead of us, so we waded out and walked upstream a long way before wading back in. I caught a 12 inch brown and an 11 inch brook trout before Tim landed a brook trout that was 9 inches. We had a long lull before a very large brown struck Tim’s spinner. Tim fought him for about 30 seconds before the lure pulled free. I didn’t see the fish, but Tim thought it had 20 inch potential. I caught two browns, 8 ½ and 10 ½ inches before the full sun hit the water. I was very pessimistic about catching any big trout with it being so sunny.
Tim caught another rainbow and a brook trout while I only had one hit. When we fished through a spot where I’ve caught several big trout in the past without so much as a follow, my skepticism grew. I made a cast to pocket next to the bank and felt a slight tap. I set the hook and the heavy brown zoomed upstream and tried to go under the bank. I steered him out and as I brought him closer, I said, “This one’s got a chance.” Tim said, “No doubt about it.” I netted the beautiful brown and as Tim pulled out his camera to take a picture, my sunglasses came off and started floating downstream. He dashed downstream and grabbed them. I measured the big trout, wondering it would be yet another one that had ¾ inches in the measurement. It was exactly 17 inches.
We fished upstream a long way. We saw one other angler, a fly fisherman in a small johnboat. Unfortunately, there were lots of kayaks. I know they have the same right to the stream, but they do usually put a pall on the fishing. We fished a couple of small splits and stayed close to the bank as much as possible I had a large brown follow my spinner, but it saw me and hastily departed. Shortly after that, Tim lost his balance and fell in. His waders were already leaking and had some water in them. After that, there was a lot more. He removed his waders and dumped out the water before putting them back on. Better to have that happen this time of the year than in the colder periods.
Tim caught five more trout and two bass in that section, including two very nice brook trout, one 14 inches and the other 12 ½. I caught 11 more trout, with the best being a 15 ½ inch brown. There was a legion of people getting ready to hit the stream in kayaks where we waded out.
We made the long walk back to Tim’s car and took a long break before we waded back in a mile or so upstream. The fishing was not very good in that section. We only managed three trout. Tim caught two in a heavy riffle, including a 15 inch brown. I landed only an 11 inch rainbow. Tim had a large brown follow once, but in true brown trout fashion, he only followed once.
I decided that I’d had enough, and we walked back to my car. I drove Tim to a nearby park to show him where it was, in case he wanted to take his wife and kids there. After that, I drove him back to his car.
Overall, we combined to catch 36 trout and 3 smallmouth bass. Tim caught 15 trout and 2 bass. He caught 6 browns, 5 brooks and 4 rainbows. He caught two hogs and lost one. His biggest trout was 18 ¾ inches. He also caught two between 15 and 16 inches long, along with some very nice brook trout. I caught 21 trout and 2 bass. 14 of my trout were browns, 6 were brooks, and 1 was a rainbow. My largest trout was 17 inches, and I caught three between 15 and 16 inches. I lost three big trout.
We saw an osprey and a doe and a fawn along the stream. My phone app registered 3.3 miles of walking distance.
Tim fished the next day as well. He went to a large limestoner and did very well, getting 42 trout, including this 22 inch rainbow and three other big trout.
Pictures from Saturday: