First Two August Fishing Trips - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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First Three August Fishing Trips

This past weekend I made the long drive on Friday to stay overnight in order to get on a favorite stream early. I hadn’t fished that stream this year. I had made one trip to that area previously, but heavy rain precluded me from fishing it. Unfortunately, it rained heavily overnight and I knew it was pointless to go there. So, for the second time in as many attempts, I didn’t get to fish there. [IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.huntingpa.com/forums/images/Huntingpa_toucan/smilies/tango_face_sad.png[/IMG] Instead, I went to a different stream that I hadn’t fished this year. It is an extremely popular stream that I normally avoid on the weekends, but I felt my options were extremely limited. I chose a section where it is more difficult for an angler to jump in front. I waded in and took the water temperature. It was at 58 degrees, excellent. I normally take the water temperature after I catch a trout or three, but at this time of the year, I take it immediately to make sure the water isn’t too warm.

I had several trout follow before I caught my first of the day, a feisty 6 inch wild brown. Next came a 7 incher, then an 8 incher that surprisingly took the spinner on the drop. I’ve found that it’s rare for trout to hit spinners as soon as they hit the water on heavily fished streams. When you have a lot of trout hit on the drop, it’s a sure sign that no one has fished spinners there in a while. For fun, I decided to see how many trout hit the spinner immediately, and how many jumped. My third trout was also the first of the day to clear the water. The next trout was another 8 incher, followed by a double jumping 10 incher. My third 8 incher of the hour was next. Two casts later, a 7 incher hit the spinner on the drop. The next two trout that I hooked got off, one of them threw the spinner in mid-air. The hour closed with two more trout, one 11 inches, the other 6 . The last trout of the hour cleared the water once.

Like the first hour, the second hour began slowly, and I didn’t land a trout for the first 20 minutes. I caught six trout in the second hour. The trout ranged from 6 to 9 inches. None hit the spinner immediately or jumped. The action the next hour was slower yet. I wondered if someone had fished spinners there recently. The hour produced 4 trout, ranging from 6 to 10 inches. I thought about trying a small plug but stayed with the spinner.

The action improved in hour #3. It opened with a leaping 9 inch brown. The next cast produced another hit, but I whiffed on the hookset. Two casts later, an 11 incher was added to my tally. Over the next 20 minutes, I caught 5 trout, all small, with the biggest being 9 inches. As I approached a deep run, I wondered if I would catch a trout that would exceed a foot in length.



My spinner dropped perfectly into the deeper channel and after a couple cranks of the reel, the spinner stopped. I set the hook and the rod throbbed under the weight of a heavy trout. I knew this one was over a foot; the question was: would it qualify as a hog? As I brought the brown in, I was sure it was short of hog status. It measured 15 inches, what I refer to as a near-hog. The hour closed with a 7 incher. Only one trout caught in the hour jumped, a double leaping 8 incher. I knew a posted stretch was ahead and I caught 4 more trout in a half hour before I had to walk back to my car.



I drove along a very accessible popular stretch and was amazed to only see one angler. I took the water temperature, which was 65. I lost 3 trout in a row before landing an 8 1/2 inch brown, immediately followed by an 8 incher. Two casts later, a 12 inch brown pounded my spinner and dashed around like a mad fool, but didn’t jump. The remainder of the hour produced six trout, which ranged from 8 to 11 inches.



I caught browns of 9 and 8 inches to open the next hour, then had several trout follow without hitting. I heard several voices upstream from me and hoped they were people walking along the stream. Unfortunately, it turned out to be four kids floating down the creek on inner tubes. I knew my fishing in that section of the creek was finished. I waded out and drove to a tributary.

The water temperature was 64 in that stream, but the action was predictably slow. I was pretty sure it had been fished recently. I caught four trout and lost one in the hour I was there. The largest trout was 11 inches. I decided to call it a day.

Overall, I caught 48 wild browns, all on spinners, in 7 hours of fishing. 11 trout slipped the hook; 6 threw the spinner after clearing the water. 14 of the trout I landed jumped, and 3 hit the spinner on the drop. The largest trout was 15 inches. My phone app read 4.8 miles walked.

Denied Again

I saw from the stream gauge that the stream I intended to fish had dropped, so I stayed another night to try to fish it. But it rained overnight again, and when I arrived the water was very cloudy. I obstinately decided to fish it. I took the water temperature to make sure it wasn’t too warm. It was 63 degrees. I tried it for an hour and only caught a 12 inch brown, before I waded out.

I drove to a small limestoner in that area, switched to my smaller fishing rod, and waded in. The water temperature was lower than expected, at 62 degrees. Three trout followed before one struck, an 11 incher that cleared the water. The trout were active. 12 more trout came to hand in the first hour on that stream, with a 12 incher being the largest.

The action cooled off the next hour, with 4 trout landed. One was my first trout of the day to take the spinner on the drop. The third hour was the same, at least in the number of trout caught, 4. The most notable action of the hour took place in a spot where I have seen large trout in the past but hadn’t caught one. My cast landed tight against the structure as my spinner tumbled into the deep pocket. I made one crank of the reel handle, saw a yellow flash, and set the hook. The hog brown made a spectacular leap three feet out of the water and the spinner came flying out.

The next hour opened with a 10 inch brown that jumped three times, followed by an 8 incher, a 9 incher which jumped twice, and a parr-marked rainbow. Ahead of me was a heavily posted section, so I waded out and walked back to my car.



I drove upstream, parked my car and waded back in. I fished for another 1.25 hours and caught 11 trout before the water felt warm. I took the water temperature. It was 69 degrees. I took the temperature in a shallow section. I knew the temperature would be lower in some deeper pockets upstream, but I decided to err on the side of caution and called it a day.

I caught 37 trout; 36 wild browns and 1 rainbow in 6.25 hours. The largest trout of the day was the first one, at 12 inches. 3 trout took the spinner on the drop and 11 cleared the water. I lost 5 trout on the day, the most notable the leaping hog brown. My walking distance for the day was 2.7 miles.

For the weekend, I caught 85 trout, all browns except one rainbow. Six (7%) hit the spinner on the drop. 20 of the trout that I landed (23.5%) cleared the water. About half the trout that I lost leaped to their freedom.

I'd be interested to see what others experiences are with the frequency of trout hitting spinners or lures as soon as they hit the water, and how often the trout you catch jump. I catch more browns by far than any other species, and they also leap more frequently than rainbows, which are renowned for aerial displays. Only a few brook trout that I catch each year jump.

Last edited by Trout Traveler; 08-13-2019 at 06:59 AM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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The rainbow looks wild to me and I’ve seen some very small rainbows in that creek, but I believe a fishing club stocks fingerling rainbows in their private section.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 05:12 PM
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Nice Andy! I don't catch very many fish on the drop. I'd same maybe 1 for ever 50 trout caught. Maybe a little more or a little less. I hate jumping browns though. It's amazing to watch but nothing tosses a spinner faster than a jumping brown. I definitely lose well over half the trout that jump. Rainbows go airborne for me the most from a species standpoint. Its weird because certain streams resident browns tend to jump more than others streams resident browns. Fish a steam like Bushkill Creek in Easton and 75% or greater of the browns you hook will leap for all they're worth. On the flip side, I honestly don't recall a Brook trout ever leaping out of the water on me. I'm sure it's happened but it's raaaaaare. I don't fish for Brook trout very often though so my sample size on a yearly basis is low.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Rather than start a new thread, I decided to add on to this one.

On Sunday, I returned to a favorite stream to pursue big trout. I had fished the same stream in late July with Tim Risser. With the much cooler overnight air temperatures, I thought that a lower section of the stream which normally gets warm in August would have suitable water temperatures.

I arrived at the stream when it was still dark and got my gear ready. Soon after wading in, I took the water temperature. 62 degrees, yes!!! As I prepared to make my first cast, a huge splash occurred in front of me. I didn't see what happened, but I believe a large trout hit something on the surface; possibly a frog, a mouse, or another fish. I was already optimistic about the day, and that only enhanced my enthusiasm.



I made several casts to the area where the splash occurred to no avail. A few minutes later, a fish piled into my spinner. A small brown trout cleared the water and the spinner came flying out. It took another 20 minutes before another trout struck. I knew the fish was larger when I set the hook. It dove deep, but I brought it to my feet. My first trout of the day was a 16 1/2 inch brown trout.



A couple minutes later, I had another hard strike. I set the hook and the fish rocketed upstream, then reversed course and headed at me. "How big is this smallmouth?", I wondered. It turned out to be 12 1/2 inches. A slow stretch was ahead. I rarely do well there, so I waded out and walked up the trail until I reached moving water.

Surprisingly, I wasn't getting any action, so I tied on a #7 Countdown Rapala. I had three hits before I connected on the hookset. The fish zoomed for the far bank, then headed upstream. I was pretty sure it was a trout, and as I brought it in, the fish confirmed it by clearing the water. I expected a brown trout, but instead it was a nice rainbow. It measured 15 3/4 inches.



My next two fish were smallmouth bass; one 11 inches and the other a chunky 13 incher. About ten minutes passed before the plug stopped. I set the hook, half expecting another bass, but it turned out to be a 16 1/4 inch brown trout.





I had thought that maybe plugs would be the ticket, but I had no action for the next ten minutes, so I decided to try a spoon that I had recently purchased. I had several strikes but whiffed on all but one, and the fish got off immediately. I was approaching deeper water and the spoon was too light, so tied my spinner back on. Minutes later, when my spinner dropped in a calm pocket next to a nice run, I felt a strike on the drop. That fish felt different than the others, and it turned out to be a nice 13 3/4 inch brook trout, no doubt a migrant from one of the stream's tributaries. My last fish of the second hour was a 12 1/2 inch rainbow.

By the beginning of the third hour, the full sun was on the water. Typically, that is not good news on that stream. My cast landed next to an overhanging bush along the bank. A heavy fish rocketed out and slammed my spinner. I set the hook and the hog brown jumped twice, coughed the spinner in my direction in the air, and was gone. I moved upstream, covering the water thoroughly. I made a cast to the near bank, and a nice trout pounced on my spinner. The rod throbbed as the fish darted toward the bank but applying steady pressure, he soon tired. My third rainbow trout of the day measured 16 3/4 inches.



Ahead was a long shallow stretch, so I waded out and walked upstream around it. When I got back in, I took the water temperature to make sure it was still good. It was still 62. I felt a hard strike on my second cast, but the fish got off before I could see what it was. I didn't catch any more trout the remainder of the hour, but I did land a small bass.



I heard voices and hoped it wasn't from boaters. But I quickly realized they were downstream from me. Two fishermen had waded into the stream below me. At least I didn't have to get out and walk around them. The dry spell continued as I reached a deep stretch. I switched to a Lucky Craft plug, hoping the erratic action would make a big trout ignore the bright sun and strike. About ten minutes after switching, a heavy fish drilled the plug. Line burned off my reel and I was sure the fish was over 16 inches. When I saw the flash, I knew it was a heavy bass. It took several minutes to bring him to hand, and it was indeed over 16 inches, a dandy 16 1/2 incher.




Unfortunately, the plug snagged on an obstruction and it was too deep to wade and the line broke. Ahead lay a nice run, so I tied on a smaller version of the spinner I was using earlier. My first cast landed in a pocket next to a heavy run and after a couple cranks of the reel I felt a lively strike and set the hook. I saw a yellow flash as it powered into the heavy water, so I knew I had a big brown. After a few minutes, a 19 inch brown trout lay at my feet, the biggest fish of the day so far. I caught two small browns (7 1/2 and 7 inches) to close the hour.



My next fish was a 12 inch bass. A few minutes later, I saw the first kayak of the day. He moved toward the far bank, which I appreciated. A beautiful riffle lay ahead and I cast to the other side of where the kayak had paddled. A heavy brown intercepted my spinner then rocketed around like it was on fire. It didn't jump, but the fight was impressive. The brown measured 19 1/2 inches.



A few minutes later, a large brown followed my spinner almost all the way to my feet, saw me and hastily departed. Minutes later, my cast landed right where I wanted, at the head of a heavy run. A large brown pummeled my spinner and I set the hook. The trout zoomed downstream and while trying to steer him away from a log, I committed the cardinal sin of losing tension and just that quick, the hog brown was off. That should have been another hog, but my carelessness cost me.

Two more kayaks were approaching, and I hooked another heavy trout and netted it right as the first kayak passed. "Nice fish!" said the kayak's pilot as I removed the 18 3/4 inch brown from my net, snapped a picture, and released it.



I endured another long dry spell, which was broken by a 12 inch rainbow that jumped once. I took the water temperature, which had increased to 65, but was still at a good level. I continued upstream but knew the fishing would be compromised by the kayaks that had recently passed. I caught a 9 1/2 inch brown before I spotted an armada of kayaks upstream. I had a very long walk back to the car ahead of me, so I waded out, climbed the bank and returned to my car.

For the day, I caught a low number of trout for the 6 1/2 hours I had fished, but I was very happy with the quality of fish. I caught 13 trout; 8 browns, 4 rainbows, and 1 brook trout. Six of the trout topped 16 inches, which is a personal high for me for the month of August. Five of the big trout were browns, the other a rainbow. I lost two others. I caught one trout between 15 and 16 inches, a 15 3/4 inch rainbow. In addition to the trout, I caught six smallmouth bass, the largest being a hefty 16 1/2 incher.



On the day, I saw two deer and an osprey. One of the kayakers told me he saw a large snapping turtle pull a duck under. The wading, skipping sections, and the walk back to the car totaled 5.1 miles.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 10:22 AM
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That's a niccccce fog that hung over the water there. I love bonus fog on an otherwise sunny day! Another great outing Andy.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 11:04 AM
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Congratulations on those big brown trout.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trout 2003 View Post
Nice Andy! I don't catch very many fish on the drop. I'd same maybe 1 for ever 50 trout caught. Maybe a little more or a little less. I hate jumping browns though. It's amazing to watch but nothing tosses a spinner faster than a jumping brown. I definitely lose well over half the trout that jump. Rainbows go airborne for me the most from a species standpoint. Its weird because certain streams resident browns tend to jump more than others streams resident browns. Fish a steam like Bushkill Creek in Easton and 75% or greater of the browns you hook will leap for all they're worth. On the flip side, I honestly don't recall a Brook trout ever leaping out of the water on me. I'm sure it's happened but it's raaaaaare. I don't fish for Brook trout very often though so my sample size on a yearly basis is low.
AK: I remember the trout in that stream being very acrobatic.

I don’t catch very many rainbows. I don’t have as many of them jump as you’d think.

Most of the time I catch trout on the drop occurs on mountain freestone streams.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Trout 2003 View Post
That's a niccccce fog that hung over the water there. I love bonus fog on an otherwise sunny day! Another great outing Andy.
Thanks! I was surprised that I caught more big fish when it was sunny.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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Congratulations on those big brown trout.
Thanks! I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised.
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