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.