September Big Trout
My first fishing trip of the month took place on Labor Day. I thought about going to a favorite stream known for its big trout, but the stream was extremely low and there weren’t any viable options if the fishing was lousy, which was a good possibility. Instead, I decided to hit a meadow limestone stream that I had not fished this year.
I got up very early and made the two plus hour drive. I parked my car and waited for the rain to let up. Then I assembled my gear. It began raining again as I started to walk to the stream, so I put on my rain jacket. Soon after starting, a nice trout flashed at my spinner but didn’t hit. On the next cast, it did hit, but got off. I moved upstream and flipped a cast to a bend in the creek. A trout struck, but this time the double hook on my spinner held. My first trout of the day was an 11 inch rainbow. The stream is a class A wild brown trout stream, but lots of rainbows find their way into the stream. I fished through another bend in the creek without any action. Shortly after that, a beast of a 5” wild brown drilled my spinner. Another trout then hit and got off. About ten minutes passed before I hooked and landed a nice 13 ½ inch wild brown that cleared the water once. As I fished through a deep pool, several trout followed without hitting. I caught three trout in the next 10 minutes, rainbows of 10 ½ and 11 inches, and an 8 ½ inch brown. Just before the end of my first angling hour, a heavy trout struck. It was another rainbow. It was a beautiful 15 ½ incher.
The next hour started slowly with no trout for the first ten minutes. The lull stopped when I caught a 9 ½ inch brown and a 9 inch rainbow. I endured another pause in the action before connecting with a 16 inch rainbow. Three more trout came to hand before the end of hour #2; browns of 13 and 9 inches, and a 16 ½ inch rainbow that had survived a couple rounds with a great blue heron.
As I prepared to cast along the right bank, I saw a grasshopper on a leaf hanging low over the stream. A trout didn’t wait for it to fall in. It swept the hopper right off the leaf. This is one of the things that I love about fishing. We anglers are privileged to see things other people don’t. I made a cast along the same bank, but the trout wasn’t interested. Maybe if I’d gotten my spinner to rest on the leaf, I might have been successful.[IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.huntingpa.com/forums/images/Huntingpa_toucan/smilies/tango_face_grin.png[/IMG]
A short distance upstream, a nice rainbow raced out to nail my spinner. The beautiful fish jumped twice before I landed it. It measured 15 ¼ inches and was near-hog #2.
I caught a 12 ½ inch rainbow and a 9 ½ inch brown before I reached posted water. I waded out and walked a long distance downstream past my car and got back in the creek. I had several trout follow before landing two browns; one 9 inches and the other 9 ½. Next was a 9 inch rainbow. Ahead lay a very nice pool where I have taken some nice trout over the years. I caught a colorful 15 inch brown, then lost a heavy trout, followed by another lost trout.
The landowner came out and asked how I was doing. He then told me that he didn’t like having treble hooks on his property. I showed him my spinner, which only had two hooks. He graciously told me that I could continue fishing. I had been given permission to fish there the last time I was there, which was a couple of years ago. That family moved away. He told me the next property up is posted, which is new. It also has a new owner, but unfortunately, he doesn’t allow fishing. Before I reached the posted property, I hooked and landed near hog #4, a dandy 15 ¾ inch brown.
I started to wade back downstream, but he told me I could walk out through the yard. I thanked him and wished him well.
I walked upstream above the next property and waded back in. The first trout I landed was an 11 inch rainbow. A heavy brown hit on the next cast, vaulted out of the water and freed itself in mid-air. A few minutes later, a brown rocketed in and grabbed my spinner. I snapped a picture of a 15 ½ incher then released it. A few casts later, another big brown rushed in and hammered my spinner. This one was just short of 16 ¼ inches, my third trout of the day of at least 16 inches.
The full sun was on the water, and the action on that stream is invariably terrible when that happens. Another posted stretch lay ahead, so I waded out and walked back to my car. I stopped to get something to eat, then drove to the receiving stream.
I had a trout follow on the first cast but had no action for the first half hour. My guess is that the water had been fished, either earlier that day or the previous day. I thought about leaving but decided to make a few more casts. A nice trout hit. I set the hook and the nice brown jumped left as the spinner went right. 10 minutes passed before a hefty trout piled into my spinner. I knew there was no doubt about the hog credentials of the trout. It burned off line and dashed around the run before I subdued him. That section is class A but is still stocked for some reason. The big brown measured 20 ¼ inches and was very colorful, but I could tell by looking at the fins and tail that it was a stocked fish.
I continued upstream without any action before trying a Lucky Craft plug, hoping to entice another big trout to hit. It didn’t work, unless one thinks a 9 ½ inch rainbow is big. I caught one more brown, an 8 ½ incher, before I briefly fished up a tiny tributary. It produced a 12 ¾ inch brown in 15 minutes of fishing. I heard thunder, so I waded out and returned to my car.
I didn’t hear any more thunder on the walk back to my vehicle, so I returned to the first stream I fished, a short distance above the mouth. I caught rainbows of 6 and 8 inches before I decided to call it a day.
The day produced 30 trout in 5.75 hours; 16 browns and 14 rainbows. Four trout were at least 16 inches, with the largest being 20 ¼ inches. Five trout were between 15 and 16 inches. Nine trout threw the hook on the day. I walked 5.2 miles overall.