September Big Trout - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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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.

Last edited by Trout Traveler; 09-21-2019 at 08:52 AM.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 12:44 PM
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That grasshopper story was cool. I've never seen a fish do that. I often wonder how well a trout can see once past the surface of the water. Can that see the terrestrial world as clear as well can? One would assume not.

Otherwise great buncha fish there. There's some real paddletails there.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 01:10 PM
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Excellent post, pictures, story. Nice job!
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 01:25 PM
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Just curious if ya don't mind me asking?
In some of your pictures it appears your lure is a Blue Fox vibrax ? is that so ?
I'm only asking because I used them for years with good results but somehow phased away from them with so many other choices on the market.
BTW very nice fish and job well done.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-06-2019, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trout 2003 View Post
That grasshopper story was cool. I've never seen a fish do that. I often wonder how well a trout can see once past the surface of the water. Can that see the terrestrial world as clear as well can? One would assume not.

Otherwise great bunch a fish there. There's some real paddletails there.
Thanks! I’m convinced that trout have a window of vision beyond the surface. They need it to spot predators. On many occasions when I have seen a big trout approaching, I crouch as low to the water as I can, and I’ve had trout continue their pursuit longer than if I had stood straight up. I’ve caught a fair number of trout doing that.

Last edited by Trout Traveler; 09-08-2019 at 06:02 PM.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-06-2019, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ4D View Post
Excellent post, pictures, story. Nice job!
Thanks very much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Potter Co. Joe View Post
Just curious if ya don't mind me asking?
In some of your pictures it appears your lure is a Blue Fox vibrax ? is that so ?
I'm only asking because I used them for years with good results but somehow phased away from them with so many other choices on the market.
BTW very nice fish and job well done.
. Thanks!

Yes, it is. It’s one of the few commercial spinners that doesn’t use cheap, thin wire. I also use lures made by my Dad.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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With so few options due to low water, I was ready to fish some limestoners, but a friend suggested I try a stream I hadn't fished in years. Knowing that the streams I thought about fishing had been fished heavily, I decided to give it a try. I arrived in the morning and was ready to hit the stream when a PAF&BC employee arrived. He told me a little about the stream and pointed out some good spots, which I appreciated. He said the stream has a good wild brown trout population but is also stocked by a local club. Then he left to walk up along the stream.

I had never fished that section. I walked downstream, then waded in. It took about 20 minutes to land my first trout, an 11 inch stocked brown. A few minutes later, I caught an 11 inch stocked brown which jumped four times, and a 6 inch wild brown (which jumped twice) on back to back casts. Other than one trout that slipped the hook, that was it for action for the next hour and a half. I ran into a fly fisherman when I was ready to walk out. He hadn't caught anything and was ready to leave too. We walked out to where he had left his bike, then I continued to my car.

I drove downstream, looking for another place to access the creek. I parked and approached the creek. A teenager was walking up the bank. He said he had caught a few on Trout Magnets, but needed to go to his nearby home and get another reel. He asked if I would fish with him and asked if I would wait until he returned, which I was glad to do. When he returned, we waded in. I caught a smallmouth bass soon after we started. He had one hit on the Trout Magnet but decided to switch to a Roostertail. I landed a 10 inch wild brown and another bass. As we approached deep water, I suggested he try a heavier spinner. He didn't have one, so I gave him one of mine. He asked what was wrong with it. It had only two hooks on it, because like I often do, I had snipped off the third hook. I explained why I do that, and showed him my spinner, which also had two hooks. He said that was new to him, but it made sense. I caught two more bass and an 8 1/2 inch stocked brown but unfortunately he didn't get anything. He asked how far I intended to fish. I said that I didn't know as I hadn't fished that water before. He said he couldn't go far, and decided to circle around and fish some water below us so he could stay close to home since he had to go to work in a couple of hours. I wished him well and thanked him for fishing with me.

I cast to some very nice looking water, but only had a couple of follows. Finally, a nice trout came out from a cut bank to blast my spinner. As I battled him in the heavy flow, I had hopes of landing a big trout. He cleared the water three times and I feared losing him. As I brought him close, I could tell he was going to be just short of hog status. The stocked brown measured 15 1/4 inches and was by far the largest trout I had caught on the day.



As I approached deep, slow water, I figured my chances of catching trout there were low. I caught a small bass, then a heavy fish attacked my spinner. I saw a large silver flash below the surface, which turned out to be a large fallfish. I think he was around 14 inches, but I didn't measure him. A short time later, another heavy fish hit but got off. It fought very much like the fallfish I had caught, so it's very likely that's what it was.

As I approached faster moving water, I finally caught another trout; 9 inch stocked brown that jumped four straight times, then once more for good measure. The heavy run produced six more trout; all browns between 8 and 10 inches. Again, slow water was ahead. Surprisingly, my first fish in the slow water was a 7 1/2 inch wild brown, which was followed by a small bass. I didn't know it, but another surprise was in store in that section.

As I retrieved my spinner, a heavy fish piled into my spinner. I saw a large sub-surface flash and knew there was no doubt the fish was over 16 inches, but I didn't know what it was. I thought maybe it was a big rainbow, but when it came to the surface, I saw that it was no rainbow. It was a pickerel. I took a couple of pictures and was preparing to measure him, when he slipped off the hook. My guess is that was around 20 to 21 inches.





I caught two 8 1/2 inch browns and a small bass before I decided to head back to my car. I was going to quit for the day, but decided to walk downstream from where I was parked and try a short stretch. Starting at a nice run, I didn't have to wait long before a fish struck.



To my surprise, it was a 9 1/2 inch golden rainbow; the first one I had caught in a few years. It slipped off the hook before I could get a picture. A few minutes later, I caught a small bass. A short distance upstream, my last trout of the day, a 9 inch wild brown, came to hand. I was near where I had started fishing earlier, so I waded out.

For the day, I caught 18 trout; all browns except for the golden rainbow. The biggest trout was 15 1/4 inches. In addition, I caught 8 smallmouth bass, a big fallfish, and the pickerel, which was a total surprise. I didn't catch many trout for the time I had fished (6.25 hours), but it was an interesting day. I explored some new water, met some nice people, and caught several species of fish. My phone app registered 5.3 miles walked.

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Last edited by Trout 2003; 09-11-2019 at 07:41 PM.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trout 2003 View Post
That grasshopper story was cool. I've never seen a fish do that. I often wonder how well a trout can see once past the surface of the water. Can that see the terrestrial world as clear as well can? One would assume not.

Otherwise great buncha fish there. There's some real paddletails there.
Oh, I'd assume the opposite. They can see above the surface. Also keep in kind that the trout may have also detected the outline of grasshopper on the leaf from underneath.

Great time of year to fish, that's for sure.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-15-2019, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Rather than post another narrative, I've decided to simply list the details of the day, and post some photos. I apologize for some of the photos being grainy.

Trout caught: 12
Brown trout: 9
Rainbow trout: 3
Smallmouth bass: 3
Trout/bass caught on spinners: 10/2
Trout/bass caught on plugs: 2/1
Big trout caught: 4
Size of big trout: 18", 20 1/2", 18 1/4", 21"
Miles walked: 3.9









Last edited by Trout Traveler; 09-21-2019 at 03:51 PM.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 08:15 AM
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That's a serious brown right there buddy! Congrats
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