First Outing of 2020 - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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First Outing of 2020

First Outing of 2020

Unlike last year, I didn't have to wait a long time for suitable weather to venture out for my first fishing trip of the year. Last year, due to cold weather or poor stream conditions my first outing didn't occur until early April. My intention was to arrive early before other would be anglers. Unfortunately, when I arrived at my preferred spot on a small limestoner, there were two cars already there and I knew that one was certainly a fisherman and the other likely was. I could have walked downstream a long way, but before long I would be in already fished water, so I drove to another section. There were no cars there, so I parked, quickly assembled my gear and walked a long way downstream.

A trout followed but didn't hit on my first cast of the year. A followup cast produced a hit but I whiffed on the hookset. I had two other hits before I landed my first trout of the year, a colorful 9 inch wild brown trout.



I took the water temperature, which was colder than expected at 45 degrees. I made my next cast, wondering how long it would be take to get my first back-to-backer of the year (trout on back to back casts). An hour, three hours, more? It turns out it was less than a minute as a 9 1/2 inch brown pounced. Another trout followed on the next cast, but it took another five minutes or so before I landed another trout, an 8 3/4 inch brown. I caught browns of 9 and 7 1/2 inches before I heard a noise and saw a fly fisherman upstream from me. I waded out and circled around well out of his way, walked upstream a long way and got back in. I only caught one more trout the remainder of the hour, a sub-legal brown.

The action was very slow to start and I wondered whether I was in already been fished water. Finally, an 8 1/2 incher broke the ice. Six more browns came to hand during the hour, including a 12 incher. A 10 1/2 incher immeditately followed the 12 incher, for my second BTBer of the day.

Hour #3 produced six trout, browns ranging from 5 to 11 inches. I lost three trout during the hour. I took the water temperature again, which had warmed to 48 degrees.

As I moved upstream, I expected the action to improve, which it did, but not by leaps and bounds. Speaking of leaps and bounds, one of the eight trout I caught during the hour, an 10 incher, cleared the water four times. The trout ranged from 5 1/2 to 10 inches. I hooked a nice trout in the 13-14 inch range, but lost it.

I had reached posted property, so I walked back to my car. I headed to a section that I didn't fish once the previous year. The action was again very slow as I only had two follows in the first 20 minutes before landing a 6 incher, then a 9 incher on the very next cast. I saw lots of boot tracks along the bank so I waded upstream until I reached some deeper water, where the action improved. I caught five more trout, including a triple jumping 10 1/2 incher before again reaching posted water. My legs were sore and I had a long walk back to my vehicle, so I decided to call it a day. I caught 36 wild browns, all on spinners, and lost 6-7 others in 5.5 hours of angling. Not bad for early January. The biggest trout was only 12 inches. My phone said I walked 6.1 miles on the day.

I wondered how that compared to past first outings, so I looked it up.

2019 - April, 35 trout in 5.25 hours, 2 hogs, including a 20 1/2 inch wild brown
2018 - Mid-Feb., 26 trout in 6 hours, biggest trout: 14 inch brown
2017 - Mid-Jan., 44 trout in 5.5 hours, biggest: 14 1/2 inch brown
2016 - Late Jan., 22 trout in 4.5 hours, biggest: 14 inch brown
2015 - Early Jan. 34 trout in 5 hours, 2 hogs, biggest: 17 1/2 inch rainbow
2014 - late March, 46 trout in 7.25 hours, biggest: 15 1/2 inch brown
2013 - Mid Jan. 42 trout in 6.75 hours. Largest: 14 1/4 inch brown (first trout of the year)
2012 - Early Jan. 16 trout in 5.25 hours. Biggest was 14 1/2 inch brown
2011 - New Year's Day, 19 trout in 5.25 hours. Largest was a 22 inch brown
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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As we had another warm weekend, I decided to hit the streams again on Saturday. I returned to the small limestoner I fished last weekend. Unlike last weekend, there were no cars at my preferred spot when I arrived. I got ready quickly and hurried to the stream. I knew before long I would have company.

The first several spots I fished through didn't produce even a follow, which surprised me. After about ten minutes, I finally connected with a trout and a 7 1/2 inch brown was my first of the day. The first hour action was slow. Four more trout ranging from 7 to 9 1/2 inches came to hand. The water temperature was 48.

The action picked up slightly in angling hour #2. The hour opened with a 7 1/2 incher, followed by a 10 1/4 incher. After a dead period, I picked up browns of 8, 10 1/2, and 7 1/2 inches. Two were leapers. All were beautiful; buttery yellow colored with bright red spots. After another slow period, I closed the hour with browns of 8 1/2 and 8 inches. I saw an angler ahead of me, so I waded out and walked well upstream of him before wading back in.

The next hour opened with browns of 9 and 7 inches. I lost two trout before I saw another angler upstream. We talked briefly. He had just started. I asked if he minded if I walk upstream a ways and he said that was fine, that he was going to fish the deep pool he was in for a while. We wished each other well and I walked well upstream before wading back in.

It wasn't long before I caught an 11 inch brown, then a feisty 6 incher. I then made a long cast, made one crank of the reel and a trout pounced. I brought in the brown, which was 11 1/4 inches long, and noticed a tail sticking out of its mouth. I looked inside, and saw it had another brown trout, probably 6-7 inches long, stuck in its gullet.




I fished for another 20 minutes or so and caught browns of 11, 6 1/2, and 8 inches before I reached water I had fished the previous weekend. I decided to walk back to my car and go to another stream. I had caught 20 wild browns in 2.75 hours to that point.

I drove about 45 minutes to a small limestone influenced stream I know well. I saw a car parked where I would normally start, so I drove well upstream before wading in. Unfortunately, the stream was very low and I only stayed an hour because I had to walk through many shallow areas. I caught 7 wild browns during that time, ranging from 5 to 9 inches.

I decided to try a stream I had looked at last year but never fished. I parked near a sewage treatment plant and waded in to see what the stream would yield in the last 45 minutes of daylight. The stream wasn't too impressive looking. It is pretty featureless, at least in the lower portion, without much cover. I caught a 10 1/2 inch wild brown soon after starting, but had little action until it was almost dark. I had a flurry of activity and caught browns of 10, 12 1/4, 10, and 8 inches before running out of daylight.

For the day, I caught 32 trout in 4.5 hours. All were wild browns and hit spinners. The biggest was 12 1/4 inches. I walked 4.2 miles on the day.

Last edited by Trout Traveler; 01-14-2020 at 09:37 AM.
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