I’ve been itching to hit the streams for quite a while. My last trout fishing outing was over a month ago. Typically, I don’t go when the overnight lows are in the mid-20s as they were on Saturday, but with the air temps warming into the 50s, I decided to go anyway.
I selected a medium sized limestone stream I know well. I arrived later in the morning to give the stream a chance to warm up. On my fifth cast, a trout struck, I set the hook, and after a few seconds the trout got off. A few minutes later, I lost another trout. When I haven’t been out in a while, I get rusty, and lost fish are often the result. As I continued upstream, I got little interest in my spinners. I tried a plug and a spoon with no results. Further upstream, I hooked and lost another trout. I finally landed a 10 ½ inch wild brown at the end of the first hour. I expected it to be slow but expected better than one measly trout in an hour. A posted stretch lay ahead, so I waded out and walked to a spring fed tributary.
The stream is very small, so I switched to a smaller spinner but again got little action. Since the trout weren’t responding, I went back to the larger spinner. I caught a 6 ¾ inch wild brown, then a 10 ½ incher shortly after that. I took the water temperature, which at 46 degrees as two degrees warmer than the first stream I fished. Another sub-legal brown came to hand, followed by a 10 incher. I closed the hour with sub-legal browns of 6 ½ and 6 inches, as well as a 7 ½ incher.
I thought that the improved action would continue, but the hour was very slow. I lost a trout a few minutes in and endured about 15 troutless minutes before landing a 6 ½ incher. Another long dry spell ensued. Finally, I flipped a cast next to a drop off near a grassy bank. I saw a yellow flash and set the hook. I knew instantly that it was by far the best fish of the day to that point. The trout thrashed on the surface, but my double hooked spinner held. The trout felt like a whale after tangling with several inhabitants of sub-legal nation. I was surprised when the brown measured 16 ½ inches, my first big trout of 2020! I took some quick pictures which didn’t turn out too well.
I caught only one more trout the remainder of the hour, a 7 inch brown.
Moving upstream, I fished for another 45 minutes before reaching another posted section. During that time, I landed for trout; three sub-legals and a 9 ½ incher. I lost two trout as well. I made the long walk back to my car and drove upstream, parked my car and walked a long way downstream.
My first cast produced a solid hit, and I brought in an 11 inch brown shortly thereafter. On the very next cast, a larger trout struck. The 12 ½ incher was my first BTB’er of the day. After fishing through several promising looking spots with no action, I landed a 9 ½ incher. I lost a nice trout in a deep pool. I walked around a mushy bottomed section and waded back in. I reached a deep spot, which produced four trout; 12 ½ inches, 10 inches, 9 ½, and 12 inches. I lost yet another trout as well.
I had a few follows but didn’t land anything until I came to another deep spot. It also produced four trout; browns of 10 ½, 9 ½, 9 ¾, and 10 inches. Three were on consecutive casts, my first triple or “3er” as I like to call them. I carelessly lost a nice trout just upstream of a bridge. With time running out, I hurried upstream to try a couple more spots. I hooked a nice trout under a bridge, but as was all too often the case on the day, the trout thrashed on the surface and was free.
For the day, I caught 26 wild browns, all on spinners and lost an additional 11. Despite the high number of lost trout, I ended up catching more than I thought I would after the extremely slow start. I walked 5.3 miles on the day.