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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My friend Mark and I fished a large stream yesterday that doesn’t have a lot of trout but does have a good number of big ones. We knew it was risky going there given the water level and partly cloudy forecast. Neither of us had high expectations of the day. We ended up doing better than expected. Neither of us caught a lot of trout. Mark caught 17 on the day. I believe he caught 10 browns, 6 brooks, and 1 rainbow. Five of his trout were hogs, ranging from 16 to 20 ½ inches. Mark had one big trout get off. I caught 15 trout; 7 browns, 4 brooks, and 4 rainbows. Three of my trout were big; 16 ½, 17 ¼, and 17 ½ inches. I had two big trout get off. The first burrowed under an overhanging bush and I had a feeling from the moment I hooked him that he would get off. The second big trout should never have gotten off. I almost had it in and relaxed, allowing the trout to get off. I caught two browns that were between 15 and 16 inches.
We had seven or eight other big trout follow our spinners. Some were in the middle of the stream, which really surprised us.
We covered a little over three miles of water and decided to quit when it became apparent that the bright sunshine was going to last the remainder of the day. We made the long walk back to Mark’s car and then he drove me to my car.
As I said in another post, Mark wore quick dry pants and wet waded instead of wearing breathable waders. I was very hot in my breathable waders. I’m definitely going to get a pair of those wading pants.













 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
FrankTroutAngler said:
Nice big trout. Nice outing.

What was the water temperature?

I've had too many watersnakes swim past my boots to want to wet wade.
Thanks. We both thought that we might manage to catch 1 or 2 big trout each.

Interestingly, all of the trout except one were caught on spinners. Mark used spinners the entire day, I tried plugs on several occasions, but the trout were not responding to them. I caught one brook trout on a plug.

We took the water temperature several times as we were concerned with it getting too high. It was 66 when we started fishing and it was between 64 and 65 as we moved upstream. Neither of us took the water temperature in the last couple of hours we fished, but after Mark left, I drove upstream to where I could get in the stream easily and took the water temperature. It was 68, so we made the right move to stop when we did.

The level of protection to the legs is probably about the same wearing the wading pants as opposed to the breathable waders. Neither obviously provides as much protection as hip boots.
 

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Nice Andy! That's a great way to beat the low water issues we're all having (most of us at least). Chase big trout!

Are water snakes any issue in PA? If it's hot out the only time I wont wet wade is if I know there is a chance of walking back through the woods in an area that has rattlers. Then I will suffer it out and wear waders. That's rare though in my area. I have to heard north and west pretty good to get into real snake habitat. Knock on wood I have never see a rattler in my life. I just dont have many around the places I fish. I'm sure my luck will change and hopefully I'll have rubber waders on when it does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm not worried about rattlesnakes in most places I fish. I occasionally see water snakes but don't worry about them too much. They can bite of course and I'm sure it would hurt but if I were wet wading wearing shorts, I'd be more concerned with heavy brush, nettles, ticks, or spiders.

I've only seen one rattlesnake in my life in PA, but I've heard a couple, which can be more alarming than seeing them. I've seen a couple of copperheads, but not for several years.
 

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I've been told that the key thing about copperheads is that they never rattle.

TT: I'm amazed that you haven't seen more rattlesnakes in PA. The Penns Creek area has quite a few of them as do all of my secret little mountain streams.


I agree that a watersnake isn't likely going to hurt you. It's more the concern that one might slither by as opposed to it actually happening. I commonly see watersnakes. Often all that you see is movement on a streamside shrub and then the sound of something slipping into the water.

On a side note, I recently startled a watersnake. It jumped off a railroad bridge that was probably 40-feet above the water. It didn't hit water, though. It hit mud and rocks. It seemed okay as it slithered away between my bombardment of rocks.
 

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I hate when water snakes drop out of trees right in front of me. It makes me think that I need to start watching for them up there too. In some of my pictures, you can see me wearing my snake chaps. I wear them overtop of pants while wet wading. They are super light weight and clip onto belt loops. I had a friend get bit by a copperhead last week and needed to be life flighted. This happened a few minutes from my house, right in the middle of my fishing territory. I have seen enough rattlers and copperheads to justify wearing the snake chaps any time I know I will be walking through brush.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm surprised I haven't seen more rattlers too. Quie possibly the reason that I haven't seen more along Penns is that I generally only fish it in the late winter/early spring and in the fall. There's a chance of seeing them in the fall.

When I walk through area where I suspect they might be around, I'm cautious about stepping over logs and I will often lead with my wading staff.

Troutoutdoorsman, sounds like the snake chaps are a good idea. Where can you get them and how much are they?
 

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Dang!. TDM is full of good ideas today! Now I can wet wade even on mountain streams and worry even less then I do in rubber boots. Other than air space I don't think rubber waders provide much in the way of protection from a snake bite. It would be nice to have near 100% peice of mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
troutdoorsman said:
I got mine online and they were around $30. They have lasted 2 seasons so far and I have worn them a lot. They are "rattler brand".

And I think we are seeing a pattern...July is the month for large trout.
Thanks, I'll look into getting wading pants and the chaps.

July sometimes is a big trout month. Some years I do well in July catching big trout, other years I don't.

My #1 big trout month most years is November.
 

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Here is the get up. This is me yesterday in a terrible, grainy picture of an 18.5" brown at 5:40am. I had to walk through the woods a good ways to get to the starting point. The bottom portion of the chaps below the knees is the snake proof part. The bottom feels like some type of accordion cut hard plastic. Does not affect range of motion since the protective part is from the knee down. They do not hold any water weight when they get wet either. The bottoms are wide and hang down to cover most of my boots except for the very bottom rubber sole.
 

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Sweet report - nice browns...

I wet wade all the time - carry a big stick (a.k.a. wading staff) that doubles as bush-whacker...

Rattlesnakes abound in my area - upper Lehigh - FEW Res area... I am not concerned with them...
I have seen many rattlers swim by - with no interest in me.

Water snakes can be agressive & will bite and cause infection. That is another reason why I carry the big stick.
 
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