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Challenging Wild Browns

Without having had any appreciable rainfall here in central Pennsylvania in nearly a month, finding a good place to go trout fishing has been challenging to say the least. On the morning of July 3, 2016, I got up at 3:30 a.m. and drove to a little stream that is choked with aquatic weeds. Like other days that I fish, this day presented a different challenge; namely, fishing a spinner in a stream more suited for dry flies.

Both the water and air temperatures checked in at 54-degrees.

The action began slowly, something I've grown accustomed to lately. The great blue heron that I flushed shortly after daybreak likely didn't help matters.



But gradually more wild browns were out feeding and willing to attack my homemade White Bead Gold spinner.



I fished fast to help make up for the mediocre action and after 3.25 hours I came to the end of the section of stream that normally takes five or more hours to cover. My notepad showed 48 wild browns had been caught.

At this point I had to jump to another place.



The choices I had in mind were a little mountain stream that I feared would be too low to enjoy where I might be able to catch some pretty native brookies.



Or maybe some leftover stocked rainbows.



Another choice was a little lowland stream that I've fished only a handful of times in my life.



The draw here was a decent population of Kamikaze-like wild browns that I believe rarely see an angler.



The challenge here was remaining hidden from the low-water, spooky trout, as well as casting 60 to 70 feet ahead of myself in a tight brushy creek.



Like other times that I've fished here, the first half hour or so was very slow with few trout even seen.



A Canada lily grew streamside.



Gradually, more trout were seen and landed. I could pretty much expect a trout to hit in every deep spot. Some pools yielded several beauties.



After 4.00 hours I came to a posted stretch and decided to not go elsewhere and quit for the day.

I'm sometimes accused of catching all small trout, but the reality is that I catch a mix of the year classes that are available in the streams that I fish. Today I caught 79 wild brown trout at this second stop.

Here are the sizes: 2 - 5", 2 - 5.5", 3 - 6", 5 - 6.5", 3 - 7", 4 - 7.5", 10 - 8", 7 - 8.5", 14 - 9", 3 - 9.5", 9 - 10", 2 - 10.5", 5 - 11", 1 - 11.5", 5 - 12", 3 - 12.5", and 1 - 13".

Remember that this was from a small stream. The 5"ers were likely nearly 1.5 years old and the 13"er likely 4.5 years of age. The biggest trout that I saw was around 20" long. It came barreling downstream - I could see the wake - and dove under some red willow tree roots not far from my feet.



Overall I caught and released 127 trout in 7.25 hours despite the challenges the weed-growth and low water presented.
 

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Great post and photos. I was wondering when we were going to get to witness another outing from you. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Really nice pictures. I need to get a better camera. Those are tough conditions for sure...shallow, slow water, lots of vegetation extending out from the banks
 

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Looks like a great outing. Talk about challenging, with all the vegetation and stream side brush it looks like it would take some skill to keep the spinner in the water and not tangled in the trees.
 

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I'm sure we all are feeling the pain from the low water. Makes fishing just that much more challenging. As always beautiful fish and I look forward to seeing more!
 
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