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Discussion Starter #1
Frank Nale's 2020 Trout Season Summary​

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Introduction​

This year will go down in history as the first year of COVID-19, though it did not directly affect me all that much since I am retired and antisocial to begin with. There was a marked increase in the number of anglers on the water, which negatively impacted my fishing since as a rule I almost never knowingly fish behind another angler. I also believe I ran into more RBF water (Recently Been Fished with spinners) than normal as fishing with spinners seems to be becoming more popular each year. Therefore, I had to jump around to different streams and stream sections more than usual to find gullible trout.

The year was characterized by a late spring, as evidenced by a freak afternoon snowstorm on May 9th and a 27-degree morning on May 13th. Appreciable rainfall pretty much stopped around mid-June and by the beginning of July scorching weather had settled in and lasted for more than the next two solid months. Despite this once the larger streams cooled down in late September conditions were ideal during the entire autumn.


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I do virtually all of my trout fishing in the central corridor of Pennsylvania, from Bedford County in the south to Potter County in the north, an area I consider the mecca of wild trout fishing in this state. This was my forty-second year to cast spinners for trout here.


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Highlights for the year included an unusual “Opening Day,” recording my most productive day ever, and reaching a personal milestone. On top of this, fishing in the autumn was nothing short of spectacular with many large trout landed.


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In addition to catching thousands of gorgeous wild trout on spinners, I enjoyed taking over 3,500 digital photographs of the trout, streams, fauna, and flora that caught my eye while fishing in the mountains and valleys of the Keystone State.

Four of my favorite non-fishing shots are next:


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Coltsfoot – blooming on a barren bank along a limestone stream in Blair County in late March. Coltsfoot is one of the first prolific-blooming wildflowers of the spring. At a glance people often mistake coltsfoot for dandelion, but the flower of coltsfoot clearly has a distinguishable center, plus the leaves appear later than the flowers.


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Large-flowered Leafcup – blooming in August along the Lower Trail. This is the only known occurrence of this wildflower in Blair County.


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Pasture Thistle – with its 3” blossom this wildflower brightened up a field in a reclaimed strip mine on SGL 108 in Cambria County in July.


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False Hellebore – for its two to three feet height this wildflower does not have a showy flower like you might expect, but the radiant leaves add color along a mountain trout stream in May. Like maidenhair fern, when I see fresh specimens I feel compelled to take a few photos because I like how the light plays on the large leaves.


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Disclaimer
In this summary I will be mentioning numbers of trout caught and other statistics. This is not meant to be bragging but to give you a factual account of my fishing adventures. If this offends you, please read no further. If you choose to continue reading, I can assure you that my numbers are perfectly accurate. I carry a small tablet and pencil with me while fishing. When I get to a stream I write down the date, stream name and section, color of spinner, time, and the air and water temperatures. While fishing, I count only trout that I have hooked, played, and landed. “Long releases” are not counted.


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After catching and releasing a trout, without exception, I get out my tablet and record the size, species, and time-caught before making my next cast. This process takes only seconds and eliminates any chance of double-counting. I accurately measure my trout by holding them parallel against the grid of inch-marker thread-wraps that I put on my custom-made spinning rod. When necessary, I round the size of my trout down to the nearest one-half inch. When I finish fishing for the day I calculate the hours that I have fished to the nearest one-fourth hour. I also try to quit on or very near to one-fourth hour increments. I do not count time spent taking photographs or chatting with other anglers as fishing time. All of my fishing is done in streams that are open to free public angling.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
164467


Despite all of the effort that I put into maintaining the integrity of my data, people often question how I can have a day where I catch trout, for example, at an average rate of fifteen per hour. Their reasoning seems to be that there is just not enough time in an hour to hook, play and land fifteen trout, much less have time to move from pool to pool and do all of the other things necessary to a catch trout.

Well, in reality it does not take all that much time to catch fifteen trout in an hour. On a large stream it takes me, on average, no more than thirty seconds from the time I hook a trout until the time I am ready for my next cast. I have been timed. On a small stream this time would be substantially lower. If I spend thirty seconds on each of the fifteen trout that I catch in an hour, this means that I spent all of seven and a half minutes on the actual process of catching those fifteen trout. This leaves over fifty-two minutes per hour to do all of the other things necessary to catch trout.

My all-time best hour is 77 trout, so this should show you how much time remains in an hour after just fifteen trout are handled.


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“Opening Day”​

Assuming we have an extended warm period with no melting snowpack to raise water levels and super-chill the water, each year in late March or early April I try to make a trip to north-central Pennsylvania to fish one of the larger mountain streams in the area for stream-bred trout. It is usually my first serious foray on a freestone stream for the year since I typically fish warmer limestoners closer to home in January through March.


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This year I got that opportunity on April 7th and had a great day of fishing, though it was typically slow for the first few hours until the water temperature began inching up toward that optimum feeding range of about 58 to 61 degrees. I fished over five miles of stream and tallied 83 trout in 8.75 hours, a mixture of native brookies and wild browns.

During the drive home I noticed quite a few vehicles parked along Bald Eagle Creek near Port Matilda at dusk, a heavily stocked trout stream. I thought this was a little odd. I did not give it much thought though, probably because I was exhausted after walking over eleven miles, five of which were spent slip-sliding on rocks in the stream for close to nine hours.

The next morning I got a text from my brother Mark telling me that the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission had opened trout season the prior day by surprise in order to spread out the anglers due to the COVID-19 pandemic rather than waiting until the scheduled day on April 18th. This explained the anglers on Bald Eagle Creek (North). So I guess this was the first time in my life that I had fished Opening Day and did not even know it.

Since it was already too late for me to plan an outing that day, plus the fact that it was raining quite a bit and streams were likely too high and cloudy for my tastes anyway, I opted to tentatively plan my “Opening Day” for the following day, Thursday April 9th.


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The next morning I eased into the water at daybreak and began my first outing of the year fishing for stocked trout. Although I obviously prefer to cast spinners for wild trout, I think spending a day chasing stockers is a good way to keep in perspective how much I appreciate our wild trout resource.

The water was high and cloudy but I began to pick up a stocked brown or rainbow trout here and there. As is typical when fishing for freshly stocked trout, there were a few times when I reached obvious stocking points and the trout came to hand readily.

Fairly early in the morning I caught this 10” brook trout (see above photo). At the time I thought it was a hatchery product since the stream I was fishing gets much too warm for trout in a typical summer, but upon closer inspection I believe it is a native brookie, probably one that drifted downstream from one of several feeder streams.


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Although I had to endure rain, snow and a chilly wind at times, I fished 11.75 hours and caught and released 257 trout, the majority of which were stocked brown trout. The biggest trout was a 16” rainbow. Twenty-eight of the trout were wild brown trout. I looped around just five stationary anglers all day.


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Most Productive Outing Ever​

If someone were to ask me to describe my idea of a perfect day of trout fishing, I would not be able to give one simple answer. Spending a day fishing for native brookies on a remote mountain stream in north-central Pennsylvania is hard to beat, as is an autumn day on a large limestone-influenced stream casting over wild brown trout.

Spending a day fishing for small stocked trout would not be high on my list nowadays, though early in my fishing journey I learned a lot about fishing spinners by fishing for fingerling brown trout in the Little Juniata River back in the years when it was peppered with small trout each autumn. My record for most trout caught in one day occurred on the LJR on October 14th, 2000 when I caught 463 trout in 11.50 hours, including a 16” wild brown.


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Sometimes though conditions deteriorate and options become limited. By late September I had only about 8,800 trout under my belt for the year and finding productive destinations to fish had become exceedingly difficult. My hope of hitting 10,000 trout for the year was in jeopardy. About this time a friend of mine tipped me off that the PFBC had stocked a lot of little rainbows in a large limestone-influenced creek. He did not tell me the stocking points and I did not ask since I knew I would not be able to reciprocate since I am rather tight-lipped about where I fish.


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On Monday morning, September 28th, I stepped into the water at daybreak at a spot I hoped would be just downstream from a stocking point. My expectation was to catch one hundred trout for the day. The thought of beating my all-time best day never occurred to me.

I quickly caught a handful of 7” to 8” rainbows. Since I wanted to be at the lower end of a stocking point in order to maximize the number of trout I might catch, I stopped fishing and walked downstream for about ten minutes through the brush away from the stream until I came to the upper end of a long flat pool which I did not think would be worth fishing.


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The action here was similar and little rainbows came to hand readily. Around 8:30 a.m., while reeling in another little rainbow in a deep run, a hefty wild brown trout charged out and frantically swirled around the rainbow. The next thing I knew both trout disappeared in the depths and soon I was playing the brown trout. The rainbow had gotten off. Quickly I landed the 16” brute. Interestingly, he was not hooked; my spinner was wedged in his lower jaw crosswise under his tongue.

By 10:20 a.m. I had one hundred trout written down in my notepad. At this point I was clearly at a stocking epicenter and was catching a trout on nearly every cast. Around 12:30 p.m. I hit 200 trout for the day but had arrived at long deep pool that held fewer fingerlings.

I fished through the flat water and the pocket water above it until I luckily reached another epicenter several hundred yards upstream from the first stocking point. I remained there in about a one-hundred yard stretch for several hours. Around 5:30 p.m. I noticed four fly anglers slowly working their way downstream toward me.

About a half hour before darkness closed in I realized that if I caught a few more I might beat my all-time record, though I could not remember the exact number from that fateful day years ago. Luckily, the other anglers stopped encroaching at about thirty yards away and I was able to continue fishing right up until it was too dark to fish.

For the day I tallied 476 trout in 11.75 hours, beating my old record by thirteen trout. I averaged just a touch over forty trout per hour. This is how productive spinner fishing can be on a large stream where you do not have to spend much time moving upstream all day long to reach new water like you need to do on a small creek.


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Historically my ten best days are as follows:

09/28/20: 476 trout in 11.75 hours (Trout Per Hour average: 40.51)
10/14/00: 463 trout in 11.50 hours (TPH: 40.26)
10/07/00: 405 trout in 12.00 hours (TPH: 33.75)
10/15/00: 391 trout in 10.50 hours (TPH: 37.23)
10/23/00: 355 trout in 11.00 hours (TPH: 32.27)

10/08/00: 346 trout in 11.25 hours (TPH: 30.75)
10/21/00: 333 trout in 10.75 hours (TPH: 30.97)
10/13/04: 333 trout in 11.25 hours (TPH: 29.60)
09/26/04: 330 trout in 10.50 hours (TPH: 31.42)
10/24/00: 326 trout in 11.00 hours (TPH: 29.63)

Fingerling brown trout made up the majority of my catch on seven of these days, all in the year 2000. The 330 trout day in 2004 was on a small stream holding a mix of native brookies and wild browns, while the 333 trout day in 2004 included all five species of normal-size stocked trout as well as some wild browns. My overall best day was comprised mostly of fingerling rainbows as already mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
164477


Milestone Reached​

When you fish as much as I do and maintain detailed statistics, milestones just automatically come along every once in a while. I began spinner fishing in 1979, and going into this year my all-time best stream had yielded 99,410 trout. On April 29th I reached a special milestone by catching my 100,000th trout in this creek.

When the year ended my total on this limestoner stood at 103,176 trout, which is nearly one third of my lifetime total of 315,258 trout caught on spinners. My first visit here was on June 11th, 1983. I hooked and landed just four trout in one hour on that first outing.


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Spectacular Autumn Angling
Each year in the autumn I fish a few of the larger limestone-influenced streams in my home range after they have cooled down from summer’s heat. Fishing these wider streams with spinners is very different than fishing the small streams that I normally fish because I can make longer casts and often cannot see my spinner at the beginning of retrieves or in deep water. Although I love watching trout charge and attack my spinner, there is something equally exciting about having an unseen trout nail my spinner at the beginning of a 70-foot cast or down deep and not knowing how big the trout is at first.


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I fished several of these large streams in the autumn. All of them were surprisingly good after summer’s relentless heat, but the quality of the fishing on one was absolutely spectacular.


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I rotated sections of this waterway on a minimum of two-week intervals to give the trout a chance to forget their last encounter with metal and ended up with thirteen incredible outings.


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I topped 100 trout on six of the thirteen days. My best day yielded 203 trout. I caught 1,282 trout in 113.50 hours. But what made these days special and much different than my usual fishing on smaller creeks is that I caught twenty-six trout that were in the 16”-to-17.5” range and an additional twenty-five that were in the 15”-to-under-16” category. This is fifty-one “nice” trout in thirteen outings. I also caught numerous trout in the 14”-to-14.5” category, too.


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The most memorable trout was this handsome wild brown. On that day I was nearing 100 trout as the daylight was fading. I kept rushing upstream quickly, fishing only the best spots, trying to hit 100 trout. Unfortunately, it got dark before I could catch my 100th trout, but I decided to make one final cast in the tail-out of a long flat pool. Tail-outs, particularly the deepest side, are a great place to catch big trout, especially in the fall.

As soon as I began retrieving my White Bead Gold spinner I saw a wake behind my spinner – and this was in water that was waist deep. I knew a big trout was barreling down on my spinner but I could not see much because it was almost dark. When my spinner got about six feet from my rod’s tip I saw a white mouth open as the beast inhaled my spinner. I set the hook hard.

The fight was brief and soon I had this absolutely stunning 17.5” wild brown in my hand. It was too dark for normal photos so I had to use the flash on my camera. I was surprised I actually got a couple half decent pictures with the flash, something that rarely happens with wet fish.


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New Net
In late September I began using my new “Kayak” net made by Josh Brady at bradyshandmadenets.com. I purchased it to give me an incentive to take photographs. I do not actually use a net to net trout; I just like to use it as a prop in photos.


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Michael Kensinger of Altoona, Pennsylvania painted the White Bead Gold spinner on the handle. In September he won the 2021 Pennsylvania Waterfowl Management Stamp Design contest sponsored by the Pennsylvania Game Commission with his painting of two wood ducks sitting in a sycamore tree titled “Sycamore Retreat.”


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Trout of the Year
Each year I bestow the title “Trout of the Year” on my most memorable trout. Usually the winner is a unique trout from a small mountain brook, but this year I did not have a lot of opportunity to fish those kinds of streams due to the late spring and low water levels beginning in about mid-June.

For a long time I wondered if I would even have a legitimate candidate for “Trout of the Year,” but then on October 5th this gorgeous 18” wild brown charged out of a small pool on a large stream and destroyed my spinner.


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He took me downstream a good twenty-five yards through a deep riffle and put up a noble battle on my five-foot spinning rod spooled with 4 lb. test Stren monofilament. In the end I eased him into the shallows and took some photos of him in my new net. He was the largest brown trout that I caught this year (tied with two others).
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
164487


Making Memories​

It is interesting how a place on this earth can go from being unknown to holding a special place in our hearts as the years go by and memories are made. For example, in 2012 I found a new spot on a nearby State Game Lands to hunt deer with a rifle. On my first day at my new ground-blind a monster buck walked slowly through the crunchy leaves and mountain laurel and stood broadside in an opening just fifteen yards away while looking in the opposite direction. My gun was already up with the crosshairs centered on his chest. The safety was off. My heart was pounding. I thought, “This is going to be the easiest buck I’ve ever shot,” but the trigger was stuck and the buck bolted away unscathed. Disheartening for sure, but a memory was created that I would play over and over in my mind in the years to come.

On the first day of buck season the following year the trees and ground were bathed in solid ice and I did not see so much as even one chickadee, but again a memory was imprinted on my brain. In the years that followed several nice bucks were harvested at this spot, building a library of countless stories for me to replay in my mind in the years ahead as I stood there scanning the barren woods looking for deer. Over time this place went from unknown to special.


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The same thing can happen with a trout stream. In 2017, on my way home from a successful day of fishing in the Susquehannock State Forest, I decided on a whim to hike in and sample a stream that at this point was still nameless to me. In my limited time I caught an impressive number of native brookies. A return visit two weeks later found me fishing unproductive low water, but a memory was made when I caught one of the most colorful native brook trout that I have ever seen (see photo).


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In 2018 an early August visit showed how impressive this creek could truly be when I caught and released 235 trout in 10.00 hours, including this gorgeous 12” native brookie.


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In 2019 I built more memories on this brook when I caught this little wild tiger trout during a thirteen-hour marathon that yielded 321 wild trout, my best outing in fifteen years.


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This year on May 24th I again returned to the stream with high hopes of making more memories. The flow was ideal and I explored a good mile farther into the headwaters than I had ever thought was even possible, which made the day quite memorable. There is something special about not knowing what is around the next bend. I ended up catching 225 native brookies and wild brown trout in 11.25 hours.


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Besides exploring new water, another memory was made that day when I saw a northern water snake carrying an 8” native brook trout toward a hideaway under the bank. Although I have seen northern water snakes eating wild brown trout in the past, I believe this is the first time that I have ever seen one with a native brook trout.


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Statistical Summary and Analysis​

I ended the year with 11,376 trout caught and released during 840.75 hours of fishing spread over 99 days astream.


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This was my seventh best year ever and the fourteenth time that I have topped 10,000 trout in a year.


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Historically my best ten years are as follows:

2004: 14,688 trout
2019: 12,562 trout
2018: 12,073 trout
2001: 12,047 trout
2000: 12,029 trout

1998: 11,528 trout
2020: 11,376 trout
2005: 11,148 trout
1999: 10,982 trout
2002: 10,791 trout


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I spent 840.75 hours fishing which averages out to about eight and a half hours of fishing per outing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
164497


I fished 99 days in 2020. Had it not been so hot and dry during July and August I would have fished many more days, but I purposely slacked off during these months because choice destinations were at a premium and I did not want to pound the few good places too often.


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I averaged 13.53 trout per hour (TPH). This means that on average I caught one trout about every four minutes and twenty-six seconds.


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Historically my ten highest TPH years are as follows:

2004: 16.45 TPH (one trout about every three minutes and thirty-nine seconds)
2001: 15.29 TPH
2000: 14.86 TPH
2013: 14.68 TPH
2006: 14.66 TPH

2005: 14.27 TPH
2018: 13.87 TPH
2014: 13.56 TPH
2020: 13.53 TPH
1999: 13.46 TPH

I have averaged 13.33 TPH for the past twenty-five years.


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I averaged 114.91 trout per day (TPD).


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Historically my ten highest TPD years are as follows:

2004: 138.57 TPD
2000: 125.30 TPD
2001: 121.69 TPD
2013: 121.44 TPD
2018: 117.21 TPD

2020: 114.91 TPD
2006: 113.88 TPD
2014: 110.17 TPD
2005: 109.29 TPD
1998: 108.75 TPD


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My best day yielded 476 trout in 11.75 hours (September 28th) and my worst day gave up just 39 wild browns in 8.75 hours (December 12th).


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I fished a total of 45 different streams this year, seventeen of which gave up 100 or more salmonids. Only two streams yielded no trout, but both were sampled for only fifteen minutes each.


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My top stream coughed-up 3,766 trout in 281.50 hours during 43 days (13.38 TPH; 87.58 TPD). This stream surrendered one hundred trout or more on twenty of those forty-three days. It gave up 204 wild brown trout in 9.75 hours of fishing on my top outing there.


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The ten best creeks produced 9,357 trout in 674.00 hours (13.88 TPH), while the ten worst streams yielded just 25 trout in 4.75 hours (5.26 TPH).


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Of the top ten streams, seven were limestone or limestone-influenced streams and three were freestone creeks. By mid-June water levels on freestone streams had dropped to the point where I focused on limestone and limestone-influenced streams for the remainder of the year.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
164507


I caught 100 trout or more on 66 of the 99 days that I fished, which is twenty times fewer than the record 86 triple-figure outings that I had in 2004 out of 106 days fished. These 66 days yielded 9,050 trout.


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Historically my best ten years for “Century Club” days are as follows:

2004: 86 days 13,265 trout
2018: 81 days 10,451 trout
2019: 76 days 9,767 trout
2005: 71 days 9,115 trout
1998: 69 days 9,435 trout

2001: 68 days 9,975 trout
2017: 67 days 7,884 trout
2020: 66 days 9,050 trout
1999: 66 days 8,560 trout
2013: 64 days 9,127 trout


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On a lifetime basis I now have 1,695 “Century Club” days. My permanent fishing logs show that I have landed 222,192 trout during these 1,695 days.


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A breakdown of the 11,376 trout by species reveals 9,359 browns (7,156 were 7” or longer; 2,203 were under 7”), 1,021 brookies (389 were 7” or longer; 632 were under 7”), 995 rainbows (791 were legal-size; 204 were sub-legal), and one legal-size golden rainbow. Overall, 8,337 trout were 7” or longer (73.29%); 3,039 were sub-legal (26.71%). The vast majority (likely 95% or more) of the brook and brown trout that I caught were stream-bred.


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Big Trout Analysis​

I caught 60 trout that were 16” or longer (aka “hawgs”), which ties for fifth place in my lifetime, well behind the 101 large trout that I caught in 2005. The most hawgs that I have ever caught in one day is fifteen on October 13, 2005, while my best month is 35 in October of 2005.


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Historically my ten best years for hawgs are as follows:

2005: 101 hawgs
2019: 82 hawgs
1998: 67 hawgs
2010: 63 hawgs
2017: 60 hawgs

2020: 60 hawgs
2002: 58 hawgs
2004: 56 hawgs
1997: 55 hawgs
2006: 55 hawgs


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My big-trout analysis shows 47 browns, 12 rainbows, and one golden rainbow. These trout were all caught and released from just eleven different streams. Fifty-five came from eight limestone or limestone-influenced streams, while five were caught in three purely freestone creeks. Only one of the hawgs caught in the freestone streams was a wild trout. The best stream, a large limestone-influenced creek, yielded twenty-seven, of which twenty-six were caught during thirteen visits in the autumn. Of all of my large trout, fifty came from just four creeks.


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I broke the 20” barrier just once with this 21.5” stocked rainbow. My next largest trout was an 18.5” golden rainbow.


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My biggest brown trout were three 18”ers – all wild as best I could tell. One was caught in a small limestone creek while the other two came from large limestone-influenced waterways.


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In addition, I also caught 59 trout that were in the 15”-to-under-16” category, so overall I caught 119 trout that were 15” or better. Although 119 trout of this size is only 1.04% of the total 11,376 trout that I caught, I believe most Pennsylvania anglers who do not target large trout and fish only streams that are open to free, general-public angling, would be quite satisfied with the number of mature trout that I caught. (I did not fish any Keystone Select waters in 2020 – never have. I have also never fished for steelhead.)
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
164518


On a lifetime basis I have caught 1,591 trout that were 16” or longer in my forty-two years of casting spinners. This is equal to one-half of one percent of the total trout that I have caught, or about one hawg for every 198 trout that I have landed.


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This year I thought I would again add a daily log of all of the days that I fished to my year-end summary. This first page (of three) shows that it took me until May 12th (19th outing) to get my trout-per-day average permanently up to one hundred for the year.


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During June I was able to catch one hundred trout or more on every outing. This is not abnormal for June because water levels and nighttime air temperatures have typically moderated by this time of year resulting in more stable conditions.


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This year from late May through early July I had twenty-nine consecutive outings of one hundred trout or more. My record for consecutive one-hundred trout outings is fifty-six, set in 2013. That year I caught one hundred trout or more on every outing from April 20th through September 8th. The total caught during this streak was 8,242 trout. Fourteen of those fifty-six days yielded over 200 trout.


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Of the 119 trout I caught that were 15” or longer, 78 were caught in September through December. This surge is typical. Each year I see a big spike in large trout during the autumn.


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Wildlife Event of the Year​

Interesting wildlife events seem to get harder to come by each year. I guess this is because seeing something the second time around, such as watching a bald eagle take a trout away from an osprey, is not typically as exciting as it is the first time. Probably the most unique event that I have ever witnessed was watching a female black bear with three cubs, two of which were cinnamon colored, amble along a trout stream several years ago.

This year I really did not have any particularly exciting or extraordinary wildlife events, but I did have one that was slightly unusual. On May 28th I was fishing a stream in the north-central region when I looked ahead and spotted something unusual on a small island in the stream.


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I got my binoculars out and confirmed that there was a young fawn bedded down on the island. I quietly approached the deer and took a few photos, careful not to disturb it. I never got to see its eyes, but I believe it was sleeping. The music from the stream hid the sound of me wading and I just continued fishing upstream, happy that I did not spook the little guy or gal.

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Spinner Analysis​

I am a firm believer that the color of the spinner I am using has little, if any, effect on the number of trout that I catch, though I prefer there to be some white coloration on the lure so that I can see the spinner easier and visually detect strikes better. This year I caught 10,109 trout on my homemade White Bead Gold spinners, 808 on Pink Tread Silver and 459 on Green Diamond Silver spinners.


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On a lifetime basis, of the 315,258 trout that I have caught during the last forty-two years on spinners, not surprisingly, White Bead Gold, which I designed in 1982, has produced the most with 184,084 trout. Coming in second is Copper BladeD Copper with 57,002 (see previous photo). Pink Tread Silver is next with 38,467 and Green Diamond Silver rounds out the top four with 23,033 trout. I have caught 302,586 trout (95.98%) on just these four homemade spinner designs alone. I believe the reason I have caught the most trout on these four models is because I used them the most.


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Best Statistics​

When I do my “Spin Fishing for Trout” seminars I state that I believe spinner fishing is the most consistent, most productive method for catching trout all day long, anytime of year. One statistic in particular that I think supports this statement is that I have now averaged 100 trout per day for more than twenty-nine consecutive years. My records show that since September 14, 1991 (through December 31, 2020) I have gone fishing on 2,828 days and have caught 282,842 trout in 21,738.00 hours. This averages out to 100.01 TPD and 13.01 TPH, or one trout about every four minutes and thirty-seven seconds.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
164528


Also, on a lifetime basis I have now caught 315,258 trout on spinners since 1979 when I began spin fishing. The last time I went fishing and did not catch any trout was on March 8, 1987, which is over thirty-three years ago, but I fished just 1.25 hours that day due to high, cold cloudy water on three streams. I have now gone fishing on 3,225 days since the last time I got skunked. I believe these statistics support my statement.


164529


Homemade Spinning Rods​

In January and February I assembled three new rods and repaired one that I had broken a few inches off of the tip in the prior year. The top rod in this photo is the one that I repaired by taking off all of the guides and re-spacing them. The blank is a MHX S661.

The two rods in the middle are my typical MHX S661 5’6” spinning rod blanks cut down from the butt end to 5’1”. The rod at the bottom was made with a St. Croix 2S66ULF 6’6” spinning rod blank cut down from the butt end to 5’1”.

I buy most of my rod building parts at Mud Hole (MudHole.com). The two-piece 8” cork handles with movable graphite slip rings came from Jann’s Netcraft (JannsNetcraft.com). The parts and supplies used to make each of these rods cost about $100.00 each.

I used the rod at the bottom wrapped with metallic green thread for most of the year. Luckily I did not break any rods in 2020.


164530



Reel Life​

I have been using Shimano Stradic Cl4+ 1000HG reels for a few years now and all of them succumbed to weak bail tripping mechanisms around the 225–250-hour mark. This year I had one break in late May. The replacement, which I was carrying in my fishing vest at the time, now has 617.25 hours on it and is still working fine. It will be interesting to see how long it lasts into 2021.


164531


Litter​

This year I caught a small wild brown trout with a plastic ring stuck around its body. Based on the raw meat that was showing, I would say that it had been on for a while. This is at minimum the fourth time that I have caught a trout imperiled by a plastic ring. I removed it.


164532


Calendar Photo​

In April I had one of my favorite photographs of our State Fish, the native brook trout, published in the “Wildlife for Everyone” calendar.


164533



Magazine Article Published
I had a short article titled “Around the Next Bend” and two photographs published in the Summer/Fall 2020 issue of Pennsylvania Wildlife magazine.


164534



This 12.5” native brook trout shown on page two of the article is one of the prettiest ones that I have ever caught. It was caught in the same Blair County stream as the one in the calendar photograph.


164535


Bicycling​

I rode my bike approximately 850 miles in 2020. Three fifty-mile rides on the Pine Creek Rail Trail (Lycoming/Tioga counties) were my longest rides, followed by three long rides on the Ghost Town Trail (Indiana/Cambria counties). I also rode the local Lower Trail (Blair/Huntingdon counties) numerous times, with each ride being a little over thirty-two miles.

In July I enjoyed my annual ride through SGL 158 in Blair and Cambria counties. I saw two black bears and a large buck in velvet that day. Riding a bike helps to keep my legs in shape for my long days of fishing.


164536


Buck Hunting​

I do not have any buck hunting stories to share this year, but while fishing I came upon the remains of two dead bucks.

This nine-point buck was found on April 20th in Huntingdon County along a tiny mountain stream while hiking back to my SUV after a day of fishing.


164537


On November 10th I found this ten-point buck in Blair County while walking through some deep leaves and tall dry weeds to get around a long flat pool in the river I was fishing. I felt something grab my right leg and looked down to see these antlers wrapped around my calf. It had a 16” inside spread.
 

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164538


Hungry Trout​

I commonly catch a few trout each year that have another trout stuffed down their throat. Here is one of a few I caught this year.


164539


Nostalgia Moment​

I had a few of my old slide-film photographs made into digital copies this year. This one of me was taken by my father on September 4th, 1983.

We were fishing Beaverdam Creek in southern Blair County in a stretch of water my dad used to fish when he was growing up. My dad suggested we move to the next pool after we had made several casts in the Car Body Hole. I stopped him and said I wanted to make one final cast at the upper end of the pool along the high bank where cold spring water trickled down through the thick overhanging grass. My cast plopped into the water along the bank and out charged this huge brown trout. I had only a few feet to drag my lure before reaching shallow water over a sandbar. The trout pursued and attacked with his back out of the water, stirring up mud. An epic battle ensued but soon I had the 23.5” wild brown trout subdued.

At the time it was the largest trout of my life, a record that held for many years. This trout was released. I recall seeing what I believe was the same fish on a subsequent visit a couple weeks later.


164540


My photograph of this 23.5” wild brown trout was published in the Autumn 1986 issue of TROUT magazine.


164541


Conclusion
Trout fishing is my number-one hobby and passion in life. Offshoot hobbies include constructing spinners, rod building, doing spinner fishing seminars, photography, and enjoying nature – especially wildflowers. Because you have to cover a lot of water to catch a lot of trout, spinner fishing also requires walking many miles. I believe this has helped me to remain relatively thin and reasonably physically fit for my age.


164542


Taking digital photographs for the eighth year again added a very enjoyable dimension to my trout fishing. It motivated me to seek out wild places and gorgeous trout since I was often thinking about getting that one really nice photo and sharing my adventures with other anglers through social media.


164543


As always, I hope to remain in good health in 2021 so that I can continue to pursue this exciting hobby.

- Frank Nale –

Note: The next two pages are the handout that I give out when I do my “Spin Fishing for Trout” seminars.


164544



164545
 

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Frank, another fantastic summary as usual!

A few observations:

Though I catch nowhere near the number of trout that you do, I've had people question how one can catch 100 trout in a day. "You must have had a strike on every cast" is something I've heard several times. I don't think most people have any idea how many casts a spinner angler makes in the course of an hour, let alone a day. I think most people's idea of fishing is sitting in a boat or on a bank still fishing with bait or fly fishing. A friend of mine who is mostly a salt water angler got an education on how many casts he made in a day a couple of years ago when we fished several miles of a small freestoner.

Your stats are amazing. Congrats on another great year and reaching a huge milestone: 100K trout on one stream. That's more than I've caught in my life on all streams combined! Congrats also on the calendar picture and your published article.

Beautiful stream shots. I particularly like your very first stream shot.

You referenced a picture of a 10" brook trout but the picture below is a brown trout, just so you know. I think you may have attached a different picture than the one you intended. It's easy to do when you have a ton of pictures.

Every year you catch some of the most gorgeous brook trout. The orange bellied brookies are stunning.

You caught some really beautiful yellow wild browns too. How big was the brown in the 2nd picture in your summary?

A brown with big black spots that looks a lot like one I caught. We caught the same trout perhaps?

Congrats on your highest outing ever.

Thanks for including the daily logs and some of your old shots too.

That's a very nice photo of the fawn.

I really like your custom net. I don't use a net a lot either. I tend to use it more for larger trout or if I'm fishing with someone else.

It's interesting that we caught the same number of hogs, though you caught a lot more 15-16 inchers than I did. I don't remember how many 20 inchers you caught last year, but I think like me, you caught a lot fewer of them this year. Do you think that's due to the added pressure as well as the drought conditions?
 

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Frank, another fantastic summary as usual!

Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it. By the way, I do photo-essays throughout the year on my Facebook page, "Frank Nale."

A few observations:

Though I catch nowhere near the number of trout that you do, I've had people question how one can catch 100 trout in a day. "You must have had a strike on every cast" is something I've heard several times. I don't think most people have any idea how many casts a spinner angler makes in the course of an hour, let alone a day. I think most people's idea of fishing is sitting in a boat or on a bank still fishing with bait or fly fishing. A friend of mine who is mostly a salt water angler got an education on how many casts he made in a day a couple of years ago when we fished several miles of a small freestoner.

Hi TT. That's the reason why I added the question and answer about this in my disclaimer section this year. I regularly have people doubt my statistics because they don't believe it's possible to catch, for example, fifteen trout in an hour, or even 100 trout in a day. I thought I'd be proactive this year and answer the question about how I can catch fifteen trout in an hour before someone asks. It follows logically that if I can catch fifteen in an hour that I can easily catch 100 in a day if I fish long enough.

Your stats are amazing. Congrats on another great year and reaching a huge milestone: 100K trout on one stream. That's more than I've caught in my life on all streams combined! Congrats also on the calendar picture and your published article.

From one stat man to another stat man, keeping stats adds a lot of enjoyment to my fishing. It has also helped me become a much better angler. Thanks.

Beautiful stream shots. I particularly like your very first stream shot.

No doubt you've fished there. I wish the water would have stayed that high all summer instead of the opposite. I'm not sure if fishing in NC PA is going to be much good in 2021. I'll sample it, likely in May, and if it is no good I won't be back for a while.

You referenced a picture of a 10" brook trout but the picture below is a brown trout, just so you know. I think you may have attached a different picture than the one you intended. It's easy to do when you have a ton of pictures.

This was my first time to load photos directly to this website without hosting them on Flickr or PhotoBucket. It took me about three hours to load this summary on here. It went well but the problem I noticed right away is that the photos show up on here way too big, which makes it difficult to know if the words go with the photo above the words or below the words. When I started I decided I'd always put the photo first and the words second. Trouble is, both rarely show up on the same screen, which makes it difficult to follow my photo essay. In fact, I think it pretty much ruins it. Next year I may try to reduce the size of my photos before loading them in my summary. I currently don't know how to do that, but I suppose I can learn. The portrait photos are so big they are hard to even follow on here.

Every year you catch some of the most gorgeous brook trout. The orange bellied brookies are stunning.

Orange-colored brookies are my favorite to photograph. They are rare though. I catch almost all of them in three streams, with a rare one caught elsewhere. If I catch 100 brookies in one of these three streams only three or four will likely be bright orange. (These are caught mostly in May and June, too, so spawning has nothing to do with the colors.)

You caught some really beautiful yellow wild browns too. How big was the brown in the 2nd picture in your summary?

17.5"

A brown with big black spots that looks a lot like one I caught. We caught the same trout perhaps?

It is possible though unlikely I suppose. I'm pretty tight-lipped about where I fish, but I will tell you that this big brown was caught in Trout Creek. Please keep it a secret.

Congrats on your highest outing ever.

It would mean a lot more to me if those trout had been wild trout. Thanks for the tip.

Thanks for including the daily logs and some of your old shots too.

As long as I don't have any truly embarrassing outings I'll likely continue to include my daily log in my summary each year. I think it adds credibility to my statistics.

That's a very nice photo of the fawn.

It was neat to see. I was just glad I didn't spook it.

I really like your custom net. I don't use a net a lot either. I tend to use it more for larger trout or if I'm fishing with someone else.

Thanks. I got it with the intention of motivating myself to take photos. I can't wait to take some photos of those orange brookies beside the net. I got it too late in 2020 to photograph brookies near it.

I watch a good many videos on YouTube of people fishing. I can't for the life of me understand why someone would net a 10" trout. I'd have that 10"er landed and released before they even unhooked it.


It's interesting that we caught the same number of hogs, though you caught a lot more 15-16 inchers than I did. I don't remember how many 20 inchers you caught last year, but I think like me, you caught a lot fewer of them this year. Do you think that's due to the added pressure as well as the drought conditions?

I caught four 20"+ trout last year -- all stocked rainbows. I think the reason why I caught fewer 20"ers in 2020 is just because of luck. I will admit that there are a few places where I sometimes catch big rainbows and I fished only one of those places this year -- and I fished it only once. This was because of the drought mostly. One place I typically catch a big rainbow had other anglers there the two or three times I stopped there. So...I never fished there all year.
 

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Thank you, thank you Frank! Been waiting for your summary and beautiful pictures every January since joining these site several years ago. Keep up the great work.
 

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Trout Traveler said:Replies below in, noted with TT and in green.

Frank, another fantastic summary as usual!

Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it. By the way, I do photo-essays throughout the year on my Facebook page, "Frank Nale."

A few observations:

Though I catch nowhere near the number of trout that you do, I've had people question how one can catch 100 trout in a day. "You must have had a strike on every cast" is something I've heard several times. I don't think most people have any idea how many casts a spinner angler makes in the course of an hour, let alone a day. I think most people's idea of fishing is sitting in a boat or on a bank still fishing with bait or fly fishing. A friend of mine who is mostly a salt water angler got an education on how many casts he made in a day a couple of years ago when we fished several miles of a small freestoner.

Hi TT. That's the reason why I added the question and answer about this in my disclaimer section this year. I regularly have people doubt my statistics because they don't believe it's possible to catch, for example, fifteen trout in an hour, or even 100 trout in a day. I thought I'd be proactive this year and answer the question about how I can catch fifteen trout in an hour before someone asks. It follows logically that if I can catch fifteen in an hour that I can easily catch 100 in a day if I fish long enough.

TT: I figured that's why you added it. I was just responding in support of it. When I've told people who've asked about my fishing how much water I cover in a day, they're usually surprised unless they've fished with me. I don't think people that are used to fishing one spot or area for a long period of time fully understand why spinner/plug anglers must cover so much water.

Your stats are amazing. Congrats on another great year and reaching a huge milestone: 100K trout on one stream. That's more than I've caught in my life on all streams combined! Congrats also on the calendar picture and your published article.

From one stat man to another stat man, keeping stats adds a lot of enjoyment to my fishing. It has also helped me become a much better angler. Thanks.

TT: I'm in total agreement. As I've said in my write-ups and summaries, including my current one, it's helped me to know when I should avoid certain streams and the best times to go to some streams.

Beautiful stream shots. I particularly like your very first stream shot.

No doubt you've fished there. I wish the water would have stayed that high all summer instead of the opposite. I'm not sure if fishing in NC PA is going to be much good in 2021. I'll sample it, likely in May, and if it is no good I won't be back for a while.

TT: The spot looks familiar. Hopefully it didn't take much of a hit.

You referenced a picture of a 10" brook trout but the picture below is a brown trout, just so you know. I think you may have attached a different picture than the one you intended. It's easy to do when you have a ton of pictures.

This was my first time to load photos directly to this website without hosting them on Flickr or PhotoBucket. It took me about three hours to load this summary on here. It went well but the problem I noticed right away is that the photos show up on here way too big, which makes it difficult to know if the words go with the photo above the words or below the words. When I started I decided I'd always put the photo first and the words second. Trouble is, both rarely show up on the same screen, which makes it difficult to follow my photo essay. In fact, I think it pretty much ruins it. Next year I may try to reduce the size of my photos before loading them in my summary. I currently don't know how to do that, but I suppose I can learn. The portrait photos are so big they are hard to even follow on here.

TT: I was just pointing it out because I figured you would want to know. There are times in the past when you pointed out that I posted the same picture in two different spots by mistake and I appreciated it.

You used to be able to load 20 photos for each post/reply, now it's 10. The photos are very large now.

Every year you catch some of the most gorgeous brook trout. The orange bellied brookies are stunning.

Orange-colored brookies are my favorite to photograph. They are rare though. I catch almost all of them in three streams, with a rare one caught elsewhere. If I catch 100 brookies in one of these three streams only three or four will likely be bright orange. (These are caught mostly in May and June, too, so spawning has nothing to do with the colors.)

TT: What a rare treat they are! I wonder what their spawning colors look like!

You caught some really beautiful yellow wild browns too. How big was the brown in the 2nd picture in your summary?

17.5"

A brown with big black spots that looks a lot like one I caught. We caught the same trout perhaps?

It is possible though unlikely I suppose. I'm pretty tight-lipped about where I fish, but I will tell you that this big brown was caught in Trout Creek. Please keep it a secret.

TT: Of course. I figured it was Idunnothename Creek or Noneofyourbusiness Creek.:D

Congrats on your highest outing ever.

It would mean a lot more to me if those trout had been wild trout. Thanks for the tip.

TT: Understood.

Thanks for including the daily logs and some of your old shots too.

As long as I don't have any truly embarrassing outings I'll likely continue to include my daily log in my summary each year. I think it adds credibility to my statistics.

TT: I thought about adding a daily log for the same reason, but I believe I posted all my outings except one here this year. The only one I didn't post was my lowest outing of the year because it wasn't worth posting.

That's a very nice photo of the fawn.

It was neat to see. I was just glad I didn't spook it.

TT: I come across fawns every so often and have posted pictures of them too. Some were very small, probably only a few weeks old. I almost stepped on one once laying in a bunch of ferns.

I really like your custom net. I don't use a net a lot either. I tend to use it more for larger trout or if I'm fishing with someone else.

Thanks. I got it with the intention of motivating myself to take photos. I can't wait to take some photos of those orange brookies beside the net. I got it too late in 2020 to photograph brookies near it.

I watch a good many videos on YouTube of people fishing. I can't for the life of me understand why someone would net a 10" trout. I'd have that 10"er landed and released before they even unhooked it.


TT: I think some people net every trout. I think it's unnecessary for small trout but that's my preference. It comes in handy for larger trout sometimes and for pictures as you've noted.

It's interesting that we caught the same number of hogs, though you caught a lot more 15-16 inchers than I did. I don't remember how many 20 inchers you caught last year, but I think like me, you caught a lot fewer of them this year. Do you think that's due to the added pressure as well as the drought conditions?

I caught four 20"+ trout last year -- all stocked rainbows. I think the reason why I caught fewer 20"ers in 2020 is just because of luck. I will admit that there are a few places where I sometimes catch big rainbows and I fished only one of those places this year -- and I fished it only once. This was because of the drought mostly. One place I typically catch a big rainbow had other anglers there the two or three times I stopped there. So...I never fished there all year.

TT: I believe I know the stream you're referring to. I drove past there a few times last year and saw multiple vehicles there every time.
 

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I noted my replies below with "FN" and the color lavender. My initial responses were in red.

Trout Traveler said:Replies below in, noted with TT and ingreen.

Frank, another fantastic summary as usual!

Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it. By the way, I do photo-essays throughout the year on my Facebook page, "Frank Nale."

A few observations:

Though I catch nowhere near the number of trout that you do, I've had people question how one can catch 100 trout in a day. "You must have had a strike on every cast" is something I've heard several times. I don't think most people have any idea how many casts a spinner angler makes in the course of an hour, let alone a day. I think most people's idea of fishing is sitting in a boat or on a bank still fishing with bait or fly fishing. A friend of mine who is mostly a salt water angler got an education on how many casts he made in a day a couple of years ago when we fished several miles of a small freestoner.

Hi TT. That's the reason why I added the question and answer about this in my disclaimer section this year. I regularly have people doubt my statistics because they don't believe it's possible to catch, for example, fifteen trout in an hour, or even 100 trout in a day. I thought I'd be proactive this year and answer the question about how I can catch fifteen trout in an hour before someone asks. It follows logically that if I can catch fifteen in an hour that I can easily catch 100 in a day if I fish long enough.

TT: I figured that's why you added it. I was just responding in support of it. When I've told people who've asked about my fishing how much water I cover in a day, they're usually surprised unless they've fished with me. I don't think people that are used to fishing one spot or area for a long period of time fully understand why spinner/plug anglers must cover so much water.

FN: Yes, I knew you were supporting my comment. I also agree that most anglers have no idea how much water we cover when we fish spinners (or in your case, sometimes plugs).

Your stats are amazing. Congrats on another great year and reaching a huge milestone: 100K trout on one stream. That's more than I've caught in my life on all streams combined! Congrats also on the calendar picture and your published article.

From one stat man to another stat man, keeping stats adds a lot of enjoyment to my fishing. It has also helped me become a much better angler. Thanks.

TT: I'm in total agreement. As I've said in my write-ups and summaries, including my current one, it's helped me to know when I should avoid certain streams and the best times to go to some streams.

Beautiful stream shots. I particularly like your very first stream shot.

No doubt you've fished there. I wish the water would have stayed that high all summer instead of the opposite. I'm not sure if fishing in NC PA is going to be much good in 2021. I'll sample it, likely in May, and if it is no good I won't be back for a while.

TT: The spot looks familiar. Hopefully it didn't take much of a hit.

You referenced a picture of a 10" brook trout but the picture below is a brown trout, just so you know. I think you may have attached a different picture than the one you intended. It's easy to do when you have a ton of pictures.

This was my first time to load photos directly to this website without hosting them on Flickr or PhotoBucket. It took me about three hours to load this summary on here. It went well but the problem I noticed right away is that the photos show up on here way too big, which makes it difficult to know if the words go with the photo above the words or below the words. When I started I decided I'd always put the photo first and the words second. Trouble is, both rarely show up on the same screen, which makes it difficult to follow my photo essay. In fact, I think it pretty much ruins it. Next year I may try to reduce the size of my photos before loading them in my summary. I currently don't know how to do that, but I suppose I can learn. The portrait photos are so big they are hard to even follow on here.

TT: I was just pointing it out because I figured you would want to know. There are times in the past when you pointed out that I posted the same picture in two different spots by mistake and I appreciated it.

You used to be able to load 20 photos for each post/reply, now it's 10. The photos are very large now.


FN: I have no problem with you pointing it out. I was actually trying to tactfully explain why the brookie photo is actually in the correct place (photo #14) but I guess I came across as a little tactless. When I posted this summary I made the decision to put the words below each photo. I realize that with the size of the photos it's hard to tell where the wording goes. In the wording below the 10" brookies photo I have since edited it from (see photo) to (see above photo) to make it clearer.

Every year you catch some of the most gorgeous brook trout. The orange bellied brookies are stunning.

Orange-colored brookies are my favorite to photograph. They are rare though. I catch almost all of them in three streams, with a rare one caught elsewhere. If I catch 100 brookies in one of these three streams only three or four will likely be bright orange. (These are caught mostly in May and June, too, so spawning has nothing to do with the colors.)

TT: What a rare treat they are! I wonder what their spawning colors look like!

FN: I actually don't fish for native brookies much in the autumn. My guess is that there would be some black mixed in with the orange and they probably wouldn't be as attractive.

You caught some really beautiful yellow wild browns too. How big was the brown in the 2nd picture in your summary?

17.5"

A brown with big black spots that looks a lot like one I caught. We caught the same trout perhaps?

It is possible though unlikely I suppose. I'm pretty tight-lipped about where I fish, but I will tell you that this big brown was caught in Trout Creek. Please keep it a secret.

TT: Of course. I figured it was Idunnothename Creek or Noneofyourbusiness Creek.:D

FN: Thanks a lot. Now everyone knows.

Congrats on your highest outing ever.

It would mean a lot more to me if those trout had been wild trout. Thanks for the tip.

TT: Understood.

Thanks for including the daily logs and some of your old shots too.

As long as I don't have any truly embarrassing outings I'll likely continue to include my daily log in my summary each year. I think it adds credibility to my statistics.

TT: I thought about adding a daily log for the same reason, but I believe I posted all my outings except one here this year. The only one I didn't post was my lowest outing of the year because it wasn't worth posting.

FN: A summary of the days would still be interesting.

That's a very nice photo of the fawn.

It was neat to see. I was just glad I didn't spook it.

TT: I come across fawns every so often and have posted pictures of them too. Some were very small, probably only a few weeks old. I almost stepped on one once laying in a bunch of ferns.

I really like your custom net. I don't use a net a lot either. I tend to use it more for larger trout or if I'm fishing with someone else.

Thanks. I got it with the intention of motivating myself to take photos. I can't wait to take some photos of those orange brookies beside the net. I got it too late in 2020 to photograph brookies near it.

I watch a good many videos on YouTube of people fishing. I can't for the life of me understand why someone would net a 10" trout. I'd have that 10"er landed and released before they even unhooked it.


TT: I think some people net every trout. I think it's unnecessary for small trout but that's my preference. It comes in handy for larger trout sometimes and for pictures as you've noted.

FN: I saw a guy with an aluminum-handled net that must have had a three-foot handle and a 2-foot in diameter net on Spring Creek a couple years ago. That would be cumbersome. I actually watched him net a little trout with it.

It's interesting that we caught the same number of hogs, though you caught a lot more 15-16 inchers than I did. I don't remember how many 20 inchers you caught last year, but I think like me, you caught a lot fewer of them this year. Do you think that's due to the added pressure as well as the drought conditions?

I caught four 20"+ trout last year -- all stocked rainbows. I think the reason why I caught fewer 20"ers in 2020 is just because of luck. I will admit that there are a few places where I sometimes catch big rainbows and I fished only one of those places this year -- and I fished it only once. This was because of the drought mostly. One place I typically catch a big rainbow had other anglers there the two or three times I stopped there. So...I never fished there all year.

TT: I believe I know the stream you're referring to. I drove past there a few times last year and saw multiple vehicles there every time.
 
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