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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
With the heavy rain in much of the state, I knew stream options would be limited yesterday. I expected the stream that I intended to fish would be cloudy early, so I arrived later than I normally would. As it turns out, the stream was clear when I got there, so I likely could have started two hours or so earlier.
At any rate, when I pulled up, I saw a pickup truck parked there. It had a fishing bumper sticker, so I was sure there was at least one other fisherman there and I didn’t want to fish behind another angler, so I drove to a different section of the creek. No other vehicles were there, so I parked, got my gear together and made a long walk down to a familiar starting point.

As is often the case, the action was slow to start. I caught only one trout, an 8 ½ inch wild brown, within the first 20 minutes. But it picked up after that. Trout #2 was a 9 incher, followed by sub-legal browns on back to back casts, my first BTBer of the day. My first double digit length trout, a 10 ½ incher, came next. 9 more browns were added in the remainder of the hour, ranging from 6 to 11 inches. I lost 2 during the hour, which often occurs at that stream. There are a lot of small trout, which are difficult to hook, and they are prone to clearing the water and tossing the spinner in the air. I took the water temperature, which was 53 degrees.

The next hour produced 11 browns, plus more lost trout. The largest trout was 10 inches. The most memorable trout was only 8 inches, but it bounded out of the water three times, with lengthy jumps.

Hour #3 was more of the same; 11 trout landed with a few more lost/missed fish. The size range was between 5 and 10 ½ inches. Several of the browns cleared the water multiple times. As I approached my car, I was interested to see what would transpire. I didn’t see another vehicle, which was good, but that didn’t mean that I wouldn’t run into other fishermen. I had only seen one other angler, a fly fisherman, who walked downstream along the bank past me during hour #3.

The stream narrowed and I figured the fishing might improve dramatically. When the water level is up, the fishing is often good in that section, and I believe many anglers bypass it because the stream is very narrow there. I was right about the improvement! I caught 24 browns during hour #4 and lost several more. The largest were two 10 inchers. The water temperature was 55.

The great action continued into the next two hours with 48 more coming to hand. The largest was 13 ½ inches, but my favorite trout was a beautiful 12 incher. I'm convinced that I could have fished for another hour or so until I reached a posted section and caught many more trout, but I wanted to try a stream near where I live before it got dark, so I fished for another 15 minutes and landed 4 small browns.





I walked a quick pace back to my car, wondering how much more fishing I would get in at the second stream since I had to walk in a fair distance to start. I drove to the second stream, put my waders back on and beat feet down the trail.
I had fished the stream twice before in the last couple of years but upstream from where I was. It’s a freestone stream and it warms in the summer. It is stocked several miles upstream but to my knowledge it’s not stocked in the downstream section where I was. I had walked along that section in March before the season opened to take a look at it.

There was a large splash as I prepared to make my first cast. I made a few casts into a deep pool with no interest. The pool was too deep to wade, so I had to go back out to the trail and wade back in upstream.

I had no action in the first few spots I tried, but in a good looking spot a large brown followed my spinner, then returned to its lair. As is usually the case with big browns, it didn’t follow again. A small brown followed a few casts later. I fished through several spots before landing an 8 inch wild brown in a split in the creek. The light was quickly fading, and I knew I had only about 15 minutes or so left. I dropped a cast into a heavy water that ran next to likely looking pocket against the bank. A heavy brown ambushed my spinner and I set the hook. It dove for the safety of the heavy water. Steady pressure soon tired out the fish. It was chunky and measured 16 ½ inches. I got no further action in the rest of the time I fished. I only caught two trout in the 45 minutes I fished there but getting the big brown and seeing another made it worth it.



For the day, I caught 114 trout in 7 hours, by far my highest outing of the year so far. At year end, it may well turn out to be my highest day of the year, but who knows? All the trout were browns and hit spinners.

Size breakdown:
Sub-legals: 29
7-9.75”: 69
10-13.5”: 15
16” +:1

I walked four miles on the day.
 

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Good job Andy. I'm thinking stream #2 needs a good honest try early in the AM after a 50+ degree night and optimal water conditions. Maybe a day were time is limited for a long drive. I have a hunch you'll be rewarded.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Good job Andy. I'm thinking stream #2 needs a good honest try early in the AM after a 50+ degree night and optimal water conditions. Maybe a day where time is limited for a long drive. I have a hunch you'll be rewarded.
Thanks!
I’ve fished most of the lower stretch of that stream. Not too far upstream from where I live, there’s a no fishing sign and above there it flows through a golf course. I wonder if it’s worth trying above the golf course. Every time I’ve fished it was at the end of the day after fishing another stream. I think it has a low trout population but it has produced two 16 inch plus trout in the limited time I’ve fished it. (I caught a 16” brown there last year).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I haven’t fished since my initial outing on the month. Due to some obligations, but mostly due to the unseasonably cold weather. Where I am, we received a dusting of snow, along with air temperatures only in the 20s and 30s. Hard to believe it’s May.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
After the month of May got off to such an auspicious start fishing-wise, I was sure my next outing wouldn't be nearly as good, especially with the weather being so unseasonably cold. I arrived at the stream, a large freestoner where I've had good luck in the past catching large brown trout. When I parked my car, the air temperature was still only 32 degrees, so I waited a little while before I emerged from my vehicle. After assembling my gear, I carefully made my way down the steep bank and walked a long way downstream with the intention of fishing upstream toward my car.

A large brown hit a plug early in the outing but got off immediately. A few minutes later another big trout followed but didn't hit. After that, there wasn't much action. I expected the fishing to be slow with the cold air temperature, but not nearly as slow as it was. The fishing in the first section was terrible, only five wild brown trout in 2.75 hours. The biggest was 11 3/4 inches, which hit a 2 1/2 inch plug. The water temperature was 46.

I normally fish past where I park my car there, but with the action so poor, I climbed the bank to my car. I drove to another section of the creek, but noticed the check engine light in my car was on, so I went to a local garage, which diagnosed the problem and told me what I needed to do. Strangely, later in the day when I started the car, the check engine light was not on.

When I returned to the creek, I found that I had somehow lost my net. I fished the second section, which is stocked, for 45 minutes and only caught one 8 inch stocked brown, the first stocked trout I've caught this year. While fishing there, I caught a glimpse of the first fawn I've seen this year as it bounded away. It must have been born early to be able to bound away that easily at this time of the year. I saw five more deer when I was walking out. I returned to where I had fished first to see if my net was near where I parked my car. I knew the chances were slim that I would find it and I didn't.

I headed to a stream I had never fished before, half expecting there to see at least one car there. Happily there wasn’t, so I walked downstream until I saw some property boundary signs. I didn't see any no trespassing signs or purple paint on the trees below the boundary signs but decided not to venture onto that property. I fished that stream for 3 hours, caught 21 trout and lost at least 7 or 8 more. 18 of the trout were wild browns and the others were native brook trout. The biggest brown was 13 1/2 inches; the biggest brookie was 8 inches. The water temperature was 52.





There is another stream very close to where I was, so I decided to give it a quick try to end the day. I fished the little freestoner for 45 minutes and caught four wild browns. The biggest was 14 1/2 inches, my biggest trout of the day.





Overall, I caught 31 trout in 7.25 hours. All hit spinners except for two. 27 of the trout were wild browns, 1 was a stocked brown, and 3 were native brook trout. Between the three streams, I lost 10-12 trout. I got my exercise, walking 5.6 miles over the course of the day.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Love these posts!
Thanks very much. Have another!

I wanted to go further to fish but needed to stay local because I had a virtual networking meeting last night. I drove to a stream that's fairly close by but I had never fished. Most of the lower section that was larger was posted, so I drove further upstream. The stream was very small, which doesn't bother me, but it was very low. It's too low for this time of the year. I left there without fishing and stopped at a stocked stream that I haven't fished for several years. I fished it for an hour and only got two hits from small trout. I didn't see any reason to keep going, so I left.

I drove to a small limestone-influenced stream that I know well. I went to a stretch that I haven't fished for a few years. An 8 inch wild brown came to hand soon after starting there, but the trout really weren't cooperating. I fished through several excellent looking spots and succeeded in only getting a 7 1/2 inch wild brown. The water temperature was 57 so that wasn't the problem. It almost certainly had been fished recently. When I came to a split in the creek, I tried the smaller side with less water in it and caught an 11 3/4 inch wild brown and missed two other trout. When I went back to the other side, there was no action until I dropped my spinner in front of a leaning tree and a log jam. A heavy trout hit viciously. I set the hook and he dove for the brush. I was able to extract him and bring him in. Initially, I thought I had a 16 incher, but my feeling was that it was going to be just short. It measured 15 3/4 inches. After a quick picture, the trout was released.




I continued upstream and only got a couple of follows in the next half hour. As I neared a section with an electric fence across the creek, I suddenly had a flurry of activity. I caught four browns (6, 7, 6 1/2, and 10 inches) and had three more throw the spinner in a 15 minute period. Whoever was fishing that section before me must have stopped before they got to the short section where I had the activity. In the two hours I fished that section, I only caught eight trout, and half were in a 15 minute period.



Hoping that the other section I planned to fish hadn't been hit, I slipped into the creek and immediately lost a very nice brown that hit my spinner on the drop. A few casts later I caught an 8 inch brown and missed another. Next was a 10 inch brown, a 7 incher, and a bounding brown that threw the spinner in mid-air. In a nice pool, browns of 12, 12 1/2, and 11 inches came to hand on three straight casts. Two casts later, a heavy brown hit at the head of the pool. It was a very nice 15 incher. The remainder of the hour produced seven more browns, ranging from 5 1/2 to 9 1/2 inches. I had reached posted water. I considered going further upstream, but decided to head for home. I had hoped to try the stream that flows through my apartment complex again, but I didn't have time before my meeting.



My meeting was scheduled to be two hours but ended at 7:15, so I decided to head back out. I hurried down the trail and waded in. The last time I fished there, a large brown followed my spinner near an undercut bank. On my second cast, wham! I set the hook and had to keep him away from the undercut. The brown measured 15 inches, my third 15 incher of the day. A few casts later, a small brown hit, cartwheeled out of the water and coughed up my spinner. Two more hit and got off before I landed a 13 1/2 inch wild brown. A hog brown followed my spinner twice without hitting. Soon after, I ran out of daylight.

Stats for the day:

Streams fished: 3
Trout Caught: 24 (all wild browns)
Caught on: Spinners
Hours fished: 4.5
Largest trout: 15 3/4 inches
Miles walked: 3.2
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I went to one of my favorite big trout haunts, knowing how unpredictable it is. The forecast was for cloudy skies with rain later, but it was sunny when I arrived./forums/images/smilies/tongue.gif

I had not fished the section I chose to start in for a couple of years. The fishing in the first section was lousy. I caught only seven trout; six wild browns and one stocked brown in 3.25 hours. The stocked brown was the only one that was over 8 1/2 inches. A large brown followed my spinner early in the outing but didn't hit. I lost a big trout on a plug about an hour into the day. As I moved up into an area I was more familiar with, the sun was even brighter, so I returned to my vehicle and drove to another section. There is more shade in that part of the creek but it is very difficult to wade when the stream level is up.

The action was very slow to start there as well. I only managed an 8 inch wild brown in the first hour I was there. As I moved up into a large pool, I changed from a spinner to a 3 1/2 inch plug. Soon after changing, I felt the tell tale take of a large trout. I set the hook and the brown burned line off my reel and cleared the water. Fortunately, the hooks held as the brown dashed around the pool for several minutes, clearing the water once more. Finally, I brought him in, measured him, took a quick picture, and released him. The hefty brown measured 19 1/2 inches.



I took a break for a few minutes and then resumed fishing. Another large brown followed the plug but didn't hit. I had a fairly long stretch with no action. I considered switching back to the spinner but I hadn't been getting much interest in that so I stayed with the plug. As I retrieved the plug along a current break, I felt a strong hit. I set the hook and the brown shot to the surface, creating a ruckus. I brought him to hand and slipped my new net under him. That trout was slightly smaller than the previous one, but at 18 inches was a fine fish. I removed the hook and he shot out of my hands.





The pattern repeated itself and I had another gap in the action. It's not really surprising when using a large plug. I reached a section that was too deep to wade through so I walked around it and waded back in. I cast my plug to a deep spot next to the bank. As the plug wobbled through, I saw a huge brown zoom in and smash my lure. It was the most explosive hit I've had in a long time. I set the hook and the behemoth got off immediately.

I moved upstream and reached a good looking spot. Unfortunately, I lost the plug on the first cast there and tied on another one. It produced a chunky 15 inch brown. By this time, it was very cloudy and a light rain started to fall. After fishing through several excellent looking spots with no action, I considered leaving for another stream, but decided to try a spinner again. I caught browns of 13, 14 3/4, and 15 1/2 inches before another lull. I again considered leaving but the sight of a big brown tracking my spinner changed my mind. He didn't hit and true to form for big wild browns, didn't return. Then I went on a trout losing spree. Five straight trout hit and got off, with four of them taking to the air to gain their freedom. One of those fish was definitely over 16 inches and another was close.

The rain increased and I hoped that would bring out the big browns. I caught a 12 incher, had a follow from a brown that looked to be in the 15-16 inch range, then caught an 8 1/2 incher. By that time, I had pretty much given up the idea of going to another stream. I caught a 13 3/4 inch brown before two anglers came down the opposite bank and started fishing. I moved upstream but I was getting almost no interest. I saw two more fishermen upstream from me so I decided to head back to my car. I made a few more casts before leaving, and finished the day with a nice 14 inch brown.

For the day, I caught 19 browns, all wild except for one. I'm pretty sure that I could have gone to a nearby freestoner and caught a lot more trout, but every time I thought about leaving a big trout appeared. Two of my trout were over 16 inches and two were between 15 and 16 inches. 15 trout hit spinners while the rest hit plugs. I saw 8-9 big trout on the day, two of which I lost. I saw several geese with goslings, and a mallard with ten ducklings.

I covered a lot of ground, walking 5.7 miles on the day.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I had a long day on the water yesterday that included some thrilling and agonizing moments,

When I pulled into the parking lot, there were no other vehicles there. I assembled my gear and made the long walk downstream. After almost an hour's walk, I arrived at my starting point. I saw three sets of Canada geese with goslings. Unfortunately, the fishing was very slow to start. I didn't catch my first trout, a 9 inch wild brown, until almost 45 minutes after starting. My next fish was a 9 inch smallmouth. Near the end of the first hour, I felt a solid strike and set the hook. The rod throbbed and the heavy fish zoomed downstream at me. I knew right away that it was a bass and not a trout. It was an impressive fish, thick and healthy. It was 16 inches long. I ended the hour with browns of 10 and 6 inches.

The action continued to be slow and I only caught three trout in the next hour, two 8 inch browns and a sub-legal brookie. Things began to pick up in the next hour. The first three trout of the hour were brookies, with a nice 9 1/4 incher being the nicest. Six more trout came to hand during the hour, including browns of 15 and 14 inches. I didn't take pictures of either of them. The 15 incher took a while to bring in and the 14 incher slipped off the hook before I could take a picture.

I caught four small trout, three browns and a brook before I reached my car. I climbed the bank and then drove upstream a short distance and waded back in. Again, the action was slow for a while. I only managed a 5 1/2 inch brookie before closing the hour with 5 browns, two of which exceeded 12 inches.

A nice 13 inch brown opened the next hour, followed by a 9 inch brown and a 9 inch brookie. A heavy 13 1/2 inch brown barreled out from under a streamside bush to hammer my spinner. Next came a sub-legal brown and an 8 1/2 inch brown. While pulling my spinner through a shallow run, I saw a large brown move and grab my spinner. Unfortunately, I had that bad feeling that he wasn't hooked well and the big brown got off.

I continued to cover the pocket water and picked up two browns and a brook trout before I came to a spot that looked like it had big trout potential. I flipped my spinner into the fast water flowing into the pool. A large shape lunged at the spinner and struck. I set the hook and couldn't believe the splash. The huge trout dove for the log, but I managed to keep him away from it with constant pressure. The monstrous tail splashed on the surface twice more. The monster swam downstream and I finally got a look at him and couldn't believe my eyes. It was a huge male brown, not what you'd expect in a small freestone stream. He moved downstream near a large rock. As I kept line tension, he moved slightly and the spinner popped loose. I felt physically ill at losing that trout. Trout are often not as long as we first think they are, but that fish had to be close to two feet long. It would have been my trout of the year. I hope I will get another shot at him, but you usually only get one shot at a fish like that, and I missed my chance.:p

I lost four trout in a row after that, no doubt due to a lapse in concentration. My next trout was a nice 14 1/2 incher. The action slowed as I moved upstream. I fished a long stretch and managed only 9 trout over the last two hours plus. I tried a plug in a nice pool and was surprised when a 10 inch brookie drilled it. My last trout of the day was a pretty 12 1/2 inch brown. I could have kept on fishing, but my back was aching and I still had a long walk back to the car.

The whole walk back, I wondered what I could have done differently to land that huge brown and wondered if I would get another chance, and what I might try the next time I visited that stretch of water.

On the day, I caught 45 trout and 2 bass, all on spinners except one. The biggest trout was a 15 inch brown. My biggest brook trout was 10 inches, and I caught a 16 inch smallmouth. What will endure is all aspects of the fight with that brown. It's what we live for as anglers. Hopefully, we can tangle once again, but I'll land him.

I walked 5.5 miles on the day and saw this on the ride home.



Other pictures from the day:



 

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Discussion Starter #17
Four days later, I'm still thinking about that trout. But the possibility of fish like that is what keeps us fishing.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I'm thinking of the Pic, can't wait till you get him.
Well, it would be difficult to get a good picture if I was lucky enough to land him unless I was fishing with someone else. Typically I fish that stream, as I do most streams, alone. If I caught him fishing solo, I'd try to snap a quick picture without removing him from the water. My first priority would be to release him unharmed.

Though I know where he is, who knows what will happen before I can fish there again. And chances are good being as big as he is, that he might be so quick to hit. He didn't get to be that big by being dumb.
 
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