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so...my post isnt going to copy and past...




long story short...i went to fish a stream i knew was only about a mile long...it was only about a mile from the truck...i figured id be able to be in and out within a few hours which was perfect...


ive fished this general area a few times...a few small tribs held a good bit of native brookies...a medium sized creek held spotty natives but its real spotty..


i crossed over a big stocked stream and got to a medium sized stream and immediately saw rising fish...figured i cant pass up trout just to get to my destination creek...


threw out a plug and BAM! trout on!


So today I had no intentions of fishing...i took care of some stuff and around 11 I realized that my obligations for the day were met...

I jumped in the truck and headed for water...

I still didn't have all day to fish...but I had a stream on my list I never fished..it wasn't a long stream..i knew that..but figured it was perfect...2-3hrs and I would be done and I had to swing by work and get back home...

I park and head in...it's about a mile to the mouth of the stream...

I had to wade across a nasty impoundment to get to the big creek..it was nasty..i absolutely hate swampy Marsh waters..bugs..stink..goo and nastiness...

It's hot...I'm sweating..bugs are trying to eat me alive..

I get to the big creek and follow it to the medium creek...

The big creek is stocked...the medium creek is not stocked or on any kinda list.im sure its on the natural reproduction list but nearly every trickle is..

As soon as I get eyes on the medium creek I see rising trout!

....well...i can't pass up a pool full of risers!

Tied on a plug and made a cast...WHAM! Fish on!!



It was my first fish of any kinda size..this is the first year fishing a rod like I am..short and relatively stiff..but it fought like a champ... Really impressed...

the dreaded "first cast trout"...

figured the rainbows in the pool swam up from the big stocked creek...



i pressed on and picked up a few brookies..



i noticed the fish in the watershed are often dark slate colored like that one..pretty little fish especially when their colors are bright..


fishing was SLOW..just like the medium sized cousin...really spotty but the water could hold thousands of trout...sand..gravel..rock..boulders..open meadow stretches..dark hemlock stretches...big deep pools..nice riffles, runs...you name it this stream and its cousin has it...flow is cold..deep enough even in the flat areas to hold fish...but they just dont...tons of minnows, crayfish, insects etc...i think its a water quality issue maybe..lots of orange seeps..


i pressed on and came to a spot that looked fishy but didnt look like much from my initial angle..


first cast yielded another rainbow...i know fish swim...but that sucker was probably a half mile up from the stocked stream...it was just smaller than the first..judging by their condition and decent color and size id guess they didnt swim up this season...but who knows..

i caught it relatively close so i casted the spinner a bit farther...another fish!

whoa!! a 6-7" wild brown! i didnt expect that! realizing i just caught 3 species from the same stretch..even though i dont believe the rainbows to be wild was still worth taking a pic to document the brown...as i reached for the phone he flopped outta my hand and into the water and the spinner came flying up at me...


i was bummed..fishing was slow...didnt get a pic of the brown..


i moved to the right side of the stream and moved up and realized it was a giant hole...


i cast again...open stream so i ripped on the spinner and threw it as far as the little rod could...guessing 90-100ft..


started my retrieve and my spinner just STOPPED...dead STOPPED...

"great..lost my brown before i got the picture and now i have a snag in a GREAT looking hole and will spook the fish" i thought..

as soon as i thought that my reel started screaming..many of you know i spent summers shark fishing..my little rod bowed over and my reel was singing like i had a shark on..

"what in the world did i hook?!?!" i quickly set the hook with some authority and the fish didnt budge..

i start moving upstream to get into a better position to fight and land it...

from that vantage point i can see a giant slab of gnarly concrete between me and the fish and it wants to dive under it...

i still thought i had a small mouth on...but a good one and i wanted to land it!


i felt my line was close to tested...but at the same time i knew if it made it under the slab it was game over for sure...i made the quick decision to tighten down the drag and try to horse it up and down stream of the slab...

it worked! i had it below the slab and realized it was another brown!


we battled up and down...side to side...the power of the fish was incredible...the speed of the runs it would make..i was convinced i was gunna loose the fish and tried taking pics while i worked him just so i could have proof of what i hooked..lol (none of which turned out..)

i felt the timing was right and made a swift motion to bring him to the edge..there was no shore and i dont carry a net..i never get into fish i cant handle..most i can lift out with the rod...so i was pretty nervous...

i kept the tension on the rod and reached down and got hands on the beast...

he was still extremely feisty...but i knew the couple minute battle is taxing on fish...his life was more important than my pics...i snapped 2 quick pics and got him on his way...



now...hes not a giant..but thats my biggest trout to date...i just dont get into big fish even when i chased stockers...that rainbow was actually in the top 3 that i can think of..so i was pumped..to me it was a monster..

he had big scars and survived probably a heron attack im guessing..

later i measured my arm from the crease to the middle finger and its 18.5"..i think on a fish measurer it would hit the 20" mark..


i was shaking like i just killed a giant buck..



i did NOT expect that...



i pressed on and came to my target stream...immediately upstream from it was a pretty hole...

i made 3 casts and landed 3 brookies...2 of which were on the verge of exploding like this one...



pic actually doesnt show its true fatness..the stomachs on the 2 were absolutely buldging...i have no idea what they were gorging on...but they were not gunna go hungry!


i went up my target stream and it was a gorgeous little trickle..VERY steep gradient and an awesome waterfall upto...i climbed the waterfall hoping it became fishable...but it didnt...


i hiked back down and continued up the creek..

i picked up another brookie or 2 and things slowed even worse...absolutely beautiful water didnt hold a fish...numerous holes and nothing...


i came to a nice little run and could see a good ways up stream...it wasnt looking any different..i was hot and being killed by bugs..i had to go into work and get back home..figured id fish that run and call it a day...


i made a cast and had a hit..fish on!!

i brought it to my hand and i was in shock...literally. i couldnt believe what i was holding...i couldnt believe the size...i couldnt believe he too survived some sort or attack..

i dont catch thousands of trout a year..i havent fished PA since 2009..and my area isnt great for trout fishing...i have to travel and just dont get to fish as much as id like...but ive been waiting to catch one of these gems i was holding in my hand since i knew such a thing existed...


i was holding my first wild TIGER!!!!







i couldnt believe it...i still dont.

the fishing was relatively poor..i caught 2 browns, 2 rainbows and 6 brookies in a stretch i should have been able to catch over 100 fish without trouble...

i hope that watershed can heal itself...the fisherie will be one of the best in the state if it does IMO..

the stream and its cousin i fished years ago remind me of the rivers i fished in Michigan...difference was up there there literally are hundreds of fish...


i always thought id catch a tiger in Michigan..the rivers i fished held brookies and browns and lots of them...in PA most of what i fish is brookie water...not much brown water around that i have found...so my odds of catching a tiger are very very low...


i called the tiger my last fish and headed for the truck...smiling like a kid after his first kiss lol...

i knew there wasnt a golden rainbow hiding in that stream so i had to settle for 4/5 species...i dont believe the rainbows to be wild fish...but i still find that to be an incredibly special day..ive caught a fair share of trout and ive NEVER caught a golden rainbow in my life lol...hooked one on the flyrod once and he got off...hard to catch them when most my adult life ive only fished wild fish..



i had to cross a swamp to get to the water..literally a swamp..thick..nasty..bugs everywhere..stinky muck and goo..i had to wade 100yds across standing water with floating goo and nastiness..i absolutely hate swamp water...and im glad i didnt sink in the muck..the bugs were horrible..the horse flies followed me from the swamp up the creek trying to kill me the entire time..i killed probably 20 of them..maybe thats what the trout were gorging on lol....


it seems crazy to goto the lengths some of us wild trout fishermen do...hiking numerous miles before even seeing water...hiking some of the roughest terrain the state has to offer..doing things like wading the swamp...

but it brings us to some of the most beautiful places in the state...

it was an awesome day...hopefully it rains today and i can get out again tomorrow!
 

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Re: trout of a million casts....

Sweet!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: trout of a million casts....

Thanx! Post works now...not my original...but it'll do...lol
 

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Re: trout of a million casts....

Somehow I knew this post was going to be worth the wait. Incredible day. That is one hog of a brown. Congrats on the first and hopefully not your last tiger. That is truly a trophy and a rare experience.
 

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Re: trout of a million casts....

Congrats on the wild tiger! I've caught a few and they are always on the back of my mind now when I'm in wild brook/brown water.
 

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Re: trout of a million casts....

Congratulations on the wild tiger. I caught one without even knowing when I was a few years younger(less wiser)... looking back at pictures I realized I did. I still don't count it though cause it slipped past my mind while taking the picture... lol
 

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Nice!!
 

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Nice. Tigers are one thing I don't get up here in potter. Every stream has Brooks and browns but I think the difference in their spawning season up here is why I never see any.
 

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ratherbhuntin said:
Nice. Tigers are one thing I don't get up here in potter. Every stream has Brooks and browns but I think the difference in their spawning season up here is why I never see any.
There is potential for one in any stream that has both wild brooks and Browns, but the PAF&BC only finds 1-2 per year when surveying streams. They are extremely rare everywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanx guys!!


I still get over it....


Still bummed trout traveler and I couldn't meet up as planned...but we both had terrific days and we'll meet up soon I'm sure!



The Tiger is just amazing to me....like trout traveler said..odds of catching one are incredibly low....just a luck thing...you can't go out and fish for them..you can't really pick streams to try to up the odds.. obviously gotta fish waters that brookies and browns reproduce in..



Any ideas on the scars? I'm guessing a heron??

The brown had the same marks...

And I've found dead brookies in that watershed with the same marks while hunting..

I've caught a few trout and I don't remember ever seeing marks like that...not saying it's rare or anything..more curious as to what caused it and why that watershed seems to have an issue...
 

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The scars look to be very close together, and are on both sides of the fish. Herons hunt with their beaks which I doubt would leave defined, linear marks on each side. My best guess would be a mink. Mink are adept at catching trout in streams of all size. They swim like a torpedo underwater. Depending on which part of the state you are in, an otter could also be the culprit.
 

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Quite a day. Thanks for sharing your trout fishing adventure


I say marks are caused by herons with open beaks and then closing down on the trout both sides. I have fished many years and in my earlier years never seen mark on trout like that until the last ten years or so with an ever expanding heron population on streams I fish. Several delayed harvest areas I fish it is quite common to catch several fish a year with those type of marks.
 

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Those marks don't look like wounds from a great blue heron. It's some other predator.

I see quite a few trout with puncture wounds from herons.

Mauser, you really had a great outing. Not only because of the wild tiger, but also the large brown and rainbow you caught.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Never thought of a mink...that's possible too...

The brown has the same 2 lines..but it doesn't show in my pics..i thought it was both sides though...maybe it was only his left side that I don't get pics of..


Pretty cool to catch 4 out of 5 of PAs trout species in a day from the same stream..


Sometimes things don't go as planned..but that day taught me all is not lost...take advantage of what is in front of you...

I was bummed I couldn't make it with trout traveler...we had a heck of a day planned...i was really bummed to find my target stream wasn't fishable...but it turned out to produce 2 of the best fish of my life...
 

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It is cool to get 4 of 5 PA trout species in the same day. I've done that several times. I've never caught a tiger trout and a golden rainbow in the same day. When on a trip on a SW PA stream a few years ago, I had caught all of the species except the golden rainbow, but had one following my spinner, when it turned and hit my friend's spinner instead, whose spinner was being retrieved behind mine (we were in a boat).

It would be great to get all five species but what be even better would be to get all four PA wild species in the same day, which I have never done. A few years ago, I caught a wild tiger, as well as wild brooks and browns and considered leaving to go to a stream that was around 45 minutes away that has wild rainbows. I didn't do it and have regretted it ever since.
 

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Congratulations on your first wild tiger. Who knows you may catch another one down the road. I have caught two wild tigers. Both from the same stream. I caught the first one three different times over a span of 18 months and the second one I caught twice over a year span. Each was caught on a flyrod with several different dry flies. It is such a THRILL to catch one. I felt the same way you did. What are the odds of catching the same one 2 or 3 times? I need to play the lotto. I caught those in 2008 and 09. I have not caught one since. Again congrats!!!
 

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A few years ago, the PAF&BC stocked tiger trout. They cross bred the brooks and browns in the hatcheries to produce tiger trout, but I believe they've ended the program because only about 4-5% of the trout actually hatch, so it was too expensive to continue.

As it is, I think 1% or less of trout eggs hatch and survive the first year. I doubt brooks and browns cross breed extensively in the wild which makes the possibility of a wild tiger even less likely. Since tiger trout are sterile, they can't produce more tiger trout.

Mark Nale wrote an article several years ago that is worth reading. Since he wrote the article, I think he's caught another two or three wild tigers. I believe Frank has doubled his total in the article, to 20.

Here is the link:

http://www.patrout.org/docs/reference-materials/tiger_trout.pdf?sfvrsn=2
 

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ratherbhuntin said:
Nice. Tigers are one thing I don't get up here in potter. Every stream has Brooks and browns but I think the difference in their spawning season up here is why I never see any.
Only one I ever caught was in Potter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
....wow.

I'm blown away now.


I knew they were rare....


But for some reason I thought guys like Trout2003, trout travler, and Frank Nale that match thousands of trout a year catch a handful each year...
 
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