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4,643 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I fished a couple of days recently. I had been wanting to return to a large stream for a long time, even though I've never done all that well there. The possibility of huge trout is the motivating factor. The last time I fished there was several years ago.

It's more than three hours from where I live so I drove up the night before and scouted my access points because most of the land along the stream is posted. The stream itself is navigable. I checked the USGS gauge the night before and the stream was a little higher than I would have liked, but fishable. Unfortunately, the outflow was reduced by more than half overnight. As a result the fishing was terrible. I fished that branch for about 3 1/2 hours and only caught three wild browns. The biggest was 15 inches.
15 inch brown trout

I tried another branch for a little over an hour and only had one hit before I left. I was extremely disappointed in the fishing, but it's not unusual for that stream.
I talked with a couple of other fishermen who said that the inconsistency of the releases is a big problem.

I left there to head for my parents' house but stopped to try another stream that was also low. I went to a section that is further downstream than the sections I normally fish. There are some deeper pools in that section that I was sure would hold fish, despite the low water. I don't fish that section in the summer because it gets warm. Before starting, I took the water temperature, which was 61.
About 15 minutes after I waded in, I flipped a cast toward a deep pocket and a big brown grabbed my spinner. I brought him in, measured and released him. He was 18 1/2 inches and validated my decision to stop there.

18 1/2 inch Brown Trout

About ten minutes later I made a cast to the tail of a deep pool and saw a large trout following. I immediately crouched low so as not to spook the trout which grabbed my spinner right at the tailout. He zoomed around the pool for several minutes before I brought him in. He was 18 3/4 inches long.
After that I caught a browns of 9 inches, 15 1/2 inches, 8 1/2, and 10 inches. I also caught two rainbows of 17 and 15 3/4 inches.

15 3/4 inch rainbow

I have caught rainbows in that stream before, but much further upstream. I caught nine trout in the 1.75 hours I fished there, but three were over 16 inches and two were between 15 and 16 inches. It helped to salvage the day.

I went out again yesterday. I fished a large stream that I hadn't fished since June, due to low, warm water. Due to the cooler nights I knew water temperature would not be a problem.
The first hour produced five wild browns ranging from 6 to 14 1/2 inches. Two other trout hit and got off.
I opened hour #2 with another 14 1/2 inch brown and followed it with browns of 12 and 15 1/4 inches.

15 1/4 inch brown trout

After a long stretch of inactivity, I caught an 11 incher.
The action picked up considerably in hour three and I landed 12 more browns. The largest was a nice 14 incher.

14 inch brown

Unfortunately, the action slowed again and I caught only 6 more browns in the next 1 1/2 hours.

I walked back to my car and had a quick snack before moving to another section. I fished that section for an hour and caught ten more wild browns. The biggest was 13 inches.

I drove to two tributaries and both were extremely low, so I didn't bother fishing them.

Overall, I caught 37 wild browns in 5 1/2 hours. All except one hit spinners; one hit a plug. I had 9 or 10 hit and throw the hook. In addition, I caught 9 smallmouth bass, the largest of which was 12 inches. My largest trout of the day was 15 1/4 inches.

Not a banner day, but a nice day to be on the water nonetheless.


1,153 Posts
It's amazing that you caught the same trout in two different streams and that it grew 1/4" overnight.

As always, you nailed some big trout.

I think I just might recognize the stream in the next to last photo. I'm still trying to think of the exact location.

4,643 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You've heard of migratory trout?

I thought that I had posted the same picture twice but I didn't. The pictures are very similar but they are different fish. I had mistakenly titled the picture as a 15 1/2 inch brown trout when it is 15 1/4 inches.

Thanks for letting me know.

As much as I would like to catch a big trout on every trip, I've managed to catch a big trout on 19 of my 39 trips this year, so that's a little less than half. That's pretty consistent with most years. I don't know how that compares to other anglers.
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