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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I decided to venture out and fish on Friday. It rained a little on Thursday but not enough to do any good. It looks like we may be getting some much needed rain from Tropical Storm Nate, as long as the path doesn't change.

I went to a popular large limestone stream. The water was very low and clear and my expectations were very low. I got off to a decent start, catching eight wild browns between 9 and 13 inches during the first hour. I had three others throw the hook.

As I approached a long deep pool, I saw a fisherman ahead of me, so I waded out and walked upstream a long way and got back in. But once I waded back in, the action was lousy for a while. I had a few follows but only a couple of hits so I switched to a Lucky Craft plug. I caught a 13 ½ inch wild brown in a nice riffle before reaching a split. When fishing with someone I often fish the left side, but since I was fishing solo, I fished both sides of the split.

A large brown followed my plug out from the bank but didn't hit. Two casts later, a different brown rolled out from the cut bank and grabbed my plug. A few minutes later, a 15 ½ inch wild brown lay at my feet.



More often than not, when I fish that stream, I catch at least one 15 inch trout. I moved up a little further and made a cast under an overhanging tree. Another nice trout came out, enticed by the swimming action of the plug. He grabbed it and I set the hook. He zoomed back toward the bank but I was able to subdue him. He measured 16 inches. When I saw the water conditions at the start of the day, I figured I had maybe a 10 percent chance of catching a big brown, so I was very happy to land one.



I caught another 15 incher before I reached the top of the split, so I moved to the other side. I caught four more trout in the right split, ranging from 9 ½ to 15 3/4 inches.



As I moved up I encountered a stretch of shallow water, so I switched back to a spinner. I caught four browns on it between 9 and 15 inches. I reached the tail of a huge deep pool and caught a small bass on the spinner. I decided to switch back to the plug and see if I could attract something larger. It did attract something larger, a 13 inch smallmouth bass. Surprisingly, the only trout I caught there was only 8 ½ inches.

I walked up around the big pool but had a long stretch of little action. I tried both spinners and plugs but only got a few follows. When I got above some fast water into a calm stretch, I decided to try the plug again. I had several trout follow it back to me, then bolt once they got close. On the next cast, I saw a nice brown following my lure, so I crouched almost to water level and the trout struck. He zoomed around me in a circle before I brought him in and measured him. At 16 ¾ inches, it was my second big trout of the day.



I continued to use the plug and kept getting follows but not a lot of hits. Three browns of 10-13 inches fell prey to my plug and two others hit and got off. I tried a spinner in some fast water and caught a 10 ½ inch brown before switching back to the plug.

As the lure wobbled on the retrieve, a hefty brown couldn't resist and piled into it. After setting the hook, the brown leaped clear of the water three times but was unable to shake the hook. At 17 ½ inches, it was big trout #3. I had several nice trout including a big rainbow follow but not hit.

I reached another split but was surprisingly unable to catch a trout from either side. I had reached a long slow stretch and thought that the plug would continue to work in the slow water. That proved correct as a heavy brown ambushed the lure next to the bank. Unfortunately, I stupidly tried to rush him in and lost a brown that was close to 20 inches.

Trout continued to follow and bolt after seeing me but I managed to land three browns from 10 ½ to 12 ½ inches before I saw a big silver flash and felt the weight of a really heavy fish. A huge rainbow kicked up a ruckus on the surface, sending water flying in all directions. I had elected to use my small rod that day since the water was so low and had much difficulty subduing the fish. After several minutes I led him into the shallows, measured and took a picture. The tape stretched to 24 ¼ inches. It is my largest trout of the year to date. I wanted to take a self timed picture but due to the length of the fight, I decided against it.



A few minutes later, I caught a 10 inch rainbow before I lost the plug. Since I had reached the end of the deep water, I tied on a spinner since the next stretch was shallow pocket water. I caught eight browns between 7 and 13 inches before I made the extremely long walk back to my car.

For the day, I caught 40 trout (38 browns, 2 rainbows) and 2 smallmouth bass. Four trout were 16 inches or longer, with the largest being the huge rainbow. Four trout were between 15 and 16 inches. I had at least four other trout that were in that size range follow without hitting. I often catch trout on both spinners and plugs in the same day but usually I catch a lot more on spinners than plugs. On days when I catch a decent number on plugs, I generally don't do as well on spinners. On this day, I caught 22 trout on spinners and 18 on plugs. For the most part, I caught trout on the slower water on plugs and on spinners in the shallow water. The trout weren't showing much interest on spinners in the slow water.

I hope to fish one day next week, hopefully after we get a good rain.

 

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Thats a great fall day! I come to expect your hog pictures now... The water in the last stream pic actually looks ok. I'm not sure what it looks like in early summer so I guess I don't have anything to compare it to.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thats a great fall day! I come to expect your hog pictures now... The water in the last stream pic actually looks ok. I'm not sure what it looks like in early summer so I guess I don't have anything to compare it to.
Thanks. I thought I would catch a lot fewer trout and maybe be lucky to catch a big trout or two.

The water level is very low for that stream. I think the excellent water temperatures (57-61) and the mostly cloudy skies helped.
 

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If you were fishing where I think you were fishing I can understand why a lot of the trout had an aversion to spinners.

It's amazing that you caught the same trout twice such a far distance apart in the stream (photos #1 and #3). :) Just joshing.

Congrats on another great day. You picked a good day to hit the low water.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
If you were fishing where I think you were fishing I can understand why a lot of the trout had an aversion to spinners.

It's amazing that you caught the same trout twice such a far distance apart in the stream (photos #1 and #3).
Just joshing.

Congrats on another great day. You picked a good day to hit the low water.
Oops. I must have copied the wrong link. Thanks for pointing that out. It's fixed now.

It very likely is the stream you think it is. I thought maybe you fished there earlier in the week.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Tropical Storm Nate is here now. I'm hoping for at least 2-3 inches of rain. The small streams desperately need it. The large streams are low too, but the small streams really need a good soaking.
 

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Looks like you had a really good day given the conditions. It's been awhile since I've wet a line, so I'm hoping the forecasted rains impact some of the streams in NEPA and allow me to hit the water a couple of times this weekend.
 

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Oh look!!! A trout fishing post!!!!! Pretty quiet in here these days. That is one fiiiiiiiine day there Andy. Happy to hear you got into them cause as you know things are meager out there right now.


Doesn't look like this rain is amounting to very much, at least in my area. Every little bit helps though and maybe more rain will come later this week and so on. I'm hoping to still get out 1-3 more times during the fall before hunting 100% takes over. All depends on the overnight temps and as of right now they are very favorable.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I fished again yesterday. I fished a different section of the same stream. The water was still low, though a little higher than last Friday.

The fishing was again slow and I had to grind out every fish. It took me 1/2 hour to catch my first trout, a 10 1/2 inch brown which hit a Lucky Craft plug. I caught only four other trout the first hour, the largest being a 13 inch brown.

It rained intermittently all day, sometimes heavily. I wore my rain jacket almost all day.

A few minutes into the second hour, I dropped a cast hard against the right bank. The water wasn't deep but there was cover. A dark shape rolled out and grabbed my spinner. He cleared the water several times but eventually wore down and I brought him in. He measured 18 inches.



A short time later I cast along the same bank and saw a large wake trailing my spinner. It followed the spinner all the way in. I crouched as low to the water as I could to avoid being seen but the brute still didn't hit and darted away. I'm not sure how big he was, but he was larger than the brown I had just caught. I caught an 8 1/2 inch brown a few minutes later.

I reached a deep slow stretch so I decided to try my plug again. I landed browns of 11 and 9 1/2 inches before I felt the plug stop so I set the hook and felt a heavy trout. It thrashed at the surface and then dove, but I managed to bring him in. Initially I thought it was going to be just short of 16 inches, but I was surprised when he measured 16 1/2 inches. It was raining too hard to take a good picture. Because of the rain, I only took one picture all day.

Reaching shallower water, I switched back to the spinner and landed several browns between 9 and 12 1/2 inches. I had quite a few follows from small trout and a nice trout in the 14-15 inch range hit and slipped the hook.

As I neared a deep stretch, I caught four more browns, ranging from 9 1/2 to 12/ 3/4 inches. The area I reached was too deep to wade and I decided I would fish the deep pool then walk back below where I had parked and fish back to my car. As I was wading to the bank to get out, I cast to an overhanging tree and a heavy trout pounced on my spinner. A beautiful 15 1/2 incher lay at my feet within a couple of minutes.

I made the long walk back and got in. The heavy rain had created a line of cloudy water along the left bank. I hoped that would make the big trout more active but for the first 1/2 hour, I only had a couple of follows and hits. A large rainbow followed my spinner in without hitting. About 20 minutes later, my spinner was intercepted by a heavy trout. My second 15 inch brown of the day was released after a spirited fight.

The remaining water produced several more browns, but nothing over 13 inches. I caught a nice 14 3/4 inch rainbow. Rather than resume fishing further upstream, I decided to drive to another large stream in the area and try a section I hadn't fished since last fall. The water wasn't cloudy at all there.

The trout seemed averse to spinners, so it's likely that section had been fished by a spinner angler recently. I only caught five browns, four on plugs and one on a spinner. The largest was only 11 inches.

For the day, I caught 34 trout; all browns except for one rainbow. I caught a small bass and a fall fish as well. 25 hit spinners, the remainder hit plugs. I caught two hog browns and two between 15 and 16 inches. This has not been a good year for me for catching high numbers of trout, but it has been good for catching big trout.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Rather than start another new post, I decided again, just to add on to my old one. October sure has been a disappointment with the continued low water. It got cold last night and some areas received frost. It's supposed to get down into the low 20s in some areas at night over the next few days. That is not good. We need rain soon and a lot of it.

I fished yesterday even though I knew the odds were high that the fishing wouldn't be good. I went to a large stream that I haven't fished since Spring. When I arrived, it was still dark.

The air was chilly as I walked down to the stream. My third cast yielded a light tab and I set the hook. A small bass zoomed away but was quickly subdued. A few casts later, a second bass came to hand. The water felt warm, but I figured that was because it was warmer than the air. The WT was 58. I switched to my trusty Lucky Craft plug but got little response. I was ready to switch back to a spinner when a trout struck. My first trout of the day was a 9 1/2 inch wild brown.

I got no further response so I switched to a spinner about ten minutes later. A heavy trout bolted out from under a rock to smash my spinner. It made a couple of strong runs before I led it to my feet. I was surprised to see that it was a rainbow. Most of the trout are wild browns but occasionally I catch a rainbow that was stocked elsewhere. It was brightly colored and had obviously been in the stream for some time. It was 14 inches long.

A short time later I caught 9 and 9 1/2 inch wild browns on back to back casts. I thought maybe the day might turn out better than I expected. Three more browns, ranging from 8 1/2 to 10 1/2 inches, as well as a small bass came to hand in the remainder of the hour.

The second hour was a big disappointment. I lost three trout fishing in shallow pocket water before fishing a long stretch with no action. I suspected there was someone in front of me and as I rounded the bend, I saw two fly fishermen in the pool ahead. Before walking to the bank, I flipped a cast in front of a dead fall and a nice brown pounced. After a brief fight, I released the 13 1/2 incher.

I walked upstream a long way and out of sight of them before I got back in the stream. I had one trout hit and get off and had a couple of follows. I began to think about leaving but where was I going to go? Since that stream was low, all of its tribs would be even lower. I was going to walk further upstream but saw a likely spot all the way across the stream on the opposite bank. I waded across and made a cast at the base. A small trout struck, cleared the water and threw the spinner. I made a cast to the top of the spot, flush against the bank. I had made a couple cranks of the reel when I felt the spinner stop. I set the hook and the brown immediately tried to burrow under the roots. I kept him from doing so and after a couple of minutes, a beautiful 16 1/4 inch brown lay in front of me.

That validated my decision to stay and I moved upstream but soon saw two more fly fishers ahead of me. I stopped to talk with them. They had not caught anything in the brief time they fished and asked how I had done. We talked for a while and they headed downstream while I walked upstream. Unfortunately I only had a few follows and hits, so I decided to walk back to my car.

I drove downstream and fished up for about an hour. In that time I caught five wild browns ranging from 7 to 10 1/2 inches. As I prepared to move upstream, I saw a fisherman in the middle of the stream, so I headed back to my car. I drove a few miles away and decided to try one more stretch. I caught a little bass on my first cast and fished through several nice looking spots which yielded only a 9 inch wild brown. I figured that with the low water and bright sunshine, I was in for the same lack of action and decided to head home after a short outing.

I caught only 15 trout, all wild browns except for the rainbow early in the day, and 4 smallmouth bass. The highlight of the day was the 16 1/4 inch brown.



 
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