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First good numbers day of the year

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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Got an unexpected outing today. Was in the area and had about 4 hours to kill. Noonish to 4ish. SE PA smallish freestoner, reasonably well known, those of you who know my typical haunts know the stream.

Started off near the bottom of the public land part. This area is usually 80% brookies. But I got 9 browns and 1 brookie in this section today. Not sure if the browns are dominating further up, or if it was just the hatch dynamics. In prior years, it wasn't far down where browns started to dominate, and that "boundary" moves a little each year. But there were stoneflies and craneflies all over the water and the fish were rising freely, it was like fishing a big stream in that you'd pick out risers and cast to em. So it coulda just been that the browns were on em and the brookies weren't. Best brown went close to 14", worst was 5 or 6", the rest were all 8 or 9". The brookie from this section was solid, probably 8".

I ran out of public water, jumped in the car and moved up a ways. Up here the water is far less fertile. No bugs were happening, and browns are normally the extreme minority here, and I got none. I caught another 10 or so brookies, a few that were around 7" but nothing bigger.

I again jumped in the car and moved up even further. It was just stupid with dinks, like every cast there'd be a 3 incher. I guess the next generation is alright. I did get one better one up there.

4 hrs, if you count dinks probably 50ish fish. If not, 20ish solid ones. First "good" day of the year! All on 2 parachute adams', I had to change it once due to unraveling, didn't lose a fly.

Lost my pictures. Accidently deleted them trying to copy them. Oops!!! There were no real monsters anyway, but some pretty ones.

Posted on: 2013/4/13 21:07

Edited by pcray1231 on 2013/4/13 21:30:45
Edited by pcray1231 on 2013/4/13 21:31:24


Re: First good numbers day of the year

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2013/2/16 0:51
From Northern VA
Posts: 420
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Nice, I'm jealous...I have only caught one brookie this year, and I got it while fishing for browns. Just haven't been able to make a trip to target them. Bummer about the pics!

Posted on: 2013/4/14 1:19
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Re: First good numbers day of the year

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2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
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pKray..........right on the spot. I started out with the plan to fish the ATW downstream closer to the camp so i could keep a fire going and get some fishing in too. It was blown out high , not muddy but really up in the trees , so upstream i go , oh i forgot to mention 49 mike an hour wind gusts and a starting temp of 34 , well.......i had a very nice time up there , there were stoneflies and caddis (the little black ones) and the brookies jumped on them all day , about 7 hours total , minus lunch and some observation of a place that always has fry in it. I always check there just to make sure they are still there , and they were. Sounds like we had similar outings.....Way To Go!!!!!!

Posted on: 2013/4/14 5:33


Re: First good numbers day of the year

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2011/5/3 12:22
From South Lebanon Township, PA
Posts: 1946
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Nice goin pcray! Yesterday was the first time I broke double digits in 2013 too...not counting a stockie trip with spinners anyway. Landed about 20 on a SE PA Limestoner...also on only two flies, but they were BH Scuds. Saw a few rises to something seemingly invisible to me, but nothing consistent. No real big fish for me either...most were little 6-8 inch wild Browns, but a couple went closer to 10". I also caught a few big, FAT stocker Browns and Bows that a group of bozos insist on throwing in this obvious "Class A" stream.

Posted on: 2013/4/14 7:14


Re: First good numbers day of the year

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I hope you kept those brown trout and sent them back to england or germany Pat! :)

Posted on: 2013/4/14 7:29

Edited by k-bob on 2013/4/14 8:04:51
Edited by k-bob on 2013/4/14 8:16:55


Re: First good numbers day of the year

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2010/2/15 19:09
From Ohio
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Nice report, glad you found a window to get out. I haven't been so lucky.

Posted on: 2013/4/14 10:01


Re: First good numbers day of the year

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2006/9/9 10:36
From Philadelphia, PA
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I need pcray to send me a list of his haunts.

Posted on: 2013/4/14 10:14
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Re: First good numbers day of the year
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2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
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I have caught zero fish in 2013. Is 0/0 a perfect score?

Posted on: 2013/4/14 10:22
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Re: First good numbers day of the year

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2011/7/6 12:30
From Ephrata, PA
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I caught 20 brookies yesterday as well, 17 on the exact same royal wulff! That is an excellent day for the stream I was fishing (Northern Lancaster freestoner). Part of me thought, "Maybe today I'll get 40...) but I had to really work hard for the 20th trout. Only so much water for the stream I was on.

Swattie...next time you're on that stream try the dry dropper. That is the only stream I ever got a double on, and it was on an october caddis (definitely not hatching haha!) and a beadhead scud!

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Posted on: 2013/4/14 13:36


Re: First good numbers day of the year

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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Swattie, thinking you were about a half hour south of me. As I was in town in the morning for work, I gave it a thought before deciding to head north. And a Squatch was perhaps a half hour W/SW of you!

K-Bob, I released em. They are still movin on up, though.

I really noticed a difference in the water/rocks below and above the split. I mean, I always noticed it, but it was prominent, in your face obvious, yesterday. Below the splits (where the browns dominate now), rocks are dark gray, and there's lots of streambottom moss/algae right now, and bugs everywhere. Above the splits (still 95+% brookies), the rocks have a very orangish tinge, there's no algae, no bugs, and the water was absolutely crystal clear. We're only talking a difference of no more than a half mile here. I think in that area where it splits up, a lot of the flow has to be underground or something.

Posted on: 2013/4/14 21:41


Re: First good numbers day of the year

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the rosenbauer/orvis small stream book mentions this kind of "more browns low/more brookies up high" situation (p 52):

"In the lower reaches of most small streams in the east, the water is warmer and food supply is richer. Here you'll find brown or rainbow trout, sometimes mixed with brook trout and baitfish... But as you ascend... you'll find mostly brookies, even in streams with no impassable barrier to fish... When you get closer to the headwaters, even the baitfish are absent... Why? As you get closer to the headwaters, the acidity increases, and brook trout are more tolerant... The water is also cold year-round, and browns prefer water 55-65 because they cannot grow efficently in colder water... Aquatic insects are sparse in headwaters, but the brook trout have adapted to subsisting on terrestrials which are too big for the smaller baitfish to inhale."

So the brookies handle the cold and more acidic headwaters better than browns or baitfish, and live largely on terrestrials. Baitfish are a sign of some aquatic insects, I am surprised to see any in acidic extracold headwaters brookie streams.

I remember being way up high on a tiny poconos brookie stream during a beastly hot afternoon last summer, water was 52 even in those conditions...

streams with this brown-to-brookie transition may have a wild tiger trout or two...

Posted on: 2013/4/15 7:33

Edited by k-bob on 2013/4/15 7:50:26


Re: First good numbers day of the year

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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This brown to brookie, acidity transition is more the rule than the exception.

That said, the story on that stream isn't that it happens, it's just how abrupt it is. It just switches over. Even if you know the typical trend, it's just so "in your face" about it.

And throughout the state, I think I've noticed the browns moving up farther and farther in a lot of streams, certainly more than the other way around. I have to believe it has a lot to do with the abatement of acid rain? Acid deposition maps clearly show an easing problem, with an increasing switch over to natural gas and increased use of/more effective scrubbers on the remaining coal stacks. And those streams which haven't totally exhausted their buffering capabilities could be "rebounding" somewhat. That is, if you like wild brown trout.... It merely pushes brookies further into the headwaters.

Posted on: 2013/4/15 7:48


Re: First good numbers day of the year

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I may have seen "more browns further upstream" in a few places. Streams with more of a mixed zone than an abrupt transition or physical barrier may be more likely to yield a few tigers.

And I know of at least one class a brookie stream largely taken over by those anglo-germanic invaders :)

Posted on: 2013/4/15 7:55


Re: First good numbers day of the year

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13667
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Yeah, on that one, there are a few brookies downstream of the transition, and a few browns above. Both species are throughout. So tigers are a possibility.

The abruptness is in the rock type/color, and bugs/fertility. It used to be that brookies dominated for a ways even below that transition. That no longer appears to be the case, the brown/brookie transition coincides with the physical change.

Regarding the changes in acid rain, see the following. I know it's somewhat old, the latest data included is 2006. However, they are highlighting a (good) trend starting in the 70's and 80's. And the causal factors that created this trend have certainly not declined since 2006. If anything, they've accelerated, thanks to completely shuttering a few coal plants as natural gas becomes the clearly favored fuel for power generation.

http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputa ... _caaa/2006report_caaa.pdf

Posted on: 2013/4/15 8:02


Re: First good numbers day of the year

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right more natgas and less coal, so less acidic rain over time. but of course any transition will be gradual and there's also AMD in some streams in schuylkill, luzerne, carbon.

if some non-AMD streams get more browns, some AMD streams may get more brookies. some of the AMD streams get water from mine tunnels and have very cold water all year. along with acidity issues, they might be better for brookies than browns just on a water-temp basis.

I can think of an AMD stream or two that had more brookies than I expected.





Posted on: 2013/4/15 8:15



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