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Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

Joined:
2013/4/18 21:36
From Millersburg, PA
Posts: 61
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I fish the catch and release area on the south branch roaring creek on route 54 outside of elysburg, PA alot. I have on many occasions caught fish bigger than 12 inches in the stream between two of the lakes. The number of fish are down since the flood a few years ago but there are still some nice fish out there. I was out there 2 weeks ago and caugh 2 13" fish. The biggest one i have ever seen was a 14" fish. My brother caught it up there 2 years ago. I know these are all native fish because this section of the stream is not stocked and im pretty sure the trout cant swim up the dams in this area. Those who have fished out there would understand what I'm talking about. I think there may possible even be some bigger ones out there and all over pa. I think theres alot of factors on where these fish can reach that size. Pressure and water temp I believe are two of the key factors that allow these fish to reach full potential. I think there are alot of bigger ones out there. The key is finding them and then getting them to take a fly. I also agree with protecting these wild brookies. They are a breed of fish I love fishing for and would love to see more of.

Posted on: 2013/4/29 20:21


Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

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2010/8/24 20:13
From Bucks County
Posts: 300
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Quote:
tulenkot wrote: Quote: Native brook trout 12 inches and over exist in PA, but they are quite rare. I don't think brook trout over 12 inches are rare in PA. What is your reason for thinking this?

Big Spring an BFC are good examples. As far as free stone is concerned, large creeks and rivers that have colder tribs do have pops of larger brookies that swim in and out of the tribs as temperature dictates. Pine comes to mind. They are just difficult to target. Rare to catch I would say.

Posted on: 2013/4/29 20:34


Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

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2009/2/19 19:59
From Mont Co, Pa
Posts: 2030
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Quote:

troutbert wrote:
Even without knowing the stream, I think that its very unlikely that anyone caught a "few" native brook trout over 12 inches in the same day in that region.

One clue: Catching a surprisingly large number of surprisingly large brook trout should put you on alert.

One day last season I was fishing a wild stream where I had previously only caught a few smaller natives and lots of wild browns. This stream isn't stocked by the Comm. Anyway, I catch a 13" brookie and am thinking I've just caught one of my best ever natives! I took a nice pic and released it. The coloring and pattern had me fooled. This was a very "clean" looking brookie. So, the next run/pool produces another brookie about the same size. Now I'm thinking these HAD to be stocked trout because the odds of catching one 13" native are slim, let alone catching two this size the same day on the same creek. I was actually bummed (because it's a wild stream), and didn't even take a pic of the second one. I think they were stocked by somebody somehow waaay upstream. Lesson learned.

Posted on: 2013/4/30 9:24
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Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

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2008/6/14 23:22
From Central, PA
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I don't think a brook trout over 12 inches is taht rare in PA. My uncle caught a 16 inch brook trout last year in lower bald eagle creek where it hasnt been stocked in forever.

Posted on: 2013/4/30 10:17


Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13492
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Quote:
My uncle caught a 16 inch brook trout last year in lower bald eagle creek where it hasnt been stocked in forever.


I can't say one way or another, I didn't see the fish. But brook trout commonly travel many miles downstream from stocking points, even through dams. I've caught stocked brookies 15+ stream miles downstream of the nearest stocking points. And there are certainly plenty of brookies stocked in the Bald Eagle system. Without seeing the fish, I'd say it's likely this fish was stocked. Based on size, perhaps a likely holdover, though.

Going UP through dams, as alluded to in another post here, is a very different situation.

Posted on: 2013/4/30 10:24


Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

Joined:
2007/12/1 15:23
From wellsboro
Posts: 452
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I attended a speech on brookies in Pa this winter put on by pfbc and western pa conservancy. During the speech a 20 year employee of the pfbc said he has never seen a freestone wild brookie over 13 inches and has only seen a handful over 12 inches while electrofishing.

My conclusion from that speech, my own experience and that of other long time fisherman in NCPA is that a wild brookie from a freestone stream over 10 inches is pretty rare.

Posted on: 2013/4/30 10:54


Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

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2009/2/19 19:59
From Mont Co, Pa
Posts: 2030
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Quote:

reds wrote:
I attended a speech on brookies in Pa this winter put on by pfbc and western pa conservancy. During the speech a 20 year employee of the pfbc said he has never seen a freestone wild brookie over 13 inches and has only seen a handful over 12 inches while electrofishing.

My conclusion from that speech, my own experience and that of other long time fisherman in NCPA is that a wild brookie from a freestone stream over 10 inches is pretty rare.
I agree with what was said 100%. I'd love to hear Mike's experiences regarding the size of natives during his electrofishing studies over the years. As I've mentioned, I have "seen" only 2 natives that were over 13" in my fishing career. One in Sullivan county (2004 or 2005) and one in Potter (2010).

Posted on: 2013/4/30 11:32
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Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

Joined:
2006/12/29 10:00
From Harrisburg
Posts: 2013
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I dont quite get what I'm reading here.
10, 11, even 12 inch native brookies arent that rare, or are only "pretty rare"......
Any native brookie over 10 inches is in the "under one percentile" and is an astounding catch.
Fishing creek stands apart from other waters as far as native sizes go, and Big Spring simply stands alone. I love them both but I certainly dont want to fish them every day. Outside of those two streams I think I'm at 3? natives over 10 inches. With them im at somewhere just under 20. Thats for my life and thousands of natives caught on streams I couldnt begin to compile a list of.
You bet they're rare, rare as hell.

Posted on: 2013/4/30 11:42
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Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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The largest I've ever come across was 12 1/2". A fair number in the 10-11" range, but it does seem to top out around there.

Again, freestone only, and not counting obvious situations where they grew large in a lake or large river. If you're stated goal is to target large wild brookies, it can be done. It's just that most people who chase brookies are really looking for the "brookie experience" more than the fish themselves. That includes the remote locations, often a hike to get there, small forested mountain streams, etc. And these kind of fish are truly rare under those circumstances.

Posted on: 2013/4/30 11:44


Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

Joined:
2006/12/29 10:00
From Harrisburg
Posts: 2013
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Whats your guess on natives you have caught in your life over 10 inches?

Posted on: 2013/4/30 11:47
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Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

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2011/5/3 12:22
From South Lebanon Township, PA
Posts: 1943
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I think I’ve taken a picture of every native I’ve caught over 10 inches…except one that auto released at my feet while I was getting the camera out. So I think this should be pretty accurate.

In roughly 5 years of fishing small, unstocked freestoners for natives here’s my stats of fish over 10 inches…

10” - 3
11” - 0
12” - 0 (The one that auto released I initially estimated at 12 inches though.)
13” - 1

That works out to roughly 1 per year over 10”…and I fish for Brookies a good bit…I think “rare” is a pretty accurate description. For comparison, I catch a good number of 8 and 9 inchers every year…I don’t have an accurate count, but I would guess somewhere in the neighborhood of a dozen or more, per year. The cutoff does seem to be at about 10 inches for small freestoners IMO.

My bigger Brookies tend to come from streams that have decent populations, but aren’t high Class A biomass bombs. Those seem to have a ton of 5-8 inch fish, but lack the really big ones in my experience.

Posted on: 2013/4/30 12:28


Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

Joined:
2013/2/16 0:51
From Northern VA
Posts: 401
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People's perception of how many big brookies are out there could be biased either way by where they fish most often. Like Pat said, certain streams grow bigger fish more often than others, and it applies to freestone streams too. If you are fishing regions with the better streams, 10-11" fish are not that rare, but if you look at the state as a whole they are extremely rare. Some areas of the state you might find one or two fish that size in 20 streams, if any, and isolated areas like where I live you could find a dozen that size in half a dozen streams. In one day last year I saw 4 wild brookies in the 10-12" range on a SEPA freestone stream. I think I've caught 5 natives 10"+ in the past two years, 4 of those were from freestone streams. The largest was the one from a limestone stream at 12.5" but I believe that one spent most of its life in a freestone tributary. If I thought the whole state was like the places I fish I would say they aren't that rare.

Posted on: 2013/4/30 12:31
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Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

Joined:
2007/6/19 21:49
From Lancaster County
Posts: 1532
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I must be extremely fortunate, because I've never fished Big Spring and only fished BFC once, so neither has contributed to my native brookie count, but I have to be somewhere in the quantity of 12 to 18 fish that are 10" or over. All from freestoners; memorable ones from here in Lancaster County, NC PA, and ANF..

1919 - NC PA
1840 - Lancaster County
0504 - Allegheny National Forest

I'm curious about 20130423_183402; I caught this last week and could go either way or wild or stocked.

Attach file:



jpg  IMAG1919.jpg (117.83 KB)
957_517ff4cca95a7.jpg 640X383 px

jpg  IMG_1840.jpg (140.84 KB)
957_517ff4d6bf25a.jpg 640X480 px

jpg  IMG_0504.jpg (142.97 KB)
957_517ff4dfed1f5.jpg 640X480 px

jpg  20130423_183402-001.jpg (144.25 KB)
957_517ff4e788e13.jpg 640X480 px

Posted on: 2013/4/30 12:46


Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

Joined:
2011/7/6 12:30
From Ephrata, PA
Posts: 6448
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I've caught several Lanc. Co. brookies like your 2nd pic, dude. We can produce the big ones sometimes.

The 4th one, is it in a waterway that's stocked? The fins aren't crisp, but the wild ain't a perfect place to live!

Posted on: 2013/4/30 12:58


Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

Joined:
2011/7/6 12:30
From Ephrata, PA
Posts: 6448
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Looking through my pics, I realize my hands dwarf brookies!

Posted on: 2013/4/30 13:03



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