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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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salmonoid,

I could go either way on the one too. But all of those pics are exactly what I was saying. It's tough to tell from a picture, but I'd estimate all of your fish to be in the 10-12 inch range. They are great fish. Semi-rare. But not unheard of rare. Enough to make you giddy when you get one. They make your day, trip, or perhaps your whole month. But most of us DO get them like that on occasion, me included. I've caught a number of wild brookies on that scale.

And from what sarce, Swattie, etc. are saying is basically the same thing. If you're talking 10-12 inchers, these are fish that pop up from time to time. Nobody disputes that.

But aside from special situations (like limestoners, big rivers and lakes, etc.), that's really about as big as they get. 13+ is when you get into the "truly rare" category, and those are not above 13." Not saying they don't exist. But rare enough that many hardcore brookie guys and PFBC electrofishers have never come across one in their lives.

Posted on: 2013/4/30 13:17


Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

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2006/10/18 15:46
From Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
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Here's a fish that groove caught a few years ago at the JAM from the stream I'm assuming the thread is talking about. By my estimations is right at 9" and I know we've caught a handful over the past few years a bit bigger than this.

Resized Image

Posted on: 2013/4/30 13:22
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Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

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2006/9/9 11:22
From New Castle, PA
Posts: 1693
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Quote:

ryguyfi wrote:
Here's a fish that groove caught a few years ago at the JAM from the stream I'm assuming the thread is talking about. By my estimations is right at 9" and I know we've caught a handful over the past few years a bit bigger than this.

Resized Image


Closer to 7" than 9" IMO.

Everyone needs to go grab a ruler and stare it a few seconds so they realize just how big a 12" brookie would be. 12" is a damn good wild trout for almost anywhere in PA be it brook, brown, or bow.

Another thing to consider is that even on a "good" stream like Spring creek, the majority of fish you catch will be solidly between 7 and 12". I know that if I get a bunch of legit 12"ers on Spring, Penns, etc. in a given day, I don't complain about the size of fish at all. Sure I want to get the bigger fish that are there, but 12" is a pretty good sized wild fish in this state.

http://fishandboat.com/images/fisheries/afm/2009/3x03_09spring.htm

IMO, the 12" estimate in the OP is probably off by a couple inches to start with skewing the whole conversation. I don't carry a ruler when I fish but if I get a good fish, I put it up against the butt of my rod and make a mental note of it's size in comparison to the cork, decorative wraps. etc. A lot of 16-17" trout become 14" after I get home and put the rod up against a tape measure.

P.s. I'm happy catching any brookie longer than 6".

Posted on: 2013/4/30 15:33


Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

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2009/2/19 19:59
From Mont Co, Pa
Posts: 2040
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I keep a little 3' tape and measure all bigger fish. I've gotten plenty of 10" natives (freestone) over the years, but getting past the 11" mark is the real achievement. My dream (literally) is to catch one in the 14"-16" range.

Posted on: 2013/4/30 16:02
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Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

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2007/6/19 21:49
From Lancaster County
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Quote:

The_Sasquatch wrote:
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!


The fourth fish is from Lancaster County. They don't typically stock brookies here, although that doesn't preclude an errant stray getting mixed in with the browns and rainbows, or a co-op from dumping some in. And one year, I know that the WCO gave a "special" allocation of brookies to Little Beaver Creek (of all places). Regardless, of the source, it is not from a stocked trout stream. There are no ATW that flow into the stream either. The only other fish I've ever caught in the stream are wild browns. I thought it was a large chub when I brought it in, because it definitely did not have yellow fins Could be the penultimate brookie migrator pisces..

Posted on: 2013/4/30 18:53


Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

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2010/8/24 20:13
From Bucks County
Posts: 301
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Caught this guy in a wild, fertile, north central freestoner. Caught some other smaller but still big brooks there also. I know this is not the best picture for scale but it was large. I am confident that there are bigger ones too. I was always confident the fish was not stocked. Untitled

Posted on: 2013/4/30 19:10


Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

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2009/2/19 19:59
From Mont Co, Pa
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I believe that's a native as well, a big one too. Here's my 2nd best native, a 12 1/2" with a talon mark (I think) on it's gill plate. I was fishing a WBTEP stream.

Attach file:



jpg  IMG_0225 (Custom).JPG (82.87 KB)
2119_5180584ccbe0c.jpg 640X480 px

Posted on: 2013/4/30 19:48
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Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

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2008/1/31 17:19
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tulen, that's a wild fish. Another in that 10+ but not 13 range. I've caught a number in that range.

Here's the largest freestone brookie I've seen. I took the picture, but it was a buddy of mine who caught it, and that's his hand. Which made me even happier (I was playing guide that day). NW PA. It taped at a hair under 12 1/2", and we did measure. I caught 2 around 11 on the same day, but this was the trophy.

Resized Image

Posted on: 2013/4/30 21:21


Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

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2011/7/6 12:30
From Ephrata, PA
Posts: 6587
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I taped one at 11" tonight. Biggest I ever caught (thanks to Skakey's soft hackle PT!). I tend to think I'll never break the 11" range.

Posted on: 2013/4/30 22:01


Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

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2011/7/6 12:30
From Ephrata, PA
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And man, this thread is awesome. All these beautiful brookies. I love it.

Posted on: 2013/4/30 22:01


Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

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2013/2/16 0:51
From Northern VA
Posts: 426
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Quote:
The_Sasquatch wrote:
Looking through my pics, I realize my hands dwarf brookies!


Not to mention your feet

Idk Tulenkot's could be over 13. But that is definitely a super rare fish in PA. Biggest I've seen may have hit 13, I hooked and lost that one.

Also none of my 10"+ brookies took dry flies. I'm sure they do in some cases but it's much easier to get them subsurface, since they tend to be living in the deepest pools on the stream.

And one more thing. I think you have a better chance at 10"+ natives in the SE part of the state due to longer "growing season", the hard part there is finding streams with native brook trout and then finding access. In the NC/NE region the hard part is finding a brookie stream that can produce a 10" fish. So many of the small streams have brook trout it can take a while to find the best streams. just a theory of mine, not even proven by myself yet.

FWIW here's my best, caught last month. Didn't get a great picture. 12-12.5"

Attach file:



jpg  100_0514 - Copy.JPG (246.86 KB)
7984_51807bb4043cd.jpg 608X315 px

Posted on: 2013/4/30 22:12

Edited by sarce on 2013/4/30 22:32:07


Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

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2010/8/24 20:13
From Bucks County
Posts: 301
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Quote:
Also none of my 10"+ brookies took dry flies. I'm sure they do in some cases but it's much easier to get them subsurface, since they tend to be living in the deepest pools on the stream.

I agree. It is certainly possible to catch the large ones on top,but this one and others like it I have caught, were taken on big streamers and mousies. The one pictured took a sz 4 conehead bugger. It also came from the largest pool on the creek.

Posted on: 2013/4/30 22:24


Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

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2006/9/9 11:22
From New Castle, PA
Posts: 1693
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pcray - Do you think that fish is wild? That pectoral fin looks stockerized.

Posted on: 2013/5/1 0:28


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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PennKev,

Yes, I'm about as sure as you can get on a fish of this size.

It was 3 miles up a small, unstocked freestoner that has a history of producing some large native brookies (and the occasional large wild brown). I disagree with the pectoral fin, it looks pretty clean on close inspection. The camera doesn't do it justice, but what you are seeing I think are color variations and reflection rather than a ragged edge. With the picture, the best fin shot is of the anal fin, which is clean. Also, sharp distinction between black and white on the fins, which is often a good indicator of wild.

Posted on: 2013/5/1 6:24


Re: Large (Dead) Brookies

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2012/1/13 15:28
From Ferguson Twp.
Posts: 2625
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Quote:

pcray1231 wrote:
tulen, that's a wild fish. Another in that 10+ but not 13 range. I've caught a number in that range.

Here's the largest freestone brookie I've seen. I took the picture, but it was a buddy of mine who caught it, and that's his hand. Which made me even happier (I was playing guide that day). NW PA. It taped at a hair under 12 1/2", and we did measure. I caught 2 around 11 on the same day, but this was the trophy.

Resized Image

That's a brookie! Very nice.

Posted on: 2013/5/1 6:27
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