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Turkey sandwich

Big streamers = Big brown trout

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So, I've been itching to get out to sling big meat flies for trout for months.  Every time I've had a time, the water has been too warm, or the flows have been too low.  Finally, this past weekend the flows were up, the water was cold, and I had the time to make the drive to north central PA.  Now, that doesn't mean we didn't have our fingers crossed.  There was a ton of rain that blew out the stream for a few days, some snow, and air temps dropping down to 14 degrees Friday night/Saturday morning.  The water temp fell from low to mid 50s down to 41 degrees.  Still, we weren't going to pass up the opportunity so, we packed up the car, filled up the streamer box, changed out the warm water line for sinking lines and sink tips, and made the 4 hour drive.  We walked into a crowded fly shop in Slate Run on Saturday morning to hear lots of guys talking about how tough it's been even nymphing.  This was fine, since I'd rather throw meat flies on 6 and 8 weights.  

 

While setting up the rods by a creek mouth, we listened to lots of stories of hard luck from guys walking off the water by 11 AM fed up with iced up guides and uncooperative fish.  I tied on the biggest, most gawdy articulated white maribou and bunny hair concoction I could find and within three casts hooked into an absolute monster brown - hooked jaw, bright orange belly, and incredible color.  The guys who just walked off the stream saw the commotion from the deck of the restaurant behind us.  I worked the fish to the shallows to realize the net was in the car.  I handed off the rod to reach for the fish's tail, lifted, and with a strong head shake the 22-24" brown snapped the tippet, leaving me almost diving into the icy stream, and taking my streamer with him.  I was pretty shaken up not getting a measure, but it was easily a personal best.  Luckily, half a dozen casts later on the same seem, this 18.5" brown took an oversized white zonker. 

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This time, we had my net and were able to snap off some pictures.  After putting him back, I took some time to help my lady friend with her casting and work the faster run below to no avail before moving along to another access where I knew there would be some great banks to beat with streamers.  

 

My first cast at the access was throwing a 5" articulated olive sculpin pattern along the cut bank immediately upstream from the boat launch and this 17-18" brown absolutely smashed it and ran straight up the boat ramp before pulling drag back into the current.  It was ridiculous - I don't remember the last time I had a day where big trout where exactly where they were supposed to be and so incredibly aggressive.  

 

It was the best day I've ever had streamer fishing for trout.  So, the next day we headed back to the fly shop to see if we could find any big streamers and the fella behind the counter asked if we were the ones lighting it up the day before.  I smiled and with the slight ego boost said, "we had a good day". Coincidentally, we got skunked on Sunday (luck runs out eventually, lol), but what a weekend!  I have never been so tired and sore from fighting conditions and casting big flies on sinking line, but it was one of the most fun trips I can remember. 

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You should make a trip to the White River in Arkansas to do that sometime. I'm not much of a flyfisherman, but we throw 5" jerkbaits at big browns, it's a blast. Seems like someone catches one over 30 pounds there every year.

 

It's a blast watching those big browns eat when they're that aggressive. 

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Congrats on some beautiful fish!  Looks like a great trip.  Not to hijack this thread in any way, but for throwing streamers you use sinking line then tie that to the sink tip and then the streamer?  Sinking line like the RIO Mainstream Full Sinking Line?

Looking at picking up an 8wt, leaning towards an Orvis Encounter for streamer fishing, but haven't jumped on it yet.

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8 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

You should make a trip to the White River in Arkansas to do that sometime. I'm not much of a flyfisherman, but we throw 5" jerkbaits at big browns, it's a blast. Seems like someone catches one over 30 pounds there every year.

 

It's a blast watching those big browns eat when they're that aggressive. 

 

 

Man, when they're aggressive like that, it's incredible.  I need to make more time for trips over the next year or two and I've heard amazing things about the White River.  I have Alaska on the calendar for next year an hopefully some time for a trip to Erie and Ontario tributaries. 

1 minute ago, UPSmallie said:

Congrats on some beautiful fish!  Looks like a great trip.  Not to hijack this thread in any way, but for throwing streamers you use sinking line then tie that to the sink tip and then the streamer?  Sinking line like the RIO Mainstream Full Sinking Line?

Looking at picking up an 8wt, leaning towards an Orvis Encounter for streamer fishing, but haven't jumped on it yet.

Those fish all came on a 6 wt with full sinking line, but I was also fishing an Orvis Recon spooled with Bankshot (I think it's called).  it's a floating line with a sinking head and it shoots like crazy.  Like, I was shooting out 40+ feet of line off of roll casts while wading mid thigh.  I like my Recon as a streamer rod, but would also be interested in checking out St. Croix's Bank Robber and Legend series for the same thing.  Until fatigue set in, I had zero problem tossing weighted flies up to around 5".

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9 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

You should make a trip to the White River in Arkansas to do that sometime. I'm not much of a flyfisherman, but we throw 5" jerkbaits at big browns, it's a blast. Seems like someone catches one over 30 pounds there every year.

 

It's a blast watching those big browns eat when they're that aggressive. 

Forget the White river, Milwaukee Wisconsin is where it's at.   https://www.wibigfish.com/brown-trout   http://archive.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/160297845.html

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Too many trout, not enough time. :(

 

Seriously, I'd love to fish any of these rivers.  Milwaukee just seems like a killer multi species town.  For whatever reason, part of what I love about being out on a river - be it for trout or smallmouth - is getting away from people.  I love just getting the hell out of Dodge and getting out to the mountains somewhere.  I think living in Philly has taken it's toll, lol. 

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11 hours ago, slonezp said:

Forget the White river, Milwaukee Wisconsin is where it's at.   https://www.wibigfish.com/brown-trout   http://archive.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/160297845.html

Oh yeah, for overall big fish, that area is hard to beat. Just in reference to the OP's post of chasing them with big streamers. The White is well known for big streamer eating browns.

Image result for white river arkansas brown trout

Image result for white river arkansas brown trout

I like throwing jerkbaits at them, I even catch one every once in awhile.

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37 minutes ago, Bluebasser86 said:

Oh yeah, for overall big fish, that area is hard to beat. Just in reference to the OP's post of chasing them with big streamers. The White is well known for big streamer eating browns.

Image result for white river arkansas brown trout

Image result for white river arkansas brown trout

I like throwing jerkbaits at them, I even catch one every once in awhile.

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When I was a kid my grandfather used to talk about fishing the White River.  White tube jigs and flukes are the ticket in Milwaukee harbor when the fish are active. 

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Thats awesome! i caught a 20" brown slow rolling a chartreuse spinner in a small pond about 3 weeks ago. Pond has a deep spot around 27 feet deep. Caught it close to shore near the drop off in about 6 feet of water. Was pretty cool. This was while i was bass fishing. 

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The closest option for OP for monster browns is minutes from where I live.

 

bigBrownBuck.JPG.387cd448b33528e09c3d1f0

 

 

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turkey sandwich, I enjoyed the narratives and all the photos you and others submitted of those big browns. Glad that long awaited day on the water payed off.

 

In your above response to Bluebasser86 regarding the White River, you mentioned having Alaska was on your on the calendar. If you’re going for steelhead and haven’t booked your trip, I’d like to suggest Westcoast Fishing Adventures. They fish the Skeena River out of Terrance, British Columbia and cater to fly fishermen. If anything, just looking at number of large steelhead in the photo gallery on the website is impressive. 

 

Continued good fishing, JB 

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1 hour ago, J._Bricker said:

turkey sandwich, I enjoyed the narratives and all the photos you and others submitted of those big browns. Glad that long awaited day on the water payed off.

 

In your above response to Bluebasser86 regarding the White River, you mentioned having Alaska was on your on the calendar. If you’re going for steelhead and haven’t booked your trip, I’d like to suggest Westcoast Fishing Adventures. They fish the Skeena River out of Terrance, British Columbia and cater to fly fishermen. If anything, just looking at number of large steelhead in the photo gallery on the website is impressive. 

 

Continued good fishing, JB 

 

Thank you for the suggestion!  BC seems amazing, but this trip will have us on the Kenai Peninsula. One of my best friends' in-laws built a cabin there that we'll be staying in for most of the trip.  He's also in charge of setting up the guided trips for this one.  I'm ridiculously excited.  

3 hours ago, J Francho said:

The closest option for OP for monster browns is minutes from where I live.

 

bigBrownBuck.JPG.387cd448b33528e09c3d1f0

 

 

I know.  I need to make a trip up your way also.  A friend was just on Sandy Creek and picked up a monster 30+lb salmon on his 8wt.  The pictures look almost silly.

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Sandy is fun.  I usually stick to the smaller, less traveled ditches. ;)

 

Hit me up if you're ever near Rochester.

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13 minutes ago, Turkey sandwich said:

 

Thank you for the suggestion!  BC seems amazing, but this trip will have us on the Kenai Peninsula. One of my best friends' in-laws built a cabin there that we'll be staying in for most of the trip.  He's also in charge of setting up the guided trips for this one.  I'm ridiculously excited.  

I know.  I need to make a trip up your way also.  A friend was just on Sandy Creek and picked up a monster 30+lb salmon on his 8wt.  The pictures look almost silly.

 

Thanks for the reply TS. Only one word comes to mind.... “Winning”!

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24 minutes ago, J Francho said:

Sandy is fun.  I usually stick to the smaller, less traveled ditches. ;)

 

Hit me up if you're ever near Rochester.

Sounds like a plan.  It'd be fun to get on Great Lake smallies and monster browns.  Garbage plate is on me. 

 

24 minutes ago, J._Bricker said:

 

Thanks for the reply TS. Only one word comes to mind.... “Winning”!

Thanks.  I'm very excited.

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15 hours ago, Turkey sandwich said:

Garbage plate is on me.

 

I get them for free....

 

Charlie is my grandfather.

 

https://www.charliesrestaurants.com/

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Heir to a burger empire. 

 

*the original location is on Empire Blvd. 

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