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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

chester county pa

Posts: 20
Brooklover on Apr 22, 2008April 22nd, 2008, 12:41 pm EDT
Hello! im new here and, in fact, joined in hope of getting information on a stream i came across roughly a year ago. i noticed a rocky brook leading out of the woods as i was driving one day. from what i could see, this stream had brook trout written all over it. i figured, though, that there was no way that there would be a wild brook trout stream in chester county, but decided to investigate regardless. i hiked back into the woods later that night, almost one mile from the road, without seeing any houses around or roads crossing the stream. the stream was small enough to jump across in some spots. others were just a little wider. the majority of the stream was characterized by large boulders and mini water falls that were roughly two to three feet high, while the other sections of the stream were relatively flatter and slower moving. the average depth of the pools, i would estimate to be anywhere from a foot and a half to three feet deep.

on the way back down down, i decided to give some fishing a shot. i had a spinning rod and a container of worms. i snuck up on my hands and knees and floated one of the worms down. instantly, i had a bite and as i reeled the fish in i figured it would be a creek chub or a sucker, as are common in most of the streams in my area. to my absolute astonishment, it was a brook trout about five inches in length! i only had time to fish one more hole, as it was starting to get dark and there i caught a four inch trout.

its now a year later and i have returned twice more, recently, fishing from dusk into the dark. ive yet to see signs of other fishermen having been there. each time i caught about ten trout ranging from three to five inches.

given this information, does anyone have thoughts on under which classification this stream falls? im also quite curious about any opinion anyone might have in terms of the potential that there may be even larger trout in this particular stream. i hope for the possibility that eventually i may come across trout as large as seven or eight inches, but wonder if maybe that is foolish. Still im greatful for this discovery and find greater joy in holding a 2 inch wild perhaps native brookie than a 20 inch stocked pig. Any info would be great.
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Apr 22, 2008April 22nd, 2008, 2:59 pm EDT
given this information, does anyone have thoughts on under which classification this stream falls?

Yes. This stream classifies as a secret worth quietly murdering the occasional passerby to keep. Details may be found in other threads on this topic.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
Posts: 59
Chris_3g on Apr 22, 2008April 22nd, 2008, 4:53 pm EDT
Amen to that Shawn. I just recently discovered a gem of a stream, and I won't even tell non-fisher-people about it. Park as far from the stream as you can manage and cover your car in camouflage.

A little story just so you stop thinking that you're foolish. Last year, my wife and I fished a completely wild, alpine stream out west that contained a decent population of brook trout. I remember a particular plunge pool that was maybe a couple of feet deep and a foot or so wide producing a FAT 8-10" brookie, and I am not exaggerating (much) when I say that my wife drew interest from a 12-14" brookie hanging out underneath an undercut rock just downstream of that plunge pool. I could easily have jumped the width of the stream at its widest (not including the occasional beaver dam), so I'm pretty sure it qualifies as a small stream.

Anyway, I don't see why you shouldn't hold out some hope for discovering a larger-than-average brookie in that stream, but I wouldn't hold your breath or anything like that. I'm sure that there are more variables involved than the presence of an undercut or a decent sized pool (e.g. quantity / quality of food supply), but I can't imagine those things hurting any. Have fun and don't tell anyone!

Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Apr 22, 2008April 22nd, 2008, 6:02 pm EDT
Yes. This stream classifies as a secret worth quietly murdering the occasional passerby to keep.

Might I suggest dumping the passerby into the creek to supplement its food web? ;)
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
State College, PA

Posts: 103
Smallstream on Apr 22, 2008April 22nd, 2008, 6:20 pm EDT
those kind of streams are my favorite to fish! a couple days ago i hit one of my favorite small streams the other day

Cortland Manor, NY

Posts: 139
Mcjames on Apr 23, 2008April 23rd, 2008, 2:06 am EDT
this is a great post... I grew up in Delaware County, and I know one or two streams that are "under the radar" as well... nothing quite so satisfying as "discovering" a wild trout stream, especially in SE Pennsylvania. The fact that they are brookies is a huge bonus in my opinion. in my totally unscientific, data-poor experience, the greater the population density of a stream such as you describe, the smaller the average trout, and vice versa. Can anyone here inform as to any correlation b/t population density and average fish size?
I am haunted by waters
chester county pa

Posts: 20
Brooklover on Apr 23, 2008April 23rd, 2008, 11:43 am EDT
any idea of the classification( free stone, limestone ect.) Also what are easy to find indicators of fertility? Ive been using a spinning rod to fish and was curious what kind of fly rod set up could be used on a stream this small?
SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse

Posts: 71
Jjlyon01 on Apr 23, 2008April 23rd, 2008, 2:24 pm EDT
I love my Lefty Kreh Signature series Temple Forks Outfitters 7'6" 3wt for small brooks. It looks like that stream is really tight though, maybe try a little shorter like a 6'6" or 7'.
"I now walk into the wild"
Chester County, PA

Posts: 1
Ginkyhackle on Jul 24, 2012July 24th, 2012, 7:28 pm EDT
Brooklover - there are very few place you could have happened apon truly wild brook trout in Chester County. Probably fewer than a dozen. These would be (with perhaps three exceptions)small headwaters and tribs. Most of these are on heavily posted land. Impressive stream-sleuthing, amigo.
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Jul 25, 2012July 25th, 2012, 2:37 am EDT
When I fish small streams/brooks for brookies up in the mountains, I use my 7' 3wt and use the old bow-and-arrow quite often to get the fly out since there's almost always no room in which to make a back cast!
PaulRoberts's profile picture

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Jul 25, 2012July 25th, 2012, 7:15 am EDT
First order of business is to take temperatures. Brookies need it colder than browns and bows -

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