Category Archives: Trip Reports

Stories and pictures from Laurel Ridge Rods fishing trips.

Laurel Highlands Native Trout Fishing

Native Brook Trout Streams are often tight cover. Precise casting with a short rod is in order.
Native and Wild stream-born trout are some of the most incredible looking creations in nature.  What they lack in size they certainly make up for in color and willingness to take a well presented fly.

Being an El Nino year we have had an unseasonably warm winter that has kept the trout fishing productive.  After a recent snow melt my friend and I decided to head south of our home to some smaller highland watersheds holding native Brook Trout.

Using a short fly rod for fishing these small Mountain Laurel choked streams is imperative.  In most cases, a 6’6” 4 PC is a great option and very pack-able for the amount of ground you have to cover.  Nothing is more exciting then seeing a native rise to a dry fly with vengeance, big things truly do come in small packages.  My favorite

This colorful brook trout fell for a size 14 Royal Coachman
and top producing fly any time for these small brooks is no doubt the Royal Coachmen.  The white wing allows easy visibility and gives the small trout a reason to get off the stream bed to eat.

Although this particular stream we were fishing was a wild brook trout enhancement project, a bonus and nice sized wild brown was brought to hand on several occasions here as well.  The trouts ability to persevere and  show up in places they shouldn’t be always fascinated me.  A nice

A surprise Wild Brown trout in a Brook Trout enhancement stream
A surprise Wild Brown trout in a Brook Trout enhancement stream
surprise for a 60 degree day in February.

Steelhead Season is Underway

Steelhead Season is Upon us here in the Great Lakes.  Fish have been coming into the lower sections of the larger streams and although not in great numbers, there’s enough to keep us busy.  Anglers often run into a hard time fishing the low and gin clear structure less shale bottom, but this is a time to do some serious damage once you understand how to get it done.  Here at Laurel Ridge Rods we like to employ a variety of methods in order to better make use of our time and gas money.

With the abundance of other anglers it makes Fly Fishing tough, although not impossible.  The shadow, brightness and weight of a fly line slapping over grouped up stressed out fish is a sure way to guarantee your flies will be nothing but thoroughly washed.  I also see about 93% of fish accidentally foul hooked by fly fishing in PA, it is simply unfeasible in the majority of cases in the clear water.  That’s not to say some don’t do well, but further less don’t.

Various baits and jigs on spinning rods are what we have found to produce the best results for consistently catching fish in the unique PA waters.  Some of the techniques we use range from single cured egg fishing with a size 16-22 hook and often times 0 split shot.  Also, do not look over some popular lure and jig selections.  We use everything from lures designed from Panfish and Bass.  We will be writing future articles explaining these techniques further.  For now enjoy some of the pictures of some Early Season Steelhead from Pennsylvania, all taken on rods built by Laurel Ridge Rods