This will be the fourth year I have published my Fishing Journal here on the world wide web for others to enjoy..
So sit back and relax as you read about my daily fishing journeys here in Western Pennsylvania....
Thanks for Visiting..
Dr. Trout


Well my first entry into this year's fishing journal has nothing to do with fishing... I just returned from the trip of a lifetime... I was invited to attend a Bear Seminar sponsored by the PGC for the House of Representatives Game and Fisheries can read all about the trip here...PGC BEAR TRIP


Opening Day of Trout Season..

I can not remember the last time there was such beautiful weather for the opening day of trout season... Now if the fish would have been just as co-operative it would have been a wonderful day all around. I fished from 8:00am until 11:30am and did not even get a "bump". It was depressing to say the least. I believe this was the third year I was "skunked" on opening day. It was such a beautiful day I just stayed home the rest of the day and got ahead on the "yard work". I am definitely going to Kyle Lake in the morning. The boat and all my gear are already loaded into the truck. Maybe the Bass and Northerns wll be more co-operative... ???

Kyle Lake
Weather wise today was even nicer than yesterday. Fishing wise it was the same... nothing... not even a bite... I threw just about every lure I had in the old tackle box, but nothing seemed interested. I noticed two other boats on the lake and it looked like they were having the same bad luck that I was having. Conditions were perfect... I thought. No wind partly cloudy and the sun appeared about 10:00am. I fished for 4 hours then returned to spend the afternoon with my wife and her girlfriend who came visitng from Pittsburgh.

North Fork

Fished from noon until 2:00pm under the Richardsville Bridge. Caught my first fish of 2004, a 12 inch Sucker. I did manage two Brook Trout also. So the season is off and running now....

North Fork

Well it certainly was an enjoyable morning. I got home from working my 12 hour shift at about 6:20am. As I approached the front door I heard a gobbler sounding off down in the Hemlock Grove behind the house. I made a little breakfast and packed my gear for a morning fishing trip..
I went out to walk the dog and that old gobbler let loose two more times. I left at just before 7:00am and headed to Richardsville. I spotted 12 deer on the way, but no turkeys.
I decided to wade downstream from the bridge and see if I could catch some trout. I had a wonderful day..caught and released 19 Brook Trout all on either wax worms or red meal worms.
Size varied from about 8 to 10 inchs. The trout were hitting the baits pretty hard and for awhile it was one on almost every cast into one hole in particular... pulled 8 out of that hole....
Here's a photo of one of them, I did not take too many photos today.. too busy catching trout.
I fished for 4� hours minus a quick trip to Dixon's Country Store for more wax worms and mealies..

North Fork

Returned to wading below Richardsville for two hours this afternoon from 1:30pm until 3:30pm. I managed to land 7 Brook Trout, all of which were about 9 inches. Garden worms, wax worms, and mealies were used today for success.
With this warmer weather I am about to start fishing the Clarion River..the Smallmouths may be getting ready to start hitting...maybe next week..?????

Clarion River

Headed to the Clarion River at 1:15pm. Spotted 6 whitetails in a posted field and two more ran across the road in front of me on public land. Also had a hen turkey cross the road. Started fishing at 1:30pm and landed my first Smallmouth of 2004. I spotted a turkey flying across the Clarion about 100 yards downstream from where I was fishing and several ducks flew by while I was there. At 2:15pm it started to rain/snow so I called it a quick day. Spotted 6 more whitetails in a field that I have permission to hunt on the way home.

Clarion River

Saw 6 deer on the way home from work this morning driving thru SGL#54.
When I arrived home I walked the dog and grabbed a quick snack and headed to the Clarion River for a couple hours of fishing. Weather was really nice.
I started fishing at 7:30am and fished until 11:00am. Spotted a turkey running across the road and two more deer on the way to the river.
The first fish hooked was about an eight inch creek chub. Shortly after that I landed a small Smallmouth on a nightcrawler. after about an hour of no more "hits" I moved on down stream a couple miles and stopped at a place I had not noticed with all the leaves, etc later in the summer.
Just as I was lifting the nightcrawler out of the water on my 1st cast... a fish broke the surface after the worm. I quickly pitched back in and "zap" fish on. It was a really nice Smallmouth and put up a great fight for about 8 minutes.
While preparing to take a photo I noticed his left eye was all "glassed" over.. He was blind in that eye. After releasing that bass and two casts later I had another "fish on". This time another Smallie but not quite as big, but still a nice fish and battle...
At 9:45am I decided to move on down to Belltown and see what the action was like there. After climbing out on to my "favorite rock" and tossing in I shortly had a brookie on . He took a nightcrawler. Things slowed and I switch to Berkley Power Bait white eggs.. this landed me two more brookies. One was about 14 inches the other much smaller but in battling that trout the hook tore some of his gill plates in the current. He was bleeding when I netted him out of the water, so I had to take this one home for a fish fry ASAP..That was it for fishing action, but I really enjoyed the fishing trip today..


Clarion River
Started May off with a mid-day trip to the Clarion River. I fished for three hours (12:30pm to 3:30pm) and managed 5 fish. 3 Smallmouths, one Brook Trout, and a big Sucker..
Spotted a turkey and two deer on the drive home.

Clarion River
I returned home this morning after my 12 hour work night and decided to try the Clarion River before it rained to use up the remainder of the nightcrawlers I had on hand. I fished from 7:00am until 10:00am when the rain arrived. I managed only one Smallmouth landed. I had several (about 6) good stikes but it just was not my morning for setting the hook. I was "still fishing" one of my favorite pools with two rods. It seemed every time I was doing something with the one rod the other one "bent over" and I was too Late !!
I guess we all have days like that... 8-)
I spotted 4 deer and 1 hen turkey on the way to the river, nothing in the rain coming home. If we do not get too much rain and if it does not muddy the river I may return tommorrow..

Clarion River
I got a late start this morning, I had to wait for the country store to open so I could get some nightcrawlers. Fished from 9:00am until noon. Had a total of 2 Brook Trout and 3 Smallmouths for the day. Sunny and the water just a little stained.. perfect for my style fishing..
I fished a bunch of spots I have not fished for a while. I get into the habit of staying at my favorites and forgetting there are hundreds of good spots...The one brook Trout was 20" and hit the scale at three pounds...she put up a GREAT fight and we will enjoy her on the grill... 8-)

North Fork
Fished for 3 hours after work this morning on North Fork behind the house. The PFBC stocked it last week.I managed 11 Brook Trout on power bait and nightcrawlers.All were about 10-12 inches long.Missed a few too, it was an enjoyable morning.

Clarion River
Fished for three hours this morning...
FINALLY a break in the weather.
The river was a little high and a little discolored (muddy). I did manage three Smallmouths and two trout, one brook and the first 2004 brown trout.
The fish from the Heath Pump Station Hatchery were put into the river at 11:00am today, but I was on my way home at the time.. As Arnold says.. "I'll be Back"

Clarion River
Returned between rain showers this afternoon hoping for a trophy trout. That did not happen.. I managed only one trout and one Smallmouth. I did catch a lot of "junk fish"..suckers, rock bass, and large creek chubs...
I got in about 2 hours of fishing before the storms started AGAIN !!!!!

I found out over the week-end an article I wrote about fishing the Clarion River has been accepted for publication in the Pennsylvania Outdoor News publication later this summer... That's is really exciting for me !!!!!


Clarion River
Arrived at the river just before dawn, threw out a 2 inch white Mr. Twister and SMASH.. I had a nice 18" Brown Trout on...
Fishing kind of went downhill from there.
I managed a total of 4 trout and 3 Smallmouths.
About the only thing that was really hitting well were the Rock Bass.
I fished until 11:30am. Water level was good (normal) but the color was still quite brown. Hopefully the rain will not be too heavy for the next few days allowing the water to clear some for better fishing. The Smallmouths are spawning pretty good right now.
Fishing can only get better this month..

Clarion River
We had internet friends come from Hershey, Pa to attend the SGL#44 Tour on Saturday and they stayed over night at our guest camp for some Sunday morning Clarion River Fishing.
Glen, Dot and I arrived at 8:00am. We fished for three hours before they had to get ready for their return trip home. Fishing at Belltown was terrible... nothing in an hour and a half. So I took them further upstream towards Hallton.
Fishing improved..... Dot caught 3 smallmouths and Glen managed a trout. I will not included these fish in my totals at the end of this journal...

Clarion River
I returned to Belltown this afternoon mainly to use up the nightcrawlers I had purchased for the Sunday fishing trip with internet friends..
I managed one Brook Trout.. a little short of 14" and a smallmouth about 15".. But the TREAT was a huge Carp....
I knew there were some giant carp in the Clarion River... I had seen them but never caught one, well that changed this afternoon... After setting the hook on this rascal the fight was on. He TWICE took All the line off my spool down to the knot!!!!!
The greatest part was it was my ultra-light set-up.It took almost twenty minmutes before I got my first look at what was on the end of the line. At first I was dissappointed about it being a carp... but after realizing the size and the battle we had just fought I admitted it was a BLAST.
I believe he is the biggest freshwater fish I have ever landed (I did touch him !) 8-)
BTW... I caught him on the same rock Dot was fishing from on Sunday morning and it was just the smallest bump of a "hit" until I pulled...... 8-)

Clarion River

After receiving an E-mail from the editor of the Pennsylvania Outdoor News that my article on fishing the Clarion River would be on the last page of the July 9th edition, I decided to give the Clarion an afternnon visit..
I walked out onto some rocks about 1/2 way between Hallton and Belltown that I had never fished from before. After a few small smallmouths landed I was plesantly surprised to bring this guy to net (photo below)... as you can see it is a Largemouth Bass.. only the second one I have caught from the Clarion River...
Today's results = 14 smallmouths..1 sucker..and one largemouth.. No trout
For you fly fishermen.. about 1:30pm a hatch of something started coming off the water and the fish started jumping EVERYWHERE !!!

6th = Tuesday
Clarion River

Went up to the Portland Mills area this afternoon. I was surprised to find the river pretty muddy. I was not expecting that. It was hot- muggy- and the bugs were biting instead of the fish. I noticed a fallen tree in the water and the area downstream behind the tree was not very muddy. MY TARGET.. one cast into the small pool and FISH ON... it was a nice brown trout. Finally the bugs got the worst of me and I left after only 2 hours of fishing. I plan an EARLY morning (pre-dawn) trip later this week.. stay tuned..

25th = Sunday
Clarion River

Traveled above Portland Mills for a couple hours from 11:00am until 1:00pm fishing off some rocks I had not fished from in a couple years. Fishing was slow and as usual no other anglers even though it was nice and a Sunday.Water was a nice green color and I am sure the fish had no trouble seeing any presentation I made. Only managed to land one brook trout and two smallies. I did miss a couple nice bites !!..


This is will be remembered as the year of the rains. Although I had an average number of trips many were shortened or postponed due to the rains and muddy water.
August and September had a total of 9 trips to the Clarion River. All were at various spots on the Eastern side which I gained access to by driving on an old dirt road below Hallton.
The fishing was exciting on all the days I went. I used nightcrawlers and caught quite a number of Smallmouths...44 in total of various sizes, this section did not produce many trout only 4.
But I have found some new areas and have fished later into the year than ever before.

I hope you enjoyed the 2004 version of my fishing journal and I invite you to return in March for the 2005 edition...

Dr. Trout