PODCAST: Why We All Love Big Trout

by | Jun 18, 2023 | 10 comments

 The Troutbitten Podcast is available everywhere that you listen to your podcasts.

** Note **  The Podcast Player, along with links to your favorite players is below.

This episode is about big trout — what they mean to us, why we chase them and how catching a top tier wild trout often leaves a bookmark in the story of our fishing lives.

We love big trout because they give us the shakes. Because they elude us. Because they are rare. And because fooling a top tier trout serves as an accomplishment that we know comes from persistence and from knowledge gained over seasons of fishing.

Time. That’s what it always comes down to. Because big trout don’t show up every day. The rarity of the occasion often puts the capstone on a special trip, and these fish serve as icons in our history. They’re something to look back on, to share with trusted friends, or divide part of our life into what occurred before a big fish and what happened after.

Because pursuing legendary fish takes us on a journey like none other, leading us into places unimagined and providing moments that bring a vibrancy to our daily life.

READ: Troutbitten | The Shakes, and Why We Love Big Trout
READ: Troutbitten | What Does It Take to Catch a Big Trout?
READ: Troutbitten | Some Days Are Diamonds, Some Days Are Rocks
READ: Troutbitten | Wild vs Stocked — The Hierarchy of Trout in Pennsylvania

Here’s the podcast . . .

Listen with the player above, or . . .

Find the Troutbitten podcast on any of these services:

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. . . and everywhere else where you listen to podcasts.

You can find the dedicated Troutbitten Podcast page at . . .


Season Seven of the Troutbitten Podcast continues next week with episode eleven. So look for that one in your podcast feed.

Fish hard, friends.


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Enjoy the day.
Domenick Swentosky


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Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

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What do you think?

Be part of the Troutbitten community of ideas.
Be helpful. And be nice.


  1. In the context of both this podcast episode and last week’s, does the TB crew do any stillwater trout fishing?

    Because the trout rivers close to fishing here in Australia over winter and early spring, I’ve recently been learning stillwater tactics, and I’m finally starting to put river-esque numbers on the figurative clicker. Some of the lakes I’m fishing are 100% stocked, but most have a large proportion of wild fish that have spawned in the connecting rivers and spend most of their lives in the lake.

    One thing that has struck me about stillwater trout fishing is the average size of the fish. There’s so much food in lakes compared to rivers, so they’re both heavier and longer. I love fishing in rivers, and the rarity of a big trout is more rewarding, but if big trout is your obsession there’s no better place to catch a 60cm/23in trout than a lake.

    • Not very much stillwater fishing, no. Troutbitten is about river fishing for trout, mostly wild ones. I don’t know much about stillwater.

  2. Hey Dom, what drag setting do you use for 4x, and 5x on the sage trout? I have been running with 9 for 5x and 11 for 4x.

    I came up with those by hooking a branch and pulling like hell.

    • Hey Matt,

      I don’t know how to answer that. I don’t think I’ve ever known the number of my drag setting, for any reel, and they are all marked differently anyway. It also has a lot more to do with the strenght of your terminal tippet, and there’s a wide variance between brands of equal X value anyway.

      I think you are on the right track, by actually testing your breaking strength in the real world. Here’s an article about that.

      Fighting Big Fish: How Strong Are Your Tools?

      • Right on. Thanks for taking the time to share the articles. I will check them out.

  3. I think that large wild brown trout are more rare than you estimated and I think that is why they are so special. This is from the Wild Trout Trust based out of the UK, however I think the these stats are probably close to what the mortality rates are here in PA.

    “The majority of trout in the wild die before their first birthday. Mortality rates in their first year of life are typically 95% or greater, falling to around 40 – 60% per annum in subsequent years.”

    Depending on how many years it takes for a wild brown to reach 20″ and a typical female brown trout produces about 2,000 eggs per kilogram (900 eggs per pound) of body weight at spawning, catching three 20″ wild browns out of 1500 is amazing.

    • Hi Emmett,

      ” . . . catching three 20″ wild browns out of 1500 is amazing.”

      Well, it’s all very relative to the river, and we kind of talked through that on this podcast. If you and I fished your home water, we could both fish for a decade and never find a whiskey. But there are places where twenty inch trout are surely more common than one in 500, no doubt.

      Hell, there are places where if I spend two days on the water and do NOT catch a whiskey, I’m a bit disappointed (if that was the goal).


      • It’s been almost 10 years of fly fishing here in central Pa and I’ve landed a handful of wild browns in the 18″-19″ range but none 20″ or above. I’ve only seen 2 fish over 20″ but that could be I’m shit and fishing the wrong waters. Point me in the direction of the 2 day whiskey River!
        Great stuff as always

  4. Measurenet has eliminated all doubt


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Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

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