The stay-at-home guidelines and mandated business closings of spring 2020 forced everyone to change long-held habits and traditions. In Pennsylvania, one of the few things people were able to do was fish. This year’s Post-Gazette Trout Photo Contest includes images taken before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Scroll down to view the winning entries and all submissions in the Big Fish, Kidstuff and Artsy Shots categories.

Read the accompanying story, “Pictures are worth 1,000 words for Trout Photo Contest winners.” Find it at post-gazette.com/life/outdoors.

Big Fish

BIG FISH WINNER Photo by Steve Mamie
Logan Mamie, 14, of Irwin, Westmoreland County, boated this beautiful 39-inch lake trout, estimated to weigh 30 pounds during a Lake Erie trip with his father Steve Mamie, uncle Ben Fairbanks and brother Gage.

 

Photo courtesy of Alex Ielase
Rev. Alex Ielase of Port Vue, pastor of First Evangelical Free Church in McKeesport, landed a colorful steelhead trout on Conneaut Creek in Ohio.

 

Photo courtesy of Todd Allhouse
Todd Allhouse of Butler took this 25-inch rainbow on wax worms on Connoquenessing Creek.

 

Photo courtesy of James Swearingen

Photo by James Swearingen

Photo courtesy of James Swearingen

Photo courtesy of James Swearingen

Photo courtesy of James Swearingen

Photo courtesy of James Swearingen

Photo courtesy of James Swearingen

Photo courtesy of James Swearingen

Photo courtesy of James Swearingen

Photo courtesy of James Swearingen

Photo courtesy of James Swearingen
Last year’s Big Fish winner, James Swearingen of Windgap caught and released these steelhead, brown and golden rainbow trout on Lake Erie tributaries. Usually, he fishes with a spinning rod and a single salmon egg or egg sac.

 

Photo by Joe Baker

Photo by Joe Baker
Joe Baker of Canonsburg caught a 25-inch, 5-pound brown on Chartiers Creek, and a 22-inch golden rainbow on the Youghiogheny River at Ohiopyle.

 

Photo courtesy of Dave Hawk

Photo courtesy of Dave Hawk

Photo by Dave Hawk

Photo courtesy of Dave Hawk
Fly fisherman Dave Hawk of Ross hooked up with steelhead and brown trout on Lake Erie tributaries. In one six- to seven-hour period he released 42 fish including some in excess of 30 inches taken on Crystal Meth egg patterns, Pink Sucker Spawn and Ug Bugs.

 

Photo by Dave Hawk
During one heavy run on a Lake Erie tributary, Jim Stillwagon of Ross landed more than 20 steelhead and brown trout on flies.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Josh Jacobs
During a vacation fly fishing trip on the Elk River in British Columbia, Josh Jacobs of Bridgeville landed a 28-inch bull trout taken on a nymph. Bulls were previously called Dolly Varden trout until they were discovered to be a separate species.

 

Photo courtesy of Scott Karavlan

Photo courtesy of Scott Karavlan
“I caught this beautiful 22-inch rainbow, the largest of my fishing career, on Pine Creek in Allegheny County on the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only section,” said Scott Karavlan of McCandless. “I was fly fishing and drifting a white Squirmy Wormy — it was my only hit in three hours of fishing — and she fought a good fight. She was released healthy and strong and is out there waiting for another lucky angler.”

 

Photo by James Swearingen

Photo by James Swearingen
Jim Kramer of Bulger (above) and Tony Fazio of Forest Hills (below) caught and released these fish on Elk and Walnut Creeks, Erie County.

 

Photo courtesy of Derek Peluso
Derek Peluso of Ross caught his limit at Pine Creek just outside of North Park. Every time the bait hit the water on that day, he caught a fish.

 

Photo by Sam Uminski
Annie Betler of Harrisville took this 18-inch rainbow at the private Grove City Sportsman Club Lake.

Photo by Annie Betler

Photo by Annie Betler
Sam Uminski of Indianola caught a 22-inch golden rainbow and 19-inch brown trout at Deer Creek.

 

Photo by Jim Friend
“This rainbow trout went for a white Wooly Bugger. Not sure how long it was, I am guessing 20-24 inches. It was a nice fish. Glad to release it for another angler.”
— Jim Friend of Shaler on Pine Creek, Allegheny County.

 

Photo by Ed Ungerman

Photo by Joe Ungerman
Brothers John and Ed Ungerman, senior lifetime Pennsylvania Anglers from Pittsburgh, had a good day on the water at a Lake Erie tributary. Conditions were good and the steelhead were biting.

 

Photo by Suzanne Unger
John Love of Wexford landed this 24-inch rainbow trout in Bessemer Quarry, Lawrence County, using an ice jig with a red worm. The fish was released.

 

Photo by John Hayes
Ryan Campbell of Greensburg caught a 13-inch brook trout on a garlic salmon egg at Twin Lakes, Westmoreland County.

 

Photo by Adam Rahuba
Rainbow trout, 21 inches with 10-inch girth, caught by Zack Rahuba of Glenshaw.

 

Photo by Scott Karavlan
During one day in March, Richie Simmen of McCandless landed more than a dozen trout, including this 12-inch-brown, while stripping an olive-green Wooly Bugger in the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only section of Deer Creek.

 

Photo courtesy of Gene Slevinski
Gene Slevinski of Highland Park landed this 19-inch rainbow trout on Pine Creek. Allegheny County, using a spinning rod and a Pcola NITI-1 Trout Killer.

 

Photo courtesy of Nico Summaria
“Fished the smaller [Lake Erie] tributaries with slightly lower flow in the morning with the temperature hovering around 20 degrees and landed one steelhead. Then moved to Walnut Creek when it warmed up and landed two nice steelhead. All fish were caught on a dual fly rig using a pink Nuke Egg and a No. 14 Pheasant Tail nymph. Not a bad day for sub-freezing temperatures and iced up streams. All fish were released.”

Kid Stuff

KIDSTUFF WINNER Photo by Rodney Williams.
Scarlett Williams, 3, of Moon.
April 25, Flaugherty Run Creek
“After a couple of lure changes, working on her casting and a little help, Scarlett made a perfect cast and pulled her first fish out from under a cut bank. The fight lasted a while and was filled with smiles and laughter. After admiring her fish and taking a quick picture, Scarlett decided that she wanted to put the fish back. It was properly released and quickly swam back to its hideout under the cut bank.”
— Rodney Williams, Scarlett’s father.
Editor’s Note: Cute smiles run in the family. A photo of Scarlett’s sister Eva, also taken by their father, won in the Kidstuff category in 2019.

 

Photo by Justin Eskra

Photo by Justin Eskra
Above, Claire Eskra, 5, of Ross peeks through the net as her brother Luke, 8, lifts her first catch, a 14-inch trout taken at North Park Lake on April 15. Below, Like cradles a golden rainbow also caught at North Park. Below, Luke pulled this golden rainbow trout out of North Park Lake on March 26.

 

Photo by Steve Katona

Photo by Steve Katona
Above, Keaton McCaslin, 7, of Ross with a trout he caught at East Hickory Creek, Forest County. Below, Steve Katona of Shaler and Keaton’s dad Brian McCaslin with Keaton and his fish.
“In times like these, the memories will last a lifetime. It was not about the size of what he caught but teaching him how to do it.” — Brian McCaslin

 

Photo by Ryan Moran

Photo by Ryan Moran
Luke Moran, 10, with a golden rainbow released on Sewickley Creek in Westmoreland County. Below, Luke with brothers Jake, 13, and Alec, 12.

 

Photo by Will Drexler
Fly fisherman Will Drexler, 17, of Mckees Rocks caught this golden rainbow at Allegheny County’s Pine Creek on a tandem rig. The fish took a pink Sucker Spawn.

 

Photo courtesy of John Arway

Photo by John Arway
John Arway, former executive director of the state Fish and Boat Commission, said he finally has time to teach his grandchildren to fish. Above he’s with Alexander, 10, Leif, 5, and Genevieve, 3, of Boalsburg, Pa., and Eliana, 5, of Howard, Pa.

 

Photo by Curtis Reiner
Emily Reiner, 12, of Glenfield with a big trout in excess of 20 inches caught April 10 at Big Sewickley Creek. The fish was released to be caught again.

 

Photo by Justin Petrozza
Ben Varhola, 6, of North Huntingdon was determined to not be out-fished. Days after his older brother Nick caught four trout at Twin Lakes, Westmoreland County, Ben returned with his uncle Justin Petrozza, baited up with a live minnow and caught this big rainbow measuring more than 20 inches.

 

Artsy Shots

ARTSY SHOTS WINNER Photo by James Swearingen.
A steelhead peeks above the surface as it is being landed. In the two images below, a brown trout poses for a still life before being released, the egg sac still visible in the fish’s mouth.

Photo by James Swearingen

Photo by James Swearingen

 

Photo by Austin Aikins
A recent graduate of Central Catholic High School, Austin Aikins of Lower Burrell submitted several photos of sizable trout. Here he shows off a day’s catch.

 

Photo by John Nagy

Photo by John Nagy
Above and  below, these steelhead trout caught and released by John Nagy, an author and fishing guide from Brookline.

 

Photo by Scott Kozelnik
On a 73-degree day in January, Scott Kozelnik of McCandless released three brook trout caught on spinners at Pine Creek near North Park.

 

Photo by Mike Domach

Photo by Mike Domach
Two brook trout caught and released on Cross Fork Creek, Potter County, by Mike Domach, a Bloomfield fly fisherman. Above, the brightly colored native took a large No. 8 fly during a Green Drake hatch. Below, at the same spot, this one hit a small streamer in a riffle.

 

Photo by Stephen C. Plut
“I practiced a bit of social distancing up at Keystone State Park [in Derry] and was blessed when this fellow hit my nymph,”
— Stephen C. Plut, Allison Park.

Photo and colorization by Eric Gazdik
Erica Gazdik, 17, of New Sewickley, Beaver County, caught this 19-inch golden rainbow on Big Sewickley Creek. Baiting up with rainbow-colored Powerbait she meticulously worked her presentation and pulled out the trophy that many other anglers failed to catch.


 

 

 

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