Tag: spawning

Fin-angler

Seeking assistance with data.table functions via the R help files, and instead [somehow] being reminded that brown trouts will soon be hitting the dance floor …

screenshotreminder

First read as fin angler. Then the double-take.

MG signing off (knowing the trouts will be fast; but probably none too friendly … like R)

Something Thoreau wrote on March 20, 1858

“The fishes are going up the brooks as they open. They are dispersing themselves through the fields and woods, imparting new life into them. They are taking their places under the shelving banks and in the dark swamps. The water running down meets the fishes running up. They hear the latest news. Spring-aroused fishes are running up our veins too. Little fishes are seeking the sources of the brooks, seeking to disseminate their principles. Talk about a revival of religion! and business men’s prayer meetings! with which all the country goes mad now! What if it were as true and wholesome a revival as the little fishes feel which come out of the sluggish waters and run up the brooks toward their sources?”

As much as it still looks and feels like winter, spring, and the inevitable little fishes, are close at hand.

Some consider angling their revival, their prayer meeting, and go mad over it no matter the time of year. Others just especially look forward to the transition periods.

MG signing off (counting the days ’till the rainbows start running)

Lil’ Piggie

Already done with the frisky, and wanted a scud to chew on.

Photo by Nate O' Taylor

Photo by Nate O’ Taylor

Sadly, said aquatic crustacean was a hook in disguise.

Trip report to follow. Unless Nate beats me to it, which he probably will.

MG signing off (because he is just plain tired)

The only river not blown out holding fish interested in something besides eating

You go fly-fishing with the expectation that the targets are hungry.

Yesterday I found they were just horny.

MG signing off (because he really needs a tripod)

A modest proposal for the future of certain trout

Foreword

I have spent the entirety of the year 2010 without fishing the “Meyers Stretch” of the South Platte River, a.k.a the Dream Stream, and will without doubt finish the year not touching its banks once.

I may never fish it again either, unless there are some changes. The reasoning is simple.

I was once one of those jackasses who spent the fall months slinging egg sucking leaches, followed by egg patterns, followed by bead-headed midges, across those waters as the browns moved up to make whoopie in the willows. Then I realized that unlike those fish, we humans get it on for fun and games. They are moving on instinct, to replicate the species. Period.

I then asked myself this: with the mortality rate already built into catch and release fishing (which probably runs at least 35% percent, based on my half-assed research on the matter), how many of those majestic fish would actual survive being caught multiple times a season? Counting the vehicles in the lots, I subsequently puked all over my leaky $500 waders. (Side note: I’ll never wear a pair of waders that cost that much ever again).

The previous few summers I caught some bonafide pigs at Meyers on streamers and dries, and then skipped the spawning season out of pure satisfaction. The fish I bagged were healthy and bright, unlike those I’d caught previous autumns with multiple copper johns hanging out of their snouts. I haven’t been back since August ’09.

Modesty and Twelve Gauges

Let’s turn the Dream Stream into a permit-only water. Draw for days, just like elk hunting season. And pay dearly just the same. No poaching, no guiding, and no cheating. Guns drawn and off to jail with you if you disobey.

Think of the fees it could generate for protecting those fish. Imagine how those fish might behave with significantly less pressure on their poor souls. $50 per day to park in the lot between May 1st and August 31st. And then, say, a $150 per person rod fee during the spawns – February 1st through April 31st and September 1st through October 31st – would allow those fin finned friends to breed without undue harassment. I suspect the populations would explode, and the need for stocking would be significantly reduced too.

Catching wild fish on an extraordinary stretch of water. One now named after a luminary lost. What would Charlie think about this?

By the way, the same could be said for the Taylor, Frying Pan, and probably a few other sections of water too. Raking the reds with a three fly nymph rig for a digital hero shot? I think you should pay out-the-ass for such guilty pleasures.

How do you feel?

MG signing off (to avoid catching trophy fish while they are trying to make more trophy fish)

It’s looking like baetis weather

Sleet never hurt nobodyThere come’s a time in a fly fisher’s life when you throw caution to the wind. And it just so happens that such time reoccurs each and every autumn just as the weather moves into the idiotic unbearable stage. It’ll rain, sleet, and snow, and when the thunder and lightning start you’ll take a short break. Use it to convince yourself you are safe because you are standing in a valley. Or consider stepping back in as soon as someone else starts picking your favorite run apart, while you grow ever more frustrated with the fresh leader you’re attempting to tie on with fingers long since turned blue.

The occasional rainbow makes for wet handsGetting up at 4:30 am only works if the fish decide to wake along with you. Such was not the case, and by noon the crew was looking and feeling pretty motley. But splitting up often gives the individual angler opportunity to lie time to think, and the action (or lack thereof) both on top and in the emerger category forced an injection of common sense, known to be rarer than flawless golf ball sized canary diamonds amongst the fly fishing set.

Let’s see…the bugs aren’t showing their pretty little faces. The fish have got to be hungry and pissed, because it’s spawning season. Maybe they’re eating eggs? Ya’ think?

Number 25The sky turned grim, and we were getting pelted by sleet. And par for the course, we quickly found that anything greenish or brownish and insect-like, followed by just about anything pink, yellow, and/or fuzzy turned the docile environment we’d become accustomed to over the morning into an afternoon of absolute mayhem. We eventually got sick of hearing each other call out “net please” because we were usually hooked up about the same time ourselves. Mad scrambles ensued as angry brown trout after angry brown trout (and the occasional rainbow) hightailed it downstream. Within hours our individual in-hand counts had climbed from near zero into the mid-twenties or more. And what started with a few yearlings in the ten to twelve inch range quickly morphed into those measured by the pound. Soaking wet and cold, we had a decent walk ahead of us and only minutes of daylight remaining. The game was called on account of baetis weather. Even though the baetis never checked it themselves.

Is it possible to cancel the second day of a two day fishing trip because you caught too many fish the first? It may be a first in it’s own right, but it happened. A solid showing left everyone hankering for caloric intake and rest. We’d taken the place by storm, so waking after eight, followed by Blue Moon’s tasty if messy breakfast burritos and a leisurely drive back into town seemed fitting. Nevertheless, my gear is still dripping and I am still smiling. I am also certain that I am not alone.

Greg Drapeau provides fine entertainment

MG signing off (to plot another run before the weather clears)

South Park brown trout about to get busy

Marshall says:

The browns and the fall spawing rainbows are staging in the inlet for their run up the middle fork of the South Platte. In a week or so areas like Badger Basin and Tomahawk will be hot with big browns spawning.

Best you leave them be so we can have tons of wee little baby brown trout next year.

I’ll of course be observing this precious wildlife on a new hook for a new book.

Editor’s note: Please don’t step on those inviting beds of fine gravel. It’s quite easy to fish from shore in most of these places – if you can’t cast a bugger across a 25 foot wide stretch of water without stepping on our fine finned friends’ beds, I’ll be glad to give you a quick casting lesson. You wouldn’t want someone stepping all over you while you’re getting busy, now would you?

Autumn’s closing in…

We had a lot of rain in Colorado over the last few days, and with that rain came some cooler weather. Autumn’s closing in, meaning there will soon be big brown trout lurking around for some action (and I don’t mean fly action).

BREAK

Before I lay into a trout discussion, there is something I just have to get off my chest – it’s regarding a fly fishing blogosphere (yes, there is one of those) related incident…

Last week The Trout Underground tacitly (and slyly and covertly) proclaimed nymphing the “Official Fly Fishing Technique of the Devil”. As one who considers nymphing more the “Official Fly Fishing Technique of My Pocketbook Snagged On A Rock In The Technical Section Over Yonder That I Just Pulled This Twenty-Three Inch Rainbow Out Of”, I took great offense – I then proceeded to mock Editor-In-Chief Chandler’s streamer selection with choice references to Boy George. Mr. Chandler in turn responded, however with ordinate class – he noted simply that the streamer worked, and then (probably suspecting I had a penchant for dredging) moved to suggest some midge patterns I might find effective.

Ok, so I was trying to pick a little fight. And I got bloodied by substance and style. My official statement herewith…”Please accept my humblest apologies”. My unofficial statement is had that streamer been dressed more like an encyclopedia salesman than a stage dancer in a Christina Aguilera show, there might not have been so much “swearing off big fish”. Since the quotable response differs from the now-blacklined, I’m going to pay some penance as well.

I take the midge recommendation to heart, and will pick up a few for the winter months. Meanwhile, I’m going to fish streamers exclusivelyuntil my arm wears out from throwing eight-inch pieces of rabbit with Type VI lines … at least until everyone at my parties catches exceed mine by a factor of 1.0000000000001 (at which time I’ll started dropping lime green and orange fuzzy eggs like they).

If I happen to catch numerous angry (and benevolent forces willing, oversized) brown trout, that will be my cross to bear. And to keep things forthright, I am going to bare my soul too. Since the early days, I’ve been a braggart about minimalism, carrying just a single fly box for a day’s pursuits. A few years in Colorado changed all that – I was soon carrying two boxes, and had another in the glove compartment. Fast forward a few seasons…I now have more boxes than I’m willing to transport across town, two of which are for streamers alone. And I vow to lug these cradles of deceit wherever I go:

streamers

Effectively organized too – they are named “Piglets” and “Pigs” respectively – I don’t think I need to explain why.

I will post a report in the square after each and every outing. If the townfolk find reason to cast me out, so be it (and I’ll take my tar and feathering like a man, so long as those feathers are Grade 3).

I consider this matter ‘pending outcome’, late-October time frame. Now…back to our regularly scheduled programming.