Friday, July 02, 2010

Study in Appreciation #1:

I was fortunate enough to come across ~45 minutes recently to nymph a bit. Very challenging conditions right now, with small streams showing dead clear and low. With limited time I focused on one hole, and resolved that I would fish all parts of it: front, middle, top and all seams everywhere, etc. From above I could see the streambed over most of the pool. I took this to mean that the fish could easily see me. Could not waltz up like a goon and start flailing around. Camoflauged my outline and crouched a lot. Slow fishing. Repeating casts over and over while changing weights and indicator location. This was effective. The fish are there to be had. Some in the freezer now but most still swim. The only pictures worth sharing are below. This was a remarkable brook trout. Ate a BH prince nymph. When I looked at it in the field, I figured it was 11-12". However, a brown that I kept had been estimated at 10.5". When I got home, I measured it with a ruler and found it to be 12.0". Felt like a major failure there - poor estimating skills. Applying that ratio to a guess of 11.5" puts the brookie at 13.14". Down to the hundredths place... right on. Point is that it was a large brook trout and a damn pretty fish. I got to thinking that I sure appreciate the opportunity to cradle a fish like that and then let it go.

10 Comments:

Blogger darklake said...

Brookies are beautiful fish, aren't they? You have to wonder about the competitive advantage they gained from being so wildly colorful. I could understand it if they were college students --- but fish??? A tip -- a friend showed me his technique of making measuring marks on his rod. He snubs the nose of the fish up against the first stripping guide and then mas marks on his rod and/or handle so that it functions like a measuring tape. Works slick. If you don't want to mar the rod finish use little strips of electrical tape. Any pencil marks on the cork handle can be sanded off if you want.

9:11 AM  
Anonymous winonaflyfactory said...

Your making good use of the time you have. Glad to see your landing fish.

11:07 PM  
Blogger john montana said...

Good stuff.

Still pending a summer trip. Been crazy out here with no sign of slowdown yet. Work/life all going all out. Maybe late aug.

11:45 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Been thinking about these colors. Red spots with blue rings... Orange belly and white fin edges.

This comes to mind:
For the Explainers

Spell and spiel of cause and effect,
Ride the long rail of fact after fact;
What curled the plume in the drake's tail
And put the white ring round his neck?

-W. Berry

But so does this:

In a laboratory study, fry of brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis experienced less predation by hooded mergansers if they were previously acclimated for 11–12 weeks to tanks having the same background color as the predation arena. Color acclimation produced morphological color changes that rendered the fish more cryptic to the birds. Overall, cryptic brook trout accounted for 37% of predation, whereas unmatched fish experienced 63% of the total predation mortality. Implications of this study for salmonid management are that reduced predation of transplanted fish will occur if they are acclimated in hatcheries to backgrounds having similar coloration to the gravel in the habitat where they will be transplanted.

-North American Journal of Fisheries Management 1991; 11: 206-211

8:48 AM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Late August could work. Small dry flies. Let me know what you figure.

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