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A beginers guide to fishing during spawning season

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2009/12/17 20:43
From Souderton PA
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I have seen a couple of recent discussions about the dos and don'ts of fishing during the spawn, but noticed that a lot of good advice is given that relies on already knowing something about trout spawning habits. Since beginners might not have the good fortune to have these things pointed out to them on the stream, I thought it would be good to provide information on what redds are, how to spot them, and how to identify the spawning trout. Here is a pretty informative blog entry that makes a good starting place.
Any other tips or advice to offer on this topic?

Posted on: 2010/9/28 13:11


Re: A beginers guide to fishing during spawning season

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2010/4/15 17:24
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Read the comments on that article for some good laughs.

I have some questions, as I've never fished a fall season before. When some of the trout in a stream are spawning, are all of them spawning? If not, is it ok to fish outside of the typical spawning areas? If yes, when is it ok to fish again? Can you fish when there are obvious redds but no fish over them?

Posted on: 2010/9/28 20:48


Re: A beginers guide to fishing during spawning season

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I would apprechiate more people to weigh in on this with advice and photographs.

I've seen gill and bass redds, but I've never noticed trout redds. Will they be that easily spotted?

Posted on: 2010/9/29 0:05
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Re: A beginers guide to fishing during spawning season

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Reeds are fairly easy to see, but keep in mind that not al trout spawn in a redd; some use what has been provided for them by the stream. For example, there are just perfect places that exsist in riffles because of the substrate.

I can think of a perfect spot on Spring below Benner and a perfect spot on Tea.

Not all fish will spawn and can be caught. For example, I fished last weekend and all of the fish over 12" were no where to be found. My guess is they were upstream preparing for the event.

I no people swear to not fish over spawning fish, but if you hook one, don't play it, but rather horse it in and un-hook it quickly.

I always stick by the thought that if a fish takes your fly, it could have been caught. Fish that are in a thermal refuge in the Summer, or are activly spawning will not eat.

Posted on: 2010/9/29 8:21
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Re: A beginers guide to fishing during spawning season

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So, do post-spawn trout take care of the redd, or do they abandon it to fate?

IE, some aquatic creatures will tend to the eggs until they hatch, blowing water over them, chasing off predators, etc.

Posted on: 2010/9/29 9:03
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Re: A beginers guide to fishing during spawning season

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They will tend to them for a short period of time, but redd locations aren't the best habitat locations.

Redds are in areas that are going to have good O2 flow throughout the Fall in early Winter.

As I'm guessing you know, trout inthe Winter are going to receed to deeper parts of the stream (well most of the time).

Trout eggs don't stay eggs for very long. However the fry will hang around the redd for a few weeks before dispersing for better locals with cover from hungry predators including trout.

I can also always tell when the spawn is about to happen because I see more YOY swimming around. I rarely see them in the Spring and Summer, but just before the spawn and before colder weather they gorge themselves without the worry of bigger trout gobbling them up.

Posted on: 2010/9/29 9:48
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Re: A beginers guide to fishing during spawning season

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Not a great video (I can't even tell if they're trout), but good for seeing what the angler would see from the streambank.




Note:

1. The cleared out, lighter colored depression in contrast to the brownish streambed.

2. Trout darting around, jockeying for postion, nipping at each other or nudging (male to female) or chasing off other trout (big male to other males). There should be no confusion with a trout chasing forage. That happens in a single sequence, rather quickly, and then it's over.

3. If the activity in (2) is not clear but you know something is happening, consider that in most wild trout streams of decent clarity, if you were that close to them and they were NOT spawning, they would have spooked and run for cover long before you got to that perspective.

Different streams will give a different look. On more acidic streams, the brownish streambed in relation to the cleared out redd will not be as apparent. Also, there will be differences regarding redd substrates available or preferred. The trout activity, however, will be similar.

Posted on: 2010/9/29 10:39


Re: A beginers guide to fishing during spawning season

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Thanks guys, this has been remarkably helpful.

Last question would then be, at what point do the browns usually enter into the actual spawn, and when does it end up being usually safe enough to wade again?

I know in many pet trade fish, pre-spawn tends to be determiend by time/season, but the act of spawning then happens when water conditions change in a specific manner.

To put that, hopefully, into a useful perspective, AS AN EXMPALE: if browns enter pre-spawn/spawn "around the end of September, 3rd or 4th week," then usually spawn on major rainfall, expect six weeks until safer wading after the event."

I don't need to actively worry abotu rainbows anywhere I'm going (which I know are spring), but how about the brook trout? Also fall, per brown, or spring or different again?

Posted on: 2010/9/29 12:41
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Re: A beginers guide to fishing during spawning season

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Depending on what part of the state you're in, there could be spawning any time between now and early January. Generally the brook char go first. I tend to think Brook char in October, and browns in November, but that is oversimplification with many exceptions.

On the other hand, I am more about dry flies at this time of year. There are few sights so gratifying as dimples among drifting leaves. Dimpling trout are fair game 100 percent of the time.

After the trout abandon the redd, I doubt that wading is an issue. I think about it, and look for redds, but while I make some effort to not go into what could have been a redd, I'm not too concerned about it, either. If there is research suggesting wading over redds is harmful, I would reconsider.

Posted on: 2010/9/29 13:35


Re: A beginers guide to fishing during spawning season

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Quote:

DGC wrote:
Depending on what part of the state you're in, there could be spawning any time between now and early January. Generally the brook char go first. I tend to think Brook char in October, and browns in November, but that is oversimplification with many exceptions.


Understood that its far more complex, and most specifically centers around stream ecology, enviroment, and water quality.

I wonder if our resident ichthyologist can give any more details? Does the PFBC have any publishing/web publishing on this subject?

Did I look? No. No I didn't.

Posted on: 2010/9/29 13:57


Re: A beginers guide to fishing during spawning season

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Quote:
After the trout abandon the redd, I doubt that wading is an issue. I think about it, and look for redds, but while I make some effort to not go into what could have been a redd, I'm not too concerned about it, either. If there is research suggesting wading over redds is harmful, I would reconsider.


I thought that was a huge fail? You mean while the eggs are there? I thought that was the most damaging part of all this?

Posted on: 2010/9/29 16:26


Re: A beginers guide to fishing during spawning season

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Quote:

jdaddy wrote:
Quote:
After the trout abandon the redd, I doubt that wading is an issue. I think about it, and look for redds, but while I make some effort to not go into what could have been a redd, I'm not too concerned about it, either. If there is research suggesting wading over redds is harmful, I would reconsider.


I thought that was a huge fail? You mean while the eggs are there? I thought that was the most damaging part of all this?


Agreed. I have always been under the impression that walking through a fertilized redd is the problem.

Posted on: 2010/9/29 16:28


Re: A beginers guide to fishing during spawning season

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Agreed with the previous two....

When the redds disappear, you know the fry have moved on and wading in certain areas is okay.

Posted on: 2010/9/29 20:11
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Re: A beginers guide to fishing during spawning season

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From what i've seen the browns can be quite active in making a redd.They act salmon like in their actions.redds do look different due to the movement of the "gravel" on the stream bed.I'd avoid these .In the Ontario tribs the browns start to move in in October after the salmon are there and are active based on water levels, like the steelies.If you find a spotwhere trout are working it's a good bet that they will be there next year as well.

Posted on: 2010/9/30 9:35
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Re: A beginers guide to fishing during spawning season
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I couldn't find a lot of articles worth posting but here are a few videos worth looking at:








Posted on: 2010/9/30 9:59



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