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Little J rainbows

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2011/8/21 15:39
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My father and I fished the J today. We landed 17 and all but 2 were bows. mostly planters from spring ridge I would guess but we did get 2 small wild ones.

Has anyone seen a greater amount of bows like this or was this just one of those days the bows came out to play?


Posted on: 2012/8/24 14:12


Re: Little J rainbows

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I believe it may have to do with water temps, bows tend to be more active at slightly higher water temps than browns.

Posted on: 2012/8/24 14:17
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Re: Little J rainbows

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That could be part of the issue but the temps were 63 today.

The only stretch that is even remotely close to 70 right now that I am aware of is up from the grier school at 67.

There just seem to be more bows in the river than times past.

Posted on: 2012/8/24 14:31


Re: Little J rainbows

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I'm definitely observing an increase in my catch rate of rainbows over the last few years on the LJR with a significant fraction appearing stream-bred.

Posted on: 2012/8/24 14:48
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Re: Little J rainbows

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2010/9/1 13:55
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the number of rainbows caught has been increasing steadily for the past three years in the j. This is especially true on the lower river.
Many theories, one is natural reproduction in Spruce creek and tribs in the upper river. Some are planted from clubs and wash out of Spruce. Many are clearly wild.

Posted on: 2012/8/24 14:52


Re: Little J rainbows

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I guess another question I might ask also is how does everyone feel about it?

i enjoy the aerial fight they put up and like catching them, but I do not want to see the population get too high.

Maybe at some point in the future a creel limit on bows might need to be put in place, like the south fork of the Snake river in Idaho. This would keep it in check. The population might never get too high, who knows. Its just something I thought about while on the water.

Posted on: 2012/8/24 14:55


Re: Little J rainbows

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I don't want to see too many bows in the J, but I'm not ready to support harvesting. Once you allow harvesting the chance people will start taking browns too sky rockets. Think about it, how often do you see PFBC officers around the J to enforce bows only? As is, there are reports of poaching (based on evidence of fish cleaning on the banks) in areas that are C&R.


Posted on: 2012/8/24 15:02


Re: Little J rainbows

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I would definately agree on not harvesting rainbows at this point in time. I am just voicing one of the options that might come down the road. I too have witnessed many counts of poaching where people say oh thats not a legal fish, or oh thats not a rainbow( happens on the SF all the time).
Harvesting would be the last option IMO. I hope it never comes to that.

I do see a good amount of stream bread bows when bows are caught by me or someone I am with, but normally its one or two bows.......Not 15.
This is the first time I have been home to fish the J for an extended period of time in over 5 years. So the amount of Rainbows is a shocker.

Posted on: 2012/8/24 15:28


Re: Little J rainbows

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I must admit that number you caught today is striking. The only time I hooked into that many is in the DHALO section between the stocking and harvest time.
The highest ratio I saw on the lower river is 3:1 ( browns to bows). most of the time its more like 5:1
I think the idea that these numbers are elevated by planting, makes sense.

If you have an opinion about bows on the J, post them on the LJRA forum or visit the monthly meeting held in the tyrone library on the second tuesdays of each month at 7 pm to raise the issue. They debate the pros and cons of enhancing the bows population on the river from time to time .

Posted on: 2012/8/24 16:28


Re: Little J rainbows
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I think some wild rainbows in LJ would be great news and highly doubt there would ever be a need to harvest them to protect browns.

Posted on: 2012/8/24 17:07


Re: Little J rainbows

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many feel there would be minimal competition as browns and bows prefer different regions of the stream and spawn at different times. I think the only unanswered question is the biomass capacity of the river. If it's fixed, it would be problematic. How many (or size of) browns are people willing to compromise on to catch bows?
There is a hope that capacity will go up as the river continues its impressive recovery and improvement. Within a year Altoona water authority will greatly reduce the amount of phosphorous discharged into the stream. there is hope that greater deep water releases will happen from the two reservoirs that feed the J. Habitat improvements in the upper river should increase the number of wild fish there too.
Now let's just cross our fingers that the many railroad tankers that travel along it with caustic and toxic materials don't drop into the river! Or that water feeding it is not sold to frackers, or that the wildness disruption of the mountain doesn't.......

Posted on: 2012/8/24 17:38


Re: Little J rainbows

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A while back ,before whirling disease,every one was convinced the upper Madison river in Montana was over run with rainbows to the detriment of the browns.Fish and game did a shocking and found the browns out numbered rainbows about 3 to 1.
The browns are more dominate. Chances are the reason you are catching so many more rainbows is because the browns are forcing them into more vulnerable feeding times and stations.Maybe not-try it at night and see what the ratio is.
Just a thought.
Could be LJ is playing games.lol

Posted on: 2012/8/24 18:13
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Re: Little J rainbows

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More than likely it's a daylight thing, brown don't like bright sunny days even a little bit. They prefer the evenings, the less light the better, from about an hour before sundown until dark 30 is about right.

Posted on: 2012/8/24 22:21
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Re: Little J rainbows

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I've not fished the J in a while, but if you where in the vicinity of Spruce Creek some rainbows are likely. There are wild bows in spruce and I have been told that Spring Ridge still stocks the J in that vicinity. This is now a Class A and it is illegal to stock; however, Spring Ridge continues to do so. Those who fish the J should be aware and report illegal stocking to the PFBC. I know that many like to catch wild rainbows, but we should not want the J to support such a fishery...its got a great brown tout fishery now! Good wild bow populations are isolated to true limestoners in PA like Bid Spring or Falling Spring. The temperatures in the J get too high in the support anything other than a transient fishery from spruce creek or illegal stocking. Also, keep in mind that that rainbows, either stockie or wild, would compete for limited resources with the robust wild brown trout population in the J, and ultimately knock them back a bit. My point is that it is great wild brown brown trout fishery, so why mess with it?

Posted on: 2012/8/24 22:29


Re: Little J rainbows

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I have been catching the heck out of browns from 10am-3pm for the last week. Browns are opportunistic feeders. Granted I am fishing streamers and kinda head hunting for the bigger more agressive fish.
I have been seeing at 3 browns to 1 bow number other than today. And that is consistant over the whole river from grier school down. Todays trip was in Barree/rothrock section. fished the whole way up past the spring ridge property. 3 days ago, I fished the same stretch of water, and landed 11 fish in the same runs. All but 1 were browns.

Posted on: 2012/8/24 22:32



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