It All Came Together...but that WOUND!

jifigz

jifigz

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Okay, so tonight I had my brother-in-law out on some water to try and teach him to fly fish. He started last year and has a long way to go, but he is making progress. Anyways, we were fishing, and I gave him a woolly bugger to rip around because he had this crappy leader on filled with wind knots/crappy casting knots. I was fishing not catching anything, so I decided to try out a mono rig...I just whipped one up with some Maxima Chameleon and wanted to give it a whirl.

Anyways, I still wasn't catching anything, and neither was he. But then I caught the faint glimpse of a rise. It was tricky to pick them up at first through the rain drops splatting everywhere, but I finally caught a good glimpse of one and knew it was a rise for sure. I called him to come up from downstream and thought this might be a good learning opportunity. I swap out his leader for one a little better and put on a size 18 RS2. I hand him my rod to hold so I can give him some pointers on how to cast, how to mend, how to control the fly, etc. I make a great cast, get a great drift, and bam, a fish rises and I come tight. I can tell it was a better fish, and yeah, it was a nice solid 16-17" and pulling hard. A fun fight, no doubt. But the fish had this gnarly gash in it. I am guessing a great blue heron or something tried but was unsuccessful? The wound looked nasty, and it was deep, but otherwise the fish seemed healthy.

Anyways, there were more sporadic risers, but my B-i-L couldn't quite get em. He needs to keep working on those casting skills. But it was a great night where I feel he learned a valuable lesson in rising fish, how to cast, where to cast to avoid current seams and drag, etc.

I love spring.
 
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great story and sounds like a fun time on the water. that wound gets me thinking... it looks relatively recent -- big hole, not fully healed over. if that was from a recent Heron stab ... that bird has some guts... going after a fish that big. Maybe a failed Osprey attack "from above" ?? Possibly Tim Murphy was out a'stream with his trusty Mitchel 300, Garcia Conolon and flourescent yellow Stren ... and a over zealous STRIKE with a Cotton Cordell BigO??

the stab hole looks like a exact shape of a Heron spear. A mystery. always enjoy your pictures. brother in law owes you nice pizza!
 
Nice Josh. My guess is that fish survives that. Looks like it’s starting to heal and darken around the edges, and was otherwise healthy as you mentioned.

I netted a slowly dying large Brown in the Skuke system a few years ago. It was alive, but barely, swimming in a slow continuous circle upside down in a shallow eddy. Had a similar wound, but further forward, directly to the head. It was an 18-20” range, wild fish. Assume it was too big for the killer to consume. Your fish also may have been.
 
Nice Josh. My guess is that fish survives that. Looks like it’s starting to heal and darken around the edges, and was otherwise healthy as you mentioned.

I netted a slowly dying large Brown in the Skuke system a few years ago. It was alive, but barely, swimming in a slow continuous circle upside down in a shallow eddy. Had a similar wound, but further forward, directly to the head. It was an 18-20” range, wild fish. Assume it was too big for the killer to consume. Your fish also may have been.
Yeah Swattie, I have no doubt he will survive. That fish pulled very, very hard. I have just never seen such a deep gash in a fish before. It was pretty awesome looking.

I forgot how much I love casting to selective fish and having finesse presentations. It's such a good feeling when it works.
 
That’s a substantial wound, but probably only about 33% as bad as I have seen on otherwise perfectly functional fish. That wound in cold weather and water temps will likely heal leaving an indented scar in its wake, but if the water had been in the 50’s or warmer, bacterial action would have been greater and a secondary infection would have been more likely…not guaranteed, but more likely.
 
That’s a substantial wound, but probably only about 33% as bad as I have seen on otherwise perfectly functional fish. That wound in cold weather and water temps will likely heal leaving an indented scar in its wake, but if the water had been in the 50’s or warmer, bacterial action would have been greater and a secondary infection would have been more likely…not guaranteed, but more likely.
Wow. So about 50° is the mark for greater chance of bacteria, eh? Mike, how long do you figure it will take that fish to heal?
 
Wow. So about 50° is the mark for greater chance of bacteria, eh? Mike, how long do you figure it will take that fish to heal?
More like the upper half of the 50’s and increasingly worse through the 60’s, etc. The warmer it gets the worse it gets, but with respect to trout increasing sensitivity to bacterial infections is then additionally exacerbated by stressful temps or other stressful conditions.

I don’t know how long the healing process takes for a wound of that magnitude, even under ideal conditions. I would think the max time would be a few months in cold water, but I don’t know the minimum time. And my max time estimate wouldn’t even be based on trout. Susquehanna SMB when badly diseased with deep, necrotic wounds, but in otherwise good condition, appeared to heal up from an early Nov sampling the until anglers started catching SMB without wounds in March….unless all of the wounded ones died, which I doubt since they were so lively in Nov.
 
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