Small NC wild stream report
I rarely have a weekend day off, but I was off today. *I was really tired and did not feel like driving 3-4 hours to some of my favorite waters, so I decided to hit up a small wild stream I know that's a little over an hour from the house.
I have fished this stream many times and usually catch fish, biggest I have ever caught there until today was about 7 inches. *I have never caught anything there but rainbows and always assumed that was all that was there.
I pulled a brown that was every bit of 14 inches out of that stream today. *I was combat fishing, laying belly down on a huge boulder and my first cast into a small hole, he nailed my dropper. *I knew he was big by the fight, but when I pulled him up and saw how big he was and saw that he was a brown, I was shocked. *I got him up on the boulder and laid him down on some wet moss until I could wet my hands to unhook him. *Before I could wet my hands he released himself and flopped back into the trickle of water below me. *He was gone.
I was a bit upset that I did not at least get a picture of him as he is the largest wild trout I have ever caught.
Next cast back into this hole, I snagged a tree and lost my dropper. *I tied on a new one and let the water rest a few minutes. *First cast back I pulled out a rainbow that was 12-13 inches. *I brought him up the same way and got him on the moss. *I wet my hands and unhooked him and then the slick little sucker flopped out of my hands back into the water, same placed as his brown trout buddy went. *I could not believe I had done this not once, but twice. *He did not get photographed either.
I had another smaller brown I LDR'ed out of that hole and had several more strikes. *There must have been 10 trout in this hole. *The hole was about the size of an average car.
I was little disappointed to not have at least gotten some pics of these fish. *Anyway, these were my two largest wild trout to date, even if I did not get a pic. *I also caught the smallest trout I have ever caught, as he is pictured below. *I ended up catching 8-10 and LDR'ing 5-6, I must have had 20 strikes. *I LDR'ed another brown that was at least 10 inches.
I learned two things today, there are browns in that stream and there are big trout in that stream. * I'll be back. * :biggrin:
Any guess as to when this little baby bow was hatched? *I saw a bunch of them, thinking they were dace at first, until I caught 2 or 3 of them. *At least I know this stream seems to be repopulating nicely. *
ifish4wildtrout--Probably last year's fish, although it isn't particularly easy for untrained folks like me to tell. There are too many imponderables--food base, competition for that food, presence of really big browns (they eat these fellows), fish numbers, etc.
The parr marks (or thumbprints as I have heard the rounded spots along the side of the trout described) leave no doubt of its lack of maturity. I might add, just to include a note of sheer heresy, that this is exaclty the size trout I want for the table on the relatively rare occasions when I eat a mess. It wouldn't reach the Park's seven-inch minimum, but in many N. C. state waters there is no minimum size.
Anyway, you obviously had a magical day.
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