Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst ... 234
Results 31 to 39 of 39

Thread: "Large" Brookies

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Grayson, KY
    Posts
    40

    Default

    Thanks for the input! That's what I figured. He looked nothing like any other spec that I've caught. But, he was still a thrilling catch!

  2. #32

    Default

    Coloration is a pretty tough thing to judge any fish by in any event.

    Here's a large brookie which was unquestionably stocked, as my cousin caught it in the Norfork River in Arkansas:



    As you can see it was quite colored up; those fish make a spawning run in the winter time and tend to cluster in certain places around the Dam. I once caught three brookies over 12" in three casts (on an olive Matuka) right at Norfork Dam.

    Supposedly your brighter fish with better coloration are that way because of better nutrition. I have heard that fish showing both orange/pink flesh and orange outside colors are eating foods high in beta carotene, especially crustaceans. One reason the browns in Arkansas are always so colorful is the high scud/sowbug content over there.

    But I've definitely seen examples of unquestionably wild fish from our eastern forests which were dark and murky looking, despite having good nutrition and size. I think this is natural selection at work: your brighter fish don't last as long.

    One more thing: I have been told by qualified biologists, including from the NPS, that the only way to tell Southern Appalachian (native) brookies from their northern brothers is via a complex genetic study. Evidently both fish are so closely related that the individual range of variation for a given fish's "look" overlaps to the point that you can't tell them apart by looking, even if you do things like gill raker counts. This is why it's been very difficult to isolate Southern from Northern fish pretty much across the Southeast (where northern strains were stocked in many places). Thus I'm a little skeptical about calling the fish I catch either "northern" or "southern" strains, no matter where I catch them.

    Zach

  3. #33

    Default

    Hey guys -

    Just for comparison's sake, it might be fun to look at the coloration of different brookies from around the country.


    Yellowstone Park


    Norfork River, Arkansas


    Smokies (Road Prong)


    Battenkill tributary, Vermont


    North Georgia


    Smokies (Deep Creek)


    SW Montana


    North Carolina


    Also North Carolina


    As you can see, there's a ton of overlap. The Vermont brookies I caught were the palest but that may have more to do with the particular stream ecology than with the actual strain. Most Western brook trout were stocked from Northern strain brood stock.

    Zach

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Rock Hill, SC
    Posts
    992

    Default

    kkZach--I think your photos actually confirm what I was saying. Look at the red spots on the fish from the Norfork (stocked) and compare them with those on the remainder of thefish, all of which are almost certainly wild. There's a marked difference.
    Jim Casada

  5. #35

    Default

    Jim -

    I was posting those more with an eye toward the overlap between northern/southern strains than with respect to that West Virginia fish being wild or not. I agree with you on that, especially in that it had such a dark gray underbelly. As you can see from the Norfork fish, even a stocked brookie should be colored up if it's had time to go wild.

    The relevant question is probably not whether or not the fish was stocked but rather whether it was *recently* stocked. West Virginia has wild fish that should be colored by the time they are that size if they were born in the river. Likewise, a stocked fish that was stocked small and grew up in the river will also be colored. I think a fish of that size and that generally dark color most probably was a recent stocker (but I'd leave a 10% chance that it was just an unusually dark wild fish).

    Zach

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    287

    Default

    ZAch
    the way to tell the northern strain from the southern is to play Dixie. If is a southern strain the it will try to stand

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Northern Kentucky
    Posts
    1,127

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Streamhound View Post
    ZAch
    the way to tell the northern strain from the southern is to play Dixie. If is a southern strain the it will try to stand
    So, that's the trick. Thanks! :-)

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Townsend, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,034

    Default

    Great thread, nice pictures...and now minus a few unnecessary posts. Thanks for contributing, all of you!

    Paula

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Maryville, TN
    Posts
    1,063

    Default

    Thanks, Madam Administrator. Keepin' it clean.
    Charlie B

    His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.
    bartonca@hotmail.com

Similar Threads

  1. "IRON MAN FLY CONTEST" 6pm Thursday January 21st, 2016 Blackhorse Pub
    By bigsur in forum Conservation Organizations and Fly Fishing Clubs
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-15-2015, 11:18 AM
  2. "250 Pound "Mermaid" Taken on a Streamer
    By JoeFred in forum Fly Fishing Around the World
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-04-2014, 04:46 PM
  3. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-12-2012, 07:46 PM
  4. Useful home made hackle whip finish tying "tool".
    By whitefeather in forum General Fly Tying
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-10-2011, 07:31 PM
  5. Offical GSMNP Clarification of "legal lingo" on Bear Spray
    By Kytroutbum in forum Smoky Mountain Fishing
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-29-2009, 10:25 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •