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  #11  
Old 07-21-2011, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by 2weightfavorite View Post
Regardless of how you feel about the rainbows in your "brookie" stream there is no reason to injur or kill fish you are not willing to take home. My own two cents, brook trout or wimpy small fish that are not too bright and will eat almost anything, realistic or not. I understand they are the "native" species, but if that;s the case start bouncing your beloved browns off the rocks as well.

2weight, while I might not have been as gentle as I normally am with fish, I can assure you that I did not "injur" or "kill" any fish. If you ever fish with me you will see that I am one of the gentlest people you will ever see with the fish. When I am not as gentle as I normally am, I am probably still as gentle as the vast majority of other people ever are. While it did occur to me that tossing the 'bows in the woods might be a good idea, I never actually did it and wouldn't.

The problem with the rainbows is that they crowd out the brookies with little to keep their own numbers in check. In this particular stream, the rainbows are stunted and really need thinning, regardless of whether you prefer to catch them or brookies. The interesting thing about seeing all three species in one stream is that they coexist fairly well together. The browns seem to keep the 'bows reasonably in check without hurting the brookies too much. The problem with having just rainbows invading brookie water is that they outcompete them. Generally in the Park, browns and brookies DON'T exist in the same water and the brookies would NOT do well anymore in the large streams that are inhabited by the browns and larger rainbows. Thus killing big browns and 'bows doesn't make any sense.

You obviously love the rainbows and that's good. All fish need a little love, and I normally enjoy catching them as much as anyone... I apologize if I offended you with my sarcasm but would like to point out that I did also mention that all fish survived just fine to be caught another day. If you ever want to fish together, I'm sure we would have an enjoyable time on the stream, and I think my catch and release technique will ease your worries.
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  #12  
Old 07-22-2011, 09:36 PM
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Great report David.

Congrats on another fantastic brownie!
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  #13  
Old 07-23-2011, 12:53 AM
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I'll be up that way to fish Walker Camp in a couple of weeks. I will be keeping any legal bows up to my limit and taking them home. David is absolutely correct: bows should not be up that high. I keep one or two on occasion from down low now as well because it's clear the streams are overpopulated. The herd needs thinning out a bit.
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  #14  
Old 07-23-2011, 07:32 AM
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Just to clarify my point a little. I have no problem with keeping fish. It is completely legal, they taste good, and I agree that harvesting some fish is good for the stream. I just get bent out of shape a bit when people mishandle fish they have no intent to keep. "the rainbows should not be up that high" however is a rediculous statement. Should there be an elevation cut off point? Shall we eradicate the bows over, say, 3000 feet. Who should be the one the decide the elevation cut off point. Im done with this thread.
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:21 PM
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Nice Brown, I'm envious! Always wanted to catch one. I kept some bows from up there at Walker Camp and a few from Roaring Fork also a couple weeks ago. We had a charcoal grill at the cabin and did up a nice Trout dinner one night! I have also noticed that the Brookies are getting few and far between up there and, keeping in mind that the road construction made the stream's highest elevation deadly to the fish, it's kind of sad that the Brookie could be in serious trouble on that particular stream.
I caught a bow on Walker camp that pushed 11 inches and was very healthy just recently.
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:42 PM
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Nice work David
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2weightfavorite View Post
Just to clarify my point a little. I have no problem with keeping fish. It is completely legal, they taste good, and I agree that harvesting some fish is good for the stream. I just get bent out of shape a bit when people mishandle fish they have no intent to keep. "the rainbows should not be up that high" however is a rediculous statement. Should there be an elevation cut off point? Shall we eradicate the bows over, say, 3000 feet. Who should be the one the decide the elevation cut off point. Im done with this thread.
From what I understand from park biologists, yes, anything over 3,000 feet is brookie territory. Who says we can't have a cut off point? Bows have plenty of room to thrive in the park. No need to crowd the brookies out. No need to take it personally. It's just my personal view on the matter. No trying to force it on you. I'm just stating that I think David is correct and I agree that gentle handling is called for if you aren't keeping the fish no matter where it's found.
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  #18  
Old 07-31-2011, 01:39 PM
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I've been following this thread a bit - it's been a while since I've posted, but this seemed like a very interesting topic. I've probably fished Cosby more than any other stream in the Smokies - it's my default "home" stream, since I bought property in the area. I've fished just about its entire fishable length. From the parking area on up, it's pretty much dominated by specs, but there are some rainbows in the mix. They seem to coexist pretty well, but if I ever keep a fish for the grill (which is very rare), it's a keeper-sized rainbow from there.

I think the 'bows and brookies can exist fine side-by-side; I've fished Walker Camp quite a bit as well, and I've always caught more brookies than rainbows. That's probably a by-product of the way I fish - I like the small streams, and I tend to target the specs, so I drop my fly in areas that favor brookies. I've also seen brookies turning up fairly low in areas like Cataloochie, and they seem to be doing fine. I think that, if they have good enough numbers, the two species can coexist. However, up until the mid 70s, so many rainbows were stocked in the major streams in the park, their sheer numbers probably pushed the brookies out. They were stocked year after year, and most of them weren't caught and removed by anglers, so the numbers increased exponentially.

I'm heading out west, to the San Juans, in a couple of days...out there, the brookies are pests, and they have liberal limits for the smaller ones...it's interesting to see the other side of the coin.
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  #19  
Old 08-01-2011, 09:15 AM
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  #20  
Old 08-01-2011, 10:02 AM
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Chad,

You are going to get me in trouble. I haven't looked at the message board while at work for weeks because I have been so busy. Today I get on here and this is the first thing I see, and just lose it laughing at my desk!

That was great!

IJSouth,

Welcome back. Long time since we have seen your name on the screen.
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