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Federation of Fellow Fly-Fishing Football Fanatics

WestTexasHusker

Starter
10 Year Member
I'm in Los Alamos, so it's only a ~30 minute drive to get to a few streams like this one. They get pretty good pressure though considering their small size. Mostly browns, but they do stock every once and a while with triploid rainbows. Supposedly you can happen across a cutt if you're in the right spot, but I haven't found them yet. I just got into fly fishing last summer and haven't had a chance to get out to waters in the eastern mountains. Definitely want to though. There are some good brook trout streams northeast of where I am too that I want to check out.
I have 4 vacation rental cabins that are on trout streams in the smokies. I recommend a week of Smokies fly fishing. It’s quite different than out west - both are awesome though! What’s interesting about the Smokies is that all of the fish are wild - they haven’t stocked the streams in many decades. So they don’t act like stockers. They aren’t apt to bite a piece of corn, because they don’t know what corn is! Wild trout are MUCH harder to catch. They are skittish and wary of natural predators. You have to be stealthy and make a good presentation or no dice. The fish are unforgiving of clumsiness. But the Brookies will go after a well presented dry most of the time. You’ll just get one chance though - if you miss you’re onto the next run.

This website gives you a GREAT primer: www.randrflyfishing.com
 
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Middle-aged_Ball_Coach

Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga of H-Max
2 Year Member
Squawfish
Now it's called a pike minnow. A rose by any other name is still a trash fish. Whitefish, on the other hand, are underrated. They fight hard, taste good, and they're cousins to trout. Grayling used to get a bad rap, too. Frank Sawyer (who invented the Pheasant Tail Nymph) was a river keeper of a chalkstone stream in England, and part of his job included attempts to eradicate grayling from his section of the trout stream. What's now called the "Killer Bug" (a variant of which is the Utah Killed Bug) was his invention, and he invented it to catch and kill grayling; he named it the "Grayling Killer Bug."

Now we've decided that grayling are cool. I assume that that cool, oversized dorsal fin played a role.

 
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CrabHusker

Shut up and color
5 Year Member
Now it's called a pike minnow. A rose by any other name is still a trash fish. Whitefish, on the other hand, are underrated. They fight hard,taste good, and they're cousins to trout. Grayling used to get a bad rap, too. Frank Sawyer (who invented the Pheasant Tail Nymph) was a river keeper of a chalkstone stream in England, and part of his job included attempts to eradicate grayling from his section of the trout stream. What's now called the "Killer Bug" (a variant of which is the Utah Killed Bug) was his invention, and he invented it to catch and kill grayling; he named it the "Grayling Killer Bug."

Now we've decided that grayling are cool. I assume that that cool, oversized dorsal fin played a role.

Whitefish aren't bad. Easy to catch too.

Interesting on the 'Pikeminnow'.

I caught a few Grayling in Wyoming and Colorado back in the day. Kind of a novelty fish, but I never ate one.
 

Middle-aged_Ball_Coach

Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga of H-Max
2 Year Member
Wild trout are MUCH harder to catch. They are skittish and wary of natural predators.
The type of stream and how long the trout have had to acclimate play a huge, even outsized role. It's much easier to catch a wild brookie or cutthroat in a freestone stream than it is to catch a brown trout stocked in a spring creek. Fish in freestone streams have to eat voraciously, and both brookies and cutthroats have evolved by thriving in that environment by eating indiscriminately. Fish in a spring creek are more like a skinny guy on his third go-round at an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet: "Ain't got no time or stomach room for anything green or ' healthy.' I'm going to take my time to pick things over for the tastiest treats."
 
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WestTexasHusker

Starter
10 Year Member
The type of stream and how long the trout have had to acclimate play a huge, even outsized role. It's much easier to catch a wild brookie or cutthroat in a freestone stream than it is to catch a brown trout stocked in a spring creek. Fish in freestone streams have to eat voraciously, and both brookies and cutthroats have evolved by thriving in that environment by eating indiscriminately. Fish in a spring creek are more like a skinny guy on his third go-round at an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet: "Ain't got no time or stomach room for anything green or ' healthy.' I'm going to take my time to pick things over for the tastiest treats."
good points! Though in waters with both natives and stocked, I’ve found the stockers are generally the easier catch. They behave in ways that wild fish do not, and tend to be more forgiving of sloppiness.
 
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Middle-aged_Ball_Coach

Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga of H-Max
2 Year Member
good points! Though in waters with both natives and stocked, I’ve found the stockers are generally the easier catch. They behave in ways that wild fish do not, and tend to be more forgiving of sloppiness.
I generally agree, but there are lots of exceptions. Freshly stocked trout are not very bright, but if they survive, they quickly figure things out. Species matters, too. Rainbows are the most commonly stocked species of trout, and brown trout are the species most able to survive and reproduce in waters that are the most marginal, whether due to temperature, pollution, or food supply, so that means we're often comparing wild browns with stocked rainbows, which is an unfair comparison.
 

WestTexasHusker

Starter
10 Year Member
The Cimarron River in New Mexico is in interesting laboratory: It is one of the most prolific brown habitats in the Southwest. Simultaneously, the state park dept liberally stocks it with put and take female rainbows that are genetically altered so that they cannot reproduce. The river has a lot of bait fishers, and they tend to load up on rainbows and take them home. The browns population apparently is unfazed, as most fishers tend not to catch them in great numbers. I’m usually about 50/50 when I go. And I know they want you to harvest the bows, I’ve just never been able to do it. I don’t like killing those beautiful fish.
 
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