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Kschaefer3September 20th, 2012, 3:59 pm
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
Two questions regarding resident brown trout spawning habits.

1) Do resident brown trout prefer the same shallow, gravelly areas like their anadromous kin?

2) When resident brown trout move upstream to spawn, how far up will they push? Upper 1/4 of the stream?

Thanks for any information!

-Kyle
SayfuSeptember 20th, 2012, 5:06 pm
Posts: 560I don't think you can say how far up they travel to spawn. It depends on the river, and where the spawning gravel is. Some might move into a lake until making a spawning run. On my SF many of our resident browns don't move very far. And I would say yes...shallow tailout water is where I see their redds. And I think I am correct in saying this. It takes fairly new gravel that is Oxygenated from above. Water in the deeper part of the hole is pressured by depth, and moves subsurface, then bubbles up in the shallower spawning gravel water oxygenating the eggs.
PaulRobertsSeptember 20th, 2012, 7:47 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
1). Yes, but scale is smaller.

2). As Sayfu says, behaviors vary across streams and trout popns. They do need gravel, and cold flowing water, and will travel to seek it out. If gradient and substrate is right they may not have to travel far at all. Certain stretches attract them and may become known "spawning stretches".

A couple things that are noticeably different with browns (at least with lake run fish) compared to steelhead/rainbows is that the browns will not pass the barriers that bows will. And almost always bows use tailouts, whereas browns often use smaller gravel pile-ups just ahead of boulders as well as tailouts.
EntomanSeptember 20th, 2012, 11:44 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Hi Kschaefer -

I agree with Jere & Paul that it's a habitat thing not a distance thing. I'm not sure how much spawning takes place in the main stems, but again, it depends on habitat. Most probably occurs in the feeder creeks or headwaters that aren't much bigger. I've seen some fascinating spawning behavior in creeks that aren't much bigger than a spit only yards from the river it feeds.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
OldredbarnSeptember 21st, 2012, 12:24 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2601
Kurt,

I agree with your observation here, for what thats worth :)...Unfortunately, this habit of spawning in "skinny" feeder creeks etc can leave them vunerable to poachers and predators. Some of these places can be stradled by someone in some places. The upper parts of the fish can even be above the water surface. During this process the fish is intensely thinking of spawning and not much about safety. Sounds like most young bucks...Oops! ;)

As Paul mentions, the dynamics of the stream probably dictates just how far a Brown will travel to spawn. Where I fish we have areas along the stream bottom where underground springs enter the river. Primo oxygenated water here...Add some gravel and why move any further upstream?! :)

I have mentioned this here before, but my beloved grandfather, born 1908, told me of fishing for these fish with a lantern and walking upstream behind them with spears in the dark.

Can anyone say coitus interruptus? Ouch! Reminds me of the time my mother found me "In flagrante dilecto" with a girlfriend back in my youth. :)

Man did I stray here...Lets call it a Molson meander...Its late.

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
EntomanSeptember 21st, 2012, 1:54 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Why the comparison. Did she spear you?:)
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
SayfuSeptember 21st, 2012, 2:46 pm
Posts: 560In my SF of the Snake they definitely spawn in the main river. There are lots of redds in the tailouts come mid Oct. on. I don't know if there are other areas of gravel besides the tailouts, but they spawn there for sure.
WiflyfisherSeptember 21st, 2012, 5:02 pm
Wisconsin

Posts: 649
Why the comparison. Did she spear you?:)

I think this must remind him of "spawning" with his old girl friend. :-)
John S.
https://WiFlyFisher.com
OldredbarnSeptember 22nd, 2012, 9:39 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2601
No. The fish my grandfather speared were spawning. Hence the interruptus comparison. My mother and grandfather basically put an abrupt end to the proceedings. :)

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
MartinlfSeptember 23rd, 2012, 10:23 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3173
Spence,

in flagrante delicto, or perhaps in flagrante dilectione?

Sorry, couldn't resist! Gonzo corrects my bug Latin.

"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
EntomanSeptember 23rd, 2012, 4:33 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Well, she probably wanted to spear you... :)LOL
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Pryal74September 24th, 2012, 12:55 pm
Escanaba, MI

Posts: 168
@Kyle... Sayfu and Entoman are correct, at least as far as the brown trout I have encountered here both lake-run and river res. I have witnessed river res browns on the big river here use tailouts often. I think it's because there are very few gravely areas on these big limestone rivers.

As far as times go. Sept and Oct and even later in some cases. Temp of course is the main ingredient in spawning.

Unless you're Spence =)
-James Pryal
Into The Wild Fly Fishing
OldredbarnSeptember 24th, 2012, 9:40 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2601
Funny Jim! :)

I know this is a bit off topic, but...Speaking of temps. I'm in Grayling as I write this and fished today on the mainstream of the Au Sable. The last couple days have been cold and two fish I caught today hardly put up a fight. The rainbow was so weird I thought, at first, that I had foul hooked it. The Brown didn't put up a fight until it spotted the net.

The water temps were 48 today on the Holy Water and 50 yesterday on the South Branch.

The temps seemed to have slowed everything down. The only hatch seems to be the tiny olives, what we used to call P anoka. A guide friend sent me to a nice pool where he had stopped with some clients the night before and fished over a large Brown that ignored their size 18 & 20 offerings.

The hatch was weak tonight but the fish fed. The rise was so relaxed and slow that when he rose to my fly I got a little anxious and pulled it away from him I king him in the process. It was a difficult drift and I didn't think I had much time, but my problems didn't seem to concern the trout or speed him up. My expletive could be heard all the way in Grayling.

This hatch used to be one of my favorites. It can be rough but success seems the sweeter for it. The only problem is I just can't see as well as I use to.

I'm trying to write this on my iPhone and it's no fun. I'll try it again once I get home.

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
PaulRobertsSeptember 25th, 2012, 11:35 am
Colorado

Posts: 1776
To clarify my comments above about observed diff between browns and bows...

All salmonids use taliouts, but I've seen browns characteristically using smaller gravel pockets that I haven't seen bows use.
EntomanSeptember 25th, 2012, 3:50 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
I've noticed the same, Paul - and both are smaller still then Salmon that also seem to prefer a coarser substrate. I wonder what influence (if any) the presence or absence of anadromous fish has on their choice of spawning habitat?
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
SayfuSeptember 25th, 2012, 3:55 pm
Posts: 560
hatchery bows? They will create a spawning redd in all kinds of gravel..not just in tailouts. And many are not successful in doing so as well.
EntomanSeptember 25th, 2012, 10:15 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
That's interesting, Jere. I've never noticed hatchery fish engaging in spawning before (that I'm aware of) and wondered what they did.

Spence,
This hatch used to be one of my favorites. It can be rough but success seems the sweeter for it. The only problem is I just can't see as well as I use to.

I sympathize. I've gone to using sparse antron posts more & more for the wings on my imitations as they gather the light so well. My current favorite is Hareline Para-post in the three shades of dun they offer. Size 22's with quill slips, turkey T-base or hackle tips may be better (or not) at imitating, but if you can't see them well enough to target your casts, control the drifts, or set the hook...
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
JesseSeptember 29th, 2012, 3:27 pm
Posts: 378
Fish'um before. Fish'um after. Just NEVER during. Thats about all i know of brown trout spawning nature..
Most of us fish our whole lives..not knowing its not the fish that we are after.
http://www.filingoflyfishing.com
SayfuSeptember 29th, 2012, 3:38 pm
Posts: 560
Hard to do that Jesse. On my SF at least. You can avoid Redds, but they spawn over a fairly long time frame. I would imagine some may be spawning now, and they spawn well into Nov.
PaulRobertsSeptember 30th, 2012, 9:40 am
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Individual by individual, trout are most susceptible to angling before and after they actually spawn.
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