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Evening exploring small streams

By Troutnut on July 7th, 2018
I spent (Spent: The wing position of many aquatic insects when they fall on the water after mating. The wings of both sides lay flat on the water. The word may be used to describe insects with their wings in that position, as well as the position itself.) an early part of this past Saturday day fly tying, researching spots, and preparing for a camping trip, then drove 2 1/2 hours to the South Fork Manastash Creek to give this small stream a try.

It was enjoyable, and most of the trouty-looking pools held a small trout or two, but it wasn't enough of a standout to hide behind the "Mystery Creek" designation. The fish and last fish of the day were nonnative Brook Trout around 8.5-9"; the rest were all Westslope Cutthroat.

Photos by Troutnut from the South Fork Manastash Creek in Washington

Comments / replies

MartinlfJuly 10th, 2018, 6:25 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2932
Pretty scenery and fish. Are the brookies a problem? That's sure a beautiful one.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Jmd123July 10th, 2018, 7:00 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2385
Wow, those Westslope Cutts sure are colorful! Give the brookies a run for their money if you ask me. Pretty fish and pretty country!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
TroutnutJuly 11th, 2018, 8:15 am
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2549
The brookies are considered to be unwanted, and WDFW encourages harvesting them by having no minimum size and making them not count toward the overall trout limit. However, I have yet to fish a Washington stream where brookies totally outcompeted the native cutthroat or rainbows and became numerically dominant; I've only caught one or two per trip around here. That's not to say it doesn't happen anywhere, but at least it's not a widespread problem.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Jmd123July 11th, 2018, 2:59 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2385
Glad our little brookies are not creating a problem out there, though I know they may be elsewhere. Nice that they end up being an occasional exotic "jewel", although as I've been saying the natives aren't exactly dull either! The gemlike beauty of these small trout, and the aquatic "wonderworld" they live in surrounded by spectacular scenery (in my case, not mountains but wildflowers), make these trips special in a whole different way than going after the big ones. And the occasional "big one" from these streams really stands out, and they may be few and far between, but they are there.

You got me thinking of the Pine, but right now our deerflies are pretty bad and our waters low and warm...time for more bass and panfishing, I suppose, if I can avoid those delta-wing attack jets! A.k.a., Chrysopidae…

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
WbranchJuly 11th, 2018, 5:23 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2512
There is no limit on brook trout in Montana. They are a problem in many small streams with native cutthroat.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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