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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    I have to put up with this all the time!!
    So Friday Oct 12th my eldest son Jeremy, a wonderfully talented fly fisherman, asked me yet again to endure a day of misery pursuing wild trout on two rivers about two hours from my home.

    "Reluctantly" I put my gear in the truck (whining the whole time about how I would once again sacrifice sitting in front of my computer in order to spend quality time with one of my sons).

    We headed out to two different river stretches, one called Tomahawk and one which we local guides refer to as "The Dream Stream" due to the great fishing that it holds as well as scenery that inspires day dreaming.

    We worked hard all day and made the best of trying to enjoy surroundings that lacked the presence of a Starbucks, honking horns, and heavy traffic. In fact I think we saw two cars the whole day!

    We were actually after large brown trout, which begin working their ways up the rivers to spawn this time of year. The Dream stream often produces Browns in the range of 8 - 12 lbs during spawn, and we hoped to hook up with a few of these behemoths.

    As nature would have it, the water flowing through the dream stream was still a little too warm to trigger the brown's annual migration, so no monster trout are in the river "yet".

    But wowee, what a great day of weather, scenery, quality time with my son and loads of the smaller browns. Caught several in the 1 - 2 lb class, but this one in particular kind of hit me as a classic reason of what we love so much about living here and loving our opportunities to enjoy our blessings.

    I caught this little guy on a pattern called a Caddis (size 18 hook). He hit it and came 2' out of the water with the fly hooked in his lower lip. He probably came out of the water 4 - 6 times during our brief interaction. Jeremy was a few hundred yards downstream from me, so I decided to try to recreate the classic Trout / net / fly rod picture to comemmorate the moment. After I released him, I looked up and was taken with the scenery around me, which I had not really noticed while playing with the fish, so snapped another one to log in the memory bank. It's a stretch of the middle fork of the Platte river just below a tiny mountain town called Hartsell. Oh well, another day at the office and another day of appreciating my son and life...
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  2. #2
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Poor baby.

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  3. #3
    Staril - Mad Cat Woman Sue's Avatar
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    Awww poor liddle Aly boy

    Quick someone give him milk and cookies ... or ... preferably ... a smack

  4. #4
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    absolutely beautiful pics. set them up in ImageKind dude.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    I pity you, Alan. I really, truly pity you.
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
    - Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.

  6. #6
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    If I need to come out there and suffer for you so you can sit in front of the computer and get work done, just let me know.

    I'll sacrifice my time for your cause.

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  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    You are all much too kind. I'm blushing...

    Thanks for your jabs and kind words too B's & G's. When days like this occur, which seem to happen a lot these days, I like to share the thoughts and scenes with friends. Well, gotta go clean the gear and wash the truck - the temp is dropping up here at the ranch right now, so wanna git er done before my hands freeze!

    L8R
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  8. #8
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Wow no kidding beautiful scenery! Great shot, Alan. Looks like a slice of heaven other than the poor dead fish.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexanne
    Wow no kidding beautiful scenery! Great shot, Alan. Looks like a slice of heaven other than the poor dead fish.

    Rex,

    The fish was out of the water for less than 15 seconds. He is very much alive in the picture and he was very much alive as he swam away right after the picture! If he was dead, you'd see a glazed milky look to his eyes. Note the clarity in this one's eyes? I set up the net and rod, and then laid him in it, snapped the pic and back to his playground he went!

    Now your sad heart can rejoice!! Glad you like the scene too.
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  10. #10
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    Nice fish, and nice pictures, Alan!

    Can't wait to give you the scoop on my recent fly fishing competitions (on Friday!).

  11. #11
    Full Member ske9963's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Hamilton
    "Reluctantly"
    Poor Alan. It's worst than going to work...
    LoL
    Ma, where the beer? :escape:

  12. #12
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    I apologize in advance for the fact that I will be glaring at you menacingly for the entire SASTT.
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  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noth
    I apologize in advance for the fact that I will be glaring at you menacingly for the entire SASTT.
    Advance apology accepted. As for the SASTT - which river are we all fishing that day?
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  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Awwwh I can see you're gettin a whole lotta sympathy you poor soul Definitely not like the fly fishing I've done. lol It's where everybody waits once they get there for somebody to blow the whistle for ya to start and then it's look out. lol You've got lines zingin at ya from every direction cos everybody's lined up like sardines on one side of the creek and others are on the opposite side and everybody's just wingin them all at once. lol Definitely not fun. lol

    Have had a few nice early mornings maybe 2 days or so after the opening day of trout season where most have given up and it's been quiet, tho. The only trout fishing around here is a creek they stock once or twice a year and I guess everybody in the area who had ever had a thought of trout fishing shows up at once.

    Your trout fishing definietly sounds how it's meant to be and your pictures make it look like heaven. Very pretty and very happy for ya that ya get to spend that type of quality time with your son. I'm sure it means the same thing to him and he'll always have those nice memories.

    Umm I'm with Rexanne lol even tho I've caught lots of fish I always put em back and have convinced myself that I'm not hurting them when I fish. psssst don't tell me othewise or I'd never go fishing again. lol Wouldn't do it if I thought I was hurting the little fellas....they look quite healthy once they're released.

    And...nope I don't go putting any bait on my line myself, don't go touching any fishies...definitely don't even think of gettin a worm near me, but I can cast fairly well and can make good excuses for when they're not biting.

    Hope ya have many more days like that one. you poor baby. lol

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplebear
    Umm I'm with Rexanne lol even tho I've caught lots of fish I always put em back and have convinced myself that I'm not hurting them when I fish. psssst don't tell me othewise or I'd never go fishing again. lol Wouldn't do it if I thought I was hurting the little fellas....they look quite healthy once they're released.
    If you read my post, or many previous posts related to trout, you know I am a huge proponent of Catch & Release. In over 25 years I cannot remember keeping a trout caught in one of our rivers, especially rivers that are designated as "Gold Medal" and / or Catch & Release water.

    As for handling fish, you are right about being cautious. A trout's body is covered with a protective coating that most of us call "slime." This protective coating insulates / protects the trout from parasites and bacteria that would otherwise kill the fish over a period of time. So when you net a fish, and prepare to remove the hook or take a pic, it is important to handle it delicately. Squeezing the fish or pulling it in to "beach it" over an abrasive shoreline rubs this coating off, and subsequently while the fish may appear healthy at the time you release it, within weeks its body will often be attacked by bacteria that can then enter the skin.

    Some valuable tips when catching & releasing trout.

    1.) ALWAYS crush the barb on the fly hook before using it. The barb can tear up a trouts mouth trying to remove it, so always use barbless hooks for easy / safe hook removal

    2.) NEVER use treble hooks.

    3.) NEVER use "bait" for trout as they "swallow" bait and removing the hook then tears up their insides. in 95% + of the cases, a trout caught on a fly will have the fly hooked in their lip, not buried in their throat or gut like a bait would be. A barbless hook coupled with a single hook artificial fly makes removal easy and safe for the fish

    4.) Never "drag" a trout up on the gravel or sand shore, even if you don't have, or "forgot" your net. Use a net, and NOT the nylon nets with the hard knots that people use for things like pike, walleye, blue gill, crappie, bass etc. The heavier gauge hardened scales on a bass (or the type fish above) provide far more body protection than the tiny, thin flexible scales found on a trout. Use a net that has a soft fabric mesh, or the new molded soft rubber nets that are now available. Keep the fish in the net to remove the fly as this provides a soft non abrasive way to hold them while you do. If you are going to take a picture, keep them in the net / in the water until you ready your camera. Then either gently place them in the palm of your hand for the shot, or lay them on their side inside the net.

    Yes boys and girls, with proper care we can protect the resource for many generations to come, which means that my grandkids will have a rich resource to enjoy someday, which they can pass along to future generations.

    The End of Today's lesson
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  16. #16
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Also, I tend to find that mis-matching the hatch, and wading noisily while tumbling stones downstream prolongs the life of most of the trout in my backyard streams.

    Just doing my part.
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  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noth
    Also, I tend to find that mis-matching the hatch, and wading noisily while tumbling stones downstream prolongs the life of most of the trout in my backyard streams.Just doing my part.
    Actually this CAN be an effective way to inspire a feeding surge. Shuffling your feet on the bottom (while in the water) often churns up the bottom and releases larvae that clings to rocks and / or vegetation in the water. The larvae are carried down stream to the mouths of grateful fish. It is not a practice that DOW departments appreciate, but oh well....
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  18. #18
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    I'm sure that can work in many spots, although I hadn't considered it.

    The challenge we have in Rochester is warm water temperatures, low water levels, and exceedingly stressed fish as the summer progresses.

    Every rock I turn is like a cannon shot under water that sends the browns and bows scrambling for cover, breathing hard.

    I actually don't fish after July here, as it's a detriment to the health of the fish populations.

    From what I've seen in your pictures though, it doesn't look like Colorado has the same set of problems
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  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noth
    I'm sure that can work in many spots, although I hadn't considered it.

    The challenge we have in Rochester is warm water temperatures, low water levels, and exceedingly stressed fish as the summer progresses.

    Every rock I turn is like a cannon shot under water that sends the browns and bows scrambling for cover, breathing hard.

    I actually don't fish after July here, as it's a detriment to the health of the fish populations.

    From what I've seen in your pictures though, it doesn't look like Colorado has the same set of problems
    We do have a couple streams that are subject to lower CPS flows sometimes, and at those times no one fishes those stretches, but for the most part the flows are pretty consistent between mid july and winter. But good point about stressing fish. If the flows are low and the water warm, it's best to leave them be!!
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