08/04/10
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives (See Below)
2.    Mahogany Duns
3.    Little Yellow Stoneflies - Summer Stones
4.    Slate Drakes
5.    Ants
6.    Inchworms
7.    Beetles
8.    Grasshoppers
9.    Hellgrammite
10.  Cranefly
11.  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
12.  Cream Cahills

Spawning Brown Trout
The series of articles I did on the three species of trout in the Smokies that ended
day before yesterday brought a lot of email regarding the Fall brown trout spawn. If
you kept up with my articles, you noticed I eliminated this subject from the brown
trout fishing segments of the articles. There can be so much confusion and
misunderstanding about spawning fish it usually leads to more problems that it
helps.

First of all, although I studied and caught many large spawning bass for years in the
late 1960 and early 70's, and although I have always learned everything I could
about the spawn of any species I was pursuing, including all the saltwater species, I
have actually spent less time on trout than many other species. For the last three or
four years I've paid a lot of attention to the spawning browns and brook trout in the
Smokies and other streams we have been fishing in the Fall.

I will go ahead only by pointing out that at a certain point during the spawn,
you can
bother the spawning brown trout and hurt their efforts in several ways
. You
can wade through their redds and damage them. You can also pester the fish
enough to hinder and even hurt their efforts. It all depends on the stage of the
spawn and what activity the male and female trout are engaged in.

The problem with what I just wrote is that most anglers don't know much about what
goes on during the spawn. Most anglers can't determine if the fish have actually
found an area to spawn; if they have fanned out an area of the bottom to deposit
the eggs on; if the female is actually on the redd depositing her eggs; if the male in
adding sperm to the redds; if the eggs on the redd are just being guarded; or if the
eggs have hatched and the spawn is over. About the only thing they can determine
is whether both genders are on the bed or just one. In other words most anglers
can't determine
if the brown trout are in the pre-spawn, spawn, or post
spawn stage of the hatch.

One reason for this is that is isn't always easy to determine these things. Another
reason is different fish can be at different stages of the spawn at the same time and
place. Another reason is the exact spawn times will vary with the stream and the
elevation on the stream. Finally, the big thing is the water temperature and
weather's affect on it can vary the spawning activity tremendously. There can be an
early cold front that hangs around for a few day and fires of the spawn only to be
followed by a low pressure system that warms the water back up and delays the
activity. I could give many different scenarios.

The male and female brown trout will react differently to your efforts to get them to
take a fly depending on these stages of the spawn. The biggest downfall to the
entire thing
is the time it is easiest to spot them and approach them without
spooking them is same time you should leave them alone.
This, by the way,
isn't the time they are easiest to catch but it appears to most anglers that it is
simply because they can spot them and mess with their activities.

Now, if the 800-1000 people that read this article every day will forward me a signed
affidavit that they will not damage the redds or hurt the spawn in any way, tomorrow
I will proceed to tell you what little I know about the brown trout spawn. I will let you
know how many I receive but I want you to know that I don't expect to receive very
many, simply because many anglers (I'll even say most anglers) will not abandon
their efforts even if they know they are hurting the spawn. They rather have a
picture of themselves with a big trout. The only good part to this is they usually fail
to catch either of them, even when they are looking at them square in the eyes.

Copyright 2010 James Marsh