Author: Tucker Ladd
It's spring, which means our rainbow trout friends are entering their annual spawn, so it's time for us to remind you all of our ethical obligation as anglers when it comes to fishing for spawing trout... DO NOT DO IT! I know, I know, you really want that bad ass photo of you with a big trout, and what does it really hurt to grab that fish off their red for a quick picture. Well let me put it to you this way, would you want me to come by your house, and rip you out of bed while you're getting down with your lady or man friend? I don't think so. So please show the trouts the same respect, feel free to watch this awesome display of nature, but don't fish to spawning trout. If you need any more insight or pursuation on this matter, Arlo Townsend (bad ass fishing guide and a Simms Guide Ambassador) offers his professional insight on this matter. Take it away Arlo:
"As the shoulder seasons emerge and climates gradually shift, the behavior of trout in our rivers and streams begins to focus on one thing…spawning. Successful reproduction is the life goal of a trout. Annual successful spawns are an integral part of our future trout populations. Trout are fragile creatures, especially during mating routines. The more we understand about what trout go through in order to make future baby trout, the more effective we can be in protecting our fish resources.Rainbow and cutthroat trout generally spawn in the spring (March-May) as the days grow longer and water temperatures increase to the optimum spawning range. Brown trout spawn in the fall (Oct.-Dec) when water temperatures drop into their ideal range.
Spawning chores overrun the trout’s daily schedule. Females spend days sculpting redds in areas of river where finer substrate occurs. This adds stress by placing the trout in shallow, dangerous water where predators can easily spot them. Rocks and gravel must be cleaned of egg-suffocating silt, while dune-shaped indentions are built along the river bottom to give their eggs a safe, oxygenated, and stationary resting place amidst the current. Female trout use their bodies and fins to sculpt these redds. This strips the trout’s protective slime layer away from its body and leaves the trout susceptible to fungal infections."
We thank Arlo for taking the time to put together this piece. This is an important issue to all anglers (fly or general tackle), as the livelihood of this species will directly effect the quality of fishing available to future generations.