Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Spawn: Get Redducated

It's that time of the year again where the brown trout start to pair up and spawn. Most people "know" about the spawn, but really don't know, you know? This is going to be a short educational post about the spawn and how it should effect your fall fishing season. 

What is a Redd? 

A Redd is an impression in the stream, usually in gravel or sand, where a female uses her tail to dig out a spot that will keep her eggs safe and in one place. After she lays her eggs and a male is present, he will fertilize the eggs and the female will cover them up. Until the breeding process is done, both trout stay on the Redd to protect their eggs. Even after it is done, the male usually stays close by to guard the Redd. 

Where are Redds? 

Redds are primarily made in shallow, riffley water. The female wants her eggs to have plenty of oxygen and water flow to keep any debris/mud away; so when searching for them (to avoid) this is where you should look. In streams like Spring Creek, they are everywhere this time of year and extremely easy to spot. 

Is it Ethical to Fish During the Spawn? 

This is where the controversy comes in...is it ethical to fish during the spawn? Everyone knows that fish are much more aggressive and the big ones let their guard down, but does that make it right? We don't think so, and here's why you should too. Ask yourself this...do you like to catch trout? If you're reading this blog, chances are you do, and you want your fishery to flourish! If you agree with this statement, put away the trout gear until January and find something else to occupy your time.

Yes, you can fish smart during the spawn and be "minimally invasive", but plain and simple, fishing during the spawn will never help the natural process. In no way shape or form can the fish benefit from Johnny Waderstank tromping around their breeding grounds ripping out fish left and right to post on Instagram. News flash Johnny, we all know how you caught that fish!

It is 2015 people! Conservation should be the number one priority of every angler. We don't live in a world where all the streams are overflowing with wild browns, especially in PA, but why not give ourselves the best chance to have exactly that. Look at the West Branch of the Delaware River; arguably one of the best fisheries around PA. When you think of the West Branch, you think of huge wild browns. The West Branch is also one of the very few streams around PA that closes during the spawn...coincidence? I THINK NOT! 

Long Story Short

Fishing during the spawn will not help your fishery. We're all on here for the same reason...because we love catching fish on a fly rod. If you want that to continue, take the time to get educated about the spawn for all the fish you target, and make an educated decision whether to fish or not. If we had it our way, we'd close all wild trout streams Nov 1 - Jan 1, but it's not that easy. Spread the word about the spawn, and don't be stupid.