Saturday, June 30, 2007

Antero Reservoir Reopens For Fishing July 17th

Beginning on July 17th, anglers will be able to fish again in Antero Reservoir starting at 9:00 AM.

Antero Reservoir used to be one Colorado's most popular trout fishing spots, but it was drained in 2002 by Water Department in an effort to help other drought-ridden areas.

While it was empty, prison labor was used to dig out what is believed to be the original river channel. This channel includes habit structures for trout.

The lake has been restocked with rainbow, brown, cuttbow, brook, and splake trout.

New Fishing Regulations: The bag and possession limit for Antero is four trout, only one of which can be more than 16 inches. Regulations for the channel require flies and lures, with catch and release.

Getting There: Take Hwy 285 to Fairplay. About a mile south of Fairplay veer southeast on Hwy 9 toward Hartsel. After about 15 miles you will reach a stop sign at the intersection with Hwy 24. Turn right (west) on Hwy 24. The entrances to Antero Reservoir will be on your right. The entrance to the north access will be first and the entrance to the south access next.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Who Says You Can't Catch Trophy Trout From Shore!

A few days ago I told you about the new World Rainbow Trout record set by Adam Konrad. While a fish that size is amazing - even more amazing is the fact that he caught it fishing from shore!

Most fish this size are caught from boats - but not this one! Adam was shore fishing one evening and when he hooked this trophy trout.

Want to know his secret weapon? It was a 4-inch orange Mepps Syclops spoon. It was attached to 6-lb test line! In order to keep the line from snapping, Adam loosened the drag on the reel several times waiting for the fish to tire from the fight.

Experienced anglers have known for a while that spoons have a high success rate in catching larger trout (like Steelheads and trophy trout). And once again, a spoon proved to be the secret weapon for this master trout angler!

By the way, if you're looking to stock up, Cabelas sells Mepps Syclops lures!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Trout Fishing Remains Excellent in California-Nevada Lakes

Despite the warmer weather, trout fishing remains excellent in many of the lakes bordering California and Nevada.

One man caught a 15-pound, 13-ounce cutthroat, while trolling 30 feet deep at Pelican Point in Pyramid Lake. He was using a silver spoon with green and orange flash tape.

Others are reported to have released several 6-7 pounders this last week. It seems as if the fishing always gets good just before the season closes (June 30).

Anglers at Convict Lake are also doing well. The biggest rainbows were: 5.8 pounds on a Thomas Buoyant lure at the jetty, 5.3 pounds on a gold Kastmaster lure at the inlet, a 4.8 pounder on a nightcrawler on the south shore and 3.8 pounds on Chartreuse Power Bait at the jetty.

At Upper Twin Lake, a 3-pound, 14-ounce rainbow was caught while trolling with an orange Rapala lure. Several 1-pounders have also been caught on rainbow Power Bait or nightcrawlers.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

New World Record for Rainbow Trout?

I've been holding off posting information about this apparent new world record for rainbow trout because I wanted to have all the facts first. Knowing that we check our facts, our readers have come to trust the information posted on this site - and we don't want to lead them astray with hyped stories and rumors.

But the story behind a possible new world record for rainbow trout is gaining momentum, and we thought we'd better say something about it.

The story goes like this ... on June 5th, a man named Adam Konrad reported catching a 43.6 lb rainbow trout out of Lake Defienbaker in Saskatchewan, Canada. The previous record (set in 1970) weighed in at 42 lbs 2 oz. and was caught off Bell Island in Alaska.

Adam and his brother Sean were fishing together and they've produced photos of their catch and have shared their stories on as well as with various other news sources.

I'd like to believe them. It's exciting to see and old record broken (especially one that's over 30 years old). But, I'm a bit hesitant for one simple reason ... The International Game and Fish (IGFA) web does not show this record pending. This is the agency that would certify the fish to be new world record. Yet their database does not show a pending record.

It's possible that the web database just hasn't been updated yet. And both Adam and Sean do hold records in the IGFA database ...

  • Adam holds the 12-lb line class record for catching a 33 lb 6 oz rainbow trout in Lake Defienbaker, in July 2006, and
  • Sean holds the 8-lb line class record for catching 34 lb 8 oz rainbow trout in Lake Defienbaker
These existing records add credibility to Adam and Sean's story. Adding to that, their previous records were also caught in Lake Defienbaker - also adding credibility.

It's very possible that the 1970 rainbow trout record has been broken. But I will hold my excitement until I see it confirmed on the IGFA web site. And when and if I do, I'll be sure to post the details here.

Update (June 27, 2007)- IGFA just confirmed the new pending record for me! Congratulations Adam!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Aurora Trout - Species or Subspecies?

Unique and rare, Aurora trout are known to be native to only two small lakes (Whitepine and Whirlygig) in Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada.

These trout look very similar to brook trout (size, color, etc.), except that they lack spots on their body.

Aurora trout were first identified as a separate species in 1925 by an American scientist. However in 1967, the original classification material was reviewed by taxonomists who determined that aurora trout were really a subspecies of brook trout (and not a distinct species). This reclassification has been generally accepted by all taxonomists today.

In the 1950's, these trout were close to extinction due to acid rains caused by the smelting industry. But a manager of a local hatchery captured nine aurora trout hoping to breed them and reintroduce them back into the lakes. Lime was added to the lakes to mitigate the acid rain problem (this raised the pH of the lake).

The plan was successful and aurora trout are not only bred and released into the Whitepine and Whirlygig lakes, but also 12 other lakes in the Ontario region - two of which now reproduce aurora trout naturally!

In 2000, aurora trout were designated an Endangered specie at risk by Environment Canada. They are protected under the federal Fisheries Act, which states that harassment, capture, trade and killing in Ontario are illegal activities.

The 12 lakes mentioned earlier that were stocked with aurora trout have been designated Fish Sanctuaries. As such, fishing is prohibited in these lakes, as well as in three non-native lakes.

However, anglers can enjoy limited fishing (with a license) in the nine other non-native lakes, although the use of live bait is strictly prohibited.

To learn more about aurora trout, click here.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Why Trout Fishing in Summer Months is Challenging

A few days ago, I offered five trout fishing tips for summer months. Those tips will greatly improve your chances of catching trout in warm summer months.

Most trout fishers know that fishing in the summer is harder than in spring, but many don't know why. So today, I thought I'd explain a few of those challenges. The more you know about trout, and how they behave, the better you'll be at catching them.

The primary problem with trout fishing in the summer time is heat - which in turn affects water temperature. This is especially true for folks living in lower elevations. The hotter it is outside, the more water temperatures rise ... and the worse it is for trout.

Trout are cold blooded fish. They like cool, clean water. The temperature of the water affects how much oxygen is in it, which in turn affects the metabolism of trout. And like us, when trout are uncomfortable, they don't actively feed - which of course, makes it harder to catch them.

For more trout, water temperatures between 50-68 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal. This is where they are most comfortable and are actively feeding. Other factors affect feeding beside water temperature (such as how secure the fish feels in the water at a given moment), but for now, let's stick to water temperature.

When water temperatures rise about 70 degrees Fahrenheit (as they often do in warm summer months), there's less oxygen in the water. This in turn results in a rise of metabolism for trout - which then makes them uncomfortable. And when they're uncomfortable, their first priority is to change that. So trout will look for cooler water (feeding becomes a lesser priority).

In lakes, cooler water is usually deeper water - which if often more towards the center of the lake.

In rivers and streams, cooler water may be found in deeper pockets or shaded areas of water. Running water is also more oxygenated than still water, so trout will often be found in riffles.

Knowing how summer months affect the water trout live in, will help you understand where to find trout throughout the day as outdoor temperatures rise. This in turn will help you catch trout during those difficult summer months!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

5 Trout Fishing Tips for Summer

Fishing during the summer months are the most challenging months for trout fishers. That's because trout are cold blooded fish. They prefer cooler water temperatures (50-68 degrees Fahrenheit, on average).

And as much as we all love to be outdoors enjoying the warm sunshine, the hot sun tends to heat our lakes and streams so that trout become uncomfortable. This doesn't mean you can't catch trout in the summer months - because you can! It just means you might have to adjust your tactics a bit.

Here are five Summer Trout Fishing Tips:

Trout Tip #1 - Fish early morning (dawn til about 10 a.m.) or early evening (dusk til dark). Water temperatures are cooler during these times and insects are out - so trout will be feeding near the surface of the water.

Trout Tip #2 - Keep an eye on water temperature as the day progresses (using a water thermometer will help). Once surface water temperatures rise above 70 degrees, you know that trout have headed for shaded or deeper water.

Trout Tip #3 - Look for shaded pools or pockets of water. Trout will often be found holding in them when water temperatures rise.

Trout Tip #4 - If lake fishing, rent a boat (if you don't own one). During the summer months (especially mid day), trout will be in deeper water (which is usually in the center of a lake or near a dam).

Trout Tip #5 - Us e a fish finder! When lake fishing during summer months, it can be difficult to find where trout are holding and feeding. Fish finders will not only tell where trout are, but also at which depth (so you know exactly where to fish).

You'll find more tips in the "Trout Fishing Tips" eBook - as well a a better understanding of why summer months are so challenging to trout fishers, but these are five important tips if you want to improve your chances of catching trout.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Caney Fork River Trout Fishing

The Caney Fork River is a popular trout fishing spot for many anglers in Tennessee. This river is one of the major drainages for the Cumberland River. It winds 144 miles through middle and central Tennessee, and is about 20-30 yards wide in most areas.

Trout anglers most often fish from shore, canoe or by wading in the river. Float tubes can also be used, but often present a problem due to frequent shallow areas in the river.

Rainbow and brown trout are stocked each year near the Center Hill Dam (65 miles East of Nashville) down to the where the river joins the Caney Fork River joins the Cumberland River.

Fly fishers and spin fishers alike enjoy fishing the Caney Fork River. Most anglers using spinning rods and reels report better success using ultra lite rigs (2-4 lb test line).

Some of the more popular lures fished at the river include Panther Martins, rooster tails, and small Rapalas.

Popular bottom fishing baits include corn, salmon eggs (red, pink, or orange), PowerBait, and mini marshmallows.

For more information about Caney Fork River trout fishing, click here.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Colorado Cutthroat Trout Will Not Get Protection

For eight years, conservation groups have been trying to get Colorado Cutthroat trout added to the Federal Endangered Species List in order to protect it from extinction. They believe the number of native Colorado Cutthroat trout have been greatly reduced as a result having to compete with the non-native rainbow trout.

However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has concluded that this is not the case. They actually found several new populations of Colorado Cutthroat trout, leading them to believe the fish is in no danger of becoming extinct, but still remains a concern.

The last time the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said, "no", conservationist sued them, which resulted in another investigation into the populations of Colorado Cutthroat trout. So it will be interesting to see what happens this time.

Colorado Cutthroat trout are one of only three native trout found in Colorado. They're also found in Wyoming and Utah.

These trout are a subspecies of Cutthroat trout, and are native to Colorado. They historically occupied portions of the Colorado River drainage in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico - hence earning them their name.

To read more about the Colorado Cutthroat trout and U.S. Fish and Wildlife studies, click here.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

13-lb Brown Trout at Large in East Walker River

Anxious to catch a big brown trout? Head out to East Walker River in western Nevada! A sport fishing guide from Mammoth caught and released a 13-pound (29 inches) brown last week.

There were two other browns in the 27 inch class that were also caught and released on Elk Hair Caddis flies.

For more fishing reports for California and Nevada waters, click here.

For more information about fly fishing the East Walker River, click here.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Gila Trout Waters Open for Limited Angling

Since 1966, it's been illegal to fish for gila trout due to their threatened status on the Federal Endangered List. These trout are so rare that you'll only find them in a few streams in Arizona and New Mexico.

Efforts have been made over the last several years to increase the number of gila trout, and finally those efforts are paying off!

As of July 1st, you'll be able to fish for gila trout in select waters in southwestern New Mexico, but restrictions do still apply.

  • Limited angling will be allowed for Gila trout in Black Canyon Creek from July 1 through September 30 as a Special Trout Water. Fishing will be catch-and-release only with artificial flies or lures and a single barbless hook.
  • Iron Creek will be open for year-round angling as a Special Trout Water with a two-fish daily limit. Fishing will be with artificial flies or lures and a single barbless hook.
  • Regular trout water rules will apply to McKenna Creek and Sacaton Creek, with no tackle or bait restrictions and a bag limit of five fish per day and no more than 10 in possession.
  • Everyone who fishes in Black Canyon and Iron Creek must have a Gila Trout Permit along with a valid New Mexico fishing license. Permits are free and will be available June 1 on the "Buy licenses online" feature of the Department website.

Update: In February 2008, Gila trout fishing opportunities were expanded.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

50 lb LakeTrout Sets New Colorado State Record!

Some fishing records seem to hard to top, but every year somebody manages to shatter an old record. On May 23rd, Don Walker reeled in a lake trout weighing 50 lbs 5 oz (4 lbs heavier than the previous state record). The fish also measured 44.25 inches in length and was caught in Blue Mesa Reservoir in Colorado.

Oddly enough the previous state record was caught by Don's brother-in-law (Larry Cornell) in 2003. And when Don caught his trout, Larry had a front row seat while fishing in the boat next to Don!

Rigged with 12-lb test line and a tube jig, Don used a jigging technique to bounce his offering on the bottom of the lake to entice the fish into striking. The surface water temperature was 53 degrees at the time (many anglers consider surface temps of 50-55 degrees to be ideal for lake trout fishing).

Blue Mesa Reservoir is one of Colorado's most productive fisheries. The water warms up more than other higher-elevation reservoirs and that encourages abundant growth of microorganisms that provide a food source for fish. Kokanee salmon, brown trout and rainbow trout thrive in the lake. In turn those fish provide a food source for lake trout, which are a predator species.

Congratulations to Don on a great catch!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

A Brief History of Brake Trout

Even though you may never seen one, I thought I would share some information on brake trout since many anglers have never heard of them.

Brake trout are a hybrid trout - a cross between a female brown trout and a male lake trout.

Utah fish hatcheries started producing brake trout in 1993 as part of a hybrid experimentation program. Since brake trout are more resistant to whirling disease, it was hoped these trout could be released into infected waters and survive better (and thereby increase trout fishing opportunities for anglers).

Like many hybrid trout, most brake trout were sterile due to the fact of how they were produced (i.e, eggs were heat shocked). Some non-sterile brake trout were produced successfully, but they tended to have lower hatch and survival rates.

In addition to these difficulties, there was a problem with cannibalism - where larger fish were eating the smaller fry.

Due to all these difficulties, the program was discontinued in 1997. It wasn't cost effective to continue to the program. The last stocking of brake trout took place at Mill Meadow Res and Porcupine Res.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Cumberland River Trout Threatened by Dam Work

Like many lakes in the U.S., Lake Cumberland was created by the construction of a dam on a river. And like all man-made structures, this dam (the Wolf Creek Dam) is need of serious repairs. But unfortunately, these repairs threaten the health of trout fishing in Kentucky.

In order to make the repairs water levels will have to be lowered, which results in higher water temperatures. In fact, they've already been lowered from 723 feet to 680 feet in order to relieve pressure on the dam - which is already causing some stress on the fish.

Trout are cold blooded fish and do not survive long in water temperatures above 70 degrees. They become distressed and eventually suffocate when they can't find relief in cooler water.

This is a serious problem for trout in Lake Cumberland and in the Cumberland River around the dam. To read the full story, click here.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Free Fly Fishing Workshop in Springfield, MO

If you live in Springfield, Missouri you have an opportunity to get some free fly fishing lessons.
On June 16, the Bass Pro Shops will hold a free fly fishing workshop in the store’s fly shop and Uncle Buck’s Auditorium.

Local experts will be available to help anglers of all anglers regardless of experience level. Here's some of what you can expect during the workshop:
  • 8:30-10 a.m. — Beginning Fly Casting
  • 10-11 a.m. - Fly Tying and White Bass Fly Fishing
  • 11 a.m. - noon - How to Build a Fly Rod
  • Noon - 1 p.m. - Small Mouth Fly Fishing
  • 1 - 2 p.m. - Fly Fishing Lake Taneycomo
  • 2 p.m. - Panel discussion on how to fly fish Lake Taneycomo, the James River, Finley River and Niangua River
For more information, you can call the Bass Pro Shop in Springfield at (417) 887-7334.
The shop is located at 1935 S. Campbell in Springfield, MO.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Proposed Fishing Reg Changes at Pyramid Lake

The Pyramid Lake Indian Tribe is proposing wide ranging fishing regulation changes and a lot of anglers are threatening never to fish the lake again. While Pyramid Lake has been a favorite for many California and Nevada anglers, it's not the only lake to fish in.

Some of the proposed changes include:
  • Making single barbless hooks mandatory
  • Prohibiting (and possessing) the use of downriggers year-round (not just when the lake is closed to trout fishing)
  • Reduce bag limit
  • Close the lake between March 16 and May 15th every year
  • Increase annual fishing fees from $50 to $99
  • Increase annual boating fees likewise
According to the Indian Tribe, these proposed changes will improve the fishing at Pyramid Lake. But to anglers, many of these changes will only hinder fishing.

If you'd a better understanding of the reasoning behind the changes, you can read the full story of the Pyramid Lake Indian Tribe's proposed changes.

If you'd like to voice your comments to the proposed changes call (775) 574-1000, or mail them to PLIT, P.O. Box 256, Nixon, NV 89424.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Advanced Steelhead Trout Fishing Techniques

Now that the snow is melting, many anglers in Washington have started gearing up for summer-run steelhead fishing!

To help you out, I've created a list of some of the best resources for steelhead fishing in the North West. I own most of books myself and found them very useful and full of valuable information. All of them deserve a worthy place in your fishing library!

Advanced Fly Fishing for Steelhead: Flies and Technique

Spinner Fishing for Steelhead, Salmon and Trout

Steelhead & Salmon Drift-Fishing Secrets

Spoon Fishing for Steelhead

Jig Fishing for Steelhead & Salmon

Float Fishing for Steelhead: Techniques & Tackle

Color Guide to Steelhead Drift Fishing

Fly Fishing for Summer Steelhead

Steelhead Fly Fishing on the Olympic Peninsula

Roe Bait Tips for Steelhead

For more steelhead fishing resources, click here.