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Fly Fishing in the Southeastern US
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 Post subject: Re: A Swan Song
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 3:23 pm 
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Brown Trout
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Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:30 pm
Posts: 1464
Most of those VA brookies are "northern strain." The New River marks the boundary between them - sort of.

There's no reason why NC brookies couldn't grow larger, it's just a factor of food and stream conditions. Most of our brookie streams are fairly infertile (as far as forage goes), and often are stressed by drought. Put that same spawn in a fish hatchery with controlled temperatures and an abundance of trout chow, and in a couple of years, you'll have some 18" to 20" fish.


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 Post subject: Re: A Swan Song
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 4:01 pm 
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Brown Trout
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:10 pm
Posts: 940
Location: Hartsville, SC
Paul, the brookies in Scott Smith's jurisdiction are the Northern strain, and 10 inchers are still rare. All I am saying is, if you have any questions about the size of a particular fish, whether it is a brown, rainbow or brook trout call the biologist over that particular stream. Most of them shock their streams periodically and know what is in there. Yes, there will be exceptions just like in any other form of wildlife, but you will at least get an idea on what to expect. Also, I ask the biologist how he wants me to fish his stream. If he tells me to throw something back I throw it back. If he tells me to keep a certain size fish I do it. They know more about their stream than somebody who fishes it every now and then. They get paid to manage their streams and most of them care very much about the overall health of their streams.

Note: I just got off the phone with Scott. I wanted to make sure my memory wasn't failing me along with my close up vision. He said the exceptions occur during years with realy wet springs. Other then that, a 10 inch brookie is very rare.


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 Post subject: Re: A Swan Song
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 6:21 pm 
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Brown Trout

Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 4:12 pm
Posts: 1748
I've been fishing brookie streams here in the mtns of NC for over 30 years. Much like Fleming, my biggest brookie was 14-15 inches probably 20 years ago. I don't have pics from back then. The size has gone down drastically over the years. Now a 9-10 inch brookie in NC is very rare. 7-8 inchers are great. That's all I have to say about that, and I fish for brookies a lot.
The reason I'm a sap for them -- they are the original native fish of the Appalachians. They still live in the cleanest waters left up here. Finding and catching them on difficult small streams with a fly is still special for me. :D


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