I've been trying to figure out the Bigger "Holdovers" in the river and creek system.
Without divulging your holiest of secrets do the bigger fish seek the deep holes (40 ft. & 12 ft. below the first spillway) etc. or can they find enough solace in places in between then move out or up to feed? I realize the pools along Spillway creek aren't deep enough to live in for years, but they can hide pretty good in some of them...
There seems to be a theory they're capable of jumping every log, scampering across the roads and swinging between trees to get where they feed and or spawn. Magical Creatures Indeed!
I'd just like to hear the experts (Or anyone that has their own theory) as to how these big girls and boys navigate the water system and what time of year.
Post by golferjeff on Dec 16, 2014 15:27:06 GMT -6
General theory is the big browns stay down below EH Bridge and then come up to spawn. They make quick work of heavy riffles and even the real fast water such as just above cold hole bridge. I have never seen them jump logs like some rainbows do though. Think about it - swim up from the campground holes, navigate the EH bridge area, lazily go thru Evening Hole, run up lost creek, thru cold hole, and then head up spillway. I don't think they can get far due to the logs and waterfalls. Seems to me that most Browns will just keep going from EH up the main channel to the bluffs, elbow, and the fast water below cold hole. The run this year has been pretty good - with Brad's beast being the best one. Peter has nabbed a few 22+ I think.
IN Colorado, there is a Cuttbow that has resided in one single run for over 4 years now. She has been caught every year, never killed. She is now over 28". I have watched her gobble Brown Trout eggs like candy. She does disappear for some of the winter - probably to go back to the lake to feed and get fatter. Don't underestimate the likelihood that some of the Spillway Creek water can hold big fish for years. We don't have a lake to run to, but some of that pocket water can hold big fish I bet.
We hope that several of these big rainbows are 'wild' fish too. or at least have been in the river for a few years. These fall spawners have been great this year. Some of the colors have been outstanding.
Post by TAStockton on Dec 16, 2014 15:56:12 GMT -6
I have personally witnessed a brown trying to jump and swim up the old city park dam, he ended up on the lower ledge closest to the parking area. They are all totally capable of jumping any log or rocks in the upper parts of the river.
As far as migration for spawning fish goes, it would not be difficult at all for the browns and fall spawning rainbows to make it from certain Blue Zones to their up-stream spawning grounds in one night. In Colorado, the majority of our spawning fish will always move at night, and they can cover a ton of ground. A lot of times, even during a fight, you only see a fraction of the true power a big fish has at its disposal. The can easily jump obstacles such as the logs up Spillway. We have browns that make a 40 mile journey out of Blue Mesa to spawn in the Lake Fork of the Gunnison river.
Also, contrary to the beliefs of certain board members, there are probably more good sized wild trout than many people realize. It is just easy to say that they originated from a hatchery, and very few people will disagree. However, this is not the first year that the bows and browns have spawned, and I may be wrong but I have read numerous sources that state reproduction has been successful since 2006. It stands to reason that the thousands of trout born in the stream every year do not all get picked off. I have also read some questionable comments that all the fish are recent stockers. The person was claiming that all big fish in the river will die of "ick". That is certainly not the case and that false information should be laid to rest. The river is full of holdover and wild fish, some big and some small, and nearly every guide will give you the same report on the fish in the river. We have a very unique situation on the LMF in that we are in Oklahoma and we have good numbers of wild and holdover trout. Most Southern tailwaters are not so lucky.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy fishing for Trout in various ways. I really do appreciate the LMF for what it is and for what some make it out to be. It's never going to be Colorado or Montana but it can sustain some pretty rigorous and often times illegal taking.
I was seeking the opinions of the experts that have spent the most time fishing the area and maybe others would gain from their/your experiences, not fables.
I just hope it's appreciated and respected by most rather than destroyed by a few.
I love LMF and Beaver's Bend. I love the contrasting experience of Spillway Creek and the Evening Hole. I love that there's normal stockers, some great big brooders, and a wild population. I like going down to Zone 2 once in awhile to a more remote feeling area and trying my luck even though I don't usually actually have much luck down there. Last season I went to BB about 7 times. Unfortunately, I don't think I can go as often this year due to some logistical issues even though I live closer than many of you. I'm determined, however, to hit it once during this holiday season. I think I'll be able to make it on the 26th, but I'm playing it by ear.
I wish the state of Oklahoma could afford to patrol it a little more closely, but I imagine they do all they can.
I agree with you on this breeden. Ive been fly fishing the lmf for over 15 years and can remember when the state officially stated that we had successful spawns in the river. I also have a suspicion that the successful spawns were probably going on a bit before the state declared it.