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View Full Version : Visiting the Streams Where I Learned to Trout Fish



mrsockeye
05-10-2009, 08:19 PM
Well, I was a good son and went to visit my Mamma in Redding. *It was my Step Dad's 50th birthday, and of course today was Mother's Day. *The only thing is, that on the way to Redding, I'm obliged to pass by the streams that I learned how to trout fish in. *I usually just drive past these streams where I learned the subtle "tap" of a trout compared to the bumping of split shot on the bottom. *

There are several of these little streams in the area and most of them hold good populations of small wild brook, rainbow, and brown trout. *So, when a certain Sniffer put out an inquiry for brook trout, I figured I better check out the local brookie population. *The first stop was Hat Creek near Old Station. *This is the stream that I cut my teeth on in the trout fishing world. *The first trout I ever caught from moving water was in the section of Hat Creek near Old Station. *In retrospect, I caught my first 5 fish limit of trout from that creek too. *So, I set out to catch a few brookies from the creek, and I had I flipped a piece of nightcrawler near a downed tree. *Sure enough, there was a little wild brook trout lurking in there, and after an epic battle I had the 5" wopper in hand. *Unfortunately, my time was very limited and I was only able to fish for about an hour. *In that time I landed a total of 4 fish... not bad. *The biggest one might have gone 6".
http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/7847/1020547.jpg (http://img15.imageshack.us/my.php?image=1020547.jpg)
I really have a soft spot in my heart for little brookies like this

After that I headed for my all time favorite little stream. *It is small enough to jump across in most places, but when I was a kid it afforded me with some valuable stream fishing lessons. *It is gin clear, and if you don't stealthily approach the fish, they just scatter. *That said, if you don't spook them, they will eat just about anything. *This was the place where I caught my first trout on the fly rod. *Back in the good old days, this stream used to harbor good populations of rainbow and brook trout. *Both species used to commonly reach the 10-12 inch size. *What I found in 15 years after the last time I fished it was that the rainbows are gone and the brookies are 100% of the population. *The worse news is that absolutely nobody is fishing the stream anymore, and the without some kind of predation the fish are completely stunted. *I found literally 5-8 Brook Trout stacked in a hole the size of a bathtub. *It made for awesome catching, but the fish were bait sized. *That said, I had an absolute blast and caught about 30 brook trout in a one hour period. *I didn't have time to hit some of the deeper pools that are a bit of a walk, but I did pull one or two brookies out that were a whopping 7". *That is small concellation to the occassional 14" fish this stream used to produce, but the stream is even less fished, and the fish are just as pretty as I remembered them as a boy. 8-)
http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/2633/1020548.jpg (http://img9.imageshack.us/my.php?image=1020548.jpg)
Look at the colors on this 7" hook jawed buck. *It isn't even fall spawning time, and this guy was a bright yellowish orange. *The stream is so small that you can see these beauties rise from a log to eat your bait.

Captain Compassion
05-10-2009, 08:26 PM
Beautiful little brookies. It seems that it's only these small creek brooks that have the blue halo around the spots. I know a couple of nearby creeks that has these kinds of beauties.

CC

mikeandkristy
05-10-2009, 08:26 PM
They are just beautiful fish!
Did you release them?

Kristy. :)

Mackattack
05-10-2009, 08:31 PM
Man those are some pretty fish Mike. You almost want to put them in an aqarium in your living room. Pyramid in one week and Truckee the day after then on to ICR and the 88 route home. Cant wait hope to see you some place, maybe Scheels ?

Mackattack

mrsockeye
05-10-2009, 08:40 PM
Yes, I released them, but in some of these small streams I would desperatley encourage anglers to keep as many Brook Trout as they legally can. *The fish are stunted! *Back in the good old days I used to catch a lot less fish, but they were much larger. *Something you must consider with Brook Trout is their tendency to eat themselves out of house and home. *Back when there was more logging in the area, loggers stopped and caught the fish, eating them and exploiting them to higher mortality. *These days, the creek is disserted, and the fish are living without predators. *Brook Trout in streams generally lack the predation mechanism to feed on their own kind, and thus they dwarf themselves. *These fish shouldn't have been released, but it is wrong to toss them on the bank and waste them, and I can't imagine eating one of these little sardines. *I was telling my wife, fish and game should electrofish these fish out and stock them somewhere else.

hooks
05-10-2009, 08:48 PM
Beautiful fish those brookies are!! Thanks for sharing your trip down memory lane. It's good to get back once in a while.

:)

kokanee slow
05-10-2009, 08:49 PM
Nice report and pictures too (as usual from you). We are lucky to have you share your adventures in fishing land with us. :)

Jetspray
05-11-2009, 04:38 AM
Mike nice pics and report. I agree with you about moving the fish to bigger waters, just wonder what the environmental reports would say about that. Too bad it could not be implimented.....Jetspray

bigdewy
05-11-2009, 05:08 AM
Great pics and story. Thanks for sharing it!

hunkfisher
05-11-2009, 07:34 AM
Mr.Sockeye I am surprised we did not cross paths me and my buddies were camping and fishing that entire area this past weekend ill post a report and pics when i get them later, gotta love those little brookies, I will agree with Mike go there and keep an extra 4 or 5 (Regs state bag limit of 10 extra on top of your daily 5 if they are under 8") I could see that upper part of the creek being a nice brookie stream.

Brad "Hunkfisher"

[smiley=swimmingfish.gif]

troutfan
05-11-2009, 08:00 AM
Those are definately some pretty little Brookies there Sockeye. *I know what you mean about going back to where it all began. *I go up to Bishop Creek every once in awhile under the premise of fishing but it's really just to wax nostalgic for the good 'ole days. *Your stepdad is 50??? * Heck he's a young man! ;) ;D

metalmouth
05-11-2009, 08:08 AM
Yum, 6" brookies pan fried with eggs and potatoes are one of my favorite breakfasts in the whole world. The are prolific breeders and it doesn't generally hurt to keep a few to eat! [smiley=chowtime.gif]

troutfan
05-11-2009, 08:41 AM
Yum, 6" brookies pan fried with eggs and potatoes are one of my favorite breakfasts in the whole world. The are prolific breeders and it doesn't generally hurt to keep a few to eat! *[smiley=chowtime.gif]
That's a fact. *They are such prolific breeders, as you all know *that's why on many small streams in California they have raised the limit on them to 10 above and beyond the usual 5. *That's one of my favorite breakfasts also MM. *I eat everything but the head! ;)

metalmouth
05-11-2009, 09:11 AM
Yum, 6" brookies pan fried with eggs and potatoes are one of my favorite breakfasts in the whole world. The are prolific breeders and it doesn't generally hurt to keep a few to eat! *[smiley=chowtime.gif]
That's a fact. *They are such prolific breeders, as you all know *that's why on many small streams in California they have raised the limit on them to 10 above and beyond the usual 5. *That's one of my favorite breakfasts also MM. *I eat everything but the head! ;)
Yup, we remove the heads and guts and use the tail for a handle. Fry them up well and eat bones and all. *[smiley=chowtime.gif]

iggybob44
05-11-2009, 10:31 AM
Kirkwood creek has similar sized fish,with a few bigger ones,mixed in! I know of several creeks that ive fished that get virtually no pressure,some of them can be stepped across,not jumped across,simply stepped over...and yet these tiny streams are loaded with beautiful brookies,a few even have some decent sized ones. These waters would benefit from more pressure,especially if anglers kept some fish,and they are some of the best eating trout around,right up there with a Lahontan taken out of an eastern sierra water.....Biggest difference is the fact that the Cutts benefit from primarily catch and release,while the brookies would thrive if numbers were reduced......

cdmessier
05-11-2009, 11:04 AM
What little beauties! Reminds me of the streams I fish up above Sonora. Those little brookies are abundant and eager to jump on a dry fly. There fun for the kids too and the colors amaze them. I'll have to try keeping a couple next time we camp I think the herd could use some thinning up there too! ;)