A Cracker Jack Diamond

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Iasgair
Perch
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A Cracker Jack Diamond

Post by Iasgair » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:24 am

I was fishing in the Wild Basin in the pines casting dries and spiders. The day was perfect and water was flowing well, with areas up to my knees. The brookies were biting at anything I would throw at them while the cutthroats were a little more selective. The fish in this area range from 8 to 10 inches on average, but you couldn't ask for more beautiful fish. The creek is maybe 20 feet at the widest, nothing special, but just a spectacular place to fish.

The higher in elevation you go, the more cutthroat you will find, which is good because brook trout will take over and over populate a water habitat, leaving the other fish to struggle for food and places to lay. Even though the brook trout are very colorful, and fun to catch, they are not so welcomed here in Colorado because they are forcing the cutthroat out, and it's the Greenback Cutthroat Trout that's our only native fish, and has been on the endangered species list for many, many years. Good thing is because of the Fish & Game, the Greenbacks are making progress in coming back. Slow progress, but progress non the less.

Near the end of the day I found a stretch where there was a log jam creating a small semi deep pool. I was thinking a spider would be the choice fly for this spot. I casted in and on the first drift a lovely cutty of 10 inches came out to say hello. I quickly put him back into the pool and began casting away again to find a brookie that must have wanted some attention as well. So I obliged. I was slowly moving downstream getting closer to the log jam. I didn't want to get too close because if a fish were to take my fly, I'd lose it quickly.

But I pushed it.

I found myself getting closer to the jam with my fly as though I was challenging anything that may have been in there. It didn't take long to find that there was a fish, but it was slapping at my spider wanting nothing to do with it. I kept casting and drifting and watching, and I could see the fish come out of the depths and hit my spider like it wanted it out of there, and the fish looked to be of decent size for this creek. So I changed flies to a dry fly, and casted upstream from where I was at and continued to catch other fish while giving this one trout a break.

So now I'm allowing my fly to drift a little below me. I thought if I did catch this fish, I may be able to keep it out of the logs by staying upstream a little. The fly past me, and it was a perfect drift. It was about to get right up against the logs when all of a sudden I saw the flash and my fly was gone. The fish hit with authority and was trying to get to the logs, but I was able to keep it out of the wooden jungle. This fish kept taking line every time I was close to bringing it in. What a fight I had on my hands. When it finally showed itself, I was in dis belief. This was one of the jewels of the creek. What a gorgeous fat buttery colored brown tipping at 46 centimeters.

Image

A wonderful prize for a day of fishing.
Worry less about who you might offend, and care more about who you might inspire.

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Duebel
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Re: A Cracker Jack Diamond

Post by Duebel » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:11 am

What a great report and a beautiful picture, Iasgair!

What is the "Fish & Game" you mention in relation to reducing the brook trout?

In our trout streams around here, there are non native rainbow trout, that must be kept by the angler once they're caught. And stocking with rainbows isn't allowed there. What are you doing to reduce the number of brook trout, respectively to increase the number of cutthroat trout?
Greetings from Bamberg
Martin

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Marc
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Re: A Cracker Jack Diamond

Post by Marc » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:35 am

Lovely account and extremely pretty fish.
Marc. (Prince of Durham)

“A life that partakes even a little of friendship, love, irony, humor, parenthood, literature, and music, and the chance to take part in battles for the liberation of others cannot be called 'meaningless'...”

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Scott
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Re: A Cracker Jack Diamond

Post by Scott » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:35 pm

That's a great report Iasgair, thanks for telling us about it.

Interesting, it seems a lot of your rivers are contaminated with non-native strains of trout, it's a topic that pops up in a few of the American books I've read, (John Gierach, James Prozek) and as a result rivers with native species have become highly prized, right? Quite an alien concept over here as all of our trout are native apart from a couple of streams in Derbyshire which contain wild strains of rainbows.

I noticed you used the metric system when describing your trout and I recall from one of your other posts that you said you would have to learn it. That's very courteous of you but there's really no need. The imperial system is still imbedded in British culture, after all we did invent it. We measure our fishing rods in feet and inches and describe the size of our fish in terms of weight using pounds and ounces (some of us just use ounces... :Chuckle: ), we don't tend to describe our fish by length but that is becoming more popular in trout fishing circles.

If you're going to be putting up anymore reports, and I for one really hope that you are, then why not ask Mark for your own personal journal? Have a look in the board index and go to 'Your Own Personal Journal' to see some from other members.

Thanks again for your post, keep them coming! Oh, and more photos please. :cheers:

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Duebel
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Re: A Cracker Jack Diamond

Post by Duebel » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:09 pm

Scott wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:35 pm
That's a great report Iasgair, thanks for telling us about it.

Interesting, it seems a lot of your rivers are contaminated with non-native strains of trout, it's a topic that pops up in a few of the American books I've read, (John Gierach, James Prozek) and as a result rivers with native species have become highly prized, right? Quite an alien concept over here as all of our trout are native apart from a couple of streams in Derbyshire which contain wild strains of rainbows.

I noticed you used the metric system when describing your trout and I recall from one of your other posts that you said you would have to learn it. That's very courteous of you but there's really no need. The imperial system is still imbedded in British culture, after all we did invent it. We measure our fishing rods in feet and inches and describe the size of our fish in terms of weight using pounds and ounces (some of us just use ounces... :Chuckle: ), we don't tend to describe our fish by length but that is becoming more popular in trout fishing circles.

If you're going to be putting up anymore reports, and I for one really hope that you are, then why not ask Mark for your own personal journal? Have a look in the board index and go to 'Your Own Personal Journal' to see some from other members.

Thanks again for your post, keep them coming! Oh, and more photos please. :cheers:
Hear, hear!!!

By the way, over here in Germany, we mostly define the size of a fish by its length as well (metric of course).
Greetings from Bamberg
Martin

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Iasgair
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Re: A Cracker Jack Diamond

Post by Iasgair » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:08 pm

Yesterday evening I replied with explanations of your questions and commented on advice. Nothing negative I assure you, and it even had a 7 minute video on what we are doing with the cutthroat to insure the species survives and I just noticed it's not here. Took me awhile to do it too. Well if that doesn't crack my ferule. Guess I'll try to remember later on and post it again.
Worry less about who you might offend, and care more about who you might inspire.

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Crucian
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Re: A Cracker Jack Diamond

Post by Crucian » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:12 pm

Lovely post and wonderful photo. :Hat:

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Iasgair
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Re: A Cracker Jack Diamond

Post by Iasgair » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:46 pm

Thank you gentlemen.

Scott, yes, we do have many different trout species and other species in our rivers, and depending where you go on these rivers depends on what you catch. We even have grayling.

The Greenback Cutthroat is Colorado's only native fish. We have different species of cutthroats, so the hard part is you better know what the Greenback looks like so you can release it back or it's 20 years in prison. But you are correct, the Greenback is a prized fish. Here's the funny thing, there are many cutthroats believed to be Greenbacks but they truly are not. Something to do with the DNA. We have a creek called Bear Creek and it holds the true Greenback. This creek is now a natural hatchery where the Fish & Game harvest the fish, do studies, and transplant them in other areas of the state where the Greenback used to flourish.

Duebel, the answer to your question to what are they doing to reduce the population of the Brook Trout is nothing I am aware of. The Brookies are pretty much in every river & stream depending on where you go on those rivers. The brookies are very aggressive and territorial, plus they breed like rabbits. The Cutthroat has had to fight for food and territory for years, but it's struggling without the aid of human help. And it's not just the Greenbacks that the brookies are hurting, the other species of cutthroat are suffering as well. But it's our State fish, the Greenback we are trying to bring back. I don't know what you could do to solve the brookie problem.

I am on the fence with this because even though the brookies are endangering our G.Backs, I love brookie fishing because it's fast action, and they hit anything you throw at them which makes it the perfect fish to teach children how to fish without them getting bored.

Here's a 7 min. video that shows what the State is doing to help the G.Backs survive and flourish once again.
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=gr ... &FORM=VIRE

So the G.Backs are on the way back, which is good. We now have places in the mountains where the Dept. of Wildlife/ Fish& Game, wants you to take all non-native fish and either throw them on the bank or take as many home that you want. We no longer have limits on pike or whitefish. Now, here's the problem, Fish & Game say's to get rid of all non-natives. Like I said before, the only native fish we have is the G.Back trout. So are we to kill the rainbows, browns, lake trout, brookies, and the other cutthroat species that we have? No. I was once told by a Game Warden to take home as many non-natives I could catch. I said I wish I had known that earlier because I'd have a cooler full of rainbows and browns. He replied those fish were to be thrown back or kept under the rules of the State. I replied back saying that they were not natives. Game Wardens don't have a sense of humor.

But Colorado lakes and rivers have so many different varieties of fish brought in for tourists. And tourists bring what? Money.

We have different trout species, bass, catfish, bream, walleye, pike, tiger musky, suckers, carp, grayling, landlocked salmon, sauger, saugeye, whitefish, wipers, and the list goes on.

This is my suggestion on reducing brook trout, since we have no limit on whitefish and pike, why not the brook trout? Her'es the only answer I can find. The state wants our rivers and streams to be trout, because it's the fly fishers who come here every year to fish, and they bring money.

It all comes down to the all mighty dollar.
Worry less about who you might offend, and care more about who you might inspire.

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Duebel
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Re: A Cracker Jack Diamond

Post by Duebel » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:50 am

Very interesting! Thank you very much for taking the time to write all that down, Iasgair!

The Greenback Cutthroat Trout is a very pretty fish.
Greetings from Bamberg
Martin

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Burnie
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Re: A Cracker Jack Diamond

Post by Burnie » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:26 am

Great read and an interesting situation re the non natives, something similar is going on in Scotland with Rainbows and Pacific Salmon in our rivers.

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