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Coldwater Fly Fishing Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, etc...

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Old 08-21-2017, 11:26 AM
viggysmalls viggysmalls is online now
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Default Brook Trout stacked up in single pool

I was out fishing yesterday and encountered an interesting phenomenon.

I had been making my way up river and with no luck, despite fishing some nice pools. All of a sudden I get to a smaller pool just after a set of riffles. First cast - I hook a nice brookie. Second cast - and even better one. I ended up hooking about 12 fish and landing about 10 of them out of this fairly unremarkable pool. Just as quickly as they started attacking my fly, they stopped. I waded up next to the pool to get a closer look with my polarized sunglasses, and could see over 2 dozen brook trout all stacked up together.

I continued on up the river and had no luck in what looked like better pools and saw very little movement in them to boot.

The water was relatively warm and the water levels were quite low (I was using my 4 weight instead of my 3 to get fish in and released faster). My theory is that there might have been an underwater spring or something releasing colder water into this particular pool. It is not behavior I had seen before in brook trout.

Does anyone know why brook trout might exhibit this type of behaviour? Is it typical for mid-summer conditions?
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Old 08-21-2017, 11:45 AM
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Default Re: Brook Trout stacked up in single pool

I once had a fisheries biologist tell me that locally, trout will migrate as much as 10 miles to find favorable water temperatures

I took an underwater photo of this pool but somehow it got lost.
The pool is about the size of a large SUV and it held somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 brookies
There was quite a few more in the next pool down as well

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 08-21-2017, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: Brook Trout stacked up in single pool

Send me the GPS locations of these pools or I will sue you! (of course I am just joking).
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Old 08-21-2017, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: Brook Trout stackned up in single pool

Nice cutty....
You may learn to love barbless..
It means you caught it...not the hook.

Jim
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Old 08-22-2017, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: Brook Trout stacked up in single pool

They pod up before spawning too, but it seems way early for that. I'm guessing a cold water seep.
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:15 PM
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Default Re: Brook Trout stacked up in single pool

Cold water without doubt. That's why spring holes in lakes here in Maine are marked with posts and are off limits.
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:05 PM
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Default Re: Brook Trout stacked up in single pool

Yeah brook trout are very sensitive. You are probably right about some source of cold water that you could not see. Nice job on the fish too.
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:23 PM
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Default Re: Brook Trout stacked up in single pool

Nice, hope I come across a pool that stacked one day
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Old 08-26-2017, 06:08 PM
smcnearn smcnearn is offline
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Default Re: Brook Trout stacked up in single pool

Thermal refuge as they call it, or depending on your altitude.... yes late August they do move to their staging holes near the spawning flats.


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Old 08-27-2017, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: Brook Trout stacked up in single pool

You probably should take a water temp before fishing a spot like that again. Often when you find them like that, temps and oxygen levels are nearing critical, and catching them can be a death sentence.
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