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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Posts
    17,310
    Blog Entries
    132

    Default Re: Does size matter

    I fished places like you describe for more days than a good many folks have spent fishing anywhere at all. Those streams are where you learn about rivers, they are where you learn about fish and how they behave. Those streams are where you learn that false casting puts the fish down and they are where you become accurate in presentations. They are the laboratory where the science of fisheries and fishing are taught.

    Size? There's a lot of ego involved in almost everything the people get involved in. People who harvest a fork horn or six point buck seldom become known as great hunters even if they fill their tag every season for decades. Fish? Now there's an animal that has spawned an almost cult like following of the fish picture and let's face facts, a grip and grin of a 7 inch Brook Trout isn't an eye catcher regardless of how wide an angle lens is used...……

    I make a special effort to present myself as humble and I learned to do so because I've seen how silly braggarts come off. There are however times when telling the truth about ones own experiences or abilities can be interpreted as boasting. I get around a lot of people because of the guide thing and have heard enough people blowing their own horns to cause hearing damage but.... I'll take a risk in this post and tell you what I think I know. When I go to a river to fish, now I mean a river, a great big river, I can take a look at conditions and I will know where the best chances of finding what I'm after are going to be had. I'm almost always right even when I'm fishing in a river that the department of fish & game states 'has no steelhead trout' I fish there and I find some...………… So how's that possible? Small streams just like you described in your original post that's how. I know rivers and I know them because they are nothing but very large small streams and the fish are just like those in the brooks but a bit larger themselves.

    I say let the guy go fight the crowds and enjoy the solitude of your private laboratory stream. When the day comes that you and he fish some strange big ass river together you may be the guy who catches all the fish unless the guy finds a spot where he can drift bobbers or sight fish.

    Sounds like a great spot buddy

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  3. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Anthem, AZ
    Posts
    1,345
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    3

    Default Re: Does size matter

    For myself, it depends on how hard I have to work to get into fish.

    For example, if I'm going fishing for the day, I have to drive at least 2 to 2.5 hours one way to get to decent trout water. But I can make a day trip out of that, and have been for over a decade, so it's more about getting out, the experience, etc., so the size of the fish isn't as important as the relative solitude.

    Solitude is critical, as I really dislike crowds. I've seen pics of Opening Day on some of the more famous rivers around the country, with anglers literally 24 inches apart for hundreds of yards, and I can't imagine wanting to participate in anything like that.

    Of course, 'solitude' is somewhat relative. I don't mind seeing another angler while fishing, I just don't want to have multiple people fishing within 30 yards of me. One or two I can live with.

    As driving distance increases, the potential for 'trophy' fish becomes more important. For instance, there's a creek here in AZ that offers trophy-class 20+ inch trout, but drive time is 3.5 hrs followed by a two hour hike down into a canyon. Honestly I wouldn't fish the creek if all that was down there was 6-inch fish. It's far too much work for minnows.

    Now I don't always catch 20-inchers out of there, in fact, it probably works out that I only catch a 'biggun' out of there every other year or every two years. But it's the fact that they are there, that the possibility exists that makes it worthwhile to me.

    The same holds true for fishing in MT, or WY. I wouldn't drive 13 to 20 hours to fish rivers/streams that only held 6-inch fish, no matter how many or pretty they were. It's the fact that the potential for big fish exists in those waters that makes in worth it to me to spend the money and time to get to those places. Sorry Mac, Rod, Steve-0, and Muzz, I love you guys, but I just wouldn't rearrange my vacation/spend all that $$$ around those long drives for a river full of dinks, I just wouldn't. And you guys just aren't that pretty.

    And then there's places like the Juan. It's about 7.5 hours away, but holds a lot of big fish. The downside for me is that much of the year it's pretty crowded. And almost every time I go there, I end up in an argument with some other angler about not just tromping through my drift, or seeing me catch a fish and then crowding me instead of being polite and finding a place 20 yards above or below me. Finally add in the bit where I have to fish tiiny midges on a bobber rig, and most of the time I'm not interested, big fish or not.

    But I think living in AZ (or some place like AZ) has something to do with it. If you live in the Valley area, there's no walking out your back door, or taking a ten minute drive and being on the water. It's hours to the nearest creek that might hold wild trout. And that's just drive time. Most of the places I know about also require about 30 minutes to an hour of hiking. Usually down into some kind of canyon. Which means to get out you're hiking up. The place has to be truly amazing for me to get motivated to do all of that, and the potential for a big fish is part of that equation, it just is.
    "Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." ~Chuck Clark

  4. #13

    Default Re: Does size matter

    My favorite places to fish are the little streams and ponds that are a little difficult to get to. And the fish are usually smaller.

    Doesn't matter that they are smaller. It still puts a grin on my face and makes me feel like a little kid when I sneak up on an 8" Brookie and manage to fool him. Especially if it required a little effort to get there in the first place.

    Being out in an uncrowded spot, enjoying the natural world, and putting a couple of good casts together is what it is all about for me. A 10" fish is pure icing on the cake.
    Tight lines!

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  6. #14

    Default Re: Does size matter

    Not to be a wise guy but look at Silver Creeks adjacent post to this thread about the 34 pound brown on 4# test...thing looks like she'd been feeding on footballs. It took 3 grown men to hold her up.

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  8. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland and Maupin, Oregon
    Posts
    1,265

    Default Re: Does size matter

    I think fishing and hiking small streams and catching small fish sounds great. I also think that fishing a crowded salmon river and zooming around in bass boats would be a blast. I encourage everyone to do these things. The places I fish are much different than those. They used to be good, but not so much anymore. I keep going, but I don't recommend them...

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  10. #16

    Default Re: Does size matter

    If I am lucky enough to get a full day to go fishing, I really value solitude. I have a couple of small streams where the fish are usually in the 5 to 8 inch range. I pack a bag with my lunch, grab all my gear, and wade a stream for hours in the middle of the woods. I honestly believe these types of days are important for my mental health, and I would much rather be catching 5 inchers by myself than dealing with crowds to maybe land a trophy.

    One of the most memorable fish I've ever caught is on one of these streams. Was fishing a light dry dropper rig and the dropper went down so fast I thought I must have snagged bottom. It was a beautiful 12-13" inch brook trout that was an absolute blast on my little three weight and click-pawl reel. I let it go without any picture or anything, but I remember that moment very clearly.

    I do have plenty of grip-and-grin photos with big browns and Atlantic salmon (well, only a few with the salmon), and those fish are really memorable as well. I agree with Rangerrich in that, when I am going on a dedicated multi-day fishing trip, I definitely want to have the opportunity to catch some bigger fish. In these cases, I am usually prepared and completely ok running into a few other people on the river.

  11. Default Does size matter

    Most of my local fishing are done in streams of that size. Every trout I catch still put a smile on my face, no difference from when I was a kid fishing the same kind of water. That said - Iíve spent the hours, days, weeks and years getting to know my local streams and nowadays I only target stretches where I know thereís potential for 15-20Ē trout.

    Iíll still cast on smallish fish if itís a tricky cast, a challenging situation or if Iím in the need of a morale boost. More often Iím content with watching the small ones rise and continue scouting for a bigger target. I have yet to take a decent trophy pic but I have a number of blurry photos of submerged trout swimming away. I have no problem telling them apart and thereís enough visual clues there for me to relive the moment.

    Thereís plenty of elbow room where I fish, miles of it, but the oneís who fish there all know each other and we always try to find each other on the stream for a chat if we can.

    Fishing crowded water - not my cup of java. But I really enjoy fishing tandem and taking turns. Scouting for a friend when sight fishing is almost as much fun as being the one doing the casting and you learn a lot of details that come much harder earned when fishing alone.

    At least once a year I drive 13+ hours with the same three friends to fish for a solid week. Potential for mature size wild trout, scenic wilderness and solitude are requirements during planning - this often involves a hard hike and waters that are weather sensitive. We usually plan for a stop at an ĒeasyĒ water on the way home.
    I would not travel to target small trout - but it has been the outcome on a few occasions.

  12. #18

    Default Re: Does size matter

    On a cold winter day this fish warmed my heart and was my most satisfying fish of 2019 so far.
    Last edited by unknownflyman; 02-28-2019 at 06:59 PM.

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  14. #19

    Default Re: Does size matter

    I enjoy catching the occasional big fish, but I'd much rather catch several average sized fish that take line and/or jump over one big one that'll probably just sulk and shake it's head. For me it's about the size of the fight in the dog, not the size of the dog in the fight.

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  16. #20

    Default Re: Does size matter

    I caught this guy in Montana on my spring creek and yes, this guy really did take the flashback PT.

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Regards,

    Silver



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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