October is here and the brown trout inhabiting most of our Colorado fly fishing spots are spawning and dropping eggs. This is a most crucial time for the future of our creeks, rivers, lakes and streams. Most of us are guilty at some point in our fishing careers of ripping fish off reds or their spawning beds. But this act should not go condoned; fish are on their spawning beds to insure the future of wild fish populations.
As ethical and conservation minded anglers it is our duty to recognize reds or spawning beds in the stream and to leave them alone! Reds can be easily identified by shallow and light colored depressions in the stream, usually over gravel. Active beds will usually feature one or two brown trout guarding the red and these fish are very territorial and not easily spooked. Unfortunately, this behavioral characteristic makes spawning brown trout readily available to unethical anglers. Catching fish off a spawning bed dramatically hurts future fish populations and fish actively using reds should be left alone.
The next time you and your friends come across a red, put the fly rod down and pull out the camera. Instead of messing with something so pure and pristine, try sitting and observing the beauty of mother nature right in front of you…
Karma will take care of your angling pursuits. Cheers to all of our ethical anglers and readers.
Lone Wulff McWade