My story for the Snook and Gamefish Foundation on strategies for catching winter trout. Enjoy.
It’s almost November. A hint of fall is in the air as a tinge of cool air has replaced summer’s suffocating heat. Of course, we’ll miss those flat calm days, but with winter on the way, conditions to catch big seatrout are not far behind. Given that timetable, here’s a look at a handful of the top places in Florida to find your quarry.
The Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission plans a stock assessment for trout in the fall of 2016, so make sure to log your catches in the SGF Angler Action Program. The FWC uses SGF AA data to manage recreational gamefish. More info means better management. Try to do your part.
Back to the best state-wide spots for trout:
Brown relaxes on his porch at his Bryson, City, N.C. home
Finally back in the swing of things after a week in Western N.C., where I interviewed master fly caster Mac Brown, who can handle a fly rod, play a mean banjo, crunch a few numbers, hike the AT, fix a timing belt, build his own house and race mountain bikes. …. I’m sure I’ve forgotten something.
After interviewing athletes and coaches much of the past 25 years, where cliches are the primary mode of communication, it’s invigorating to write about someone with an array of interests. Interviews often bore me. This one didn’t.
The truly great casters, Brown said, are often the most creative. He equates elite casting to playing music or painting a picture. The best casters are artistic.
“There’s something about them, I can usually tell in about five minutes, that makes the creativity flow out of them,” Brown said. “Jason (Borger) is like that. Jason is one of the most c reative people you could hang out with. Super creative. He’s not a musician per se, but he’s an incredible artist.”
Stay tuned for more. The full story will be in Trout Magazine.
I spent last week with family in Western N.C. and fished almost every day, sampling local ponds, creeks and rivers. Day one was on the Tuckaseegee River, where my father and I caught more than 30 trout on a day-long float trip near Sylva in the delayed-harvest section. Our trip was scheduled the day before the delayed-harvest season was set to expire. By now, the fish are under siege.
I piddled for a day or two in a few ponds, and amazingly enough, was shut out. Humbling to say the least. As a young boy and inexperienced angler, pond fishing served as a comforting refuge. I always seemed to catch fish. As an adult, I was skunked. And it wasn’t for lack of effort. I threw topwater (gurglers) and subsurface (wooly buggers). I fished shallow and deep. Nothing. I had two strikes. Total.
On the last day, I fished Norton Creek, a sidewalk-size stream near Lake Glenvillle and landed this native brown in a matter of minutes before heading back home for lunch. At first, I assumed the vibrant fish was a brookie. It wasn’t. A Facebook friend of mine corrected me. Most of my browns have been darker, richer in color. This one was lighter. Regardless of the species, it made my stay worthwhile. I’ll be back in August.
A pretty native brown.
Congrats to my dad, who caught the biggest fish (18-inch rainbow) during our two-day fly fishing trip on the lower Tuckasegee River in Sylva, N.C., three days before he celebrated his 70th birthday last week.
It’s been a cool, wet summer in Western N.C., but nevertheless the water temperature hovered in the mid to high 60s. We had to work for every fish we boated.
We’ll be back in October. The water temps should be in the 50s, and the Tuck should be on fire.
Below was our mode of transportation, a Clackacraft drift boat as well as a view of the lower Tuck.
It’s been a while since I’ve been on a drift boat. About 20 years ago, I got trained to guide out West. I think I hammered every damn rock in the Bighorn River. The Tuck, being a gentle Eastern river, is a bit more forgiving than Montana water.