Monday, February 7, 2011

Kelly's first Brown: a memorable moment with a tiny trout

On 29 January 2011, Kelly finally (after a whole year of successful fly fishing for trout) reached another fly fishing milestone. She caught her first Brown Trout (Salmo trutta).

Brown Trout... seriously. Spring River, AR, 29 January 2011

If the fish had been any bigger, I imagine it wouldn't have been nearly as memorable... maybe if it was a real lunker, but a 12" fish would not have elicited such comments as "I think it's a Brown Trout" followed quickly by "it's definitely a Brown Trout" and "I think they let this one out of the hatchery too early."

At first she thought it was a small chub, Stoneroller, or some other "minnow" species as it lightly tugged on the line. When brought to hand, the little guy was so tiny that it was hard to see his distinctive red spots. She caught it in a shallow riffle where there is usually a fish or two, albeit a larger one, but most of those will be Rainbows. The Spring River doesn't have very many Browns in it (limited stocking and no natural reproduction), and it's funny that it turned out to be the river where Kelly caught her first.

The other Arkansas trout rivers where we fish are known for their naturally-reproducing Brown Trout populations. These are the Little Red, Norfork, and White Rivers. The White and Little Red have both been home to the World Record Brown Trout. The Little Red recently lost the title to the Manistee River in Michigan.

Kelly "decided" to catch her first Brown where she had her first close encounter almost a year ago... at least I assume that's how she planned it. On 17 March 2010, Kelly missed what she thought "certain was a good Brown Trout" at the Spring River according to our fishing journal. I've told her it's much easier to catch a Brown on those other rivers, but I guess she wanted her revenge at the original scene of the crime.

I'd say she got her revenge... in not so grand, but highly memorable fashion.

19 comments:

  1. Congrats to Kelly! You guys have some serious brown trout out that way.

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  2. congrats! You never forget your first fish of any species

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  3. That little guy was special... Jay didn't want to take the picture but it was too funny not to. It's funny that I can say that I've caught larger brook trout than I have browns. I still thank the little guy, another memory to add to books.

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  4. Wow, a rare comment from the queen herself.

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  5. Jay
    If you guys keep going to the White, you will get that big brown. As for the brown Kelly landed ----still a memory she will remember. Great Post

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  6. Yah Kelly! Congrats and way to hang in there.

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  7. Now that the first one is outta the way... I'm sure she will move on to bigger quarry.

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  8. Congrats Kelly,
    You'll not forget that one, there special.

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  9. Nice Job Kelly, Thank your guide and do it again!

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  10. May this be the first of many wonderful brown trout for Kelly!!! You have now discovered the beauty of the browns which I love so much!

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  11. Congrats! My first wild trout was a 5" brookie and it was more memorable than any large striped bass or any other fish I ever caught.

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  12. Congratulations! A brown trout about that size got me into fly fishing.

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  13. Nice. I can still remember my first wild brow as clear as day. More so than any subsequent brown I caught.

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  14. Sweet revenge! Brilliant!

    Congrats to Kelly!

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  15. You've gotta love the little fish. They fight so hard. It's cute.

    Not only that, it'll be hard to ever catch a smaller brown. You can only go up!

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  16. Very true... it should all be uphill from that one. I guess maybe she could sneak some tippet and a zebra midge in the hatchery and catch a smaller one... but that just wouldn't be very sporting.

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  17. That thing is a WHOOPER! Tell her to look at the one I caught this past summer...

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_8B9d3iOyz1E/THxhkmi8cLI/AAAAAAAAATY/V5IZXohWdCs/s1600/IMGP0944.jpg

    That might be her first brown but she's already out-fishing me! :)

    Ryan - The Average Joe Fisherman

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  18. Thanks for sharing, Ryan. That one is a wee little baby.

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  19. Perhaps the browns wanted to break her in easy. I say, a first is a first no matter the size. Congratulations, Kelly! They'll only get bigger from here.
    -stephanie

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