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Written by: Chris Strainer, Crosscurrents Fly Shop

Be looking out for rainbow trout redds if you end up wading.
Picture by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, courtesy Chris Strainer

Spring has sprung on the calendar, and the rainbows are doing their factor presently of yr. Meaning some ornery trout, and with the water temps creeping up, feisty browns, as effectively.

Whenever you’re out on the water, PLEASE be conscious of redds (trout spawning beds). You’ll discover them in shallow, gravelly areas with a pleasant, regular present flowing over them. A redd seems like a shallow, scooped out bowl of cleaned gravel that stands out from the encircling darker, weedier gravel. (See the picture above.) You might or could not see trout on the redds, however both method, simply admire the trout’s innate need to perpetuate the species and go away these areas alone. No matter you do, don’t stroll by means of redds. Watch out the place you wade.

You’ll be able to have some wonderful fishing within the spring and nonetheless uphold the fly fisherman’s model of the doctor’s oath—First, do no hurt. Whenever you catch a rainbow, take excellent care of it, maintain it within the water as a lot as attainable when you unhook it, after which launch it shortly. When you should seize the second, go away the fish within the web within the water till you’re completely able to snap the shot. Cradle the fish gently, preserving it low to the water—and even on the floor of the water—snap the picture shortly, and get the fish again into river STAT. (A few of the finest photographs are of fish within the water.)


It’s at all times necessary to deal with trout fastidiously, but it surely’s very true throughout spawning season.
Picture courtesy Chris Strainer

I imagine in catch and launch but additionally know this can be a “blood sport” of types and fish do die, even after being handled with care. All of Montana’s rivers are managed for wild trout and Montana FWP doesn’t inventory rivers with hatchery fish. Montana stopped stocking our rivers in 1973, so the trout within the rivers now should make the trout within the rivers for the longer term. That’s the reason Montana’s tributary streams are closed from December 1st till the third Saturday in Might.

Regardless of the place you reside, if there are rainbows in your waters, be happy to exit and have a blast fishing this spring, however please, don’t TREAD on REDDS.

Chris Strainer not solely owns Crosscurrents Fly Shop (in Craig and Helena, Montana), however he additionally serves on the board of administrators of his native TU Chapter and on the Residents Advisory Panel of the Montana FWP Future Fisheries Enchancment Fund.

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