Wildwood Outfitters Blog and Fishing Report
The Power Of Catch And Release
All of our trips at Wildwood Outfitters are 100% catch and release. While there can be some conservation reasons to harvest fish in certain situations, we believe that by letting our catches go, we can provide more angling opportunities in the future! We (and a few of our guests) got to see this in action over the last few months on our guide trips and it speaks to the direct benefit that can be seen from proper handling of trout and their release after a quick picture!
The two very nice brown trout shown above were caught about three and a half weeks apart on the same stream about a quarter mile from one another. At first glance that isn't particularly notable aside from the fact they are exceptional fish, but a closer look at the details reveals something much more interesting. As it turns out, this is the same fish! The angler on the right caught the fish after a heavy rain the night before that saw the stream off-color, coupled with a nice bump in flow. Almost a month later, the angler on the left caught the same brown a quarter mile downstream in a deep pool!
It can be tricky to say with absolute certainty whether or not two caught fish are the same, but a closer look at the finer details gives us some indication that this brown trout showed himself twice for us! For example, a zoomed-in look at the spots on this fish show several patterns that are unique and not likely to be repeated. Despite having a little different coloration from one month to the next, those spots remain the tell-tale giveaways and provide hints that it's the same fish. Trout can change shades at different times of the year, and that's likely the case here as the early version of this brown was much darker than his later self.
The end result of catch and release practices is that more anglers get to partake in making memories that they will cherish for a lifetime. In each of the cases above the brown was the catch of the day and was the highlight of the trip. That sort of thing is only possible when trout are handled with care and released to fight another day. It's the reason why our guide trips will continue to practice C&R and advocate for others to do the same. Each of these fish is too special and memorable to only be caught once!
Despite the scorching heat and lack of rain, it'll be December before we know it and that means steelhead season will be in full swing! Reach out today and let's talk about your day on the Lake Erie tribs!
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