Seasons

Well, the Minnesota and Wisconsin trout seasons are closed but fortunately Iowa is open and I’m headed down there Wednesday.

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Here there are 4 days left of general streams being open. I’ll get out on Wednesday to a stream 20 minutes from home. But I live an equidistant 1 hour from three year-round trout streams. One is at a higher elevation accessed by a Forest Service road that at some point has a seasonal closure due to snowfall at its middle reach, but there can be good fishing up to the road closure. The problem with all three streams is CFS levels during winter rains. For the next 4 to 5 months I essentially switch to saltwater fishing with a 9 1/2 foot 6 weight western rod for Sea Run Cutthroat, plus Coho and jack Chinook salmon that are resident in the Puget Sound fjord and don’t migrate up to Alaskan waters. I also want to continue experimentation with a 5.3 meter Keiryu rod in the salt. But I stay informed on the three year-round streams’ CFS levels that tend to drop into shape during multi-day high pressure (=clear weather) cold snaps.

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Is it closed because of weather or regulations in Minnesota and Wisconsin?

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Regulations. They shut down the season with spawning about to get going. Both open the beginning of January.

Luckily we have year around trout fishing in Virginia. Back in the mid-nineties the Game and Fisheries Dept. dropped the opening day. We used to start the third Saturday of March and ended fishing on December 31st. Stocking would be in Jan.- March and then off and on through the Spring and some in the Fall. Thank you Virginia.

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Iowa isn’t bad for me. I’m fishing in about 2 hours after leaving home.

When (if ever) do you stop/pause fishing the wild brook trout streams in VA? I fished at the beginning of the month and none of the fish I caught were colored up for spawning yet, but I’m always anxious about going in Nov/Dec to the mountain streams.

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Fall, winter, and early spring are the months i fish. I have not been out since May, but am atually going to fish today before work. The temps and rain should secure the river for me. I have grown to enjoy my fishing in these off months.

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@mak1277 Mark, I try to go fishing when the crowds are not around. Generally, Tuesday-Friday are the best days to fish and not see a lot of people. I fish fall, early winter, spring, and early summer. Fishing in the summer often puts too much stress on the trout unless there has been a lot of rain. There are streams in VA that you can fish in the summer because they hold a good flow of water all year long. I have to go more to the western side of VA to find those types of streams. The eastern side of the Blue Ridge is bad news during the summer months. Acidity, human impact, and drought really make it difficult for the trout to survive. It takes me about 2.5 hours to reach the eastern streams of the Blue Ridge and Shenandoah NP. This is where I fish for trout most of the time due to driving time. I used to drive all over the place but as I got older, I just don’t enjoy spending a lot of time driving on #64 or #81. Looking at my recent journals, I generally fish about 50-80 days a year for trout and about 40-50 days a year for warm water fish.
I have recently noticed the brook trout starting to show those beautiful spawning colors on my last fishing trip to the Upper Rapidan River (Oct. 20th).

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While there is no official fishing or trout season here in eastern Idaho, winter itself provides a very real barrier to fishing if you’re a softie like me.

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Tristen, there is some level of imposed comfort in winter fishing. It is not efficient nor good for the fish if it is below freezing…so it is easy to take comfort in only fishing those warmer days…32 and above.

Winter fishing amazes me every year. Hatching insects at 32 degrees. Spiders crawling around on snow. So cool.

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I really just was wondering if you stop fishing for brookies while they’re spawning or not. I debate this with myself every year, and typically I’ll succumb to temptation at least once from mid-October to December 31.

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Here in Utah we can fish year round. Some of the upper streams close due to regulation to protect spawning, mainly where there are cutthroat. I’ll fish rivers where there are spawning chasers like when rainbows chase the Kokanee out of the reservoirs. There’s always some fun fishing when that happens.

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Sorry Mike, I went off into a stream of thought and never answered you intended question…(sounds like I’m practicing to become a politician) . I am careful fishing during the spawning time and fish at stocked trout waters more often. We need to give these little guys a chance so that we can have great fishing in the future. However, I do sometimes fish for wild brookies at this time of year but I stop fishing after catching 6-8 trout (if I’m that lucky). Then I study the aquatic insects in the water and do some chemical water testing.

Then I study the aquatic insects in the water and do some chemical water testing.

@Kookagee What are you testing for, and how are you testing?

Tristan, I sent you a message. Thank you for asking.