Driftless Trout Anglers

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Poll Question : 20” class brown?
Choice Votes Statistics
  Yes
11
73 %
  No
4
26 %
  Total 15 100%
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Smis  
#1 Posted : Monday, May 28, 2018 9:57:23 PM(UTC)
Smis
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368A29D7-A8FE-4233-8322-074AB3BAF8BF.png (2,465kb) downloaded 97 time(s).

I got my personal best brown trout on a fly last week. The river I was fishing was running fast, high, and turbid. I definitely thought about cutting my loses and moving to another location after bushwhacking my way a mile downstream, but it ended being a very productive day. I found this fishing sitting just off the main current in a soft pocket at the base of a little cascade and as soon as I hooked him and saw him roll I knew it was the biggest Driftless Brown I’ve hooked into. I had the fish contained between the cascade above and me below and the fish just kind of hunkered down in the gut of the run without fighting much. I slowly brought the fish within reaching distance of my net but I botched my first attempt to net him in the fast dirty water. I was lucky I didn’t break him off, but he was downstream of me now and tearing line off straight toward a log jam. I followed the fish downstream and was able to put the brakes on before he got to the timber. The fish made a few more runs but I was able to contain him in the slower waters of the large pool below the cascade. Now, with the fish tired and me being in a better position I was able to land this heavy, beautiful fish. Definitely one of those fish that gets your heart pumping and an experience I won’t soon forget.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have my tape with me so I didn’t get an official measurement. I’ve caught my fair share of 16” Driftless trout and this fish dwarfed those. So I’m curious if any of you think I unofficially broke into the 20” class with this fish. I don’t suppose it really matters but I’d still like to hear your thoughts

Edited by user Monday, May 28, 2018 10:02:53 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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jamoberg  
#2 Posted : Monday, May 28, 2018 10:14:57 PM(UTC)
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19 3/4 nice fish!Wink
William Schlafer  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, May 29, 2018 2:33:29 AM(UTC)
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Close. If it had a bigger tail, I'd say definitely.

I've caught at least four 19" Browns. Seems like they get stuck in that size based on how often I've seen them posted on DTA. Years ago I heard a fish biologist say that a large Trout has to overcome considerable odds. They get to a certain size, and can't eat enough to maintain their metabolism and starve to death. The few that can find a consistent high protein food source (chubs, mice, crayfish, other Trout) can survive and punch through that 20" barrier.

This one clocked in right around 19". The Pink Squirrel strikes again.
UserPostedImage

-Bill

“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
Guillermo  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, May 29, 2018 2:59:17 AM(UTC)
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Call it a 20 incher. I've had skinny browns that I thought were 17 or 18 and ended up being 20 or 21.
Gurth  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, May 29, 2018 3:21:14 AM(UTC)
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Looks good to me.

Nice fish.

Congrats!
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
stan b  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, May 29, 2018 11:41:33 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Guillermo Go to Quoted Post
Call it a 20 incher. I've had skinny browns that I thought were 17 or 18 and ended up being 20 or 21.

I caught a legit 20" brown last year in the driftless.
It was long but skinny.
Didn't have the "shoulders" these fish have.
To be honest these fish are beautiful and "look" better.


20"r in my book, nice job!ThumpUp

Stan b

Edited by user Thursday, May 31, 2018 6:46:59 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

"So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold
Smis  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, May 29, 2018 6:05:30 PM(UTC)
Smis
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Thanks for the input everyone. Sounds like I’m in the ballpark
s.t.fanatic  
#8 Posted : Thursday, May 31, 2018 1:11:44 PM(UTC)
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You can measure something (like the width of your fingernail) and compare it to the picture to get a halfway close idea on how long the fish is. I believe there is also apps you could try.

Edited by user Thursday, May 31, 2018 1:20:57 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

winonaflyfactory  
#9 Posted : Thursday, May 31, 2018 3:57:40 PM(UTC)
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So I guess I'll let my internal dialogue out a minute and in no way is this meant to be disrespectful but....

If you are wondering if something is anything then take the time to bring the proper measuring device and use it. Not hard, doesn't take long. A simple stop at a hobby store to get a fabric tape measure that you throw in your bag for the one day you run into big ugly and are screaming for joy is the day that you are super glad that you threw that tape in there years ago.

I recently landed a big carp, felt big, fought like it was big, looked the part but at the end of the day I didn't have a scale so I just said I caught a carp, not a 20lber.

The internet and the need for that instant gratification and notoriety based on the size of things is super irritating. Big fish are nice but if you don't measure something and have something to base it off of then just be happy you caught a nice fish that you're proud of. Post the pic but don't make any sort of claim to the size. Also, size is relative. Catching a big fish from one creek is something totally different on a different creek, I have one stream I fish often where if the fish is over 16inches I'm freaking stoke out of my mind.

Last note: Not saying this to claim that you were infact making any assumption about the size more this is my beef with the internet and humans in general. Rant....over.

p.s. I'm sorry.
William Schlafer  
#10 Posted : Thursday, May 31, 2018 7:54:29 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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Last year I caught what I assumed to be a 20+ inch Brown Trout. I laid it next to my fly rod and it easily passed the "hero mark." For a few hours I was very happy to finally cross that accomplishment off the bucket list. Even better, I had a friend along to witness it - which is rare as I usually fish alone. High fives as I released the beast back from where it came.

But, when I got home and looked at the photos, something didn't quite seem right. This was a new rod I had just picked up after breaking my trusty old Echo Carbon. The new rod was identical to the old one in every way but one: the "hero mark" was only 16" from the butt end, not 20".

UserPostedImage
UserPostedImage

Still, a nice catch, even though I had to eat a little humble pie.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
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