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Small stream report 8/10 - 8/11

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  • Small stream report 8/10 - 8/11

    Blue lines were on fire this weekend, fishing and temperature wise. The hot weather is running creeks low but the small head streams are still holding strong. Saturday I took my coworker up to the mountains to get his first speck. When we got there, I was worried we weren't going to do well since the main creek was so low. We got to our destination and found out it was the perfect day to be there despite the heat. Here's some of the ones my coworker caught.

    https://i.imgur.com/c6YLKMi.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/CRJIxE9.jpg

    We finished up on the small creek and decided to try out the main creek. It was a different story than the small stream. We could only catch creek chubs. It might be because we had started on the main stream in the afternoon and things had really heated up then. We called it a day and went home.

    The following day I went right back up to the same creek with my brother. We chose a different small headstream to go up that we've had excellent luck on in the past. It definitely gave us a good one.

    https://i.imgur.com/1VbF6AR.jpg

    Now I have a question about some of these fish. I've been fishing these creeks for the last year and we've always caught what we think to be a true SABT. The first two pictures are from fish that are caught from one headstream vs the third picture and the one in my profile picture (I made a post on a while ago if you need to get a closer look http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/foru...st-brook-trout), a different headstream but still feeds into the same main creek. The question is, that third and my profile picture, are those the stocked northern cousin? It's been bothering me for a while and I wish to know. Here's the thing though, (hopefully this doesn't upset anyone. I think it's vague enough to not give away the spot but people who are like me and do a ton of research on trout fishing In Georgia may know where I'm talking about) they don't stock the creek, haven't for many years. That's why I'm really confused as to what to think of what these fish truely are. And on top of that, the fish that I caught in my profile picture has a missing fin. I've heard that 99% of the the time, a wild fish has all of their fins. I really wish I flipped the fish the other way and took a picture because the other side had a fin. Would of been a better picture and I could do a fisherman's lie and call it a true wild fish. I had to get that big one back in the water though to be on his way.

    I may not ever know the truth, I guess I'm looking for an opinion of what you think. Hopefully this doesn't spark a big debate either.

    Sorry I couldn't figure out how to properly put images in the post so links will have to do. Lots of errors.

    https://i.imgur.com/koZI3yG.jpg
    Last edited by FMJHP; 08-12-19, 12:01 PM.

  • #2
    Wow! Check out the pop in the colors of the fins in those first two pics! Awesome!

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    • #3
      I'm no expert, but the two latter pics do look like northern strain brookies to me. If you're fishing where I think you are, they do still stock fish farther downstream. It wouldn't be impossible for a few fish to find their way up to where you are. It's more likely though that the one stream simply has a population of wild northern strain fish, while the other has SABT. The missing fin could just be from an injury. Either way those are all some beautiful fish!

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      • #4
        Those 1st two are absolutely gorgeous!! Good job on getting out and putting in the effort to find them.
        "Be patient and calm - for no one can catch fish in anger." - Herbert Hoover

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        • #5
          Originally posted by FMJHP View Post
          I may not ever know the truth, I guess I'm looking for an opinion of what you think. Hopefully this doesn't spark a big debate either.
          Haha, Good luck with that.

          I've always heard genetic testing is the only way to tell as environmental factors can create most any colors...but I agree with you. Those last two are awfully washed out. And whether southern or northern, those first two are trophy brookies both in color and size.

          If this were rocket science most of us wouldn't be doing it. - Terry Creech

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          • #6
            Brookies genetics are weird things. Technically, they are indistinguishable without a genetic test. Most of the washed out fish that people say "look like northerns" are just females. They tend to be more blue/silver and the males have more orange, yellow, and green. To be completely honest, most of what we catch are hybrids. The best streams have more northern genes...partly because the bigger streams are more likely to have been stocked with brooks back in the day...and partly because the northerns get a little bigger. There could theoretically be stockers in the drainage you were in, but those fish all look wild to me.
            The first thing scripture tells us about man is that we're made in the image of God. The second thing it says is that man should have dominion over the fishes of the sea.

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            • #7
              Fishn Bub is correct. Although we do have some streams with true SABT genetics in the state of GA, most of the creeks here in the NE have been stocked in the past with northern strain specks. But...all of this is such an extraordinarily convoluted mess...most brook trout fishermen in Georgia are clueless. People here on the forum errantly refer to wild brook trout as "SABT". Although the specks they catch are wild, most likely they don't have native genetics. A lot of folks here chagrin that though, but sadly it is the stone cold truth. A huge percentage of our wild brook trout streams here in region 2 have been restocked many, many decades ago after logging practices ruined a lot of good native brook trout habitat and local populations. Many of these creeks were re-stocked with wild specks from local creeks. Many were stocked with wild specks from elsewhere. Could have been from NC, Tennessee, VA, WVA, Pennsylvania, SC. Those places are north of us. But are they northern strains? Where is the distinguishing boundary between northern strains and southern strains? Is it the Mason-Dixon line? Genetically, how can we differentiate the two? Is there a hard boundary where SABT lie south, and northern strain lie north? No. It is an unidentifiable grey area.
              Like Bub said, most of us are catching hybrids of these fish. Across the varying drainages in GA you can see varying phenotypical expressions and averages. These are reaults of varying wild stocked and hybrid genes existing in different creek drainages. I have begun to refer to all of these brook trout as "wild brook trout" rather than SABT because 99% of people use the term SABT incorrectly when they just mean "wild brook trout". If one was inclined and had the time, some digging through ancient records might reveal the origins of most of the wild brook trout that we are catching today.
              While most of us are catching hybrids, true SABT do exist in GA. Most of these creeks or branches will tend to only produce very tiny little specks where one might never catch one exceeding 4" or 5" in length. These creeks will be found in extremely rugged places upstream of other wild brook trout streams. Other streams will have hybrids above barrier falls, yet if you continue to scramble further and further up successive sets of falls....you will then find true SABT in some of these creeks. Hybrids can be found in most of these creeks, but the uppermost trickles where most men don't fish might actually hold true SABT because the terrain was too difficult to log. Most of them will be under 4" in length.
              Brook trout genetic studies began in this state years ago, and were never completed. I know one man that played an integral role in the study passed away. If you catch a wild speck in your near future, it is likely a hybrid. Most of us consider this a hard pill to swallow. There are just very, very true SABT left in this state after all the genetic mixing. Since nobody on this forum can actually identify a true SABT...its likely best that henceforth we all begin to refer to them as "wild brook trout".
              Last edited by Killer Kyle; 08-22-19, 09:40 PM.

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              • #8
                Another point to consider is that most of us consider "northern strain" brook trout to ne big brook trout. This isn't the case. Brook trout can grow to huge sizes in some northern waters like in Labrador Newfoundland. But if you pick through articles, forums, and blogs, you'll find that throughout the majority of small stream fishing in New Endland, the driftless region, and the west, much of the small stream fishing for specks is just like it is here. Especially in New Hampshire, Maine, New York, and Pennsylvania. That kind of small stream angling usually yields tiny little specks just like our streams here. It is such a confusing mess that I wonder if anybody will ever actually figure it out. If you look back on the old "Small Stream Reflections" blog from a guy in the New Hampshire Region, you'll see that he seldom ever caught a wild speck exceeding 6" or 8" in length, although he fished in the north. This debunks the perception a lot of us have previously had about northern strain brook trout. He was fishing for northern strain fish, yet they are the same size of brook trout we have here.

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                • #9
                  Perhaps another thing to keep in mind is who cares? I was in the camp of searching for the elusive sabt, then did some reading and realized most are hybrids, at least where I'm fishing. I'm ok with that. It's still a native, usually putting me on gorgeous real estate, and most importantly out in nature.

                  I love the brook trout. Its native, beautiful, and tasty. But when it comes to a challenge for angling, finding higher elevation wild mountain browns has been more challenging, both in finding them and catching them. Wild specks will try to eat just about anything that hits the water, browns on the other hand.... They're picky (in my humble opinion)


                  Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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