Written by: Patrick Fulkrod, The South Holston River Company
Editor’s note: Fall is spawning time for many species that fly fishers love–brook trout, brown trout, landlocked salmon . . . even whitefish–and it’s important to the longterm survival of populations that they are allowed to reproduce unmolested by anglers and boaters. One of the keys to avoiding redds, the gravel beds where fish lay eggs, is knowing what to look for.
I often get asked, “what does a trout redd look like?” Above is a picture I snapped last week on the South Holston River while floating through a tailout. The redd, or the bed, is circled. Most of our large brown trout are in peak spawn at the moment. These fish should be left alone to make whoopie. Remember, you are not a hero if you catch a big brown trout right now spraying eggs or a large male “milking.” These fish are very vulnerable while spawning and should be left alone.
Patrick Fulkrod owns and operates The South Holston River Company, in Bristol, Virginia. He was also the 2014 Orvis-Endorsed Guide of the Year.