2 thoughts on “Fly Fishing for Rainbow Trout

  1. Thankfully, those escapees are in the Baltic Sea, not the Atlantic around my home, Britain. There was an escape of rainbows from a small farm on a tributary of a then major sea-trout and salmon river in west Wales in the early -mid 1970s. The escapees, a mix of 3- to 6-inch juvenile rainbows, were flushed out to sea (or, at least, out of sight and out of mind) by the same post- heavy rain, main river flood conditions that permitted their escape from tanks on one its tributaries.

    Out of sight and mind at least until the escapees, now 12 ounces to a 1 pound in weight, ran the river a few months later with the late-June runs of indigenous shoal sea-trout and duly became a “fish a chuck” for me one night when I was flyfishing for both shoal and the occasional much larger sea-trout above a well-known local weir above an even better-known set of west Wales waterfalls, Cenarth.

    For a few weeks that summer, those rainbows seemed to follow me around – I had twenty or so of them one evening when fishing a prime pool and a couple of runs twenty miles upriver. I filled a freezer with the better ones and fed the rest to the cats on the farm at which I was living.

    Then there was the farm escape on a major, though small-sized English chalkstream in the early 1990s. The Chairman of the very old private fishing club that controlled the best of it, asked me over for a day’s fishing with him at this time. I asked him about Fishery Rules (“Stricctly Upstream Dry Fly before July 1st, when small-fly Upstream Nymphing is permitted) and if fishers were permitted any fish any they had caught – if there was a Bag Limit. The elderly Chairman, a fine Edwardian Era-born English gentleman, a master of quiet and sometimes very humorous understement, merely said “Normally it’s a brace of fish, Paul, but today it’s ten thousand. We have a plague of rainbows from a farm upriver.”

    He invited me back to the very private, very exclusive fishery, to wage war on those thousands of escaped rainbows “They’re eating the river up, Paul.” on a 7-days-a-week basis (“If you can do it”) for the next month. I must have had at least a thousand. All of them on Upstream Dry Fly too, so as not to upset the Club’s mostly elderly, by the Halfordian Rule Book, Members (who, a number told, “I have never caught so many trout as I have this season.”).

    So … rainbows…

    Fine fish in their native waters, but…………

    There’s more to Angling to than having your string pulled by fish, especially ones that shouldn’t be there, I have thought ever since the 1970s incident and my by-the-sackload month in the early 1990s.

    Happy New Year, Chummers.

  2. One pedantic correction to the above: the Non-Texas English Chalkstream Dry Fly Massacre happened in the early 1980s, not ’90s as stated above.

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