Return of the Warrior II

a few days ago we’d seen this lovely fish’s gill plate with a ‘part One’ suggestion there’d be more in the form of its return to its home.
neither film needs any comment but i wanted to explain the ‘King of the Pond/Warrior’ bit.

Lake Trouto (my name for it) is a farm pond i regularly visit when wild trout season is closed. being a private and closed environment (to natural waterways and wild fish), french regulations allow these types of waterways to remain fishable year round which means i can get my trout fix without being the miserable git that goes through trout depression throughout the closed months like so many of my friends.
it is of course a stocked fishery mostly consisting of rainbow trout but there’s also perch, rudd, a few sunfish and monstrous yet uncatchable grass carp. i’ve tried… they don’t seem to eat grass but i haven’t given up !

Trouto has never been a high-pressure fishery. the owner always considered it a small sideline to his farming activities and as such, stocked it maybe once a year and irregularly at best, never did much bank-side grooming and basically let it and its dwellers take care of themselves. fisher convenience came last. this is just about as close to a wild environment as we can find in an artificial system. the trout here all came from a fishery that never fed them industrial pellet food but natural things like bugs, worms and whatnot. these fish switch over to natural feeding habits instantly.
blobs and boobies and whatever typical flashy, fluorescent, over-saturated stockie reservoir-type flies don’t work here and put the fish down. in fact they scatter as if they’d seen thunder.
they want real food and their imitations. a local entomologist once told me there’s approximately 40 (yes 40) different species of Ephemeroptera/mayflies in this small area (if that isn’t a fly fisher’s nightmare i don’t know what is… ), stoneflies, caddis, bibbios, younameits, several species of dragonflies and chironomids galore. a favourite pastime in the warmer months is to go there and watch the trout race after the dragonflies, jump out and grab them on the fly.

as you’ll have guessed, these are not the dumb stockies we so often hear about. they’re as tough-fighting, resistant, cunning and glorious as their wild-borne counterparts and that’s why having this resource close to home is priceless to me. over the last ten or so years Trouto has become not only a great place to have fun but also a place to test flies, techniques, equipment, observe all of the dweller’s behaviours and “try” to break the semi-wild stillwater code but to be honest, i’ll never break that code and don’t want to.

to conclude, on friday 10th of October 2014 the Warrior measured in at 55cm/22″ and weighs 1,25 kg/2,75 lbs. most would smirk at such a little fish but it happens to be the biggest catch on record at Trouto in four years.
it managed to thrive, escape and remain beautiful throughout, fishers, cormorants, otters, osprey and the occasional poacher that sneaks in at night: he’s the King of the Pond and i’m humbled to have spent a little time with him.

the magic of giffology allows us to see the same film in C&R&R&C mode. i hope you’ll like it too.

Return of the Warrior backandforth M.Fauvet:TLC

12 thoughts on “Return of the Warrior II

    • we’re not allowed to fish for them off season in rivers, even in non-trout waters. (there’s 2 types of waterways in France- Category 1 which is salmonids and cat. 2, everything else) they’ll of course migrate from one water type to another but there aren’t that many around anyway as stocking them has greatly been reduced to favour browns and the disgusting grayling. there are however a few huge ones that managed to escape the worm crowd and thrive, my biggest rainbow on ‘my’ local river was 76cm 🙂

  1. “…the disgusting grayeling” :):)
    over here it is a bit like in UK – its not allowed to fish for browns but there are a few rivers where rainbows are doing quite well and you can fish for them in close season. The ‘bows are not stocked, they just escape from the fish farms on the river banks. They soon started to feed on natural food and some grow big. The biggest I removed was 65cm at 4,1kg and the stomach was full of 100’s of shrimps like hook size 12-10 and normaly when you try to find shrimps on this river you will have only shrimps like hook sizes 16 and 14.

    • which is a really stupid way of managing a fishery when you think about it. you can’t fish for rainbows without catching browns since they eat the same foods. ok, the authorities may think that the ‘bows are an unwanted species but this method leaves no rest and peaceful reproductive time to the native fish. bad.

      funny about the shrimp sizes. do you think the ‘bows are importing bigger ones to satisfy their diets ? 😆

  2. if we realy care about that fishery there should be no fish farm on the river banks in the first place. Secondly the small dam that was built some years ago for a mini hydro power station should be removed it damaged badly the best fishing section of the river. As for the browns they have more important stuff to do than chasing artificial flies at this time of the season. yeh, you may hook a fish here and there but tipicaly the ratio would be 20 rainbows to 1 brown and because it is very hard fishing water you most probably wouldnt be hooking any brown at all most of the time. I dont count here some small stocked browns who may apear from time to time and will go with the high water first, being unable to ajust to the wild. Personaly i think its not a problem fishing for the rainbows in the closed season its the right time of the year that is qiute good for the fishery to remove the ‘bows. 🙂 The real problems are the fish farm and the dam and not that you may or may not hook a few imaginary or not so imaginary browns.

  3. I hooked the rainbow with the huge shrimps in a deep water – 2m deep hole using very fast sinking leader and a heavy fly. I think the big shrimps live in the deepest water thats why i’m not finding them normaly:)

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