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.