I hit a couple streams this weekend and came across an interesting fish. This is one of the moments I wish fish could talk. I caught a big small stream rainbow out of a run. As soon as I got it to hand, I swore it had to be a stocked rainbow trout that traveled a great distance. It had stocker like markings, ugly face and jaw, big size, and just looked like a stocker at first glance, but after looking at it more one can see the vivid par markings and the tail and fins intact and that of a wild fish. Even stocked trout that have been in the wild for years and years will usually show signs of their prior residence in the concrete fish troughs. This fish's tail was rounded and full, and not squared off like a stocked trout's tail. So it is a toss up for me. If it is a stocked trout though, it made an incredible journey to where it is today. The nearest stocked stream is around 5 miles away. While this does not sound impressive, it is more so when the 5 miles this fish traveled is described. Where this stream enters the stocked creek, a good portion of the stream goes subterranean and is very skinny even during high water. Then the stream gains some steep elevation with some impressive plunge pools and falls that the trout would have to climb. The stream had a couple mountain roads that cross it with some sketchy, old culverts it had to go through just to find this deep run to call it's home. While not impossible, I still find it hard to believe that the fish had that much ambition to make that journey. I honestly think it is a big old wild rainbow, but deep down I kind of hope that it was a stocked trout and is back in it's run it found.
More to come from my trip, there were some big brookies caught as well in other streams.