New world record Brown ? 46.9lb

Gdog

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I don't think ferox are ugly at all. They are predators. Is a pike ugly because it is a predator? I don't think they are ugly. Some ferox are not great-looking, for sure, because they have been caught towards the end of their life, and are losing condition, so they can be a bit 'all head and tail'. This old dog is not great-looking...



... and neither is the fish. (Sorry, Denis! 🤭)

But a ferox caught in the prime of its life is surely as good looking a fish as any other trout...







Col

Beauty and ugliness are in the eye of the beholder. 😜
 

webblade

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I wouldn't say its ugly, it has a big gut made worse by the way its being held, good shaped tail and reasonable sized head. Its nothing like as ugly as the large Ferox trout caught in Corrib or some of the other west of Ireland loughs, those fish are definitely not pellet pigs just big mean predators.
I guess my attempt at a bit of humour escaped you. I'll leave through the back door.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Who ate all the pies?

If memory serves, this rainbow was a 'cage fish', originally an escapee, that then lived under the cages on Loch Earn. Technically a 'grown-on' fish in the modern vernacular.



Here is a wild brown trout that has found what to do with the salmon smolt cages on Loch Shiel...



Nowhere as obese as the Earn rainbow, but a very different shape from a normal Shiel brownie...



However, there is a new kid on the block. These are the fish that are benefitting from the increase in biomass that an otherwise oligotrophic loch gains from all the spoil and crap from the smolt cages, which has led to a plague of sticklebacks - good trout fodder. So, from nowhere, Loch Shiel has started producing big, normally proportioned brownies...



If anyone wants to argue that that last one is in any way 'artificial', they are welcome to.

Col
 

bobmiddlepoint

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However, there is a new kid on the block. These are the fish that are benefitting from the increase in biomass that an otherwise oligotrophic loch gains from all the spoil and crap from the smolt cages, which has led to a plague of sticklebacks - good trout fodder. So, from nowhere, Loch Shiel has started producing big, normally proportioned brownies...



If anyone wants to argue that that last one is in any way 'artificial', they are welcome to.

Col

It's a fine fish but it is artificial because without the smolt cages it wouldn't be there. Without the smolt cages (and associated cages for adult fish in the sea loch) there would not be a few big normally proportioned brownies, there would be thousands of big normally proportioned sea trout in loch Shiel.

Yes they are nice fish and I'd be happy catching them but it doesn't really make up for the loss of the sea trout.

Andy
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Without the smolt cages (and associated cages for adult fish in the sea loch) there would not be a few big normally proportioned brownies, there would be thousands of big normally proportioned sea trout in loch Shiel.

Yes they are nice fish and I'd be happy catching them but it doesn't really make up for the loss of the sea trout.

Andy

Not denying that in any way. It's a ridiculous irony that the sea cages and smolt cages have between them switched what was one of the premier seatrout lochs into a loch in which you can hunt for large brown trout (in lieu of seatrout). The fish itself is not 'artificial', though, insofar as it is totally wild - in fact it's not even been anywhere near the smolt cages. It's our f***ing with things that have created an artificial set of circumstances that have allowed it to make the most of its lot!
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I would assume that there's a significant amount of lice also associated with these cages. Is that the case?

With the sea cages, yes. The sea cages (salmon farms) mean that a higher proportion of brown trout that migrate to sea are killed by the burden of parasites emanating from the sea cages. Fewer returning seatrout shift the gene pool towards fish that don't migrate to sea. More fish staying at home would result in even more small brownies than ever... except... wait... what's this... the nutrient levels of the loch have been raised by all the freshwater smolt-rearing cages, and this has resulted in algal blooms, zooplankton blooms, and... sticklebacks blooms... just what brown trout need! Hence, the average size of the loch brown trout has increased, and has produced a few that have tuned-in to feeding on sticklebacks... and they can grow to double-figures. This one was 12 lb 1 oz...



Again - quite different from those 'cage fish', though.

Here's another - not a 'cage fish'...



And this one was caught more than 10 miles from the smolt cages...



Nothing 'artificial' about it. The artificiality is what we have done with the lochs, both freshwater and sea.

Col
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Not really going anywhere, cages et al aren't a natural occurrence unless our intervention produces them. Are we inadvertantly creating these "frankenstein" fish?

The giant farmed fish we create artificially on pellets might fit that bill. The fish that are totally wild, but key in on a novel food supply of our making - such as might be found underneath smolt cages - well - take them (or leave them) for what they are.

But if you can catch a wild 10 lb trout feeding on sticklebacks 10 miles from the nearest cage, then I reckon you have done well.

Col
 

taffy1

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Well within my comfort zone
The giant farmed fish we create artificially on pellets might fit that bill. The fish that are totally wild, but key in on a novel food supply of our making - such as might be found underneath smolt cages - well - take them (or leave them) for what they are.

But if you can catch a wild 10 lb trout feeding on sticklebacks 10 miles from the nearest cage, then I reckon you have done well.

Col


I understand that, my point being is do these so-called freshwater cages encourage the Argulus parasites where "wild" trout are benefiting from these intrutions.....how do you cast under a cage?
 

bobmiddlepoint

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I understand that, my point being is do these so-called freshwater cages encourage the Argulus parasites where "wild" trout are benefiting from these intrutions.....how do you cast under a cage?

I'm not sure why (possibly because there were never any argulus in the lochs) but freshwater lice don't appear to be an issue at all with smolt cages. I can only say this applies to the lochs I have known (mainly on Uist) but I can't recall anyone mentioning freshwater lice from any highland loch with or without cages.


Andy
 

3lbgrayling

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Who ate all the pies?

If memory serves, this rainbow was a 'cage fish', originally an escapee, that then lived under the cages on Loch Earn. Technically a 'grown-on' fish in the modern vernacular.



Here is a wild brown trout that has found what to do with the salmon smolt cages on Loch Shiel...



Nowhere as obese as the Earn rainbow, but a very different shape from a normal Shiel brownie...



However, there is a new kid on the block. These are the fish that are benefitting from the increase in biomass that an otherwise oligotrophic loch gains from all the spoil and crap from the smolt cages, which has led to a plague of sticklebacks - good trout fodder. So, from nowhere, Loch Shiel has started producing big, normally proportioned brownies...



If anyone wants to argue that that last one is in any way 'artificial', they are welcome to.

Col

From Memory.the loch Earn fish was refused record Status.and even got the rules changed about Wild and naturalised fish.

Jim
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I understand that, my point being is do these so-called freshwater cages encourage the Argulus parasites where "wild" trout are benefiting from these intrutions

I've never seen an argulus on any of those fish, or ever heard of argulus being an issue on these big highland lochs.

.....how do you cast under a cage?

We don't fish among the cages. We are not fishing for those 'cage fish'. At times we are fishing 10 miles or more from the cages. The 'cage fish' I posted a photo of was not caught by any of us.

The larger brownies in Shiel are taking advantage of the increase in stickleback numbers and the small fish are no doubt eating the plankton. In Arkaig and Lochy, it seems to be the char that take advantage and grow into 'cage fish'. The ferox were taking advantage of increased char numbers and bigger char for a while. There were quite a few ferox being caught on intermediate lines and size 10 wet flies on Arkaig and Lochy, for a few years. The 4 ferox I posted in #16 were all caught on traditional wet flies. However, I haven't heard of so many in the past 2 or 3 years. The cages quite often lie fallow for a couple of years at a time. This is bound to have an influence on the whole ecosystem of the loch in question as well.

Col
 
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pati

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Well Col, to me these are magnificent fishes full stop! They are just thriving in the environment that is theirs and that they do not control. I Don like the fat cows from under the cages but your fit fishes feeding on the extra food such as sticklebacks I d fish for everyday (especially if reasonably far from the cages - like at least a couple of miles so let alone 10 miles away!!!).

In many rivers in France we have the opposite issue: the use of aggressive chemicals for farming has killed natural life in and around rivers resulting in less and smaller fishes: are these less wild because without humans they would be bigger and there would be more of them?

The coveted brown trouts in NZ are all unnatural, but I d fish for them everyday if I Could afford to...
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Well Col, to me these are magnificent fishes full stop! They are just thriving in the environment that is theirs and that they do not control. I Don like the fat cows from under the cages but your fit fishes feeding on the extra food such as sticklebacks I d fish for everyday (especially if reasonably far from the cages - like at least a couple of miles so let alone 10 miles away!!!).

That's certainly how I look at it. When we are fishing those waters, the word 'artificial' does not enter our heads.

Loch Lochy - 10 miles long with an average depth of 230 ft...

It lies on The Caledonian Canal route, so you have to be prepared for the occasional 'craft' cutting up your drift... o_O



But you can see black-throated divers...



...and otters...



Loch Arkaig - 12 miles long and I've been the length of it in a day on a couple of occasions...



You need to be prepared to find it in many different moods...



(That's us making our way home and passing the cages in the background)



Loch Shiel - 17 miles long and stunning scenery....



Good luck finding one of those 10 lb brownies on it!



Col
 

pati

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That's certainly how I look at it. When we are fishing those waters, the word 'artificial' does not enter our heads.

Loch Lochy - 10 miles long with an average depth of 230 ft...

It lies on The Caledonian Canal route, so you have to be prepared for the occasional 'craft' cutting up your drift... o_O



But you can see black-throated divers...



...and otters...



Loch Arkaig - 12 miles long and I've been the length of it in a day on a couple of occasions...



You need to be prepared to find it in many different moods...



(That's us making our way home and passing the cages in the background)



Loch Shiel - 17 miles long and stunning scenery....



Good luck finding one of those 10 lb brownies on it!



Col

Just looks stunning ! I don’t know anything about lough fishing but those pictures certainly make me want to discover more about it! A shame I live so far away from it!
 
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