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Why Overstocking is Bad for Fishing

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I’m a strong believer that if you wait for that mythical perfect time to fish, you’ll never go out fishing.

It’s a daily part of my day to check the counts, but a down count doesn’t mean that I’m not going to go out. A bad count could mean any number of things. Maybe the conditions weren’t right, maybe the bait was bad, or maybe the captain took a chance that didn’t payoff.

I recently came across an article by Kirk Deeter in Field & Stream. Deeter seems to have a similar point of view as mine. He has about as much regard for the anglers at stocked lakes as I do about count chasers. In his article, Kirk shines a light on the fake fishing of overstocked lakes.

faketrout2_sarlAfter sitting in traffic on a freeway in Los Angeles the other day, I decided that LA freeways are similar to over-stocked trout rivers. Put too many fish in a river and everything gets plugged up, and everyone starts acting weird.

Yet I am amazed by the number of anglers who think that stocking trout is the key to “good fishing.”

I get it all the time. “Hey, have you ever heard of XYZ place near Denver, the fishing is just tremendous there.” Yeah, I’ve heard of it. And no, the fishing is not tremendous.

The fishing is really all about mutant triploid fish, planted in such great concentration that by simply dragging flies through a run, you are bound to eventually snag one in the face. There are a lot of places like that these days. Places where people go to pretend to be good anglers. And people will pay through the nose to do so. But those places have nothing to do with actually being a good angler.

Photos: FishingLakes.com

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