PODCAST: Trout Fishing and the Spawn — S9, Ep2

by | Oct 22, 2023 | 7 comments

 The Troutbitten Podcast is available everywhere that you listen to your podcasts.

** Note **  The Podcast Player, along with links to your favorite players is below.

This conversation is about spawning trout. Specifically, we tackle the ethics of fishing during the spawn, whether it’s right or wrong to fish for trout that are actively in the process of making the next generation of trout.

Moreover, where do these ideas of what’s ethical or not come from, and why are the expectations confusing for a lot of anglers?

Is it okay to be on the water while trout are spawning, or should we simply stay away during the spawning season and let trout do their thing?

We branch out into different trout species, and we highlight how different regions, different rivers and different setups might require a different approach.

This topic can get a little contentious. Anglers have strong opinions about this, one way or another, and for many people there’s not much middle ground.

We’ve covered this topic before, in a couple Q&A sessions in different podcast seasons. But this topic deserves its own podcast, and it’s been on our list for a long while.

Trust me when I say that none of us are here to tell you how to fish or when to fish. But this topic is one that each of us has given a lot of thought to over the years. We’ve also seen anglers have a change of heart, and we’ve been around to witness some heated disagreements about this topic too.

READ: Troutbitten | Are We Taking the Safety of Trout Too Far
READ: Troutbitten | Redd Fish — Should We Fish Through the Spawn or Stay Home?
READ: Troutbitten | Fish Hard

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Season Nine of the Troutbitten Podcast continues next week with episode three. So look for it in your Troutbitten podcast feed.

Fish hard, friends.


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Enjoy the day.
Domenick Swentosky


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Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

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  1. NYS regulation changes as Bill pointed out changed a few years ago to allow fishing for trout all year on most waters with C&R during fall and winter. When they changed the rules they sighted scientific evidence that showed fishing through the spawn not as negative as once thought. My local stream when those regulations changed moved to no stocking also. That stream gets a lot of pressure all year now. So far I have not noticed any negative impact and I catch a lot of small fish . Anyhow I am no scientist but that is what NYS said.

  2. A very interesting podcast. Thanks.

    Here is Southern Ontario the government has addressed the issue by closing the season on September 3oth and not opening it until close to the end of April. So no one is fishing to spawning fish or tromping on redds. I used to think this was overkill. But now I see the resource being abused almost every day, so I think that maybe it’s a good idea. It may just be me but it seems that there are a lot of anglers in this area that have zero ethics, zero morals and zero manners.

    There are some lower sections of select rivers that are open all year so people can get their fix fishing for migratory rainbows and salmon.

    • Another great podcast thank you.
      Related question; Dom will a stocked trout, take to an egg pattern as readily as a wild trout will in the fall or winter?

      Here in south western Pennsylvania. Most streams are stocked trout only. As far as I know, very few wild trout. Since spawning is not prevalent here as a result, no reds or eggs, floating around will stocked trout go for eggs like a wild one will?

      • Good question. In my experience, stocked trout eats eggs pretty well, regardless of the time of year. And they will surely respond better when eggs are in the system. But if you have a river with no spawning trout and no eggs, then no, I wouldn’t expect it to be as good as if eggs are present.

        However . . . don’t forget that many stocked trout try to spawn as well. They will go through the process, dropping eggs that may not take.


  3. Thanks for this podcast. It was refreshing to hear a reasoned discussion on fishing during the spawn vs. some of what’s out on social media. Your point about not knowing the location of the redds after the spawn was right on point. Thanks for an excellent show – and thanks for all your other shows as well.

  4. Super fascinating podcast. Out here in Washington State, I’ve never really had to think about fishing during trout spawning. Most streams/rivers are only open from the Saturday before Memorial Day until October 31st.

    From what you guys were describing in the podcast, PA’s regs are basically no regs at all compared to Washington.

    The WA Regs for 2024: https://www.eregulations.com/assets/docs/resources/WA/23WAFW_LR12.pdf


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Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

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