It's that time of year when several trout species including browns and brook trout get that feeling and go looking for love. This can be both good and bad for us as anglers. Here are a couple of things to think about when the fish get frisky.
Don't fish to visibly spawning fish and don't walk on spawning beds. This is slightly controversial and opinions differ a little but I just feel better about letting the fish do their business. Most healthy populations of fish will produce far more young than the system can support into adulthood and so losing some in the egg or fry stages may not be too detrimental, however, where populations may be struggling every possible fry that can hatch and have a chance is a good thing. Disturbing spawners or destroying eggs by walking on beds just doesn't make sense.
Do fish to other non-spawning species that may be feeding on eggs or fry. I like to fish for rainbows that follow spawning browns or salmon and feed on their eggs. This is a great chance to catch some seriously fat and sassy egg-fed bows. It is best to sight fish to these fish with egg patterns to ensure that you aren't targeting the spawning fish.
By leaving amorous fish alone and targeting only the non-spawners you will have the chance to still get out on the water, catch some great fish, and protect your favorite streams and their fish populations.