Brown Trout Summer and Fall Rains
Brown trout and big brown trout seem to disappear on many trout stream especially after the spring
onslaught and most of the fly fishing methods, and techniques fly anglers use don't seem to work very well.
I've stated this before that even on marginal trout streams that are stocked with browns some usually remain.
The fish are just an amazing species. The problem is that once brown trout reach around 12 inches on most
waters especially hard fished streams the trout tend to feed mainly at night. Not only do they feed at night but
some of them grow to rather large sizes and no one ever catches them. On many freestone streams brown trout
will feed once every few days when the water temps are perfect for the environmental conditons that these fish have
adapted to in their stream. This is a tough way to find these fish especially if you don't have a lot of
time. But there is one other method that will almost guarantee if there are large browns in the stream you
may catch them.
When it RAINS? Yes, it's that simple. If you know of a stream that is stocked with browns or
has wild browns in it wait til it rains and head to the stream! If you get a
colder rain which occassionally occurs in the summer....run do not walk to the stream. I know one fly
angler whose will remain anonomoyous that actually keeps a portfolio of all the big trout he catches on my
private water and he gets most of them when the stream gets a bit cloudy. If you would see these photos
you would lose it.
This type of fishing is rather simple and doesn't take a lot of flies usually but it takes the
right type of fly and the right rig. First of all this is big fly time. This is not the time for small
stuff. Trout have good vision even in cloudy water but their range is less than in clear water. You
want patterns and flies that are large and usually have some action. Furthermore, you want a rod that can handle a
large fly sometimes with weight and a heavy leader. Rod of 8.6 to 9.6 feet with at least a 5 weight
with leaders taperd to 3x.
In most instances I am using streamers and flies that are in that catergory. I also want
large streamers. We are talking about sizes 4-8 and even larger on bigger waters. Now it helps if you know
the general area where the fish might be but if you don' that's okay because you can still catch fish you'll just
have to cover more water. Brown trout especially big browns tend to move slightly downstream when water gets
cloudy. In other words, look for these big fish below where you think they would normally be.
Brown trout however do not usually rise in the water column to feed like brook trout but tend
to go deeper in cloudy water.
As I said you want big streamers and sometimes you need weight to get these flies down. Any
streamer will do but my favorite patterns for this type of fishing are 1) Leech patterns 2) Wooly Buggers and 3)
Maribous. You want these in variety of colors from light to dark. You want to fish these patterns in three
different ways. As most of you know I prefer to fish streamers upstream when possible because you increase
your percentage of hooking fish dramatically. However, in this type of water sometimes even the biggest
browns will lose all caution and really attack a streamer. The across cast and swing downstream with a
broadside look as advanced by Joe Brooks years ago will often be the best method to use. Make
sure you have your line taut when retrieving the fly...not too much slack. Let the fly get down a bit and use
a combination of slow and fast jerks...rod tip pointed down.
You can also try high sticking the big fly right on the bottom like nymph. This method works
when the browns may not want to move. Remember that much of the action will depend upon the stream conditions
and when you get there in response to them. If you get there late rather than right after the stream has
clouded up conditions may dictate a deeper fly and a slower drift. This is one of the best methods I know of
finding and taking big browns from any freestone stream. It works and many have the mounts on the walls or the
photographs of large brown trout to prove it!
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©2012 E. Macri