Patience with Brown Trout
Brown trout can be very tricky fish to catch. Sometimes it takes a lot of patience and timing to fool a trophy fish.
The fish pictured above was truly a smart fish and it took everything we could do to get it to eat our flies. One of our clients was adamant about catching a brown so we took him to one of our lakes that we knew he had his best shot at one.
As we approached the lake we observed to see what kind of bug activity was going on before we decided on what fly to use. After ten or fifteen minutes we didn’t see much going on so we decided to start out with a dry dropper. The lake was calm and we didn’t want to disturb the water with a big indicator. A large parachute adams was our choice along with a chironomid dropper. We like the big dries because it will hold up a heavy dropper without any problem.
Our next step was to watch for fish cruising the shoreline. We walked slowly up and down the dam and around the edges of the lake to see what was out there. After a few minutes we spotted a nice brown just lazily working about a foot off the bank. We shortened up the dropper and began making casts about 10 ahead of the fish. As he approached he moved a little faster towards our fly but as he got within inches he refused it. We tried again with the same result.
Next step, change flies. We switched out the chironomid with a smaller sized Pheasant Tail. We waited and waited until this fish came back around. A few minutes went by and we saw him coming from the opposite direction. We got into place and made another cast in front of him. He approached the fly a little faster this time and we thought for sure this was going to be it. Nope. He refused it again. This was a smart fish and we knew it was going to be tough.
We switched up our flies quite a few more times with refusal after refusal. It was getting to that point where we either give up or keep at it until we find what was going to work. Our client was determined to stick it out and try to get this fish to take a fly.
We finally decided the smaller the better. We tied on a size 20 natural hares ear. We had to decrease the tippet size which is always a little worrisome with larger fish but we had to do it. We waited for this fish to come around again. As soon as we saw it we made a cast. This time it was a few feet out from the bank. As the fish approached he accelerated and in anticipation the client moved the rod a bit because of the excitement. We thought for sure he was going to refuse it because the fly moved. Quite the opposite happened. This fish ate this nymph so aggressively it was as though we were fishing a streamer and it didn’t want it to get away. The hook was set and the fight was on. After several runs the fish began to get tired. We landed it, got a few pics and released it back into the lake.
We learned a few things on this fish.
1- Patience is what helped us catch this fish. A lot of anglers would have given up and moved on to other fish after a few refusals.
2- Switching out flies to give the fish something new to see kept the fish interested in what we offered.
3- It doesn’t hurt to give the fly a little movement
We hope this experience we had gives you some ideas on how to fish for those picky trout.