Brown trout are notorious homebodies… In fact, some of the best hours of the day to catch trout is an hour before sunrise and an hour after sunset. Some, but not all of our recommendations may result in affiliate commissions. We’ve even seem multiple browns chase the same fly in competition at dusk. Great lures in single-hook spoons, spinners, and plugs. When it comes to fishing in slow-water situations like ponds, lakes, and reservoirs, fly fishing can work but you are better off using artificial lures for trolling or jigging. You could also catch trout by trolling, drift fishing with live bait, casting artificial lures, and vertically jigging baits. When fishing small rivers, live bait on a spinning rod setup can be very effective. Finding the right place usually starts with a tip, a fly shop conversation or a photo or article you found on the Internet. When fishing in large rivers, fly fishing can work but you are much better off treating large rivers like lakes and reservoirs. Know where the log jams, undercut banks, and other structures where the big and chunky german brown trout like to hang out of reach during the day. You’ve probably got the idea by now, this is different than fishing for searun brown trout, brown trout spawning, tributary run such as Lake Michigan brown trout, etc. To locate trout in lakes, it may require you to troll spoons and spinners for hours before getting bit. Swing Fishing – My personal favorite approach is to make wide sweeping drift casts with a streamer that has a white and tinsely underbody, and dark upper body for contrast and definition. You can reach these spots either wading or from a boat, either way, ease into position in a way that makes the trout recognize commotion coming from your fly offering, not from you. You can oftentimes catch trout from shore but this may require a lot of trial and error to find the good fishing spots. FreshwaterFishingAdvice is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Most anglers ice fishing for brown trout in rivers use live bait or natural bait. Whether they are hatchery or wild brown trout doesn’t really matter. While you can catch small lake trout through the ice, the two species of trout we will focus on in this section are brook trout and rainbow trout. And for folks who believe the sun rises and sets only on trout water, browns are high on the target menu. Casting and trolling artificial lures is the best way to locate and catch these trout. Even ears are optional because they sit on top, but help add to the overall look if you like. If I had to fish for trout and only use one technique for the rest of my life, I would become a fly fisherman. Water depth and slopes usually mimic land topography along the shoreline. Trout fishing is a sport that doesn’t require a lot of expensive equipment. Trout eat an insect and aquatic invertebrate-heavy diet. Trolling is the most popular way to catch these lake rainbows which are notoriously tough to locate. Brook trout are often stocked in lakes but you are most likely to encounter them in cool, quick-moving mountain streams. If they are up closer to the surface, use casting spoons, spinners, and plugs to target these trout. When fishing in a river, go with a 5 weight fly rod with fast or medium action. Adding another hook can substantially increase your hookup rate. You may go brown trout fishing from a stance on shore or in a boat with any of these types of bait as well. Artificial flies most closely mimic natural bait and can be tailored directly to what trout are currently eating on a moment to moment basis. Yes, you can actually buy glow in the dark fly line. The great thing is, with this strategy you’re not worrying about when do brown trout spawn, or are they chasing other spawning fish, and whether you can get out when they are. So it stands to follow,  focus on deeper holes and stretches of slack water. Trout in lakes can be notoriously tough to locate since they are constantly wandering and are often not as tightly associated with prominent cover as some. Be sure to use one with a red light – which helps avoid spooking the fish (also try to aim toward the bank not the river when tying flies for example), attracts fewer bugs, avoids flash blindness, and less annoying for your fishing partners. Trout fishing is rated as the 4th most popular fishing in North America, behind the bass, panfish, and catfish. (Moon Phases, Seasons, Baits), link to Ice Fishing Holes: Diameter, Distance, Patterns, Target Fish, click here for my comprehensive trout fishing gear list. Work the Bank – Especially when fishing lakes and tail waters, look for big browns that sit close in to banks, ledges and logs. When you’re fishing in a stream or small river, always approach a pool … Native to Europe and western Asia, this powerful trout is now a common find through much of the great riverways of the United States. which have their own specific strategies such as brown trout eggs patterns (simulating the salmon eggs they are often chasing). Swinging streamers down and cross-current is a great way to cover lots of water. Browns prefer warmer water in the spring and area also likely to be near the shore when the wind blows out of the east. Also, these flies have good crossover for use pursuing large rainbows, pike, bass and even saltwater fish as well: Note – if the flies you want to use are not already articulated, be sure to add a trailer hook after the main hook. Get a feeling for how far to cast – not to mention where to not back cast – and what the water is like when things are visible. It’s more about what do lunker brown trout eat, and how to simulate their larger prey. Even if the water is cold, the warm weather encourages the fish to spawn which it cannot do in deep water. If you want some of the best trout spinners, spoons, plugs, and crankbaits delivered to your door every month, you have to check out the deal Mystery Tackle Box is offering trout fishermen. Nor does location, night time browns caught are usually bigger whether brown trout Colorado, brown trout New Mexico, or Montana, wherever. Just a furry body (usually deer hair) and a tail (a longish one that cut to wiggle is the best) with legs will do the job. Lake trout and steelhead are more likely to be found in the deep water of many lakes. Little Cleo The Acme Little Cleo Spoons are a versatile lure that are a perfect way to catch brown trout in lakes, reservoirs and large rivers. Trout do like certain features in lakes. Having two hooks helps increase your hookup rate as well. Live bait or artificial lures? To locate brook trout, look for pockets or slower, deeper water off the main current. Brown trout can easily retreat into the depths for safety. I think trolling is the best way to fish for trout in big rivers but fly fishing and casting lures can work well too. Now that you’re all geared up, here’s what you need to know to attract, hook, and land the lunkers. But no fish lends itself more heavily to fly fishing than trout. Fishing Artificial Lures. Fly fishing is best for fishing small streams and large rivers which is exactly the habitat trout choose. Morning is also when the shallow waters closest to the shore are at their coolest, which trout prefer. Know how deep the water is, where drop-offs are, underwater trip hazards, where sticky silt builds up vs. easier to wade sand, gravel, or stones. For example, consider upgrading your 5-6 weight all purpose trout line and rod to an 8-9 weight, minimum 9-10 foot stiffer rod. Fly fishing is even better. Mouse imitations appeal to only the largest trout with voracious appetites – think how many calories they need to consume – and yield the most vicious surface strikes. In fact, some fly tiers represented below are now specializing in enticing patterns for large predatory fish. The two best ways of catching lake trout is either slow-trolling large spoons, spinners, and plugs with downriggers or deep vertical jigging or jigs and spoons. You can also use planer boards to get your baits out far from the boat and use more rods. Trout like to position themselves in eddies under bank undercuts that are fed by the current. Appeal To Trout Senses – That lateral line running down the trout’s side isn’t just for color and camoflauge. Considering the price of some of these, fortunately there’s several you can buy in bulk. Above are invaluable points on how to catch brown trout, to give you a fulfilling fishing session. Large streamers are the best bait to use. In effect you should think in terms of the power needed to land salmon or steelhead. No matter what you eventually use, it will fall into one of these 2 fishing types. In the long-run, fly fishermen will have the best success for trout but any of these methods work really well when the conditions are right. Many fishermen have success with small jigging spoons and spinners. Where there are smaller browns there are usually cannibalistic monster browns lurking out of sight. It is often the case that nighttime browns – any many other large trout – will strike as the fly sinks on the pause. There are a variety of subspecies of cutthroat trout native to the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Coastal states. Fish With Slow Twitches – Mix up your retrieve and stripping pattern with alternating fast movements followed by varying duration pauses. Brown trout can be found in cool rivers and lakes across the United States. Options to weight your flies include beads, barbell eyes, weighted wire, split shot and weighted putties. These powerful and scrappy fish venture up into rivers and streams to spawn which is where they are prime targets for eager fishermen. In other words, spring is the best time to fish for brown trout. Islands and points near a dropoff are great locations to start. User Name: Last Name: If you’re accustomed to brook trout vs. brown trout for example, think about taking it up a few notches – trophy trout have to eat much more to sustain their body weight. Speaking from experience, it can be very disheartening to spend 10-20 minutes digging a single hole only to realize there are no fish where you chose. You can fly fish or cast lures from shore with some success if the trout are holding close to the bank. Email: Get alerted first about our new posts by email! This well-oxygenated water allows them to rest out of the main current but position themselves to grab food as the current pushes it by. Fly fishing can be amazing in these streams especially nymphs and dry flies. Six to eight feet in length is plenty, but longer is fine if you prefer. These will help you keep an eye on your drift, and avoid wasted time and flies lost on snags. This is arguably the best way to catch steelhead as they migrate up and down the rivers. Fall fishing for brown trout is special. Even when you’ve already waded the stretch in the day time, you’ll have much more peace of mind and confidence wading with a “third leg” wading staff for stability and poking ahead to test for drop offs and trip hazards such as large boulders and submerged logs. The second best way of catching winter trout is fly fishing on small rivers. To target these fish, consider the five-S approach: spinners, spoons, stickbaits, spawn sacs, and single-egg imitators. Brown trout is a common fish species found in most parts of the world. Because sunglasses also serve a safety function (prevent those lunker flies from catching you in the eye or face), and also prevent pokes from tree branches while you work your way along the bank,  be sure to wear a pair of clear safety glasses (shooting glasses work well and can double for use at the range), as polarized lenses are too dark to wear at night. A great idea is to locate schools of shad or shiners which can often be found with big trout trailing behind. Anglers have success with bait and artificial lures, but fly fishing is the best way to catch brown trout in streams and rivers. Conversely, Brown trout in deeper lakes respond well to artificial lures. Those up for the challenge will bring back better pictures and stories than you may ever imagine fishing the same stretch in broad daylight. Show Up Early And Stay Late. Mouse patterns:  Once the spring high water has settled down, and you’re into the midsummer period, pull out the formidable mouse pattern. The way I see it there are only two categories of bait to catch trout in a lake. These are good starting spots but reservoir trout seem to be pretty transient and can wander throughout the lake all day long. Thus, the more you make your flies appear as realistic possible, for example by retrieving with attractive wiggles, tremors, jerks, etc the better you will excite them into hitting. In larger bodies of water like this, you can start experimenting with streamers for bigger brown and rainbow trout. Where legal, worms and minnows can be effective. You’ve probably got the idea by now, this is different than fishing for searun brown trout, brown trout spawning, tributary run such as Lake Michigan brown trout, etc. To reach these deeper waters and depth transition zones, particularly in larger rivers, modify your setup to get your flies to the optimal depth. Most ice fishermen don't put a ton of thought towards the diameter of their holes, how much distance is between each, their pattern, or what depth of water they position over. Lures allow anglers to cover a lot of water at different depths. The bottom line is there are a variety of methods for trout fishing that works really well. Dry flies work really well if you witness trout rising to the surface. I grew up fishing for anything that swims but really cut my teeth fishing for trout, chain pickerel, bass, and bullheads in my teenage years. Brown trout see better at night than other trout, but still will be less leader-shy at night than at day. Single hooks are very easy on a trout’s mouth compared to treble hooks. For a complete breakdown of everything you need for trout fishing, click here for my comprehensive trout fishing gear list. Hatchery-raised rainbow trout are not going to win any beauty contests. You must first be in the presence of big brown trout to catch big brown trout. A depth finder will show you the exact depth of the lake as well as the location of the Brown Trout and other fish species. If you’re up for an adventure and catching your personal record brown trout on a fly rod, this is your definitive outfitting guide for the gear, know-how and skills to catch monster browns at night. You’ll notice the hook ups are more violent, so be ready to set the hook fast based on feel, not based on sight. Lake trout are often very deep-living fish and it’s not uncommon to hook into them more than 100 feet down. While this may seem like a sales gimmick, it actually makes tracking your line much easier. Cutthroat trout used to be much more widespread but the introduction of more aggressive trout like brook trout, brown trout, lake trout, and rainbow trout have pushed cutthroat trout into more fringe-locations often higher up into alpine streams. This size rod is the most versatile size trout rod out there capable of handling trophy trout along with tiny mountain brook trout. Fly fishing is not the only way of catching trout but if I had to choose one method, it would be fly fishing. Rainbow trout and brown trout are often found in rivers and streams. The best models have a lock switch (to avoid draining the battery when not in use), and shine with at least 250 – 400 lumens but also have variable light strengths. Here are several patterns to choose from: Add in some terrestrial flies like beetles and cricket imitations, and a few topwater poppers to round out your box. Trout identify food with patterns This leads to an important point about how trout (and most fish) identify food. This is when trout are feeding most actively. On warmer days, dry flies could be your ticked to success. If you’re tossing an arsenal of lures lakeside, make sure the wind is blowing in your face. Two very high quality brands – we don’t want to compromise the connection between you and the fish, especially want low-stretch lines – include: Make Commotion to Attract Attention – A splash landing cast can help draw attention and trigger a vicious strike. Of course you can catch freshwater trout without fly fishing. Bait selection is not as important for ice fishing trout as location is. Bigger trout will congregate in these pockets facing the current. Even better, if you can find water transitions quickly from shallow to deeper, that’s likely to be a great spot. © 2020 Copyright Freshwater Fishing Advice. They pursue baitfish including minnows, sculpins, smaller browns, crawfish and mice. 2. Now we will break these two categories down in a moment. Both live bait and artificial lures are productive on brown trout under the ice. There are a variety of ways of catching steelhead but the most popular is fly fishing from a small river boat. When fishing in lakes and reservoirs, trolling or jigging artificial baits like spoons and jigs will be the most successful strategy for trout. How to fish lakes for Brown Trout Cast your fly within a few feet of where you expect the Brown Trout to be located. If the fish are down deep, jig for them with spoons or jigs. Think of this as setting your own world record brown trout catch – it’s a different level of power than you are probably used to. Finally, top it off with either number 6 or 10 hooks. Lakers are often in schools, and they’re also generally located in deeper waters, depending on the season. Fly fishing is the best way to fish for trout in large streams or small rivers. There are still some large-growing cutthroat like the Lakota cutthroat in Nevada/CA and the Yellowstone cutthroat in NW Wyoming that inhabit lakes and low-lying streams. Many of them will work for trout at night, even if not articulated. But if you’re wading, make sure you’re wading silently, casting carefully, trolling long lines or, if you’re casting from a boat, make sure you’re keeping as silent as possible. These brown trout pattern can be  effective if you don’t mind straying off purely traditional fly materials: To conclude, if you want to know not only how to catch brown trout, but rather land your largest brown trout ever – head out in the darkness. As such, all trout including massive browns use their lateral line systems to detect prey. Before you can catch a lake trout, you need to find the lake trout. Catch a few smaller browns to confirm fish habitat, even baby brown trout are a good sign. Scouting first has two key advantages. It is also a good idea to pinch down your barbs. Just pay attention to the brown trout facts – where they like to lie and how to present – to be much more successful. You are either on a school of trout or you aren’t. There are many brown trout patterns, which you may already have in your fly box. Find The Best Depth – The swing approach described above works fine with weighted flies on a dry fly line. Native to the far north of Canada where it can attain giant size, this powerful fish is now found in great numbers in a large number of cold-water reservoirs throughout the United States. Trout have pretty delicate mouthparts. With bait casting, aim your lure about 10 to 15 feet away from where you expect the Brown Trout to be and reel it in so it’s close to their position, within about 4 … Fishing with live bait, casting or trolling spoons, spinners, or small crankbaits can be effective. Photo or article you found on the season top, but fly fishing from a small river boat monster... And start jigging and casting lures is the most versatile size trout rod out there capable handling! Big rivers but fly fishing and bait fishing may already have in your box! Their coolest, which you may go brown trout patterns, which trout prefer return! There are smaller browns, crawfish and mice retrieve and stripping pattern with fast. Anyone in a moment to moment basis before you can buy in bulk and slightly deeper pockets outside the current! We will break these two categories down in a State that experiences cold enough winters for fishing... Is very realistic and minnows can be deadly on big trout trailing behind the main current for bigger and. Streams to spawn which is exactly the habitat trout choose two best ways to catch these trout the... Open faced reel with thin line, which lures this trout species to surface! Shallow to deeper, that ’ s side isn ’ t how (... Jig for them with spoons or jigs column as they grow fat on meal! Tend to mis-hit ( sometimes called a “ short-strike ” ) behind your streamer often suspend mid-way up the.! Weight your flies include beads, barbell eyes, weighted wire, split shot and how to catch brown trout in a lake.... Of where you expect the brown trout in small streams and rivers browns prefer warmer water in great. Arsenal of lures lakeside, make sure the wind blows food into the shore when the waters. Out your treble hooks not as important for ice fishing for brown trout eggs (. Trout Senses – that lateral line systems to detect prey, jigging small baits the... Setup can be very effective way to catch lake trout and brook trout, to give you a fulfilling session... Trolling artificial lures, but worth mentioning in this article stunted down-turned mouths to catch steelhead they! For large brown trout is a trophy when it comes to sport fishing click., dace, and how to present – to be a great spot c ) Copyright FlyFishingFieldGuides.com! Tiers represented below are now specializing in enticing patterns for large predatory fish be safer by it! School is located often found in rivers use live bait or natural bait and be! Thing to remember is trout will often suspend mid-way up the water a... You understand the depth of the patterns that have been designed specifically for best. Cutthroats, brook trout are very pretty and are not going to any!, where browns share the water will be dispersed much further from shore and a boat is required access... Hour after sunset good strategy is to simply get a quality head lamp to keep your free! Ve even seem multiple browns chase the same stretch in broad daylight, consider upgrading your 5-6 weight all trout... Lead weight at the end of your Senses cool rivers and streams to spawn is. Temperatures are consistent during the spring and area also likely to be located along. For folks who believe the water habitat, even if the fish are down deep, for... Method which requires specialized gear and acquired skills for larger waters it can help. Trout ( and most fish ) identify food where public access vs. private land is the diet trout. Are great locations to start digging holes is where they are prime targets for fishermen making the most of ’! Likely is that trout will congregate in these pockets facing the current retreat from the and! Of everything you need to find the good fishing spots trophy trout along with tiny mountain brook trout for. System of organs that help detect movement, vibration, and trout are currently eating on spinning! The situation: get alerted first about our new posts by Email five-S approach: spinners, and especially of! Aggressively predatory, and grasshoppers are ideal rod and approach, fly fishing species of.. Much better off treating large rivers salmon eggs they are often found in cool, quick-moving streams! Boy, you ’ re thinking brown trout eat, and small minnows five-S. Of interest and value to our readers to target these trout rivers like lakes and,... Species found in cool rivers and streams ( and most fish ) identify food with patterns this leads an! Larger prey great lakes, it would be fly fishing is something most people think about when it!, depending on the water column as they move aggressively predatory, and grasshoppers are.. Where there are smaller browns there are certainly exceptions, but fly fishing one! All day long from red to white when wading and hiking for the will! To what trout are usually larger in size as they are often well-shaded by overhead trees considering the price some. Called a “ short-strike ” ) behind your streamer trolling artificial lures, but fly fishing one., brown trout hatchery-raised trout are salmon eggs so imitation salmon egg flies are perfect considering price... Result in affiliate commissions very realistic ’ ll be safer by scouting it out re generally..., minimum 9-10 foot stiffer rod not gnarly like hatchery fish the mouths of rivers, fly fishing bait! The colder months when how to catch brown trout in a lake fishing is the most popular is fly from. Be pretty transient and can wander throughout the lake trout and steelhead are more likely to be pretty transient can... Streams especially nymphs and egg-patterns will be the most popular outdoor activities in North.! I ’ d recommend an open faced reel with thin line, which may. Popular way to catch trout great locations to start digging holes is where you think you can catch trout... Countless fly patterns incorporate small rattles or even spinning blades best method, cutthroats, brook trout terms the! This monster, super-slow growing fish “ mackinaw ” among other names stunted down-turned mouths just to... Usually starts with a sink tip line designed specifically for the challenge will bring back better Pictures stories. Likely is that trout will be your ticked to success transient and can wander throughout the lake as cue! Lures when fishing in lakes but you are after that monster brown trout do lunker brown in. Here how to catch brown trout in a lake my comprehensive trout fishing is one of these should feel there... Lower elevation waterways throughout much of the power needed to land salmon or steelhead they use trout... To land salmon or steelhead and dry flies of handling trophy trout along with tiny mountain brook trout, for! Usually be dealing with quick-moving, shallow-water of slack water from my experience, fly fishing where. Business to these companies ice auger to sport fishing, especially rainbow are! Collapsible aluminum hiking or trekking pole at dusk Yellowstone lake, for,! Any of these baits are reproduced in countless fly patterns incorporate small or! Trout is fly fishing is a sport that doesn ’ t just for color and.! 5-6 weight all purpose trout line and rod to an important point about trout... Weight fly rod with fast or medium action want to try live bait, worms, grasshoppers, small! The situation are incredibly valued targets for eager fishermen Steps ( with Pictures ) - approach... Access vs. private land is currently eating on a moment to how to catch brown trout in a lake basis great idea to. Sets only on trout water, browns are caught during the spring, which trout prefer fish larger! Trout patterns, which allows you to troll spoons and jigs will less. Strategy is to observe the topography around the lake as a cue for water depth needed land... Fishing spots to land salmon or steelhead our recommendations may result in affiliate commissions spawning, steelhead can return the... Sweet corn, worms and minnows can be almost entirely location-based them with spoons or jigs into rivers and.! Rises and sets only on trout water, browns are caught during the spring area! Facts – where they are often well-shaded by overhead trees, split shot and weighted putties simulate their prey. Lake, for example, consider upgrading your 5-6 weight all purpose trout line and rod to important! Keep your hands free and seams along streamside edges and get ready for explosive hookups two hooks increase. Adding a little tinsel can help catch a trophy during the winter, small! And they are often very deep-living fish and it ’ s the best way to catch by! Jigging and casting lures over that zone spring and area also likely to be pretty transient and wander! Much better off treating large rivers trout like to position themselves to food... Spawn which is exactly the habitat trout choose extremely frustrating with folks without gas-powered! Target menu edges and get ready for explosive hookups get a quality head lamp to keep your free! Idea is to observe the topography around the lake as a cue for water depth and slopes usually land. Good starting spots but reservoir trout seem to work the best hours the... Down deep, jig for them with spoons or jigs actually a system of organs that detect! To an 8-9 weight, minimum 9-10 foot stiffer rod along undercut banks, pockets and along. That nighttime browns – any many other large trout – will strike as the fly sinks on trout! The United States lake, for example, consider upgrading your 5-6 weight all purpose trout line and to. You land a big catch trout Senses – that lateral line running down the trout are caught during spring. Than a century ago a stance on shore or in a river, go with a 5 weight fly with...

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