Monday, May 9, 2016

A Huge Brown on a Streamer


I spend a lot of time on the river each year looking for big trout. If one fish had been omitted from today's catch you would be looking at photos of small brook and brown trout, a very typical 20+ fish day on this stream. But the photos I have here are only of one fish, because not only did that fish over shadow all the others but it was probably pretty close to the total weight of all those others.

I've been getting a bit outside my normal niche in the fly spectrum. I caught and hooked a few really good rainbows on nymphs early in the year, and I began to think that nymhing may be the way to get the big stocked and holdover trout, if not fishing small streamers. For a while now I have shifted away from big streamers, and though I was catching fish I still wasn't catching big fish. Today I did some dry fly fishing and a lot of nymphing, and I was catching plenty of fish. I was perfectly happy with those fish even though none were noteworthy. But eventually I wanted to feel my fly at the end of my line, to manipulate it and make it come alive. I tied on a big cone head muddler. I made no more than three casts...

I put the fly upstream into a deep trough at the end of a big pool that I have caught some big trout out of before. I stripped it back to me and I watched a behemoth of a brown trout come down and trash it. I knew right away what I had, as did the two gentleman fishing upstream from me. That fish did what big browns do, bull dogged me slowly up the pool. I tried to keep myself downstream from it because I really didn't want it to go down the riffle. That's exactly what it did. I chased it down the run, got it into a slick where I thought I would be able to control it. My line wrapped around it's adipose fin and that gave it enough leverage to turn downstream, and the race was on. A long ways downstream I tailed him, a kype jawed buck, the biggest brown I have ever caught. One of the guys from upstream came down and took some photos and congratulated me. I was shaking like a leaf. I was very happy when the fish kicked off strongly. Hopefully he will make a few more fisherman just as happy.




16 comments:

  1. Oink, oink! I had a breeder crush a streamer last April and almost pull me off a rock. Fun fish for sure. Congrats on a nice one!

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    1. Thanks.
      I'd so much rather catch wild ones, but you take what you can get....

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks,
      it was a pretty fun fight.

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  3. WOW, that's a beautiful brown!!! Wish we had video of the catch. You won't forget that for a while. Way-to-go Rowan!!!
    Tie, fish, write and photo on...

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    Replies
    1. Everybody wants to see videos, but I like having some of the details and moments all to myself.

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  4. Replies
    1. Thanks,
      Hefty and strong for sure.

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  5. All I can say is HOLY COW! What a trout! I would be shaking like a leaf too if I latched on to that rascal. The only person I would be happier for than you is me if I landed a trout like that. Well done, RM. I am convinced to throw bigger flies now.

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    Replies
    1. Big flies work for big fish, but don't expect to start catching fish like this right away!

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  6. I hope others either don't catch that fish again, or let it go same as you did, same as I would. I can't get over how big that brown trout is. Connecticut is doing something very well in your streams there.

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    1. This fish is the product of pellet feed and easy life in a hatchery. This river simply cannot support fish this size for long in it's current state, and honestly the current management methods are not at all successful. This river could have wild fish if the right management techniques were used.

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    2. I caught some nice brook trout on a deer hair caddis tonight, and I noticed most times a big trout would follow them in to fairly close to the net most every time. That big brown would not take the caddis though.

      Tied on a large streamer to imitate the brook trout, and that trout would not take until I gave up on the fly and reeled it in. He hit it very hard, but for some reason I did not hook it up. Barbless hook maybe? At any rate, I found it interesting that every time I hooked up a brook trout, that brown followed it in most of the way.

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    3. When a fish is hooked it gets stressed and releases pheromones, and often times these attract big predatory fish.
      As far a setting the hook, barbs on big streamers are a must but only because the gape is so wide, it generally has no effect on the hook set. Set harder, and instead of lifting the rod give a long hard strip. Keep in mind you need heavy tippet for this, I use 1x.

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