Why are German Browns so hard to catch?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by pwoens, Aug 16, 2002.

  1. Ok I have a question I should have asked a long time ago. I have been fishing a local river and I have these browns that enjoy driving me crazy. They seem to stay in the same general area and really love to jump around and taunt me while fishing. Is there some secret to catching them. I have thrown everything in both my boxes at them and only one take on a stimulator. These browns appear to be fairly generaous in their size and if they fight like the locals they would be extremely rewarding to catch. Any ideas?
  2. The ol' brownie is a crafty one. Here are a few thoughts on the matter:

    The brown is the most light-averse of the trout/char species typically targeted by fly anglers. They (especially the larger specimens)do most of their feeding at night or in the low-light periods of pre-dawn and dusk.

    Browns also prefer the slowest, deepest, darkest holes and the thorniest (casting wise) lies in the river. They usually hunker down by woody in-stream structure and beneath overhanging branches/vegetation. They are also notorious for tucking themselves away deep into undercut banks.

    They are also probably the most piscivorous of the bunch. That means that once they reach about 14 inches or so, browns typically switch their diet to small baitfish/baby trout. Crayfish, frogs and mice are also rumored to turn up in the stomach contents of larger browns.

    All this is not to say that good browns can't be caught on top with standard dries. You will, however, probably have to wait for a good hatch to bring them up. Merrell Lake in SW Washington, for example, has a consistent Hexagenia (one of the largest species of mayflies) hatch that keeps the resident browns fed nearly all summer long.

    In your local river, you might try a muddler minnow or woolly bugger during the onset of a rainstorm, when the water level is rising. In this situation, trout tend to go on the prowl for baitfish that have become disoriented by the clouding water.

    Hope that helps,
    Good luck and let us know how you do.

  3. Take me to the place & I'll show you.....

    I would follow WW's advise. I have hit them on large WB's, 6 / 8, fished deep on a sink tip, in Spokane.
  4. Is there any moving water near Seattle with browns? Coming from the east coast, I don't find cutthroats frustrating enough. I need browns to make me feel at home and restore my normal brooding.
  5. Washington / moving water / frustrating...

    Go steelheading. :COOK
  6. Isn't that the truth! Steelies are the same way in Michigan! I look at steelheading the same way I do when I go to play golf- I never know how I'm going to do!
  7. hi

    I fished wild browns exclusively just about every day during the season for 8 years in the Adirondack Mountains.
    If i needed to catch fish i bounced a #6 stonelfly off the bottom from spring to fall. For fun i used a dry Ausable Wulff, Light Cahill, Grey Fox Variant, Royal Wulff or Haystack.

    I've a tendency to get sloppier than i should with my cast, yet i've caught the odd Atlantic salmon, steelhead, rainbow, speckle, cutt, dolly, Arctic Char, coho, chinook and pink on a poor cast. Two days ago a fisherman in a float tube with a dodgy cast, who'd started fly fishing a week earlier, caught 19 coho in one day.

    Now i'm not suggesting that presentation is not critiacl for coho or any of these fish - far from it. But i don't ever recall getting any big wild brown on a poorly presented fly.


  8. Cowichan River on Vancouver Island. There are browns as well as good-sized rainbows, salmon and steelhead.

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