|Hooking a trophy brown trout this fall has a lot do do with timing.|
Fall provides great opportunities to catch trophy brown trout. Fall spawning runs from these elusive fish give dedicated fly anglers a special chance to hook up with giants if they pay attention to water level and location.
Fish the Rivers After It Rains
Timing has everything to do with hooking into a trophy brown trout. The fall weather is bound to produce rainy days and high water conditions. These conditions are key to bringing the browns into the rivers from the big lake (Lake Superior) and putting these fish in areas that fly anglers can target. In Northern Wisconsin the large lake run browns start returning to the rivers in early September (pending water levels) and remain until the close of the fishing season. Anglers should watch the weather and fish after every good rainfall as new fish will have entered the river system. If you are chasing trophy browns, then you are going to have to move around a bit until you find where the fish are staging. Normally after a good rain, we start fishing low sections on the river (close to the river mouth) and working our way upstream until we locate fish. Once we find a few fish, we keeping fishing these areas and moving upstream as the fish run farther up. When another significant rain comes, we start low and work our way upstream again searching for the fresh fish.
Go Deep for Big Browns
High water is significant to big browns not only because it allows them to enter and move up the river but also because it helps anglers decide on where to fish. In most cases, brown trout are ambush predators and can be found directly related to cover. Sticks, boulders and clay cuts are notorious holding spots for summer browns but the lake run fish seem to have an affinity for deep slow pools. As the heavy rains come, don’t shy away from the deep discolored slow pools in the river. These areas are ideal places for big browns to congregate as plenty of food gets washed to the bottom and the fish feel secure by not being visible. Although you can catch the occasional big brown from a faster flowing run, the majority of the time you will locate fish in the deeper slower water.
Use Heavy Streamers and Stay in the Strike Zone
Although browns can be teased into striking various baits, lures and flies when they enter the river; streamer fishing with large action heavy streamer patterns will get results. These fish will be on the bottom, and you need to be able to get your fly down and keep it in the strike zone. Start at the top of pools and work your way downstream. Aggressive strips of line, coupled with short pauses will get them to bite, but make sure to try different angles and speeds as the browns will not always bite on the first pass. Try out different colors of streamers as some days hot colors (purples and pinks) seem to produce great while on other days natural colors (browns and blacks) are the ticket
Fall brown trout fishing can be some of the finest river fishing of the year with trophy-sized fish and an appetite to match. Follow the rain and look for fish holding deep and make sure your leader is sized accordingly for these gold giants.
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