I first read about brook trout in Outdoor Life magazine when I was 8 years old. Dazzling red, yellow, orange and cream spots scattered across a slate gray body painted a picture of the most tantalizing trout I had ever seen. I longed to do battle with specimens like the 5-pounders from New Brunswick I had seen on glossy magazine pages.
Distribution of Brook Trout
Brook trout are widely distributed throughout North America and are found in clean, clear, cold, well-oxygenated waters. Their magnificent coloration, availability and excellent fighting spirits make these trout very popular among beginners and experienced trout anglers alike.
I have caught brookies from the Appalachians to the Rockies and most recently, from the fabled Taxis River of New Brunswick, Canada. Numerous state fish and game departments also stock brook trout in their streams. Below Norfork Lake Dam in Arkansas, anglers may catch five species of trout, including brook trout.
The smaller streams of Yellowstone National Park hold lots of brookies. I once spent most of a family reunion fishing for them. A tiny stream, which ran into Shoshone Lake, teemed with small brookies.
Brook trout are widely distributed in the 2,100 miles of streams in Smoky Mountain National Park. They are the only native trout in the park, but other introduced species compete heavily with them for food and habitat.
Fly Fishing Gear Tips
Brook trout are great for beginning fishermen because they can be caught on a wide range of baits, lures and flies. However, fly fishing for brookies is the ultimate experience. Here's what you need:
- A two- to four-weight, 8-foot rod is perfect for small stream brook trout. Consider White River Fly Shops Dogwood Canyon and Temple Fork Outfitter rods for this.
- Shorter rods may be necessary to fish tiny streams with heavy bank foliage.
- A tapered, floating fly line is the standard.
- Long leaders, up to 9-feet, will help prevent spooking fish.
Fishing Flies & Techniques
Brook trout are voracious eaters of aquatic insects. Brook trout spawn in late summer and sometimes into autumn. Nymphs, fished near the bottom, can be deadly throughout their long spawning season.
Patience is required when nymph fishing. Cast upstream at an angle to the far bank. Allow your offering to dead drift downstream along the bottom. Some type of small strike indicator will be helpful in detecting strikes.
Some of my favorite nymphs include: Gold-ribbed Hare's Ear, Iron Blue Dun, Light Cahill, Mosquito Larvae, Zug Bug and Stonefly Creeper.
For a grand brook trout adventure in New Brunswick, contact Taxis River Outfitters at www.taxisriveroutfitters.com.