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Gregor

Locating big brown trout

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Has anyone a good idea that has proven before, how to locate big brown trout?

The first way is when you loose one rolleyes.gif

 

Serious, there are some ways to know where a giant lives, for example night observation with strong light...

 

Any suggestions?

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Guest Ladykiller

1) Fish finder wink.gif

 

2) Dynamite cool.gif

 

3) If no small fish are feeding in a good looking hole, that is a good indication a big fish is nearby.

 

4) Go to overhanging bluffs and look into the water with polaroids

 

5) Get good at watching rises to determine fish size

 

6) Note all big fish tat miss your streamer

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Another way to get big browns are to fish private streams. I had access to fish a private stream and hooked into a 22.5 incher, knowing there are bigger ones out there. That may not be big to some of yinz, but for me, that is a high mark. If you find those big browns, let me know.

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Best way i can say to find big browns is to float fish a section and pull big streamers,alot of times you will "move" a big fish but he wont take the streamer.

 

Then you at least know where hs is and can go back with a dry or whatever you fish and feel that you have a better chance of getting him knowing where he lives.

 

besides that just get to one section of river very well instead of knowing just a bit about a lot of sections.

 

SD

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Check the same exact places where you would find big Smallmouth holding. They like the same territory. Deep holes with wood, behind and sometimes in front of, big boulders, (relative for the stream) undercut banks, especially those with weeds or tree roots hanging over, bridge abutments, in the middle of large groups of Steelhead in Elk Creek smile.gif

 

 

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One thing that seems to make sense to me, is that the largest trout in a stretch of river will be in the best water. Sounds elementary! But it's not necessarily easy to find that water at any given time. As it changes with the season, food supply, water conditions and the urge to reproduce.

 

On small streams it is much easier to find the likely places for the one or two dominant trout in a given area. With favorable conditions, dissolved oxygen, temp, and normal flows being equal in all areas of the stream the largest fish will be where their primary food supply is easily captured from a secure lie. Barring an unusually plentiful supply of food that moves them into another area for easy pickings, they should be found near or at the bottom of a significant gradient change. Where food is funneled to them and layed out for them to inspect. Picture if you will, a piece of foam thrown into the flow, and where it comes to rest (or slows) in an eddy or flat. If it has cover or depth a fish should be there. But it may take a series of these to present the ideal habitat for the biggest trout, with smaller fish present in the less than ideal collecting points in between.

 

Last summer, I fished a small creek, after summer storms had blown out my first choice.

 

I found the upper reaches of this small creek, where a tiny, cold and shallow brook fed a slow moving warmer and oxygen rich swamp drain, high but fishable. As they came together fast rocky slots punctuated with plunge pools for the first 1/4 mile made me think Rainbows, cool! To my surprise, nearly every pocket produced a follow from a Brown! The high water had them actively chasing food, but most turned away short, a couple were hooked and lost breifly in the torrent.

 

The next day the water was back to normal, and the Rainbows were eager to play in the more placid plunge pools, cool! But where were the Browns?

 

A stroll down the next 1/4 mile of the stream saw the gradient flatten somewhat and increasing brush with undercut banks and lumber wedged in the bends. There were 3 distinct steps in this 1/4 mile of water. Each a 3-4 foot drop over a 100 yards or so, at the bottom of each was a "flat" stretch, where the water slowed and meandered through a couple bends clogged with deadfall, before falling off the next step. 2 of the 3 produced fish nearing 20 inches, with several other nice Browns in the fringe water. The largest fish coming from the best looking cover close to the base of the step. Oddly, or not, the absolute best looking of the 3 "flats" didn't produce a large fish, or any fish in the best looking lies, only a couple of small fish in the riffles and tail-out. I will be back to that 3rd spot to find him next summer.

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That was deep, John bs.gif

 

All bullshit aside, you're absolutely right. Many of our prime brown trout waters get too warm during the summer. Cold water tribs and influences such as springs and ground water trickling out of highbanks create a plume. Those areas will concentrate larger fish as will highly oxygenated water funneling into a slot or undercut. Combine as many of these features as possible and add overhead cover such as a logjam and I'll bet my T&T that a big fish will use it at some point.

 

Some of my best days fishing browns has occured during high water events. The water was very dark and almost too dirty, but the browns were very active and not relating to cover.

 

 

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Guest

most browns in KY hold up in rough fishing conditions...heavy timber, rock shelves, big boulders, and any other nightmarish obstruction they can use as an ambush point. Most trophy browns in my area are taken at night when the fish tend to move from these holding or protected zones and stalk they meals. Big streamers, especially baitfish imitations produce nice fish, as do big craw and nymph patterns....they like warmer water than rainbows or brook trout and will typically become inactive when the water temp gets below 50.....best action here in KY is on the lower reaches of the Cumberland, where the tailwater warms to around 60 degrees or so....wish I could tell you more

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When I'm looking for big browns, I think about submarines, they both run silent and deep. On the San Juan and the Green (in really clear water) the biggest fish are at the bottom of holes and are usually unseen. These fish are big for a reason. They're cautious. Last year on the Green river I had a huge brown come up from 20+ deep to look at a foam cicada I had cast for a smaller (~24 ") cutbow. The smaller fish split and the big one slowely watched my fly drift, 2 inches off its nose, for about 10 feet before heading back down. This fly had fooled 10 fish that day but the others all hit it within seconds of the fly hitting the water. On the Rio Grande, big browns hide in big pools in rough water and in big snags. It's really hard to get them.

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glad to hear it's NM fish too, not just the KY trout that seem to be so elusive most of the time!

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I have to concur on casting large baitfish/crayfish imitating streamers into "tough" spots with good DO sources. That's what has produced my best Browns. I also use a different stripping technique which seems to antagonize more "top of the food chain" predators into striking instinctively. I use the rod tip to move the fly by twitching it parallel to the water's surface and then strip the slack line created as I return the rod tip to the starting position. This imitates the action of a startled/injured baitfish/crayfish more effectively than just stripping line with your off hand. You can cover a lot of water this way if drifting in a boat or tube. Once fish are located, you can start applying other tactics, but it's a good way to CATCH the big browns...not just locate them.

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I've had pretty good success casting up-current and stripping in a weighted bunny leech, egg sucking leech, muddler or tinsel fly. An erratic retireve, stripping faster than the flow, with your fly NEAR or ON the bottom will draw some heavy fish. The key is to not give the brown too much time to inspect the fly, they got to be big by knowing the difference. Try to play on thier instinct to persue a fleeing quarry.

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Just stumbled into this forum and wanted to thank previous posters for their tips. I fish the Owyhee River in Oregon below the Owyhee Dam 12 months of the year. My standard approach is to use big streamers early in the morning. This has produced my largest fish in the last year or so (largest being 24" with plenty of 22" fish). I will work a midge about 18 inches below an attractor (elk hair caddis will do) between 9am and 11am. I have hit everything on the ruler up to 22" with this method. From about noon on, I will switch to a blue winged olive that will produce until about 4pm. I have yet to hit the monsters (31" brown photographed 2 weeks ago) in that river but figure its only a matter or time and exploration before I tag one. One of the best methods I witnessed was my father in law drifting wax worms about 18" below a bobber on a spinning rod. It was the most productive set up I've ever seen! Anyone interested in some Owyhee River Brown picutres just drop me a line and I'd be happy to get them your way.

 

Tight lines.

DD

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