Big brown trout like big flies, especially in the fall.
photo by Eric Rickstad
When the nights start to cool and leaves start to change colors, the thoughts of brown trout turn to procreation. To build up energy for the spawning ritual and to put on weight before the lean winter ahead, even big trout start to feed more aggressively, abandoning their notorious wariness in the process. Because spawning can be extremely competitive—as the fish battle for prime beds and mates—browns also become more territorial, attacking anything that invades their staked-out home turf. The combination of these behaviors makes fall the prime time to cast big streamers, which the trout see as both high-calorie meals and alien invaders. And, as many streamer fanatics have discovered, throwing two streamers together not only catches more fish, but the tandem rig. . .
Welcome to our first installment of “Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor,” starring our own Peter Kutzer. A couple weeks ago, we asked you to post some questions about your biggest casting problems. Reader “Phil” wrote, “Any tips you can give on casting heavily weighted flies would be appreciated,” and “Dave R.” asked a much more specific version of the same question:
Big browns feed voraciously in preparation for the lean months ahead and will hammer a well-presented streamer.
photo by Scott Feltrinelli
When leaves start to change color and nights turn chilly,those anglers still on the water are enjoying some of the best brown-trout fishing of the year. Having spent the summer sulking in deep pools and under logs and brush, the biggest browns start to move into shallower, more accessible lies, driven by the spawning urge and the need to bulk up before the long winter. These fish are less cautious and more aggressive than they are in any other season, so if you dream of landing a brown over. . .
The author with a beautiful, bright Pacific Northwest steelhead.
photo courtesy Leland Miyawaki
Skagit, Hoh, Sol Duc, Grande Ronde, Clearwater, Dean, Thompson, Skeena—all names that conjure up visions of big, bright, chrome steelhead.
Big fish caught on the swing: Nothing comes close to releasing a fly fisher’s adrenaline as ‘the grab” on a tight line. Swinging flies has been the Northwest tradition since Roderick Haig-Brown, Enos Bradner, Syd Glasso, and Walt Johnson first swung their
On Tuesdays, we usually provide a fly-fishing tip or two, but thanks to Hank Patterson, you get, like, fifty tips this week. That guy’s like a walking (or sitting) angling encyclopedia. He just tosses off fly-fishing bon mots all day long. Sometimes when I watch Hank at work, . . .
Phil Rowley hoists a fine Falcon’s Ledge rainbow caught using the “naked” technique.
photo courtesy Phil Rowley
This spring, I was once again in Utah at Falcon’s Ledge for another of my stillwater schools. Callibaetis and damselflies were active on the lodge lakes. The fishing was so good that Falcon’s Ledge guide and friend, Grant Bench, and I were busy every evening replenishing lost flies for. . .
The author shows off a big Great Lakes steelhead, as his fishing buddy looks on.
photo courtesy Jim Lampros
The rise in popularity of the Lake Erie steelhead fishery over the last decade has been well deserved. Erie and her tributaries unequivocally offer the best chance, be it East or West, for an angler to get his or her steelhead fix. The availability of public access, the proximity of the fishery to urban centers, and the fact that all of the important tributaries can be fished without the aid of watercraft make these steelhead some of the most accessible in the world. And though this accessibility can make for crowded rivers, solitude can be found with. . .
I’ve traveled and fished extensively around the South Island of New Zealand over the past nine years, both on my own and as a host for several groups of anglers. I do not guide on these trips because it is illegal for foreigners to work in New Zealand without the proper permits. . .
Wading anglers should focus on weedbeds that meet open water.
photo courtesy NYDEC
Everyone knows that bass loves weeds in the summer, but to cover big weed beds efficiently, you often need a boat (although not necessarily a sparkly one). Especially in the South, the lake bottom around most weeds is mucky, with a thick layer of decaying vegetation on top. Plus there are snakes to contend with. But in cooler climes—the northern tier of the country and at higher elevations—sandy or rocky lakebeds allow wading anglers to get in on. . .
Dragonfly adults are beautiful, but they are not often available to fish because they are such strong fliers.
photo by Jason Cotta
Summer is finally here, and stillwater fishing is starting to heat up. Rising water temperatures will bring out swarms of damselflies and dragonflies. Trout and bass will feed heavily on these two bugs throughout the spring and summer. Although the two insects have discernible differences, they are often misidentified by. . .