Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
MJL

Hunting Down Browns

Recommended Posts

Yesterday Frozen Fire and I hit up one quiet river for a session of brownie hunting – resident style. Armed with UL gear and some camera equipment, we got to the river around sun-up and probed the various log jams, fallen trees, deeper runs, etc. We were hoping to take pics of the diverse (and beautiful) colour patterns of the brown trout we got.

 

The browns mostly just hit worms and spinners… However, the trout were only receptive to those willing to risk it all and go for glory by drifting insanely close to the wood (as in dropping straight down into pockets between branches and logs or drifting it underneath the wood). I donated 2 full packs of size 12 and 14 Daiichi hooks and a spinner today to the branch monsters :( I also cracked the tip top of my rod when the swivel shot straight back when I was trying to un-snag my spinner from the tree :wallbash:

 

Some pics

 

P1020560.jpg

 

P1020558.jpg

 

Anthony managed to get a small rainbow that materialized out of no where to slam his bait at warp speed in a foot of water out in the open...We were both amazed to see it happen

Anthonysteel1.jpg

 

He also managed to get his new PB brown from the same spot.

Anthonybrown2.jpg

 

I crawled through some shrubbery to get to a half-submerged fallen tree and managed to land 2 browns back to back. Lost a 3rd one shortly after :wallbash:

Mikebrown1.jpg

 

Mikebrown2.jpg

 

 

One of my coolest catches (perhaps of all time) was landing this particular fish from underneath an undercut bank beneath an overhanging tree

Mikebrown3.jpg

 

 

CPR does work – As in Catch Photo Release :thumbsup_anim: …I caught the same fish an hour and a half later from the same spot when we were walking back to the car. He was an aggressive bugger :w00t:

Mikebrown4.jpg

 

Mikebrown5.jpg

 

I managed to land 6 browns in total (not including the repeat capture.LOL) and lost a few. Anthony managed around 4 browns. In total we walked around 7-8km worth of river to find them also having to trek through bushes and hop over large fallen trees (we tried to keep wading to a minimum to avoid spooking the fish). Both of us were super tired at the end of the trip.

 

I noticed that many of browns I catch have a distinctive iridescent blue marking just behind the eye on their gill plates (as seen in the pics above…And these pics below)…

 

From the same river last year

P1010841a-1.jpg

 

P1010113b-1.jpg

 

P1010121-1.jpg

 

From another river – The blue markings are a little faint but were definitely prevalent.

P1030299-1.jpg

 

 

Do these blue markings indicate if a fish is

a. Wild? I actually found 1 brief discussion on this topic from another message board which intrigued me enough to ask.

b. Resident (instead of migratory)? I don't think I've ever seen them on larger migratory fish.

c. It's Dependent on their diet?

d. Just a quirky colour adaptation for those particular rivers?

 

Here’s one brown I caught last fall without the blue colouration on the gill plate. It’s possibly one of a few thousand fish that was stocked lower down in the river the previous year.

 

P1010736_fhdr_filtered.jpg

 

Feel free to post up some of your pics of your browns for comparison. I’d be pretty interested in hearing your thoughts.

 

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bigger fish are more prone to leave their daytime lairs for open water feeding positions at night.

Bigger fish hit bigger baits, frogs mice crayfish etc.

Bigger fish are much harder to land in small creek, they know their surrounding and will use it against you. ie.heavier tackle

Bigger fish are usually solitary, they are predatory, somtimes cannibalistic, lack of other fish is a key to their presence sometimes.

 

My best browns when I fished Norfolk County when I was younger came when concentrating on specific holes

after dark with bigger baits and heavier tackle. Nice fish and good hunting

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great Report Man,

 

I haven't looked for the blue mark here in the grand river watershed but I suspect that it isn't there. When I get me a few browns later today I will check it out for sure (or when I get my disposable camera developed, whatever comes first).

 

Those fish you are catching are probably not very heavily pressured as they are hitting worms so hard. Finding browns on worms around here is like finding a smiling face at natural sports - not very likely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice bunch of browns! I will have to look back at pictures for those blue tinge/spots.

Once kept a 2lber due to deep hooking, by far the best eating fish ever had.

Edited by ehg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys for the comments

 

Bigger fish are more prone to leave their daytime lairs for open water feeding positions at night.

Bigger fish hit bigger baits, frogs mice crayfish etc.

Bigger fish are much harder to land in small creek, they know their surrounding and will use it against you. ie.heavier tackle

Bigger fish are usually solitary, they are predatory, somtimes cannibalistic, lack of other fish is a key to their presence sometimes.

 

My best browns when I fished Norfolk County when I was younger came when concentrating on specific holes

after dark with bigger baits and heavier tackle. Nice fish and good hunting

 

Great tips Dave...When I was a kid my older sister brought back a Canadian sport-fishing magazine on trout…She felt sorry for smashing a wad of gum in my hair for no reason…

 

P1020564.jpg

 

The 2 articles that stuck with me over time (and perhaps inspired me to try fishing for browns) were these ones…Finding BIG Browns – Be smart about where you look…And Weighted Deep…Both written by Kerry Knudsen

 

P1020561.jpg

 

P1020565.jpg

 

One article speaks of night time being the right time…And using surface lures like Hula poppers and Jitterbugs to tempt double-digit sized browns (measured in pounds, not inches) away from log jams…While I can’t say I’ve ever done the midnight madness thing for stream browns per se, some of the larger ones I did catch (just below 20 inches) were landed an hour or so after sun-down or an hour before sun-rise…I think sometime this coming weekend I may try fishing during the witching hour…Any recommendations on lures or baits I should stock up on? At the moment, I’m just using smaller versions of what I normally throw for steelhead…Like spinners and Kwikfish.

 

 

 

Great Report Man,

 

Those fish you are catching are probably not very heavily pressured as they are hitting worms so hard. Finding browns on worms around here is like finding a smiling face at natural sports - not very likely.

 

Actually for me, I’ve caught the majority of my stream browns on either worms or mepps spinners. Catching browns on worms is almost a guarantee - They're not shy about smashing worms bigger than they are :lol:

 

For that particular stretch of river I haven’t really seen anyone fishing it specifically for the browns so for the most part they’re relatively un-pressured…From what I know, the people who fish that river do so for the steelhead, which do make it up there but it’s super challenging to fish because of all the snags…After opening weekend, the majority of people are gone, and come walleye opener, you rarely see another angler in sight (which pretty much goes for most rivers in southern Ontario :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys for the comments

 

 

One article speaks of night time being the right time…And using surface lures like Hula poppers and Jitterbugs to tempt double-digit sized browns (measured in pounds, not inches) away from log jams…While I can’t say I’ve ever done the midnight madness thing for stream browns per se, some of the larger ones I did catch (just below 20 inches) were landed an hour or so after sun-down or an hour before sun-rise…I think sometime this coming weekend I may try fishing during the witching hour…Any recommendations on lures or baits I should stock up on? At the moment, I’m just using smaller versions of what I normally throw for steelhead…Like spinners and Kwikfish.

 

 

 

I used bait exclusively in the evenings, dewey, crayfish or lip hooked frog or salamander, CHECK the legality of salmanders now ? Once you position yourself, stay still and often it will betray it's presence once it has moved from cover into it's evening feeding lane. It is really surprising the size of some resident fish in very small streams, browns of 18 or more inches where brookies top out at ten inches. Not done it in years but most often it was an individual fish that I had previous knowledge of and was determined to outsmart it :devil:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

After opening weekend, the majority of people are gone, and come walleye opener, you rarely see another angler in sight (which pretty much goes for most rivers in southern Ontario :D

 

Except Upper Grand River Browns.

 

I'll be sure to check out those articles, always like a good read, no matter what the date on the article is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Johnny Bass

Other than a few battle scars, it sounds like the fishing was a success. I break at least 2 things every time I go fishing. Last time I went fishing the nut from the handle flew off my C3 into the drink. And I almost lost a rod(someone left the bail open) and grabbed it before it went into the lake. Lost the lure though.

 

Fishing used to be so much cheaper.lol Still worth it! :thumbsup_anim:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used bait exclusively in the evenings, dewey, crayfish or lip hooked frog or salamander, CHECK the legality of salmanders now ? Once you position yourself, stay still and often it will betray it's presence once it has moved from cover into it's evening feeding lane. It is really surprising the size of some resident fish in very small streams, browns of 18 or more inches where brookies top out at ten inches. Not done it in years but most often it was an individual fish that I had previous knowledge of and was determined to outsmart it :devil:

 

Can't thank you enough for your tips Dave

 

Funny you should mention frogs…Just hooking one makes me a little squeamish (not that I’ve ever used one before)…Something about their beady eyes and the fact that they use their hands to try to remove the hooks from their head kinda creeps me out a little…Back when I fished with one friend who did use frogs (for pike), I actually bought a few Lucky Strike Alive Harnesses to try out – They’re packed away somewhere in my basement.

 

P1020568.jpg

 

Other than a few battle scars, it sounds like the fishing was a success. I break at least 2 things every time I go fishing. Last time I went fishing the nut from the handle flew off my C3 into the drink. And I almost lost a rod(someone left the bail open) and grabbed it before it went into the lake. Lost the lure though.

 

Fishing used to be so much cheaper.lol Still worth it! :thumbsup_anim:

 

Thank goodness for warranties...In my case, I have the worst luck with cameras and water :(

 

Got the rod tip fixed tonight...I should be good to go for this weekend (if carp doesn't get in the way) :D

 

Cheers

 

Mike

Edited by MJL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on yet another successful outing Mike & Ant!

 

I'm guessing the lady friend finally let you use your own camera?? lol!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on yet another successful outing Mike & Ant!

 

I'm guessing the lady friend finally let you use your own camera?? lol!

 

He let her know who wears the waders in that relationship :thumbsup_anim:

 

I know she's reading this...That's what he told me...honest... :whistling:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He let her know who wears the waders in that relationship :thumbsup_anim:

 

I know she's reading this...That's what he told me...honest... :whistling:

 

ohhhh snap :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

awesome looking fish MJL! I've never done the brown trout stream fishing deal before... only target them on my local reservoir. You're tempting me to try it out this coming weekend! Thanks for the report!

 

Cheers,

Ryan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some absolute monster resident browns in a system I fish fairly regularly (I'm talking close to, if not over double digits).. I hooked into one last year that was in the 4-5lb range and it made a fool out of me and my UL setup, lol..

 

I'll get that bugger this year I hope :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×