Although catching a Trophy Size Brown Trout is normally a “Once in a Lifetime Event”; it does not have to be. In fact, In the “Right” Waters at the “Right” Time with the “Right” Baits, catching trophy size Trout can become a frequent event.
That was the case for my dear friend Tim this past 2011 Labor Day Weekend. While fishing the “tail waters” of a nearby HydroElectric Dam, Tim “banked a 15.5 pound 33 inch long Beautiful Female Brown Trout.
Since Tim is an experienced Angler, he was able to get this “Monster” to the riverbank on 6 pound test line; following some 45 minutes of “Playing the Fish”. Many anglers in this position would have broken the line by hurrying their retrieval; but Tim new to take his time and allow the fish to tire out while all along keeping her off of the rocky bottom and out of any tree branches which would likely fray his line resulting in losing the fish.
Trophy Trout are rarely hooked during daylight hours on busy controlled streams with normal baits such as Salmon Eggs, Night Crawlers or corn. They did not gain their size by having the same habits as small “keepers” either. These wise old fish confine their diets to bait fish and seasonal insects and worms. They also prefer to feed at night exclusively when less activity is on the water.
A very fine line is also a necessity to fool such trophies and it takes an experienced angler to land a fish this size with light line. Artificial Baits, especially top water and shallow divers can be effective since these larger fish are up out of their deep pools feeding after dark. Practically any other time is a waste for that really “Big One”.
On that evening during early September, this large female was watching the top water when Tim quietly flipped his Rapala over her head some twenty feet. With a slow jerking retrieve, Tim tricked this fish in to taking a bite of a wounded minnow. Unfortunately for her, this minnow had a set of treble hooks and bit back. Then the show began, by getting a good “set” and then letting her run while keeping the rod tip up; Tim was able to gently retrieve this fish slowly to the bank. Give and take for nearly 30 minutes, the fish slowly began to tire and inch slowly toward the Stream Bank. Having patience was essential for Tim throughout this fight. But long at last, she reached the bank where I was able to get her by the gills and toss her on the shore.
By following this advice, experienced fishermen can enjoy these same results and end up with beautiful mounts and a lifetime of stories.
May all you serious anglers enjoy great results.