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Old 07-17-2013, 12:47 PM
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Default Re: What's the Deal with Native Brookies

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Originally Posted by stl_geoff View Post
Anything orange they will violently consume. I caught the snot out of them in The Smokies with a orange humpy. They were very very eager to eat the fly.
How was your trip there? I couldn't remember if you said it was somewhere you wanted to visit or if you had been there often. It's a special place. I am in the process of planning a multi-day camp/fish trip myself. I used to go 6-7 times a year, but it's been almost a year since I was last there.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: What's the Deal with Native Brookies

We have all kinds of native and sea run brookies around here. My friend caught 2 in the 22'' range a few weeks ago. The best part is they love the dry fly and are not so skittish. I have walked (trudged) downstream and caught multitudes of them. Maybe it is because most people here are after their much larger cousin the salmo salar.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: What's the Deal with Native Brookies

First, you ask what is the difference with native brookies and I assume you mean vs. stocked. Are there actually stocked brookies in small streams? I've never heard of that, but doesn't mean there are not. Or do you mean native in the true sense? Because brookies are not native in the West, yet they remain small and spooky some of the time.

Second, wild trout are wild trout. I don't care what the species. Many "writers" and people in general also talk about how "dumb" or easy to catch cutthroat trout are out West. These generalities abound everywhere and are completely worthless.

Just because a fish is native, small, and inhabits skinny water where anyone can find them in the only "deep" hole in a creek does not make them "easy to catch." Conversely, if you find fish that crash any fly that hits the water does not make them "stupid."

Are three pound rainbows that attack big foam junk flies stupid one day and suddenly smart the next time you go to the same place and can't get a look on every well-presented fly you offer? Of course not.

Sorry for the diatribe, I digress. When small wild fish are hard to catch it may be because the approach you've taken is less than suitable. When you go in with the mind set that "this is gonna be easy, they are just little brookies (or cutties)" you will most likely be disappointed. Because the reality is these fish survive because they are wary and skittish as instinct to live forces them to be living in 8" of water and so small that they are prey for everything from snakes, herons and kingfishers, to even small mammals. For me, the fun of fishing headwater streams where an 8 or 10" cutthroat will the trophy of the day is treating every hole like I am stalking a 16" brown trout and practicing my stealth in approach and tricky short casts and perfect drifts. Even if it is with a 14 Humpy!
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:09 AM
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Default Re: What's the Deal with Native Brookies

Some of the waters of my state are stocked with brookies every spring and late fall, when the water temps allow, in our delayed harvest waters, which allow for catch and release fishing only until about July, when the waters become to warm, and then they become hatchery supported waters with a limit of seven fish per day, no size limit....I believe these are the northern brookie strain. Now......with that said........there are certain small "creeks" in my area where the truly native southern strain brookies, which rarely grow more than 8 inches in length, thrive in their environment, and are truly a challenge to catch!! They are extremely aware of the perils of their surroundings. I have seen days where the fishing is easy and I have also had days of knee crawling, using extreme stealth to get into casting range......the hardest brookie stream that I can think of, actually runs through a golf course, where human interaction keeps them on the run.... I have no experience with the northern areas of the country and the obviously larger brook trout available there......but I can guess that they are just as tough to catch.......also, I will add that any stimulator or attractor pattern in yellow, orange, and red will work well here in N.C....just walk softly, and go slowly.........
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:25 PM
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Default Re: What's the Deal with Native Brookies

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Some of the waters of my state are stocked with brookies every spring and late fall, when the water temps allow, in our delayed harvest waters, which allow for catch and release fishing only until about July, when the waters become to warm, and then they become hatchery supported waters with a limit of seven fish per day, no size limit....I believe these are the northern brookie strain. Now......with that said........there are certain small "creeks" in my area where the truly native southern strain brookies, which rarely grow more than 8 inches in length, thrive in their environment, and are truly a challenge to catch!! They are extremely aware of the perils of their surroundings. I have seen days where the fishing is easy and I have also had days of knee crawling, using extreme stealth to get into casting range......the hardest brookie stream that I can think of, actually runs through a golf course, where human interaction keeps them on the run.... I have no experience with the northern areas of the country and the obviously larger brook trout available there......but I can guess that they are just as tough to catch.......also, I will add that any stimulator or attractor pattern in yellow, orange, and red will work well here in N.C....just walk softly, and go slowly.........
I sure do envy you living there. I have fished the park a lot, but have been lucky enough to venture out around NC quite a bit (mostly transylvania and yancey counties), and there are so many streams there that it's almost overwhelming.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:38 PM
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Default Re: What's the Deal with Native Brookies

yes.....there are alot of prime trout waters here.....too many for me to fish in my lifetime..........if you are able to hike a few miles......then, it only gets better and better!!!!!!
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: What's the Deal with Native Brookies

I fish wild brookies in tiny streams in Pennsylvania at least once or twice every year. The key to my success has always been stealth. You cannot step into the same pool you are fishing or even go walking up to the edge of the pool or they will spook and disappear under a rock or undercut bank not to reemerge. I often literally crawl up to within casting range of the pools and always take care to wear drab colors so I am not too obvious. But, if you stay stealthy, I have found that they will eat almost anything like it was the first meal they ever had. Awesome little fish.
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:31 AM
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Default Re: What's the Deal with Native Brookies

Brook trout are often found in small, gin clear water. Getting in position to cast without spooking them can be difficult. When people talk about brookies being easy to catch I think they're referring to them not being picky about fly pattern or presentation. This is a generality and can't explain every situation you might encounter on the water.
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:58 PM
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Default Re: What's the Deal with Native Brookies

I'm surprised to be hearing this as the most active fishing that I have ever had has been with Native Brookies. Literally whatever I threw at them they would take, and I could chose what size I wanted to grab depending upon the size of the fly I threw out. Once one was hooked, you could see the other fish chasing that fish around in circles they were so aggressive. If I wanted the smaller ones (which tended to be better looking colors wise), I would throw small and if I wanted some of the rather large 10-16" I would throw bigger so the smaller ones didn't have the mouths to get hooked consistently. Granted this was in an area that was a 2 day hike from any road so it may be different, but the fishing was insane, especially for the tiny size of the stream.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: What's the Deal with Native Brookies

Good thread ... the main thrust of the replies here is consistent with what I see on my home streams here in northern VT, where the brookies aren't selective, but they are very easily spooked. They'll often take almost anything, provided they don't detect you first.
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