Last spring I suggested a good stretch to my buddy Andy to find some sizable brook trout. I thought for a while and decided some native small stream head water brookies were what Andy needed. The last time I fished the area that I sent Andy to it was maybe 2 years ago. This stream really got skinny near the top. I stopped about 250 yards from my intended final destination. I decided anything in that skinny of water was tiny and not worth the extra effort. I love to search the headwaters of streams the last weekend of season.
I typically don’t fish for brook trout. They don’t really have the size that I like. A big brook trout from this area is anything over 14 inches. I typically don’t get the adrenaline rush I require from a fish under 16 inches. This pretty much eliminates 99 percent of the brook trout from Southwestern Wisconsin. Brook trout are not as selective as brown trout and actually have gotten a reputation of being “stupid” and too easy to catch.
Andy called me from the stream. He was really excited and was babbling about a ENORMOUS female brook trout he had within 3 feet of him and it had another almost as big male brookie with it. I asked Andy for details.
Andy had gone upstream of where I stopped fishing on the brookie stream. He told me it was obvious that the recent floods from the last couple years had scoured the stream and had made some serious holes. Andy told me exactly where the brook trout was. He asked me to not tell anyone and “he” wanted me to go back with him to help him land the monster brookie. We planned it for that Tuesday.
We hit the water bright and early. Andy and I are fishing our way up to the area where “Andy’s” brookie lives. We are just pounding the brookies and browns. I could tell we were getting close to where the massive brookie lives. I could tell because Andy was walking faster and spending less time at the holes we were fishing. I decided to assure Andy that he discovered the brookie and it was his to catch.
Just before we got to the hole we made a battle plan. Andy changed his leader from a 5x to a 4x and checked the new leader thoroughly for nicks or imperfections. The hole was not that deep but it was long. Andy did not realize that brookie was in the hole the first time he fished it. Andy landed maybe 10 trout in the hole and thought it was done and walked up through the hole to go to the next hole. The huge female brookie and its friend were at the very head of the hole in the shallower fast water and they had nowhere to go and came directly downstream to Andy and held still on the bottom no more than 3 feet from Andy. Andy told me he watched the two brookies in the gin clear spring creek for 5 minutes before he moved and spooked them. The female brookie was wide backed and was pushing 20 inches and its partner was a 17 inch plus male brookie with a huge kype.
Andy put on lite brite biot bug to fish the hole first this time. His first cast he landed a 17ish inch brown. The brown really was a strong fish and ran all over the hole and the hole was now a huge cloud of dirt. The brown had spooked all the other trout in the hole.
We decided to let the hole clear. It didn’t take long and the hole was clear. We decided to let it calm down even more. We waited 15 minutes to make the next cast. The second cast Andy landed a decent brook trout.
Andy casted another 35 casts with no results. He then gave up the hole to me. I casted 20 times and not a whisper.
We covered the entire hole and changed presentation and offerings numerous times. We decided it must have moved upstream. On we went to the next hole. We were in the water and the exact same thing happened to Andy and I as did to Andy the first time. The two big trout were at the head of the hole and spooked downstream to us. The big female stopped and hugged the bottom one foot from my feet. I looked at her in awe. This old gal was wide across the back and was 20 inches minimum. Her partner laid right next to her and he 17ish male brookie. I watched him and saw him open his mouth once. He had a huge kype..We watched them for 5 minutes and then backed off the hole and gave it a 30 minute rest. It didn’t work. Andy and I went back 5-6 times to the hole through the year with no results.
It was opening day this year. I had contacted Andy already about going after the huge brookie. He had something already planned. Off I went alone after the huge brookie alone.
About 80 yards below the hole the two monsters lived in I ran in to a huge beaver dam. It was new and was built during the closed season. All the holes had changed upstream of the beaver dam.
The big brookie’s home was completely changed. I fished this stretch the minimum of 25 times this year. I bet you know where I am going to fish 2011 opener.
Re: Andy's Brookie
Len, excellent story and photos. Tell me more about the "Lite-Brite" fly.
Re: Andy's Brookie
Lite Brite Biot Nymph
Biot Bug Nymph
Hook: Tiemco 3761 or other nymph hook, size 12-16
Weight: Non-lead wire
Head: Silver bead
Rib: Fine silver wire
Body: Lite Brite Polar Blue dubbing (looks white with blue highlights)
Wing/tail: Brown or white biots
Thorax: Lite Brite Peacock dubbing
Put bead onto hook, then start thread. Wind thread back to the hook bend, then wrap 10-12 wraps of non-lead wire onto the hook. I use 12 wraps, along with a slightly oversized bead for the head, because I want the fly to sink quickly. Anyway, slide the wire forward to the head of the fly and into the bead. Bring thread forward and give a few turns of thread over the wire to hold it in place. Bring thread back to the hook bend.
Attach 3-4” of wire for rib. Use a very fine wire—I have tried with a “small” wire and the wire over powered the dubbing, giving a poor looking fly. After attaching wire, dub a small amout of the polar blue Lite Brite onto the thread. Lite Brite does not dub well—it is slippery—so work with small amounts and really twist well onto the thread. Tightly wrap dubbing forward, building a nicely tapered body, stopping about 1/3 back from the hook eye.
Take two brown biots, goose or turkey doesn’t matter but mine are goose (I think they are finer/thinner than turkey biots and that is good). Hold the biots over the back of the fly with a slight “V” shape, then tie down at the point you stopped the dubbed body. Try to keep the biots in a “V” and do not let them roll to the far side of the hook. 3 or 4 turns of thread should secure the biots well. Trim excess biot.
This is a tricky part: hold the biots down onto the back of the fly, then take ribbing wire and wind it forward over the biots, securing the biots to the fly. Wrap 4 or 5 turns of wire over the biots, evenly spacing the wraps to give a nice segmented body. Tie off the wire at the point where you tied in the biots and secure the wire with 4 or 5 wraps of thread. I like to add a drop of cement to the wire tie off point to really hold the wire in place.
Dub a small amount of Peacock Lite Brite onto the thread and build up a fuzzy thorax, maybe 2 or 3 wraps. Tie in a brown hackle just in front of the thorax. This can be a soft hackle, but finding good small (size 14 and 16) soft hackle can be difficult, so I now use lower quality brown dry fly hackle. It has a low barb count and isn’t really stiff so it works well for this fly. Give the hackle one or two turns then tie off. Avoid the practice of too much hackle—there only need be a few “legs” on this fly so 1 or 2 wraps is sufficient. Whip finish and you are done.
Re: Andy's Brookie
Len: Great story and photos, I hope you or your friend Andy get a chance to land that big Brookie next season!
I got lucky and landed this big Wyoming Brookie this summer:
Re: Andy's Brookie
I much enjoyed reading your reportage Spinner:cool::cool:
Re: Andy's Brookie
Len: Thanks for taking the time to post the instructions for your Lite-brite fly! It has some great looking qualities to it and I plan to tie some up for next season.
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