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Thread: Brown Trout Feeding Pattern

  1. #1

    Default Brown Trout Feeding Pattern

    I've caught a few browns in the local pond over the past few weeks from 10-18". All were caught after the sun set, telling me what I've read regarding browns being nocturnal feeders and shying away from the light of day could be true. I also have read articles talking about their reaction to light and shadows, etc, which obviously indicates they're not fussy about what time of day they feed.

    Last night, I hooked a nice one just after dusk with a #16 Mosquito, and later dissected the gut to see what he had been feeding on. I was a little suprised to find it completely empty, which tells me he was just starting to feed after a long day of rest.

    So, what are YOUR experiences with browns in both river and still water? Is it possible those that live in the pond will only feed at night, and when they move to rivers will eat anything and everything, whenever they can?

    Thanks in advance.

    Jamie.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Greenville South Carolina
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    Default Re: Brown Trout Feeding Pattern

    In my limited experience, the smaller browns will feed in the day and the larger ones are basically night hunters. It seems that once they start feeding on other fish, mice...larger prey than bugs...they go nocturnal. We've got some monster browns here though few and far between and its a night time activity to land one. I got into one the lenth of my arm a couple weeks back using a yellow deer hair popper with a simi fast, noisy retrieve...I touched it, reaching for the tail, and * gone! it was quite dark and one hell of a fight...my first and won't be my last. It worked just like the guy at the fly shop said it would including finding your spot during the day, practicing your "get there" wade from the shore, closing my eyes to hear what's around me and orient for darkness. I've fished most of my life and that was right up at the top of best hookups ever.

    That said, I catch smaller < 12" browns in daylight regularly.
    JJ

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Default Re: Brown Trout Feeding Pattern

    My sons and I, as well as those we invite to accompany us, fish a local spring creek quite often during the season. It is full of trophy-sized brown trout. We try to arrive quite early to take advantage of scud activity, but we end up fishing for hours into the day. The mornings seem to be a bit more productive, but around 11:00 a.m. to about 1:00 p.m. the PMD mayflies will start emerging - better on overcast days - but they still emerge like clockwork. When they start popping the fish are on the feed and we catch some true beasties.
    My son has fished this spring at night, with some success, but not anything to brag about. Maybe it's because of the makeup of this particular spring, maybe it's just the way it is...
    Evenings are another good time to be on the water, but I think that mornings and evenings are more productive due to the increased activity of the scuds and insects residing in this particular water. The same can be said of most waters that mornings and evenings are better fishing than during the day.

    Anyway, just my 2-cents.

    Kelly.
    I fish, therefore I am - but I gotta go to work first..."piscari ergo sum"

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Brown Trout Feeding Pattern

    Kelly called it (again). I think of it as the shift change. Nocturnal feeders go off shift at dawn. Maybe a last snack before going under the bank for the day.
    Dusk, they start the feed after a day-long nap.
    Every body of water will vary, but generally the little guys hide at night, so they don't become a meal. I think the big guys need shadows to hunt more effectively.
    If there is a large enough food form on the water (Green drakes, or a Salmon fly) they may motivate for a day shift. Pressure is a factor as well. Less people around makes it OK to feed anytime.

    Jim
    Ultimately, it's not catching fish that satisfies, but knowing how.

    Bigfly

  5. Default Re: Brown Trout Feeding Pattern

    I catch almost all my browns on streamer just before dark. Some small ones during the day but mostly at dark.
    I was fishing this smaller stream at about noon the other day and saw this big fat 24 inch brown sitting under a bank and casted to it with my steamer and nothing. I dont know what I was thinking but i really wanted to see this fish. I waded though the water and reached down and just put both my hands under it and picked it up No struggle. Then when I put it back, BOOM it was gone. Made me think think of that when you said they were "napping".

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Greenville South Carolina
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    Default Re: Brown Trout Feeding Pattern

    hmmm....noodling for big browns? That's quite an event there Montukylucky.
    JJ

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Colorado's Western Slope
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    Default Re: Brown Trout Feeding Pattern

    I fished a high mountain lake near Vail, Co a few months ago and found many trout rising by some riffles and a seam of a outflow creek. What interested me was that for a good part of 4 hours I caught several rising brown trout from 8-12" on numerous dry, wet patterns and nymphs. Not too selective but none very big. I have never fished anywhere that brown trout was all I caught. The Gunnison River in Colorado is notorious for having a big population of big browns in the ration of 80%+ to rainbows(due to Whirling Dis.). That was fun catching them mostly with hopper patterns during the day but I didn't get one bite at night with my mouse near the banks or undercuts? Maybe they heard me walking.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Brown Trout Feeding Pattern

    Racine,

    I used to fish the Eagle River directly across from my shop at Arrowhead Ranch back when it was a ranch and not a ski area. Small browns could be caught up until maybe a half hour after sunset.

    All activity would then shut down for at least two hours - THEN the big browns would start coming out. I would usually head out to start fishing at 11:00 PM or so. I fished that same spot probably 4 nights a week starting about the end of Aug through September. I can't remember if I fished Oct or not. I was self-employed so could adjust my hours to accomodate my fishing addiction. I believe the big browns used that spot as a "staging area" prior to the spawning run.

    It is essential to keep movement as close to zero as possible, especially if the water is still and the banks are clay, or muskeg or wet topsoil, which will transmit vibrations. And also keep the lights off.

    It could have been just be a local thing, but I would try it very late sometime on the chance that it was not. Use those BIG flies.

    Cheers,
    Jim

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