Tuesday, October 15, 2013

5 Great Lakes Brown Trout Flies and How To Tie Them

As we make our final descent into October, the Brown Trout run is just starting to heat up across the Great Lake's tributaries.  Unlike their Salmonoid cousins, the trout of the Great Lakes are aggressive eaters once in the river systems during their spawning run.  Typically, you can entice trout into striking out of aggression as well as feeding behaviors making them a great target for the fly fisherman.  Considering the biggest Brown Trout push 40 lbs and 40 inches, it is well worth the effort of missing a few quarters of the Packer's game to get on the river.  Here's a few of the best flies to have in your box.

1. Egg Sucking Leech
It's a Woolly Bugger with an egg for a head.  This is the World Champion of combining two epic individual items into one legendary result.  In case you're wondering; a Sharknado would be second and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Mountain Dew would be third.

2. Zonker
A classic streamer.  The mylar tubing body makes for a fantastic element of flash in often stained waters caused by Autumn rains. The undulating strip of fur looks so enticing in the water too.  Tied in bright colors like orange and yellow as well as darker browns, blacks, and olives; you could have an entire box of Zonkers in your vest and no one could argue it.

3. The Home Invader
A great sculpin or baitfish imitation that looks plain fishy.  The barbell eyes almost give it a Clauser feel, but the dip and duck motion caused by the weight of the eyes is awesome.  Wonderfully eratic acction and nice for those deeper pools and tailouts where migrating fish are stacked and resting between travelling.

4.  Zoo Cougar
One of Galloup's classic streamers; I love the Zoo Cougar.  The mallard feather and deer hair head and collar give the fly an amazing action of an injured sculpin.  Weightless, the fly seems to float and flutter in the current and when stripped has a great glide like a jerk bait for muskies.

Bonus Video of Kelly Galloup Tying a Zoo Cougar (I wish I could make spinning deer hair look so easy).

5. Yarn Egg
I have talked extensively about Glo Bugs for Steelhead, and the same applies for Browns.  It is simply the best pattern to be fishing in the Autumn, bar none.  Whether you are using yarn, plastic, or glass beads, a brightly colored egg on a hook catches a lot fall run fish.  Fish egg patterns behind spawning Salmon on redds to pick up opportunistic Browns, Steelhead and even other cannibalistic Salmon. Most of the time I am fishing in the Fall, I am drifting egg patterns.  You should be too.