Brook trout are some of my favorite fish to target on the fly. Although they might be on the smaller side, they are some of the most spectacular looking fish, and are not afraid to hit a dry fly!
1. Have the right tools!
If you fly fish long enough you will quickly realize that being prepared will eventually help you catch more fish. I am just talking the basics here; the right rod, flies, tippet, sunglasses etc. Things that will make you happier on the water.
Here is a list of some essentials Ill bring on a brook trout trip:
– Polarized Sunglasses – The new ‘Costa’ Sunrise Silver Mirror lenses are definitely my favorite for low light conditions. Some of the best bug activity happens in those low light situations, you want to be able to follow your fly on the surface for as long as possible.
– The Right Rod – I like to fish between a 2 and 4 weight rod, preferably on the shorter side. Having a shorter lighter rod will make presenting a delicate fly much easier. This will also make fighting a small fish more fun. I have been fishing the Loop Rods, and am really impressed.
– The Right Tippet and Leader. I will usually have shorter leaders that taper out to 4 or 5X. I like to fish between 5 and 6X tippet off the leader. Monofilament to my dry flies and if I am throwing a dropper off the dry, I will usually attach some fluorocarbon, to get that bug to sink faster. I am always throwing Scientific Anglers.
– Flies. I like to go as big as I can with my flies. Just because it’s more fun, and they are easier to work with. Start with a medium sized caddis. Then keep changing your flies, sometimes you will have to go pretty small.
2. Hit every pool and pocket.
A common mistake I see anglers make when fishing small streams is skipping the smaller pools and pockets. Don’t be afraid to throw a big fly into a small little pocket of water. These fish are everywhere, and often times they can be tricked easier in a smaller pool.
3. Be Stealthy.
Be as stealthy as you can when you are approaching a fishing spot. Stay out of the water for as long as you can. Try just landing your leader in the water, and high sticking your dry fly, for minimal splash from your fly line. You can also cast over a rock to get a few seconds of a stealthy smooth drift, this is one of my favorite techniques in small streams.
4. Keep Moving
Often times the further you travel into a stream the less pressure the fish have had. So keep moving, and don’t be afraid to take a long hike. Throw a few casts into a pool, and if you miss a fish or don’t get any strikes, keep moving. Be prepared with some water, snacks, and sunscreen. On long days I like to bring a buff to keep the sun off my face, you can also dip it into the water to cool off. My favorite brand is Blackstrap.
5. Treat the fish with respect.
Once you catch a brookie you will probably want to take a quick photo. If you can bring a small net that’s great, and often times it’s easier to keep the fish in the water longer when you have a net. Keep the fly in for a photo and it will help steady the fish in your hand. Also, remember to wet your hands. These are small fish, so you really don’t need to keep your barbs on…