Fishing for Brown Trout

Brown Trout

To Catch Brownies Takes Patience -- And A Lot of Luck! *

These fish were imported from Europe in 1883; now they are abundant and average between 14 and 18 inches (in length).  Lunker brown trout reach 38 lbs., – or more.

These trout are found throughout the US, but call the cooler waters of the Great Lakes and northern sections of the country ‘home.’

Characteristics of Brown Trout

Smart and wary, your shadow on the water will warn them away for a couple of hours!  Catching browns requires patience and luck.

The browns “hang out” under fallen branches and in deep pools. They only come to the shallows to eat in the early morning and  late afternoon. Favorite treats are mayflies and caddis flies.

Lures and Bait

Brown trout can be caught year-round. However, they are most active in water temperatures between 50 and 65 degrees.

Anglers catch brownies using bait casting, fly-fishing and spinning gear.  They seem to respond best to spinners, spoons and wobbling plugs.

If you are fly fishing, use wet flies, nymph patterns or streamers.  These resemble their natural food sources: aquatic and terrestrial insects.

If you will be using live bait, opt for cut baits, alewives, smelt and spawn sacs.


When I think of brown trout fishing, I think of wading and fly fishing in a river or stream. Other great places to try are spinning or fishing with live bait, along river banks or streams.

Trolling in larger rivers or the Great Lakes can be very rewarding.

If you are going brownie fishing, this is not the species to take your kids for their first lessons on fishing. Perch fishing is a better choice for kids.

Brownies are skittish and very suspicious of noise.  This is another one of those fish that prove the adage: If you can see them, they can see you!


*This brown trout is shown by permission of Vantage Point – provider of rear window graphics. This is part of their Wild Wings Art Collection.


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Published in: on February 17, 2010 at 8:55 am  Comments Off on Fishing for Brown Trout  
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