Want to learn a little about fly fishing for brown trout in the rain, or in high, muddy water conditions? This article takes a look at a couple of methods to try when you think the water is to high and dirty, or you can try this when there don’t seem to be very many active fish moving about.
We had decided a few days prior that myself, and a good buddy of mine, Elijah would head out to do some fishing on the Credit River. I had been up there on the previous weekend and the Browns had been quite co-operative. This would be Elijah’s first day out this season, and it was well needed. From our business in Guelph, we headed out on a drab, somewhat moist day to see what the river would have in store for us.
Upon arriving, it was clear that the water was up about a foot from its normal flow for this time of year. To some it would have seemed unfishable to the weary angler, and it proved quite difficult to get to the first hole I wanted him to fish. A tree had come down across a smaller section of the river, and this we used as a bridge to cross and access that first hole.
Once we reached that particular hole, we sat down for a moment and Eli set up his rod. I recommended to him that he put on a good, heavy leader as the big boys would be out today with all the rain and high, dirty water. A ‘Leechie Fruit’ was tied on, a pattern of my design that I find useful for nearly any species, and particularly large Browns. I directed him to cast towards the far bank, to a seam that formed a ‘V’ with the rushing current and a log jutting out into the stream. On the first cast, there was a subtle take that could have been a rock or a submerged log. It got the heart racing whatever it was. On his second cast, Eli felt the all too familiar tug once again, this time after he pulled back, something pulled the other way. A short fight later and a nice little Rainbow was landed.
Although not huge, it was a great start to the evening. The fish had spit up a mass of eggs, as well as some bits of smaller fish. The fat belly on the bugger was a good indication that the weather wasn’t bothering the fish too much and they were definitely hungry.
So it was my turn to tie on a fly. I got myself set up with the same pattern as Eli, on a heavy 7 lb tippet. We had let the hole rest for a few minutes and Eli was working a couple of holes downstream, so I figured I’d toss into that hole again. After a couple of drifts through, a large fish rose
from under the log, and rolled at the swung fly. It looked like a football caught in the current! He wasn’t hooked however. A few more drifts proved that this big guy was resting for the time being. I decided to tie on a small nymph to see what might happen. On the first drift, I found this little guy to be interested.
A few more drifts through here and I decided, after no takes, to head downstream and join Eli.
We fished for another hour or so, when I mentioned that we should head back upstream to that hole to fish it as the sun was setting. We headed that way, and sat on the bank for a short while listening to the stream and birds. It was getting dark now, and I told Eli about the big brown I had seen chasing my fly, and motioned for him to try that same hole a few times. He did, and it was no disappointment. On about his third drift through, his rod bowed over before it began thrashing about. The fight was on! The fish held tight in the heavy, swelling current, at times seeming more like a rock than a fish, but every now and then it would dart around and reveal to us that it was still hooked, and mad as hell. The fish took off downstream, with Eli and myself in hot pursuit. As the water was very high and dirty, we had to move slow to keep our footing on the slippery riverbed.
Some time later, after several attempts at netting the beast, we had him!
With darkness fast approaching, and a heavy
drizzle going on, we couldn’t get a great shot of the beast, as we wanted
to get him back in the river quickly. It was truly a great outing,
and it seems to me that Elijah has a natural knack for fly fishing for big
browns in the rain. We’ll do it again soon buddy!