Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little BWOs)
3. Little Winter Stoneflies
Most available/ Other types of food:
4. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
Getting Started - Tips on Catching Brown Trout
Targeting specific species of fish to catch in the Smokies requires different strategies, techniques and
methods. You should select one of the three species - brook, brown or rainbow and focus on catching it.
Sure, you may catch more than one species, or in a very few places you may even have a chance to catch all
three species. Even so, the more you focus on catching a particular species, the better your odds will be.
1. Fish Early and Late For The Browns:
Brown trout don't like bright light. Their eyes and their methods of feeding depend on low light that allows
them to hide and attack their prey. You won't normally catch a large brown feeding on the surface during the
middle of the day and especially if there is bright sunlight and clear water. Unless it is very cloudy, or the
water is stained, your best bet is to go early and stay late to target the brown trout.
2. Fish The Brown Trout's Hideouts:
Large brown trout like to hide under boulders, undercut banks and anywhere else they can get out of the
light to hide and attack their prey. Those are the exact same places you want to present your fly.
3. Fish The Pools For Brown Trout Only During Very Low Light Conditions:
You stand a better chance of catching a brown trout from a clear pool near dark or early in the morning just
after daylight. You may also have some success fishing the pools during heavy, overcast, or dark cloudy
days. The exception to this is that some pools also have hideouts for the brown trout such as undercut banks,
crevices in and under large boulders, etc.
4. Fish For Browns When The Water Is Off Color:
When the water is stained or off-color from rain or melting snow, brown trout tend to move around a feed
when they would normally be hidden. Anytime after heavy rain makes the water dingy or stained is a good
time to catch a brown trout. Don't worry about it being too off-color. Yes, it can get too muddy but many
anglers avoid water with lots of stain thinking it's too dingy. That's rarely the case.
5. Fish For Browns When The Water Is High And Falling:
Anytime the water has been high and out of its banks in the woods, and it is falling back within the banks, is a
good time to fish for brown trout. They will use the cover of the dingy water and feed on food being washed
into the stream from the woods. This includes such things as cranefly larvae, terrestrial insects,
hellgrammites and other food. Small fish, minnows and baitfish will also be looking for the same food and the
large browns will target them.
6. Fish Subsurface Flies For Browns:
Yes, it is possible to catch a large brown trout on a dry fly, but it isn't probable. The small browns will take the
dry flies quite well at times, but it's rare that the large ones will take dry flies. Your best bet is to fish flies
below the surface of the water, such as streamers and imitations of larvae and nymphs.
7. Fish The Pre-Spawn Time of the Year For Browns:
Brown trout spawn in November and December in the Smokies. October and November are the two best
months for catching large brown trout in the pre-spawn stage, or when they begin their movements to spawn,
prior to the time they begin to build their redds. The brown trout tend to become aggressive during this time.
It's unsportsmanlike to fish for them when they are spawning.
8. Make Sure You Select A Stream That Has Brown Trout:
Since this is a "Getting Started" article, this should have been my first tip. Many streams in Great Smoky
Mountains National Park do not have brown trout. Make sure you select one that does. Our list of streams on
this website will tell you the streams that have brown trout.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
New Schedule of Daily Articles
Mondays: Weather and Stream Conditions
Forecast - Coming Week
Tuesdays: Fly Fishing Strategies - Which
Flies To Use - Coming Week
Wednesday: Fishing Tales
Thursday: Smoky Mountains Fishing Report
Friday: Getting Started
Saturday: Fly Fishing School
Sunday: This Week's Featured Trout Food