Figuring out hatches can take some time. Experience on a river is really the only way you’re going to “figure it out”. Having the inside scoop on that river will expedite your learning curve and greatly improve your chances on a catch. So what happens if you are heading to a new body of water and are looking to fill your fly box?
Brook trout are unique fish. They are often considered an “all or not” kind of adversary. Sometimes, you can catch them with a pop-tab fly and sometimes, you can’t write a check big enough to buy a bite. However the fish are reacting at any given time, the method in which you approach brook trout really shouldn’t change at all. And there are some key flies to have on hand to maximize your chances of hooking a trophy.
Firstly, lets go over the method of the madness that is fishing brook trout. Upon approaching your run or pool, stop upstream, sit back and observe. Watch what is going on in the area. Are there fish rising? Are you hearing any flicks of surface action, are you seeing any sub-surface flashes or movement? What bugs do you see? Is it windy? (terrestrial flies?) When you arrive, it’s the perfect time to educate yourself as to what, if anything is happening. Based on your observations, you can make educated fly choices. Start big and bold and then pare down to the ultimate in finesse. In your box have a combination of dries, subsurface and nymphs.
So what are the 3 go-to flies for Miminiska Lodge? Dries, terrestrials and subsurface?
Golden Stone Fly – This fly tied by Elden Berrett is a deadly stone fly imitation – fished skating and skittering, it’s a knockout for brookies
Mice Patterns – for aggressive brooktrout looking for a high-protein meal, you can’t beat a mouse. Size does matter here so don’t be afraid to go a little larger than you’d think (watch for northern pike however!)
Hoppers – a variety of foam grasshoppers will prove very effective for brook trout at Miminiska Lodge – experiment with size profiles and mimic any profile of bugs you see on the water.
Dry Flies – These flies will entice brook trout if they are sipping dries, unlike the terrestrial game, these dries will be presented very finesse, bring floatant and lighter tippet 4 and 5 X – Dries sizes should be anywhere from 14-18. Consider:
Elk Hair Caddis
Swinging Flies – Having some shot or an intermediate sinking tip will help if you need to get deeper in the runs and pools where these brookies lay. You can also consider buggers, streamers and zonkers with a cone or bead head to assist in your depth control. Voracious brook trout will readily take flies on the swing! Consider:
Wooly Buggers – white, black, olive, brown, tan
Rabbit Streamers – white/green double bunnies, black, white, chartreuse, tan
Zonkers – white, olive, brown, black
Nymphs – in the extremely rare occasion you will have to nymph for these brook trout, a variety of sizes will be helpful. Fished under an indicator or euro-style; nymphing is a last resort for negative fish – consider:
Kaufmann Stone Fly
These flies are simply a suggestion. The brook trout at Miminiska Lodge are rarely fished and are extremely fly friendly. It is a great spot to experiment with your favorite flies; however, make sure you have these staples in your box. You’ll be glad you brought them along!