It is time to bring a new fly fishing blog into the world. The Brook Trout Fishing Guide. Right here. Right now. I will bring you all I can dredge up about finding and catching brook trout, all I can add from my own encounters with these widely scattered fish and all I can discover about how to protect the rapidly declining habitat that supports them. I’ll go far and wide searching them out on the eastern coasts of the United States and Canada, a region where they are native, to the Midwest and the western U.S. in order to sneak up, cast a dry fly (ideally) and fool them into taking it. In the process, you will see much of what I see, learn what I learn, the good and the bad, the fun and the futility, and sometimes the ridiculousness of it all.
I hope you will realize that fly fishing for brook trout is a fish worthy of your effort. If you did it when you were a kid but now you’re a big brown or rainbow trout type, or if you really dig plying warm rivers in a boat casting poppers to the smallmouth and largemouth bass , or maybe you go for stripers in tidal rivers like the Potomac, Rappahannock, Susquehanna, or in saltwater — in short, if you think you’ve “graduated” from fly fishing small streams deep in the woods for nine-, eight-, seven-inch or even smaller fish, maybe you’ll reconsider. Maybe you’ll get back to what first excited you about fly fishing.
Catching brook trout in small streams is not always easy. Certainly in the spring time when the streams are full brookies are eager to take just about anything you cast. Coupled with higher stream flows, you can get close and use the quantity and movement of the water to conceal your presence. But go out there in the late summer or early fall when the water is often clear and low and you’ll find it can be as challenging as any type of fishing. Wild brook trout spook at the smallest motion or noise. Getting close enough to make a short cast without any slack and setting the hook is very tough indeed.
It’s the end of October here in Virginia and the brookies are starting to spawn. For many, including myself, that means no fishing for them until at least February. This year has been particularly hard on our native trout. Water levels have been extremely low all over. I’ve fished Shenandoah National Park in Virginia quite a bit as well as the Poconos since this drought began. It’s dry everywhere and it’s not hard to see that the fish have had a rough time. Let them get together, do their reproductive thing and make more fish in peace. Thankfully, there are other fish to chase and other things to write about while waiting for the brookies to clear their schedules and get hungry again.
Time to kick this thing off!