When Mother Nature painted her first brook trout, she was definitely on top of her game! I challenge anyone to name a more spectacularly coloured fish in freshwater. Red dots surrounded by blue halos and the green camouflage mottling on their backs, it’s like a piscatorial maze. When she painted the brook trout, she also created an animal that is as ruthless, violent and voracious as it is beautiful… quite the dichotomy. We asked a few of the hosts from The New Fly Fisher what their favourite brook trout fly is and why. These five flies should definitely be in every brook trout angler’s box.
1. Rob Heal's favourite fly for brook trout
Joe's Panther. This is an old pattern that is tough to find any history on. The only book that I've ever seen it referenced in is Forgotten Flies. It's a pattern that my father has been using since the early '60s and has taken brook trout on two continents, six provinces and likely six or seven states on water ranging from large, brawling rivers, big lakes, small ponds and back wood creeks. I have no idea what it is about this fly, but brook trout love it.
2. Bill Spicer's favourite fly for brook trout
For brook trout, I always start with a streamer such as the Montreal. It’s an old reliable. You can fine-tune once you find fish but for a searching pattern, it’s great.
If the fish are feeding on the surface a Goddard caddis is my go-to. You can dead drift it or you can skitter it across the surface. It stays buoyant for a long time.
3. Mark Melnyk's favourite fly for brook trout
For me, targeting brook trout, I LOVE fishing mice patterns. Big fish love big offerings and a size 6 or 4 Moorish mouse does the trick for me! I may not get as many takes as a smaller offering, but I’ll take a giant brookie eating a mouse pattern all day long. My next go-to pattern is a Chernobyl ant. Deadly for brook trout!
4. Jeff Parks's favourite fly for brook trout
Size 10 muddler (brown). Skidding it along the top of the surface. Get's huge attention in fast water and brook trout salivate in its presence. Skidding across the surface creates a wake that drives trout crazy. Might look like an injured baitfish or mouse or might look just darn tasty.
5. Colin Mckeown's favourite fly for brook trout
For brook trout, my go-to is Barr’s Meat Whistle in Chartreuse. This fly can emulate almost anything that might be of interest to a brook trout. From a crayfish to a leech to a baitfish, different retrievals will result in big brook trout success!
The bottom line is from slow crawling a fly along the bottom to ripping in a terrestrial such as a mouse, most of the time brook trout will eat and eat well. Though sometimes they are considered an “all or nothing” fish, with this wide variety of flies in your fly box, your chances of dancing with one of Mother Nature’s finest is a reality.