View Full Version : Why are West Coast Brown's hard to catch?

03-17-2006, 11:57 AM
As a long-time reader of East Coast Boards, I've reached a couple of conclusions. Fishing techniques and associated catch rate for most species are quite similar; particularly for Bow's and Mack's (Lakers). Things are quite different however, for Brown's. Here's a recent post from a NY board:
"Went out Saturday afternoon 4-6 pm from Bear Creek. Fished tight, 4-10 ft. Went 8 for 11 on Browns, 4-8lbs. Purple stick baits caught most, but blue-silver, black-silver also worked. Sunday went out in the afternoon 3-6pm and went 5 for 8 on the browns. All but one came on honeybees, yellow and silver. Biggest Sunday was 11 lbs in 15 ft. Cant ask for much better in march." This is certainly a better-than-average report, but not extraordinary. I've never heard of a two-day catch rate for Brown's even close to this tally on the W/C. The techniques used are essentially the same; the favorite lures are different, but very similar to those commonly used here.
A whole host of possibilities come to mind: fewer Brown's? Maybe, but I'm reminded of a previous netting study on Tahoe that concluded that Brown's outnumbered Bow's by a wide margin, but the opposite was reflected in creel counts. There is a wide-spread Brown planting program in the Great Lakes and other E/C regions. Is it possible that the strain(s) being propogated here differ in "catchability"? It certainly appears so, in which case, CA DFG and NV NDOW need to consider an East Coast transplant..

03-17-2006, 12:09 PM
You pose an interesting question. *I'm sure that it is a combination of the possibilities you have mentioned. *A large contributer is that California does not plant alot of Browns, so we have less and the ones we do have are wild and wary. *Browns are also known to be nocturnal feeders and most of our waters are closed to night fishing. Back in the mid-nineties they planted Topaz Lake with Browns and I was catching them regularly until, I'm sure, they were all gone. DFG just needs to plant more Browns.

03-17-2006, 01:30 PM
Because they read these forums and get extra smart!!

03-17-2006, 01:49 PM
Because they read these forums and get extra smart
The east coast fishermen or the Browns? ;) :D ;D

03-17-2006, 03:42 PM
I want you to think real hard about that question Mickey!!!

These fish are smart and extremly hard to catch, become boat shy from over fishing and over boating and or just fishing for them in the wrong manner, so again think about your question.

8-) 8-)

03-17-2006, 04:57 PM
I think it must be genetics, like you suggested. If I remember correctly, Florida Strain Largemouth Bass are prized for the size and aggressiveness of the fish compared to other strains. I think your east coast transplant idea is excellent.

03-17-2006, 05:19 PM
I read about a strain of brown trout called Seeforellen (sp?). they are suposed to have a faster growth rate and get rather large :o

03-17-2006, 05:22 PM
That tally of browns would not be considered exceptional for this time of year or in the late fall around here. Talk to some of the serious brownies who are not longer members here. The average size is better back east because the lakes are far more productive than our waters. But there are more really large browns caught out here.

The lack of cloud cover in the west during the summer makes brown fishing much harder during the warm months unless you know how to target browns hanging deep under kokanee or chubs.

Browns are no smarter than any other fish. They are all really, really stupid. Browns are just much more light sensitive than other fish. So catching them in clear water and during the day is a lot harder in our clear western lakes than in algae stained eastern waters.

03-17-2006, 05:29 PM
The east coast fishermen or the Browns?
Sorry for the attemp at humor Ken ;D ;D I re-read the question and I still think it's funny :D And Doc ruined it, he's all serious and everything :-/ but as usual, he has posted the only possible answer ;)

03-17-2006, 06:30 PM
Sorry about being serious.

So Mickey, have been able to out smart very many browns since Bertha? ;)

03-17-2006, 06:34 PM
I have caught many, but none in the Trophy range, and none the size of Bertha. But I don't think anybody has ;) I didn't out smart Bertha, she just decided to commit suicide when my lure flashed by ;D ;D

03-17-2006, 06:58 PM
There are many rivers and lakes with good populations of brown trout...trophy brown trout in California. There too many to list in northern CA. Most anglers that have put in the time to learn the techniques for catching large brown wont share and for good reason. I will share where I catch planted trout like at Lake Amador and even share my tecniques but where I catch native trout in streams and lakes ...I will not share unless you are a close fishing buddy...but if you are a meat fisherman and a fishing buddy I wont touch the topic. My favorite streams and lakes have produced well for 40 years and I would like to keep it that way. I remember Loch Leven Lakes were producing killer browns years ago and someone wrote an article in an outdoor magazine...killed the fishing in less than 2 years. It has taken over 15 years for the lake to almost recover. If you fish enough you will stumble onto the browns... be patient and ask questions with the locals...eventually if they see you enough and you dont rape the streams, they will give you some of their secrets but the best way is to find your own techniques. Best of luck and tight lines.


03-18-2006, 09:00 AM
I was going along with your funny and Doc's serious side jumped all up in our faces and straitened us out, I just went thru the cupboards and thru out all of the boxes of brownies, the instructions kept fading out and could never figure out how to use them.

8-) 8-)

03-18-2006, 10:02 AM
How can you guys be joke at such a serious question ;D
There are some good points here but as Doc points out, all these fish are catchable. MT, Bertha was no accident. You were fishing with one of the premier up and coming Brown trout fisherman in the state. If you don't think so, Look at his resullts for the 2 years since. 4 over #10 with the smallest over #12. I don't really agree the fish are dumb. But they are wary, and as Ken said the boat traffic and pressure are a major factor. These great lakes browns don't get near the pressure as our local lakes. These are literal oceans. These fish may have never seen and artificial lure. Thats why Brown trout fisherman like to keep the lake quiet. These fish have become educated to fishing pressure and have become more of a challenge to catch.
Thats why anyone that boats a brown over 7 or 8 lbs. should be proud. That's a trophy brown and I have gone months at a time without one. The difference is I keep coming back. For one to beat MT's self proclaimed lake record, because that's the reason I started chasing these beasts in the first place, and 2 I want the state record. And I'm willing to go to great lengths, and expense to catch it. And you can bet that if I do, it will be Legal beyond a doubt.

03-18-2006, 10:16 AM
Can't stay away from a brown thread eh Flatlander? ;)

They aren't particularly wary. They just can't see well. ;D

03-18-2006, 01:11 PM
I don't know why you guys think browns are so hard to catch. I have caught them in the rivers in places that get a couple of dozen anglers every day in the spring. Granted that they are not very big (3-5lb range) but they are not any different than catching rainbows. And if you enjoy catching small fish (1/2 -1 lb range) the Sierra streams are full of them. As far as big brown being difficult, I just have this to say: All trophy fish are difficult, not just browns.