Friday, August 2, 2013

Stalking the Bank for Brook Trout

Brook trout on a pink albert
Little, high altitude creeks in Idaho offer a unique challenge and amazing scenery if you are will to put some time into finding them. Lucky for we Idahoans, turning north at almost any intersection off Interstate 84 will land us in amazing high country, full of small and median sized streams. If you get lucky, you might even find a little gem of a creek full of hungry brook trout.
Grassy banks, submerged log jams, crystal clear water and tight spaces make small stream fishing a different beast and a fun new challenge in my opinion. I try to stay on the bank, walking on my knees and stalking my fish much like a heron. The on-the-bank technique helps me preserve these fragile ecosystem and prevents the stream from becoming murky with debris. I suppose I do my fair share of mashing the bank down...sorry little wild flower. Terrestrial fly patterns usually work great for these streams including, ant, beetle, hoppers and crickets.
 Generally, brook trout will take just about anything they can fit in their mouth if well presented. I like selecting flies with higher visibility (like the pink albert this little brookie hit)  or a colorful terrestrial and then go up in size until I can see it well between blades of grass or behind logs.  Small creeks require accuracy and stealth and some advanced fisherman prefer a shorted, lighter fly rods for these situations.  I caught this beauty on a tributary of the Payette River near Smiths Ferry, ID.

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