Western Natives

BACK-TO-BACK BROWNS

 

EXPERIENCE  >>  CREATORS OF THE WEST

“While planning our fishing trips to Wyoming we always hope for the best but prepare for the worst. The Southern front range of the Wyoming Rockies are notorious for harsh weather and high winds. These variable weather conditions make for an incredibly challenging environment to fish in.”

 

Author » Brian Waugh

Author » Brian Waugh

The Brown Trout in Wyoming are a often a bucket list fishing trip that many trout anglers dream of. Not only is the scenery is straight out of a Clint Eastwood western, but fishing for the secretive brown trout in this state is world renown. While there are more than 22 gamefish species swim in Wyoming’s waters, the state is most famous for its trout, including cutthroat, brook, rainbow, lake, and of course – brown trout. These browns have gained their reputation due to the fall spawning period, their elusiveness and the pure difficulty landing these large salmonids.

 

While planning our fishing trips to Wyoming we always hope for the best but prepare for the worst. The Southern front range of the Wyoming Rockies are notorious for harsh weather and high winds. These variable weather conditions make for an incredibly challenging environment to fish in. As we crossed the WYO/COLO border we noticed the weather that was setting in for the morning. It was foggy, humid and windy as we arrived to our fishing spot. We rigged up and went straight for the banks of a small lake hoping to surprise some trout feeding in the early morning.

We started fishing and while I was having no success, my fishing partner Landon had gotten hooked up a few times across the water. I circumnavigated this lake hoping to find the right hole that was holding the fish. With a rocky start to my morning, I met up with Landon only to find out he had gotten into some nice brook trout and rainbows on a similar fishing setup to mine. Feeling discouraged, I asked Landon if we could move on out to the next spot we had planned. We jumped in the truck, threw our rods in the vault and were off the new waters.

Upon arrival to the next spot, we drove up and could see trout feeding in the shallows. We spilt up and started targeting the activity in the water. Over the next hour we fished, cracked open a beer and joked about my lack of success this morning. Landon had already gotten a good start to his morning with some nice fish, but we weren’t seeing the trout we were expecting to find in these spots. After some hard fishing and switching my setup, I finally landed a dinky brook trout on a streamer. I was just excited to have landed a fish for the day and be able to say, “Welp, at least I didn’t get skunked!”. At this point my I was ready to move spots again; feeling defeated in my fly fishing efforts I wasn’t sure if it was my presentation, location or double-dropper setup that just wasn’t doing it for the fish. These hard days fishing can really make you re-evaluate your practice as an angler. With my head down, we moved on and hit the dirt road to find a more productive spot.

We moved to a small lake I had fished a handful of times before: we sat in the car and talked for a while before venturing out to the waters. I was beaten, unsatisfied and hopeless with my day fishing so far. I joked about my frustration and jumped out the car with a “here goes nothing” attitude. I grabbed the same double-dropper setup that I had rigged from the past lake and threw it out there with little expectation – and there it was.

A Hit! My indicator sank and I knew I was hooked into a good sized fish. Instantly my feeling of frustration vanished into fulfillment, I was gratified with the experience of netting a large brook trout on a previously unproductive setup. After some quick pics and a release. I had my line in the water again, then there it was again, another nice fish on the end of my line…
This time the fight was different. I yelled to Landon as I knew I was going to need assistance with this fish. Getting my first glimpse of color as I brought this fish to the surface I could tell that it was special. Landon rushed over and threw me the PNW Landing Net so I could land this fish safely. As I brought the fish into the net, we rejoiced with a massive high five and grins from ear to ear. We talked about how unique the colors on this brown were and that neither of us had seen a brown trout with this tiger-like pattern.

This was by far one of the prettiest browns I had ever laid eyes on, and I was fortunate enough to experience a personal interaction with it. We proceeded to snap a few photos and successfully released this healthy fish.

My day had changed from foggy and wet to warm and sunny, its fair to say my mood changed with it. These interactions are what make fly fishing special to me, sometimes it can only take one fish to turn your day around. My day had gone about as low as it gets while fishing to a pinnacle after an encounter with such a special brown trout.

I continued to fish the same spot and there it was. Another hit on the same dropper. As I reeled in the fish, it was yet another spectacular brown trout. These two trout were by far coolest brownies I had ever caught to this date.. and they were caught back-to-back from the same spot. I was shocked. Not just for the impressive size of these browns, but the vibrant colors and uniqueness of both these trout. I had not only bagged a two incredible brown trout, but also a brook trout, rainbow and a slabby cutthroat all from the same spot, you could say I had found the honey hole.