Here in the West, winter is settling in, even though it’s not yet Thanksgiving. And while a lot of anglers will be stowing their gear for the season, a few die hards will brave the wind and the cold and the snow to chase migrating brown trout.
It’s the blessing that comes with winter in mountain rivers. Browns start to spawn in October and can be found guarding redds all the way through December, when the weather can be decidedly crappy. Some have ethical issues with swinging streamers or running egg patterns over spawning fish, but, done right with consideration for the fish’s health, the impact is managable. It’s also when big browns are more aggressive and more likely to be found. The low light helps, of course, and the fact that there are fewer of us out there fishing is a bonus, too.
Don’t put the gear away just yet. Some of the best fishing of the year is upon us.
— Chris Hunt