Brown Trout

Josh's Notes

2016 Season Notes

Like my smallmouth season, I cut my brown trout season short in order to focus on pike. None the less I had quite a bit of success through early August having many double digit mornings. This season I started using some of the techniques I use for smallmouth such as the crayfish hop, pop and drop, and mending on the hop with great success. No 20" browns but did catch one 20" rainbow. Lots of 14-15" browns this year and most of my bigger browns all came on streamers. You don't have to go all the way up to Crawford or Viroqua Counties. Spend some time in Grant County exploring and you will find both quantity and quality brown trout.

Articles of interest:

2015 Season Notes

While I did not get up to Driftless or South Central Wisconsin nearly as much as I hoped, I did have some unforgettable moments and caught a lot of beautiful browns. This season I caught several over 14 inches, 1 over 15 inches and 1 right around 20 inches. the black wooly bugger was by far my best pattern and when combined with the pop and mend it was absolutely deadly. For me dark day dark fly was key and on brighter days I switched from black to an olive wooly bugger. The olive scud served me well also. As far as dries, the BWO was the best fly for me. I am actually getting addicted to the top water strike so next season I will be working on my dry fly presentation more. Great season this year and I learned a lot. I have so much more to learn yet and I look forward to trying another trick up my sleeve next year.

2014 Season Notes

This past season was my first season chasing Brown Trout. I had lots of success in Southwest Wisconsin particularly in the Big Green River. Drifting a Red San Juan Worm under an indicator was the best pattern for me. Don't forget the Leisenring Lift. My average size for Browns this past season was ten to eleven inches but caught several over twelve inches and a few thirteen inches or more.


In my opinion the Brown Trout is one of the most beautiful fish in the Midwest. It is medium sized fished that can get to sizes exceeding thirty inches. Brown Trout primarily feed on insects but will eat small fish and crustaceans too.


While more tolerant than Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout need clean, clear and cold water. As the water temperature approaches seventy degrees, brown trout began to become stressed but can survive in the low seventies. Brown Trout are nocturnal feeders and can be caught in the riffles in the early morning and late evening. During the day they can be caught hiding in cut banks or any where they can find shade or cover.