My best of the season so far. Got this 10.6 LB. brown earlier this winter! Lucky #7 for me on the BB list!
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In my book, Spring is the best time of the whole season to land a trophy brown trout. With warming water temps triggering their metabolism’s, the big trout will start to go on more feeding binges. If you are lucky, you might present your lure to a big brown at the right time in the right place and bingo, you catch that “fish of a lifetime!” The season opener in Oregon is this weekend so many anglers will be out to see if they can make that dream come true and bang a big trout. Conditions should be good because most of our lakes are full or near full.
Here in Central Oregon we are blessed with several lakes that can produce monster browns. The likes of Wickiup, Paulina, East and Crescent Lakes all hold brown trout exceeding 20 LB.! Normally, in the first week or two following the opening, the reports will drift in of 10 LB.+ browns coming from some or all of these lakes.
This was a strange winter in that we had very little precipitation and warmer weather than normal (except for that cold snap in Dec when it –18 one night). In March, everything changed and we got a lot of rain and snow which helped the meek snowpack we had through the end of February. We would have been facing a much bleaker summer water scenario without that late “shot in the arm!”
One of the highlights of my winter was catching another nice brown over 10 LB. That helped to take the sting out of losing a really big brown that was in the mid-teen range right at the back of my boat a few weeks before. I got a real good look at that big hen as she swirled behind the boat right before I was going to net her. I watched in disbelief as the lure came out of the corner of her jaw and she turned and swam lazily back down in the depths. At the time, I felt like I was kicked in the stomach. You work so hard to even hook a trout of that size and then instantly it is over.....those are heartbreakers! I guess I should have told her I was only going to get a photo with her and release her anyway.....maybe she would have cooperated a little better. lol!
On a warmer winter day, I took out my neighbor, Dave Van Verst, and we got lucky and hit 9 browns with 7 of them over 5 LB. The best was a 9 LB. hookjaw Dave caught right out of the gate when we first got on the water. That was Dave’s PB brown and came under ideal conditions on one of those special days. At the end of the day I jokingly told him that if we didn’t get a brown on this next pass we would head in. I think we caught 3 more in 3 runs at the ramp before it finally slowed up and we didn’t get bit. Needless to say, we left about an hour later than planed.
On another outing my best fishing buddy, John Werwie, joined me and we hit some of the worst weather either of us have ever experienced on a fishing trip. For a two day period, it didn’t stop raining for more than fifteen minutes! We did manage to get a couple of good browns with John catching and releasing a nice 8 LB. hookjaw and then topping that with this beautiful 9 LB. hen. Before it ended, I managed to hit an 8 LB. hen.
I should be hitting several lakes over the next few weeks so check back for more reports.
Catch and release you later,