Tyler Holland with this trophy 5 LB. brown from a small California River. He is mounting it with us. Congrats man!
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Stream season for Northern California is one of my favorite times of the year. Ice cold water, good flows, cool temps, and hungry trout. Brown Trout in particular!
A good friend of mine (also a well versed stream angler) decided to take a trek to some uncharted water, for us anyhow, in search of some trophy trout that inhabit the waters. After looking over some maps and plotting out a route along the canyons edge we both confirmed that it wasn't going to be a pretty task. Especially in pre-fishing light. Aka dark!!
The morning started out with a few rainbows and browns in the 12"-18" range along with two dinks about 8"-10". Definitely not what we were after but still a couple solid fish in the first half mile of water.
We came up to what had to be the best looking turn of the stream so far....here we go. After making my way as close to the water as I could without spooking any fish I took my first cast down stream at a 45 degree angle across to the side of a big pool. My approach was to do a slow retrieve upstream in hopes of catching the attention of a lazy trout and it worked. I had a 20"+ trout slowly trailing my F-09 Rapala in rainbow trout pattern. The fish never took a hard push forward to strike and gently turned against the current to drift back down.
My next tactic, and what I typically do for my first cast on good looking water, was to cast upstream and across to the bank at 45 degrees. My Rapala hits the tail end of some strong current and I immediately start retrieving fairly quickly with a ripping affect, like you would on top lining for trout from a boat. Suddenly, I see a big shadow darting towards the lure. Within a blink of an eye, my lure disappears into the mouth....it's a brown trout. A Big Brown!! FISH ON!!
I knew right away that this was the fish we were after! The lengthy brown was peeling off line and my drag was screaming out the 6 LB. test by the yard! The 6' light action Lamiglas rod was so loaded up with this trophy brown, I was getting a little nervous that the fish might make it's way into the giant rocks below the crystal clear water of the pool. As luck would have it, I was finally able to tire the fish out and ease her to the side of the stream to a smaller pool of water that was being held by the recent high flow.
Landing a fish like this without a net is such a delicate task and I always ask myself why I don't bring a small net when I stream fish lol. I handed my buddy my pole so I could lean over the rock shelf and attempt to cradle the fish and set him in the awaiting residual pool. Success! After a couple quick high fives and acting like a couple of giddy school kids we got measurements and some pictures of my PB stream trout. The fish measured in at 24" on the dot and weighed 5.1 lbs. During the fight, the brown spit out an 8 in. rainbow.....I guess he was looking for desert when he hit my Rapala!!
As you can see in my video, I released the fish back into the slow moving pool and watched as the magnificent brown swam to the bottom to revive. My satisfaction was immeasurable!