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Heading Into Brown Trout Spawning Season

This quality hen brown hit a kokanee pattern plug on the downrigger.

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The change is definitely in the air! Here in Central Oregon, the fall season has arrived with cooling temps, some rain and leaves starting to turn on some of the trees. It also means that brown trout will be starting to move shallow as they get ready to start their spawning ritual each fall. It usually starts at higher elevations first and moves on down as the season progresses. It is my favorite season for many reasons. For one it is the “last hurrah” for the fishing season in general. The crowds have gone home or are into the hunting season. The brilliant fall colors of oranges, reds and muted golds brighten the scenery as they develop with the cooling weather. And last but not least, it is the time of the year you can see monster browns cruising the shallows as they get ready to spawn. Though they can be tough to get this time of year because they are transitioning between feeding and spawning, some really big toads are hooked each year by persistent anglers.

I had the chance to get out this past week for an evening. I didn’t get to the lake until around 4:30 and then messed with rigging a lure for the upcoming Kootenay Lake trip at the end of Oct. I was switching out some trebles for single hooks on a plug to see how it affected the action. I thought I would experiment with it before getting serious on some brown action before dark.

I only had one strike but it turned out to be a nice brown in the 8 LB. class that hit on the rigger as I was making a turn. Over my shoulder, I could make out the rod popping as the hen took it out of the clip and the rod went over with the drag singing. A sound you never grow tired of I might add! I got the other rod in and got on the rigger rod. It was a nice hen that put up a great fight! She hit on a new kokanee pattern plug I was running. I had noticed a fly fisherman in a float tube just a little ways away so I left her in the net and wandered over to him for his assistance in getting a photo or two for me. He was more than glad to help just to see a the nice brown up close. After one more self timer photo in the boat, I worked her a bit and then watched her swim away.

It was the highlight of the evening as I didn't get bit again. One fish that size makes it all worth while in my book. At this stage of the game for me, I would rather get one good bite than a bunch of dinks.

I will be heading up to Paulina and East off and on the next two weeks so check back for more reports.

Tight Lines,

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