Latin: Salmo Trutta
Other Names: Brownie, German Brown, Bronson
Life Span: 5-6 Years
Coloration: Light Brown with dark black spots either round our irregularly shaped
Habitat: Rivers, Lakes, and Creeks
Brown Trout (Salmo Trutta) are actually a salmonoid and closely related to the popular Atlantic salmon. Browns are native to Alpine regions in Europe and Asia. Salmo Trutta was first introduced to North American waters in 1883 when a nearly mythical package of eggs wrapped tightly in wet moss was shipped to the United States from Germany. In 1884 a similarly wetted, iced, and fated parcel containing another genetic strain of brown trout was shipped from Scotland to Canada.
Ole Salmo Trutta is considered the most wily and wary of the “trout class” primarily because of its particular feeding habits. In the early stages of life, brown trout tend to be a bit less shy and will more frequently and aggressively rise to surface-hatching insects. But as these fish age, they become much more characteristically wary and stick to a more painfully strategic, less reactionary, and mostly nocturnal feeding method.
On balance, Brown Trout (Salmo Trutta) enjoy finding and devouring insects, crustaceans, and smaller fish mostly at dusk and at night. In fact, many fly anglers fishing for rainbow trout have been quite surprised when they land not only the 8- or 9-inch rainbow they thought they hooked, but also the 22-inch Brown Trout (Salmo Trutta) that happened to be happily devouring the rainbow when it decided to take the fly! The most voracious feeding, however, happens beneath the cloak of night when nocturnal brown trout are begin to cruise the river banks for large terrestrial insects, smaller fish, stray mice, muskrats, squirrels, and even chipmunks.
Equipment for Brown Trout:
The Best Brown Trout Outfit
California's Lower Truckee River flows from the famous Tahoe Lake. It winds it's way though beautiful alpine country, passes through the quaint mountain town of Truckee and then bends eastward. Unlike most Sierra Nevada streams, the Truckee River never meets the Pacific Ocean. Instead, it heads inland, eventually feeding into Nevada's Pyramid Lake. It's a pretty western river and it's full of trophy trout...but they don't come easy.It was on this river, that I had the chance to test out Loop Tackle's Multi 696-4 fly rod. That might sound like a larger fly rod for your standard-sized trout stream, but I had a plan in mind. Knowing that really big brown trout hold in these waters and also knowing that there's a healthy population of crawfish in this watershed, I was going streamer fishing.I tied up some heavy-duty, rusty brown crawfish patterns with barbell eyes. I even added some rabbit strips to mimic the claws of the crawfish. This fly would be the only pattern I would fish this day. To efficiently deliver this heavier fly, I need a fly line with more mass. I chose the new Airflo Mend in a six weight. You might think I would fish a sinking tip line, but most of the clear water runs on the Truckee are not that deep and if a big brown trout wanted my fly...he'd happily move toward it.To keep things simple, I used the Loop Multi fly reel (6-9) to compliment this outfit. Might sound like a pretty big reel to put on a six weight, but I chose it for two reasons: The reel's extra weight would counter-balance the extra length of this rod, providing improved balance for a long day of casting. Also, this larger reel would give me extra line capacity, should I need it on a big brown trout.Here's an important factoid related to crawfish. They have an exoskeleton (a hard outer shell). As these critters grown, they shed or molt their entire exoskeleton and grow into their new one. Calcium is the key element here, as it is used to harden the new exoskeleton. Not wanting to waist any calcium, prior to the molt, a crawfish removes as much calcium from the old shell and stores it in its gastrolith (stomach stone). It then blasts this calcium back into the new shell to create a hard exoskeleton.And the point of all this is...? When a big brown trout eats a crawfish, the trout's stomach dissolves the crawfish, except for the gastrolith. This white, pill-like stone (it looks like a Tums antacid) is passed through digestive track of the fish and drops to the bottom of the stream. A big brown trout will eat many crawfish and the expelled gastroliths will collect in the tail out of brown trout's run. Just think bones near a dragon's lair.With the Loop Multi 696-4 fly rod rigged and ready, a walked the banks of the Truckee in search of a promising run. Prior to fishing, I inspected the tail of the run, looking for expelled gastroliths. Within a short hunt, I found a run with many (as in a lot) gastroliths in the tail out. The Loop Multi six weight had plenty of casting power to propel my Airflo six weight Mend fly line with ease. It's a nine foot six inch rod that provided easy mends and superior line control.I could easily dead drift, jig and swing my crawfish pattern. I had total control over my many casts and drifts. My guess is that most people would have moved on to another run after a dozen or so casts, but not me. The confidence provided me by visually inspecting the collection of gastroliths kept me on the hunt. On one drift, my line literally stop. There was slight pressure and I set the hook. My Loop Multi rod bowed over and the Loop Multi fly reel's drag smoothly paid out line.It was a big, really big brown trout on my line. I had twelve pound tippet, so I felt pretty confident putting hard pressure on the fish to keep him from structure. Not kidding, these big brown trout act more like Ling Cod, as they will dig (head first) into any crevice afforded them by the stream. I had the chance to land two more large trout during my day. Casting the Loop Multi 696-4 was fun and easy. It had plenty of power and balanced nicely with the Loop Multi 6-9 fly reel. This is one great rod/outfit for any angler wanting to pursue larger trout with confidence.
Due to its relatively large size (when compared to other aquatic insects), the stonefly is a fun pattern to fish. When fished like a dry fly, on the surface of the water, the resulting strikes are aggressive and memorable. Typically during a stonefly hatch the largest trout in the water come to feast. When fished sub surface as a nymph, few trout will pass up the larger meal ticket being offered. Having the right equipment, especially fly rod and fly line, makes all the difference when casting the larger stonefly pattern. Leland recommends the below fly rods for the best results.
Leland Rod Company's New Zealand Dry Fly Rod
Leland Rod Company's New Zealand Trout Fly Rod
Red Truck Fly Rod Company's Diesel Dry Fly Rod
Red Truck Fly Rod Company's Diesel Trout Fly Rod
The Church, The cathedral, Holy Water, and the Jewel of the West Coast are names given to the spring fed McCloud River over the years. These affectionate names generally will indicate 1 of 2 things: it’s hard to get to or private… Amazing fishing and scenery are givens of course. In the case of the McCloud River it’s both. Many of the rivers in Northern California have been ravaged over gold, timber, and the obvious water. The McCloud River’s rugged surroundings and lack of gold kept both people and industries at bay. The McCloud Dam, forming Lake McCloud, separates the Upper McCloud River from the lower McCloud.
The Lower McCloud River fills Lake Shasta with help from the Upper Sacramento River, The Pit River, and various other creeks. Lake Shasta supplies the water for the Lower Sacramento River and most of the power in the Northern Ca. While the Upper McCloud River, home to the Native McCloud River Red Bands is more of a creek than a river.
So many words have been written on the blue green wasters and lush yet treacherous surroundings of Lower McCloud River. Most of these words were written by much better writers than me.
The Difficulty Rating of the Lower McCloud River - Advanced.
Now I am not saying you won’t have a good time if you go as it is an incredibly beautiful place to spend your time. The McCloud River is not the wading nightmare of the Pit River but involves quite a bit of hiking and moderately tough wading. The public water is minimal and gets fished often. Great fly choice and presentation is important. As long as you’re in good physical shape the fishing gaps can be bridged with a good guide.
Tips for Fly Fishing the Lower McCloud River:
Access and Camping on the Lower McCloud River:
Ash Camp On the McCloud River- Click the link to see Gps in Google Maps- In the town of McCloud make a left on Squaw Valley road. You take this for about 10 miles over the dam when the rod comes to a T go to the Right. Drive slow and look on your right for Ash Camp. It can be hard to see especially at night. Ash Camp provides great access to the river.
AH-Di-Nah Campground On the McCloud River - Click the link to see Gps in Google Maps- In the town of McCloud make a left on Squaw Valley road. You take this for about 10 miles until just before the dam there is a sharp left that takes you to Ah-DI-NAH campground. The 11 mile road is rough… take a sturdy vehicle. This is my favorite place to camp on The McCloud River. There is a trail on the Westside (campground side of the river.) There are a few Primitive campsites in between the conservancy and AH-Di-Nah Campground and the Nature Conservancy Property.
The Nature Conservancy- Click the link to view their website and book - The preserve allows 10 anglers to fish using catch and release techniques at any one time. Five of these fishing places may be reserved a least a few weeks in advance through the Conservancy's San Francisco office: phone (415) 777-0487. The remaining five fishing spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are held until 10 a.m. of the date reserved.
Hatches on the Lower McCloud River-
Recommended reading on The McCloud River:
Best Guide on The McCloud River:
Shasta Trout Phone number is 530-926-5763
Fly Fishing gear for the McCloud River:
The best trout fly rod for the McCloud is a 9ft 5 weight. Our Red Truck Diesel 590-4 is balanced perfectly for the McCloud River. If you want to streamer fish for the big Brown Trout I recommend our 9ft Six weight Red Truck Streamer rod.
When packing your fly box with mayfly imitations, always consider the destination before you start filling up those little rows of slotted foam. The water type, season, local climate, and time of day will often determine which distinct hatches of mayfly species you'll most likely encounter. Because mayflies spend the proportionally greatest time in the nymph stage, never leave for a fly fishing destination without a solid selection of mayfly nymphs and emergers on hand. Don't underestimate the duns and spinners either. These stages in the mayfly life cycle may be short relative to the nymph stage, but they can just as easily be the ticket to an epic day on the water for a fly fisher.
When fishing a mayfly pattern, you have multiple options. However, the two most common approaches are either to fish the nymph form of the mayfly below the surface. This certainly can be done with a high stick nymphing approach, but it's far more common for fly fishers to fish a mayfly nymph with the assistance of an indicator to better detect strikes. The second, and arguably the most enjoyable way to fly fish with a mayfly, is the dry fly technique. Here, your floating, adult mayfly pattern is presented on the surface of the water. With a natural drift (the same speed as the current) you'll be amazed when a trout rises to take your offering. Dry fly fishing with a mayfly is the essence of the sport of fly fishing.
Take a look at the best nymph and dry fly rods we have to offer:
The North Fork of the Yuba River is a beginner’s paradise but a seasoned angler will have a wonderful time as well. The North Fork of the Yuba River fishes best in the summer months after the snow melt has occurred. Snow melt depending on the year is generally finished up by June. The North Fork of the Yuba River is over 60 miles long, most of which is paralleled by highway 49. The hot summer days allow anglers to fish without waders which is a huge plus for beginning fly fishers who may not have waders. We prefer to wet wade as the water is clean and clear. It also makes a quick swim to cool of that much easier. What could be better than sticking a few fish then swimming in the same hole.
The best stretch of the North Fork of the Yuba River is the stretch between Downieville and Sierra City. There are literally hundreds of pull outs for anglers to park and walk down to the North Fork of the Yuba River. In my experience your best bet is to fish the pocket water and make only a few casts in each spot before moving to the next rock. This is where you can hone your wading skills by casting while walking to cover wader quickly. If you're unsure, please exercise caution and stop fishing to move to the next spot. The creeks entering the river offer smaller water but tighter casting quarters. We love these creeks in the mid summer as they offer shade and maybe even a brook trout!
Difficulty Rating for the North Fork of Yuba River – Beginner
The North Fork of the Yuba River is where I take all of my friends and students to learn how to fly fish. The hundreds of eager fish in every stretch of river are quick but very catchable. The North Fork of the Yuba River is the perfect size for beginning anglers to learn how to wade and fish a river. While it is the perfect size it is not the easiest river to wade. So, being in good shape is a prerequisite to fishing the North fork of the Yuba River.
Fishing the pocket water on the North Fork of the Yuba River:
Pocket water is a section of water with many boulders protruding from it. These boulders create a buffer for the fish to hold behind, in front of, and along side. I like to fish my way upstream casting my flies all around the rocks. Start by fishing the water closest to you and then work you way out. The beginning angler should cast a hopper dropper rig. If you have cast your flies all around the rock and don’t get a grab move to the next boulder. There are hundreds of eager Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout in every stretch of the river. Be persistent and you will catch fish.
Tips for fishing the North Fork of the Yuba River:
· Fish the pocket water in the bouldery sections of the North Fork of the Yuba River.
· Fish a hopper dropper rig.
· When fishing the runs and deeper pools of the North Fork of the Yuba use and Indicator rig.
· Wade carefully and be stealthy as the water is clear on the North Fork of the Yuba River.
· More tips on fly fishing for trout.
There are many campgrounds on the North Fork of the Yuba. I like the Loganville campground a few miles short of Sierra City. You can reserve a campsite here by calling 1-877-444-6777.
There are equally as many cabins to rent on the North Fork of the Yuba River. I prefer The Sierra Streamside Cabins with guiding services from Jim the owner.
Gear for the North Fork of the Yuba River:
My favorite outfit for fishing the North Fork of the Yuba River is the Red Truck Fiberglass Fly Rod.
If you have any questions on the North Fork of the Yuba River please email email@example.com or call 415.781.3474.
The Lower Yuba is a 21 mile long tailwater fishery flowing out of Englebright Lake characterized by long runs, crater-like pools, and wide riffles. However, it's more known for the feisty native rainbows that call this river home. This makes a great river to float in a raft or drift boat but fishing from the bank can be rewarding.
Fishing tips for the Lower Yuba River:
Brian Clemens - NorCal Fly Guides
Hogan Brown - Website
Shuttle Services - Christopher Streetman (530) 639-2521 - facebook: Yubarivercabins
Gear For Fly Fishing Lower Yuba River:
The Best Yuba River Balanced outfit
If you have any questions on the Lower Yuba River please email me firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415.781.3474.
Leland Rod Co - Bonefish/Streamer Fly Box:
Bass 2 Bonefish arrive prepared!