had numerous inquries regarding how to find and catch trophy
trout. There are many things to consider. First, trout need
three basic things, oxygen, food and protection. Larger more
dominant trout in a fishery only need two, oxygen and food.
Once a trout becomes 20" or larger it begins to take a
dominant place in a water system. As it grows larger and larger
its becomes less worried about being a source of food for birds
of prey. Basically, a dominant trout goes where it wants to
go and when it wants to go. Throughout our days spent on the
water, we have observed trophy trout anywhere from 6" of
water to 25' of water and fast water and slow. When you are
fishing for these fish you need to be observant and fish every
bit of water you can. Unless a hatch is coming off, streamers
are your best and most efficient way to catch and land trophy
sized trout. When you are using streamers fish them fast and
aggressive. Often, we fish our streamers up stream to
achieve a more natural retrieve and also improve hook setting
percentages. Below are some tips and thoughts we have about
fishing for trophies.
- Fish as much water as possible. (When I fish alone I
am covering about 3-5 miles of water. Fish it fast and
- Use 1x or 2x tippet. You're fishing your flies fast.
A trout is not going to look at your tippet. They'll be
looking at your fly.
- After you catch a fish over 16" retie your fly.
Strikes and playing a fish can put wear on your tippet.
Take 30 seconds to retie and you won't dissapoint yourself
by breaking off your bext fish.
- White and Yellow are our favorite colors. Add some red
to your patterns.
- 80% of the flies we use for trophies have a sculpin
- When you catch your trophy, revive it for at least the
amount of time you fought the fish. When handling a trout,
make sure your hands are wet and keep the fish in the water
as much as possible. Make sure the trout swims out of your
- Use barbless hooks or crimp the barbs down on your flies.
You have cleaner hook sets, you protect the fish and yourself
and you won't lose more fish. If you fight a fish properly,
a barbless hook works as well as a barbed hook.
- Don't be afraid to go big. A 12" trout will take
a 4" pattern. With that ratio a 24" trout will
take an 8" pattern easily. Often salt water flies
work well for attracting larger brown trout.
- Use a full sinking line to throw streamers. A sinking
line lets you do one back cast and one forward cast to
present the fly. A sinking line most importantly gets your
fly down to where larger trout usually hold.
- Trophy citations can be obtained with a witness and a
length measurement. On average most states required length
for a trophy trout is 18".
Eastern Trophies Fly Fishing
PO Box 16522
Alexandria, VA 22302 USA
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PO Box 16522 • Alexandria • VA • 22302