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Browns eat brookies?

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2009/3/21 0:58
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I have a buddy who lives in potter where we have a camp and is a brown trout catching expert on small free stoners. He said he has been seeing a decrease in brookies and an increase in browns and claims the browns are getting big on the brookies. I always figured as much happens but enough to deplete a native population?? It got me thinking.... Would this fly do the trick when I go up to chase the big browns?

http://www.rareandunusual.com/brook%20trout%20streamer.html

I know I could prob go with a olive bugger and have the same success.... Anyone use anything like this?

Posted on: 4/16 15:50


Re: Browns eat brookies?

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2011/5/3 12:22
From South Lebanon Township, PA
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Yes, Browns eat Brookies, but that’s only part of the story…A big enough Brookie is surely capable of eating small YOY or second year Browns if given the opportunity too, it’s just not as many Brookies reach that size in comparison to Browns. Browns grow bigger, and more importantly grow faster, and can generally outcompete Brookies in a lot of our small freestoners. This means they outcompete them for food, primo holding lies, and the safety of cover against predation. While I’m certain some Brookies end up food for the Browns, it’s the Browns general dominance in size and speed in reaching that size that has a slower, but cumulatively greater effect on driving out Brookies.

Extremely cold, steep, infertile headwater streams are an exception, and so are streams that are acidic…Brookies have the biological advantage over Browns in those conditions.

To answer your question, I’m not sure there’s any real advantage in using that Brookie streamer (despite how cool it looks!) over a standard Bugger. For Browns in small freestoners, IMO it’s all about conditions. Go in low, clear, cold water and you’d swear the stream’s dead. Browns are ghosts in those conditions, whereas you may still be able to pick up a Brookie or too, or at least spook them in those conditions. Go back when the water is up, off, and warmer and the Browns will have gone completely stupid and will eat nearly anything.

Posted on: 4/16 16:26


Re: Browns eat brookies?

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2012/2/15 16:35
From Butler, Pa
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My friend was fishing a Brookie streamer over the weekend in a stocked/native Brookie stream. He hooked into a musky. I caught natives and stockers below and above that point, but I'm sure the 25" musky did his fair share.

Posted on: 4/16 17:03


Re: Browns eat brookies?

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2007/5/11 21:03
From Media, PA
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When I first started fly fishing there was a series of flies by ____ Slaymaker. The first trout I caught on a fly rod was a Little Rainbow Trout pattern. I still have a Little Brook trout pattern I tied about twenty plus years ago stuck in the brim of an older Fedora. Guess trout have always been cannibals when it gets down to it, as are most fish.

Posted on: 4/16 17:14


Re: Browns eat brookies?

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2006/11/2 8:50
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Sure browns eat brookies. Any trout large enough to eat another trout will eat it if it gets the chance.

It's interesting that he's seeing a trend towards more browns in the brown/brookie ratio on the freestoner streams.

I've seen what appears to be the opposite on many freestone streams.

I asked a PFBC biologist what they've seen in their electrofishing info, but he wasn't sure if there was a trend or not. I doubt that anyone has really gone into the data and crunched the numbers. He did mention one freestoner in NC PA where he thought the ratio was shifting in favor of the brookies.

Probably 15 years ago I heard second hand that the biologist in the ANF said things were shifting towards brookies.

I'd be interested in what other people have seen.

One thing that makes it complicated is that most people who start fishing those streams are not very good at knowing what it takes to catch the browns. And with more experience they learn more about that, so their ratio of browns caught increases.

It's hard to distinguish what you're seeing as a result of changes in the way you are fishing vs changes in populations. But, the electrofishing data should make it pretty clear if someone spent some time analyzing it.

Posted on: 4/16 18:17


Re: Browns eat brookies?

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2007/6/19 21:49
From Lancaster County
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Bigger brookies eat smaller brookies or browns. Bigger browns eat smaller brookies or browns. If you fish a mixed brook/brown stream during normal or low flows, you will probably conclude it is a brookie stream. If you fish it in high flows, you will probably conclude it is a brownie stream. Your streamer will work but probably won't give you any advantage over your olive wooly bugger, as you note.

Have a cool experience watching a larger brown and smaller brook interact from this past weekend, which I will post up once I get the pictures loaded off my phone. I did not have to tie on a brookie streamer to entice the brown after he failed at taking the brookie

Posted on: 4/16 22:15


Re: Browns eat brookies?

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2009/6/9 21:16
From Long Island
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Browns do eat brookies, yes. On a spring creek here on Long Island, they will not stock 2 year old browns because of this. Lots of little brookies swimming around, that would become a meal for a 16 inch 2 year old fish.

Posted on: 4/17 0:02
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Re: Browns eat brookies?

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Quote:

troutbert wrote:
One thing that makes it complicated is that most people who start fishing those streams are not very good at knowing what it takes to catch the browns. And with more experience they learn more about that, so their ratio of browns caught increases.


So that makes me curious. I usually fish brookie dominated streams, but I suppose it's possible I'm missing the browns in there.

How would the tactics differ? Keeping in mind that I primarily fish dries only on small streams...

Posted on: 4/20 12:26


Re: Browns eat brookies?

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2006/9/13 10:18
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And brookies eat browns too, I'd bet that the reason you are seeing an increase in browns is warming stream temperatures. /another possibility is maybe the stream chemistry has changed from acidic to more basic.

Posted on: 4/20 18:34
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Re: Browns eat brookies?

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2011/5/3 12:22
From South Lebanon Township, PA
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Quote:

foureyedgeek wrote:
How would the tactics differ? Keeping in mind that I primarily fish dries only on small streams...


Generally speaking in a Brook/Brown mix stream, let's say 50/50 mix for sake of argument, you generally catch more Brookies in the conditions that favor dries...lower, clearer water. In higher, off color water, you'll generally catch more Browns, but in those conditions dries don't usually work as well. You're more often fishing subsurface with nymphs or streamers. That being said if you were fishing nymphs or streamers in low, clearer conditions, I still think you'd catch way more Brookies than Browns.

I think it has to do with how they're wired to feed. Brookies feed more constantly and consistently. Meaning if you don't spook them first, you can generally catch them. They can be seen out in feeding lies even in low, clear conditions. Browns on the other hand tend to gorge themselves and then be "off" for a period of time. I've related it most closely to rain events. When there is a rain event that washes food into the stream and higher flows dislodge food within the stream itself, the Browns feed like crazy. Fish a 50/50 mix stream after a rain, and you'll catch mostly Browns...and they'll have fat bellies from gorging themselves. It's rare I catch a Brookie with an exceptionally fat belly, but it's very common on Browns after a rain event. After the water falls and clears, the Browns become ghosts...I don't know exactly where they go, but you don't see them or spook them, and rarely catch them. You'd think there was nothing but Brookies in the stream.

In short, it's not that the tactics really differ...it's more that the timing does when it comes to small stream fishing. Now if you're talking big limestoners with lots of food and hatches, that's a different ball game, and a different thread.




Posted on: 4/20 20:41


Re: Browns eat brookies?
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2006/9/9 17:32
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Quote:

Swattie87 wrote:
Generally speaking in a Brook/Brown mix stream, let's say 50/50 mix for sake of argument, you generally catch more Brookies in the conditions that favor dries...lower, clearer water. In higher, off color water, you'll generally catch more Browns, but in those conditions dries don't usually work as well. You're more often fishing subsurface with nymphs or streamers. That being said if you were fishing nymphs or streamers in low, clearer conditions, I still think you'd catch way more Brookies than Browns.

I think it has to do with how they're wired to feed. Brookies feed more constantly and consistently. Meaning if you don't spook them first, you can generally catch them. They can be seen out in feeding lies even in low, clear conditions. Browns on the other hand tend to gorge themselves and then be "off" for a period of time. I've related it most closely to rain events. When there is a rain event that washes food into the stream and higher flows dislodge food within the stream itself, the Browns feed like crazy. Fish a 50/50 mix stream after a rain, and you'll catch mostly Browns...and they'll have fat bellies from gorging themselves. It's rare I catch a Brookie with an exceptionally fat belly, but it's very common on Browns after a rain event. After the water falls and clears, the Browns become ghosts...I don't know exactly where they go, but you don't see them or spook them, and rarely catch them.


Good description. This tends to mirror my experience as well.
And yes, those browns can definitely become ghosts. Hard to explain...but you can always seem to see and catch brooks but browns just vanish in thin water.

Posted on: 4/20 20:57






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