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Re: The Ultimate Brookie Box?

Joined:
2009/7/29 10:25
Posts: 238
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echoing what dave said, brookies are just aggressive feeders.. very much so compared to browns... compared to browns, brookies are all day aggressive feeders at that.

I once asked a true PA stream entomology expert who fishes whether the type of dry fly matters for small stream brookies, he laughed and said "no."

I like dry flies generally and they are good for brookies in small, infertile headwaters streams... headwaters streams are infertile/ have relatively few aquatic bugs because PA rain is so acidic. even where the bedrock has some buffering capacity (monroe or pike county catskill bedrock is higher buffering than for ex. the pocono or burgoon bedrock in parts of NW luzerne), the acidity will be higher/'have been less buffered' in headwaters.

with more acidity in headwaters, there aren't as many hatches, and the brookies survive heavily on whatever terrestrial falls in. fly pattern, color, or size doesn't matter as much as it would with many brown trout. (browns are less acid tolerant than brookies, so less common in headwaters, and more likely to be where they have hatches to key on.)

headwaters PA brookies aren't so much "a river runs through it" as "a bug falls in it." since the fly pattern doesn't matter much with brookies, I just go for flies that float and cast well and are easy to see, so I can cast from as far back as possible.

imho, spooking fish is a bigger issue than having the wrong size or type of fly. for ex., in low clear fall water, the brookies may be in the back of pools. can fish from further back w extra hi-viz dry fly.

these days I fish these flies

http://www.orvis.com/p/skilton-quick-sight-ant/0128

with a dab of safety orange testors paint over the white part to add visibility from as far back as possible. just tweak fly size for stream size by nipping off some foam.


Posted on: 10/12 9:54

Edited by k-bob on 2017/10/12 10:10:57
Edited by k-bob on 2017/10/12 10:15:26
Edited by k-bob on 2017/10/12 10:16:07
Edited by k-bob on 2017/10/12 10:18:32
Edited by k-bob on 2017/10/12 10:20:12
Edited by k-bob on 2017/10/12 10:21:18


Re: The Ultimate Brookie Box?

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2006/11/2 8:50
Posts: 1427
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There was an article back in the early 1990s or so by a skilled PA flyfisher about brookie fishing that was really good.

It mentioned all of the standard truisms about brookie fishing:

1) You only need short casts.

2) You only short, stout leaders.

3) It makes no difference what fly you use.

Then said: these things are all wrong. People say these things a lot, but they simply don't match what we've seen on the brookie streams.

I read that and thought, EXACTLY! I've always been puzzled by those statements too. They never seemed right to me.

Medium and even long casts are often useful.

Medium and long leaders are often useful.

And the type of fly can often make a huge difference. So it's good to carry a good variety. It's important to have some different "categories" of flies:

Big Bushies: Whether that's Stimulators or something else, like a Humpy, isn't so important, but it's important to have some in this general category, for high and/or broken water.

Parachutes: Extremely versatile, work well in a wide range of conditions. From pretty low through the medium flows to pretty high. Very good when there are mayflies around. And there are often are some, sometimes a lot. Not all brookie streams are infertile. Two main body color variations are needed: Mediumish (hares ear tan) Lightish: Yellow

Elkhair caddis - Because...you gotta have EHC. I don't think you need many variations though. Tan body. Size 14 and 16. That'll do it, but put a lot of those in the box.

Terrestrials - In the summer and early fall, when the water gets low and clear, terrestrials will usually outfish anything else. Ants, beetles, inchworms.

Subsurface: Standard streamer, wetfly, and nymph patterns. No need to get fancy or carry lots of them, but just carry some of the standards, for when the brookies aren't hitting on top.





















Posted on: 10/12 11:28


Re: The Ultimate Brookie Box?

Joined:
2011/9/13 11:13
From Flourtown, PA
Posts: 133
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Size 16 mahogany parachute with snowshoe post.

Posted on: 10/12 11:58


Re: The Ultimate Brookie Box?

Joined:
2008/2/12 16:36
From New Cumberland
Posts: 54
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patriot fly. Easy to see. Floats well. Makes you proud.

Posted on: 10/12 12:28
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Re: The Ultimate Brookie Box?

Joined:
2014/8/2 20:20
From Mechanicsburg
Posts: 428
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As echoed above, most "brookie streams" aren't fertile enough to warrant exact imitations. Many times dappled sunlight makes visibility tough, so I like dries with contrasting colors like hi-vis foam beetles, Renegades, and Bivisibles (all of these are durable too, in regard to getting caught in trees lol). A few beadhead nymphs work well to fish deeper pools without using split shot. Just this year I started carrying a few small streamers to swing into log jams and areas where I'm either unable to get a cast or decent drift.

I use a soft 4wt with a hand tied 10' 4x leader that has a stout butt, and practically casts itself. The same leader is used when I'm fishing midges or or other small stuff on spring creeks, just with some additional 5-6x added on.

Posted on: 10/12 13:41


Re: The Ultimate Brookie Box?

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2006/12/13 9:28
From Other side of the tracks
Posts: 3494
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After reading more posts, I will add to my previous as sort of a nod to other responses.

I fished a lot in NWPA, so I always have ELCs with me. As TB said, body color didn't matter all that much. Caddis are the dominant hatch on many of those streams. I have also done with attractor patterns. Royal trude and chartreuse trude come to mind, but there are so many others. These can look like a caddis, stonefly, or a flying ant. I could go on and on, but I usually wasn't as concerned about matching any hatch on a headwater stream.

But once in awhile they do not cooperate on dries and I will change wet, nymphs, or even streamers.

Hence that day I used the fly tied with Lady Amherst feathers. I never used one before, and it was visible.

Fortunately I didn't have to resort to a Joe's fly that day.

Posted on: 10/12 13:52
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Re: The Ultimate Brookie Box?
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 2113
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I think when one is looking to be a successful brook trout fisherman, the fly box he carries is one of the least important things for success. If you are looking to get started and don't have a lot of flies to fish, don't not get out there, give it a go!

As I stated in my previous post > "Just carry a small box with some simple dries, a few nymphs, wets and small streamers."

Many of the patterns favored by members are mentioned above. The number of varied pet patterns that catch fish for the guys demonstrates that the fly pattern in itself is seldom the key at all.

Just make sure the dries you carry are visible and durable and float well in all water types because small streams have riffles and a few steps up a flat water pool and pocket water...you get the idea. Also your dries often double as an indicator for your nymphs and wets in a dry-dropper rig, so visibility and floatability and are doubly important.

I would bet on the angler that uses stealth and can make accurate casts in tight quarters, rather than the guy with a fully stocked box.

Frank Nale has literally caught >100,000 trout with his white bead #1 blade spinner. Why? He can cast accurately to hit all the key spots, uses camo and stealth on every stream he fishes, knows when and where to fish for best results. It's not his spinner choice, it's his skill as an angler and his attention to detail.

I have a sling pack loaded well over 1000 flies (I tried counting them one time) ....with just about every fly type and pattern imaginable. I don't like to pack or unpack fly boxes, so I carry all the flies with all my patterns in my pack wherever I fish....The Bighorn River or Little Valley Creek.

I have a small fly box setup that I carry in front and load up with the flies I plan to use for the day. I select a few of each type of fly and leave the rest of the flies behind me in my sling pack.

I cannot think of one time in the past few years of fishing where I had to go back and pull out any flies that I needed to catch fish on a small brookie stream. The same hand full of flies work well. My success (or failure) always seems to hinge on my ability to deliver a cast and not spook the fish....or not.

We are lucky to have so many opportunities in PA. Brookie fishing is one of the most fun things you can do. You have a chance to catch a whole bunch of fish in an outing. No need to buy hundreds of flies or use fancy rods or equipment to have a successful day on the water. Just get out there and enjoy.

Oh, brookies begin to spawn this time of year, so give them a break right now.

Posted on: 10/12 14:03


Re: The Ultimate Brookie Box?

Joined:
2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
Posts: 299
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I've been told before on here that I was making to too complicated, but I came up with a brookie nymph after a lot of missed strikes and lost fish.

The nymph is tied on a 2x fine dry fly hook. Two toned body with the front color being bright so both the fish and I can see it. It is wire ribbed to hold up longer.

For dries, I actually prefer an emerger klinkhamer style. I fond that the tails on dries sometimes get in the way of a tiny mouth finding a hook point. I have also observed that dries where the hook point is at the water's surface or slightly above it lead to more missed strikes. I don't know if its a light refractory thing or if the little fish just try and smash everything so quickly that their aim is off.

And foam ants.

those are the three brookie patterns I take to avoid taking a full fly box. Tiny flip top box with 18 flies or so. No extra weight when hiking.

Posted on: 10/12 14:05
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Re: The Ultimate Brookie Box?

Joined:
2011/5/3 12:22
From Morgantown, PA
Posts: 1020
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Quote:

FarmerDave wrote:
Fortunately I didn't have to resort to a Joe's fly that day.


Or a Thomas Special.

Posted on: 10/12 16:33


Re: The Ultimate Brookie Box?

Joined:
2011/5/3 12:22
From Morgantown, PA
Posts: 1020
Offline
Quote:

STONEMAN wrote:
patriot fly. Easy to see. Floats well. Makes you proud.


Just don't fish it from a kneeling position.

Posted on: 10/12 16:34


Re: The Ultimate Brookie Box?

Joined:
10/6 9:10
From Lackawanna County
Posts: 2
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Some natural colored buggers in a 10 work well for me on small brookie streams.

Posted on: 10/12 16:36


Re: The Ultimate Brookie Box?

Joined:
2015/6/1 16:22
From Burke VA
Posts: 1223
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Quote:

troutbert wrote:
There was an article back in the early 1990s or so by a skilled PA flyfisher about brookie fishing that was really good.

It mentioned all of the standard truisms about brookie fishing:

1) You only need short casts.

2) You only short, stout leaders.

3) It makes no difference what fly you use.

Then said: these things are all wrong. People say these things a lot, but they simply don't match what we've seen on the brookie streams.

I read that and thought, EXACTLY! I've always been puzzled by those statements too. They never seemed right to me.

Medium and even long casts are often useful.

Medium and long leaders are often useful.

And the type of fly can often make a huge difference. So it's good to carry a good variety. It's important to have some different "categories" of flies:

Big Bushies: Whether that's Stimulators or something else, like a Humpy, isn't so important, but it's important to have some in this general category, for high and/or broken water.

Parachutes: Extremely versatile, work well in a wide range of conditions. From pretty low through the medium flows to pretty high. Very good when there are mayflies around. And there are often are some, sometimes a lot. Not all brookie streams are infertile. Two main body color variations are needed: Mediumish (hares ear tan) Lightish: Yellow

Elkhair caddis - Because...you gotta have EHC. I don't think you need many variations though. Tan body. Size 14 and 16. That'll do it, but put a lot of those in the box.

Terrestrials - In the summer and early fall, when the water gets low and clear, terrestrials will usually outfish anything else. Ants, beetles, inchworms.

Subsurface: Standard streamer, wetfly, and nymph patterns. No need to get fancy or carry lots of them, but just carry some of the standards, for when the brookies aren't hitting on top.


So basically the fly doesn't matter.........

Posted on: 10/12 17:09


Re: The Ultimate Brookie Box?

Joined:
2006/11/2 8:50
Posts: 1427
Offline
Quote:

ryansheehan wrote:
Quote:

troutbert wrote:
There was an article back in the early 1990s or so by a skilled PA flyfisher about brookie fishing that was really good.

It mentioned all of the standard truisms about brookie fishing:

1) You only need short casts.

2) You only short, stout leaders.

3) It makes no difference what fly you use.

Then said: these things are all wrong. People say these things a lot, but they simply don't match what we've seen on the brookie streams.

I read that and thought, EXACTLY! I've always been puzzled by those statements too. They never seemed right to me.

Medium and even long casts are often useful.

Medium and long leaders are often useful.

And the type of fly can often make a huge difference. So it's good to carry a good variety. It's important to have some different "categories" of flies:

Big Bushies: Whether that's Stimulators or something else, like a Humpy, isn't so important, but it's important to have some in this general category, for high and/or broken water.

Parachutes: Extremely versatile, work well in a wide range of conditions. From pretty low through the medium flows to pretty high. Very good when there are mayflies around. And there are often are some, sometimes a lot. Not all brookie streams are infertile. Two main body color variations are needed: Mediumish (hares ear tan) Lightish: Yellow

Elkhair caddis - Because...you gotta have EHC. I don't think you need many variations though. Tan body. Size 14 and 16. That'll do it, but put a lot of those in the box.

Terrestrials - In the summer and early fall, when the water gets low and clear, terrestrials will usually outfish anything else. Ants, beetles, inchworms.

Subsurface: Standard streamer, wetfly, and nymph patterns. No need to get fancy or carry lots of them, but just carry some of the standards, for when the brookies aren't hitting on top.


So basically the fly doesn't matter.........


Explain your work.

Posted on: 10/12 18:58


Re: The Ultimate Brookie Box?

Joined:
2015/6/1 16:22
From Burke VA
Posts: 1223
Offline
Quote:

troutbert wrote:
There was an article back in the early 1990s or so by a skilled PA flyfisher about brookie fishing that was really good.

It mentioned all of the standard truisms about brookie fishing:

1) You only need short casts.

2) You only short, stout leaders.

3) It makes no difference what fly you use.

Then said: these things are all wrong. People say these things a lot, but they simply don't match what we've seen on the brookie streams.

I read that and thought, EXACTLY! I've always been puzzled by those statements too. They never seemed right to me.

Medium and even long casts are often useful.

Medium and long leaders are often useful.

And the type of fly can often make a huge difference. So it's good to carry a good variety. It's important to have some different "categories" of flies:

Big Bushies: Whether that's Stimulators or something else, like a Humpy, isn't so important, but it's important to have some in this general category, for high and/or broken water.

Parachutes: Extremely versatile, work well in a wide range of conditions.
From pretty low through the medium flows to pretty high. Very good when there are mayflies around. And there are often are some, sometimes a lot. Not all brookie streams are infertile. Two main body color variations are needed: Mediumish (hares ear tan) Lightish: Yellow

Elkhair caddis - Because...you gotta have EHC. I don't think you need many variations though. Tan body. Size 14 and 16. That'll do it, but put a lot of those in the box.

Terrestrials - In the summer and early fall, when the water gets low and clear, terrestrials will usually outfish anything else. Ants, beetles, inchworms.

Subsurface: Standard streamer, wetfly, and nymph patterns. No need to get fancy or carry lots of them, but just carry some of the standards, for when the brookies aren't hitting on top.























Posted on: 10/12 19:32


Re: The Ultimate Brookie Box?

Joined:
2012/2/16 18:55
From Nowheresville, PA
Posts: 1330
Offline
Pressured Brook Trout are as hard to catch as any other trout. Try your Royal Wulff or Chernobyl Ant up in the ditch at Big Spring and see how you make out.

Posted on: 10/12 19:36
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