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Thread: Ideal rod weight for brown trout

  1. #1
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    Default Ideal rod weight for brown trout

    Quick question. I grew up in Arkansas on the head waters of the white river. My biggest passion in life is fishing for those famous trophy browns that prowl the river at night. I have caught them up to 9.5 lbs on spinning tackle but never targeted them with a fly rod. I did do some fly fishing when I was younger but never caught anything over 3 pound rainbows. I am planning on buying a set up specifically for those big browns. My best tactic on spinning gear was to throw baby brown trout rapala rouges an hour prior to sunset to an hour after. If I couldnt get them to bite I would fish light line and drift dead sculpin. As far as fly fishing goes I see myself stripping green and black wolly buggers and floating scud and sow bug pattern flies. My hot spot is an area with a pretty lazy drift right into some pretty powerful water. In your opinion what would be the best set up to get for what I want to do. I'm heading back down to Arkansas this summer and I want to target them on fly tackle only this time.

  2. #2
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Never fished for brown trout, but I would be inclined to think that a medium to medium/fast 5 weight would be a good choice.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  3. #3
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    Default 5 wt. to 7 wt.

    I would think that anything from a 5 wt. to 7 wt. would work just fine for you. Sometimes it is fairly difficult to get a "big" fly out with a 5 wt. in the wind. The heavier rod can really help in windy conditions. A 10 lb fish is not a problem with a light rod.

    I haven't fish browns since my montana fishing days. That's a lot of fun.

  4. #4
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    something you can throw big streamers with comfortably probably a 7 wt although I also dig the 5... Think kenai river rainbows and youll have an answer for white river browns
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  5. #5
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default I get to Play

    Nice Post I get to play eh! I suggest a TFO Rod you can purchse for under 125.00 and have a life time warranty. If you were looking to save money look at Pfluger Hook & Hackle about $65.00 howevever limited warranty. That being said sometimes a little qaulity goes a long ways. Reels Again Pfluger and or Okuma will work in a package deal. Weight Forward Fly Line no need to go into much detail. Standard Cortland 333 will work, After you decide to make it a passion then consider upgrading.

    Being that I cut most of my fishing teeth in Michigan on the AuSable Big Browns were always the fish of choice.

    Two things:

    Big Fish = Big Rod

    Big Fly's = Big Fish.

    Back in the day we referred to it as tossing them a Candy Bar i.e. while settle for anything less than a full meal when you’re talking basic needs of a large fish.

    If I were a betting man I would lean towards a 9ft 7W with a good fighting butt if your fishing at night you may want to consider an 8W honest. Fish pushing 6-10 lbs if that is your target will task you at every turn. You will need to fish large streamers for the most part and fish them deep again for the most part. Although a 5W or 6W is fun based on your post about your specific fishing you will want the back bone to get the job down and that holds double true if your are C&R fishing i.e. don't play to much with your food.

    You fish the standard large streamer almost like a spinner across and down while stripping and jerky the fly through the water. Slow Water means lack of a decent dead drift and I can not remember a time I saw bait fish suspended in water not moving.

    Being that you plan on targeting Big fish again those over 6 lbs with a purpose you might want to consider a Disc Drag reel. I would stick to the standard WFF fly line and use sink tips verse a full sinking line. This allows you to toss Large Poppers as well for the bigger fish at night i.e. mouse patterns, water puppies etc. You can make a couple of 20ft Sink Tips for your standard streamer fishing which tend to be easier to raise out of the water verses 50ft of full sink line. (that is IMO)

    I suggest you find as many of Dave Whitlock's books as you can put your hand IMO he is the guru of the type of fishing you have asked about and is writing and illustrations are beyond reproach.

    Hope my rambling helps! Sorry if I seem somewhat opinionated on the subject or to exact. Chase them puppies for 20 years a fun fish to chase!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. #6
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    Default 8 wt

    I have to agree with Moose. I am a Sage man, myself, and I firmly believe the extra money is worth it (for real fly-casting.. for the Kenai flip it doesn't matter much except that a good rod is usually lighter and easier on the elbow for a long day of flipping). I have heard many good things about TFO as well, but I've never cast one. I love my 6wt rpl+ for the upper Kenai rainbows, but that is mostly dead drift nymphing with an indicator and you have the luxury (most of the time) of lots of water to play the fish in. I bring my 8wt rplx on most of my upper Kenai trips as well, for bombing the banks with big streamers. The extra backbone helps get the big flies out there and helps to keep big fish out of the trees and root balls when necessary. From what I know of the White River, you will have to work to keep some of those fish out of the overhanging vegetation on the sides of the river.

    Whatever brand and weight rod you decide to go with, be sure it's a fast action rod. You want something with a quick deliberate action that will load easily and deliver those big, heavy streamers in the dark. You don't want a soft rod that's going to allow the fly to drop on the forward cast and hit you in the back of the head!!(I've been there.)

    One more word of advice, do not buy a cheap fly line, period! Spend the extra $20-$30 and buy a good line. I like SA Mastery Series lines (I usually fish a GPX for trout, but the Rio Grand is a good line too. I have a few of each, in different weights and for different applications. Both brands sell for about $65.00. As Moose said, you want a WFF line. If you can afford a sink tip too, great, but then you really need an extra spool as well. A standard WFF line to match your rod weight will work well for streamers and indicator nymphing (both of which will likely be used in your quest for big browns). Don't try to split the difference and buy a cheap floating and a cheap sinking tip. Good lines cast further, mend easier, last longer and have less memory. Buy a bottle of fly line cleaner/ dressing at the same time and coat the line prior to your first use and a few times each year following and that line will last for years and be worth the money, I promise.

  7. #7
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Great advice Scott offers about the fly line. I love the SA gpx. Sometimes you get what you pay for.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  8. #8

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    ARKY,

    The show Fly Fishing America did an episode there that had Joe Humphrey(sp?) chasing the record for brown trout at night on the White River with John Wilson guiding him. I think the episode was called Good Night Brown Trout.

    Ozark Anglers has good flyfishing info for the White and Norfolk and other Arkansas waters. http://ozarkanglers.com/forums/index.php

    Best of luck with your trip. I wanted to make it to the White and Norfolk when I was down that direction, but it wan't to be. You'll have to keep us posted on your trip.

    Ken

  9. #9
    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default browns

    I saw that episode of Fly Fishing the World. I had no idea there were trout that big in Arkansas. That show added the White River to my list of places I have to fish in my lifetime.

    Jake

  10. #10

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    Just fish the white river, I brought my Sage 6 WT 10 Footer. Casting large olive green bunny and stripping like it was scared to death. Also dead drifted egg pattern witth a san jaun dropper. It was 2 to 1 on the san juan dropper over the egg pattern

  11. #11
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    Thank you all for the advice on the set up to get. I am in Guam until Mid to late April and will buy my set up when I get back to Alaska. I will post again (hopefully with some pictures) when I get back from the white.

  12. #12
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    Default White River Brown Trout

    There is going to be an episode on fishing the White River on the Outdoor Channel. It will be on the Trout Unlimited On the Rise show. It's the show where the host is pulling the travel trailer painted like a fish around the U.S. fishing different streams and reporting on different Trout Unlimited projects:

    http://www.outdoorchannel.com/Shows/...OnTheRise.aspx

    It comes on GCI Cable Channel 40 in Anchorage.

  13. #13
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    I think a good quality 7wt rod with a fighting butt is the ticket. TFO has a good 4 peice 10' travel rod. This rod will allow you to throw the larger flies and or split shot the distance you need. It will allow you to mend line more easily on longer casts. It will handle the size Brownie you are talking about, plus anything you can find on the Norfolk. Personally, I prefer floating line and using a strike indicator and weight to get it down. You can adjust the depth better than a sink tip and fishing at dusk is difficult without a strike indicator. If you caught your biggest fish on sculpins and repala's, then I would fish sculpin flies and articulated flies, probably wieghted or bead head/cone head. Good luck, watch the water schedule out of the dam so you don't end up swimming back to shore. Mad Dog

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    Default swimming

    Its funny you say that, I had to swim back to shore about 8 years ago on a duck hunt because I didnt hear the sirens go off when they started moving water. Ive had a few other close calls but nothing serious. I heard rumors a few years ago about a guy who got hung up and to break free began spinning in circles wrapping the line around him to snap it, when the line did break he fell in and because of the line wrapping him up he couldnt move his arms and legs and drowned. I hope that is just a rumor because I would like to think people in general a a little smarter than that.

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