Brown trout are my favorite – especially big brown trout! They’re just plain bad! They’re the fish that are inhabiting that deep dark hole that you just know holds the fish that your dreams (and nightmares) are made of. That deep undercut bank, that jarring take on a moonless night, you know the type. Kyped out and bad to the freaking bone. I’ve been on a mission for some time now to try and coax one of these unruly creatures into my net and so far I’ve been unsuccessful. I’ve had my share of close calls with the unruly: chased down repeatedly out of a deep pool and subsequently head-shaken loose; stopped dead in some slow moving water and left slack-lined – but not tonight! Tonight we would be doing some night fishing for big brown trout.

Right place, right time. That’s the bottom line. Combine that with one of Derek’s gnarly nasty big streamers and it was a match made in heaven. Derek and I had discussed  off and on the possibility of finding some meaty browns in this particular water after a large predator was spotted some time ago and a brief stop on our road trip was the perfect time to try. It was black out. I approached the water’s edge and peeled line off my reel to hurl my first cast out into the darkness. The sound of my reel broke the silence and after a few hauls my giant streamer splatted on the waters surface. I slowly counted down and started a slow retrieve. Six or seven strips in I went tight. It wasn’t a hit – it was a dead stop. I set and immediately felt weight. Slow sloshing on the surface told me that this was no lightweight. “I’m tight!” I called out to D. This was confirmed with some thunderous headshakes. I frantically got my excess line on the reel and the beast met me half way as he bulldogged out to open water. “I think it might be HIM!” He wasn’t wasn’t a rocketship like many of the larger bows I’d hooked before – it was different. It was a somewhat controlled but undeniably powerful. I applied constant heat on this fish not wanting to give him the advantage for a minute. I still didn’t know what I had on the end of my line but it felt like if he wanted to he could rip me a new one at any moment. I wanted to end the tense fight as soon as possible but I simply couldn’t move him. I kept constant pressure and before I knew it Derek was in the water with “the livewell” ready to scoop. With a click of his headlamp he quickly spotted and scooped him up like a freaking champ. “It’s HIM!” he literally shouted out. Our shouts echoed in the darkness and I giggled like a man over the sight. Ya, I tend to giggle like a little girl when I fish. I literally couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked in the net. It was the biggest brown trout I’d ever laid eyes on. I reached in the net and hoisted the beast up. I’ve held some great fish before but this was the first fish that felt truly heavy.

We captured the memory and sent the bad boy packing. Don’t really know what else to say. It was an absolute beast-mother of a specimen. Not just a big brown trout – but one of impeccable proportions. Shoulders like an ogre, a scary kype, and an overall build that you wouldn’t believe for a fish over 30…a straight thug.

Although I kept fishing that night, I was mentally one and done. It was the best freaking cast of my life.




About The Author

Chinese Boy

The ringleader at OSF, Nathan likes well-proportioned fish, moonlit walks by the river, and stripping streamers through dark lies on the dreariest of days. View full bio.

26 Responses

  1. JB

    “‘I’m tight!’ I called out to D. ” Pimp tight. Tremendous fish.

  2. Kyle

    More fish porn here than any place anywhere. You guys need to retire after this year.

  3. Grant

    No one deserves it more than you Nate. All that hard work is paying off. Sleeping in the dirt, not sleeping at all, good knots and bad knots, follows and rejections, broken rods and dreams. This fish right here makes it ALL worth it. So,so,dope.

  4. Kirk

    WOW. I need a net named “The Livewell”.

    I’m with Kyle – there is no way you guys are going to keep this pace up – but I’m looking forward to watching you try!

    • Nathan

      I’ll enjoy trying as well! Lost a #10+ bow at the net on this last trip that would have helped our efforts! It was with “the livewell part deux” cause Derek lost the OG in a near death (really/kinda) experience! I’ll blame it on the new net.

  5. Matt

    So stoked for you Nate!

    At first I though there might be some funny business going on with you and Derek being in the middle of the wilderness in the pitch-black wee hours of the night (especially with the giggling), but I guess this is what has been going down. A true beast man!

  6. CC

    Pee eye gee pee eye gee PIG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaw!!!!! Nice work guys, what a kick ass brown!

  7. Cort

    You are by far the coolest person I have met! That is indeed what dreams are made of right there.

    Thanks for sharing.

  8. Phil

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! Can I get a “WOOOT WOOOOT!!!!!” Thats one we have all been waiting for. What more can one say than THAT is a WORLD CLASS brown trout…..WORLD CLASS! Congrats my boy!

  9. Ivan

    That’s a huge adipose fin. The fish is alright or whatever. My mind is blown. Congrats man.

    • Nathan

      Seriously, right?! Theres another shot that was taken as it was released where it looks big enough for the fish to swim just using that!

  10. LOAH

    Wow. Ridiculous brown.

    Nathan and Goliath? It works. Congratulations.

  11. Nathan

    Thanks for all the kind words, fellas. It really was the fish I’ve been dreaming of forever. Quite the specimen!

  12. peter regan

    Nice fish and great site. What size/type streamers were you using. I have some dredging to do here in NY for these night time beasts! Thanks

    • Nathan

      Thanks mang. It’s probably 7″ in length. It has a huge head with a reverse conehead to push water, triple articulation, marabou, and some other garbage, one front hook and a stinger. All black. Think silhouette and water displacement. We have a bunch of unofficial derogatory names for it. Maybe we’ll do a tutorial on it soon…

  13. Jared

    2nd time viewing this post and it still makes me stoked. Killer fish and story! Keep them coming. If that was in Utah it makes me want to search harder for my river monster.
    See ya on the far bank some day.

  14. CC

    Is it night fishing for browns because they would kick you out during the day?

    • Nathan

      We fish for browns at night cause that’s when the big fish in most systems are active. We’ve fished this water in the day too – it’s unrestricted public water so I’m not sure who would/could do the kicking. Poaching isn’t how we down.

  15. CC

    Well I love to poach so how about that? Just poking some fun Nathan because I want to catch a pig like that. I did find a kiddy pond with some big boys in it. We all know they don’t count, but they sure are fun to catch!


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