I wanted to throw out a little learned biological knowledge that I have picked up while studying and reading.  I like you guys so I’ll keep it real… and short.  I can assure you that it will add another sharp arrow to your quiver of fishing knowledge.

With fall well underway, many anglers have brown trout on the mind, so I wanted to put a bug in your ear for the other streamer season. This tip is for those of you that have a favorite local river or stream that contains a strong, self-sustaining population of BROWN TROUT. I emphasize local because with this tip…timing is everything. It may take a few trips to get it just right. We are going to talk about something in the gravel… but it’s not bugs.

Follow this brown trout life history logic and note the dates… they may become important to you this Spring.

Disclaimer* This will happen everywhere with Brown trout (and other species, different times of the year), but I used a local river in UT as the example. Adjustments will have to be made for your differing climate, elevation, temperatures, etc.   MY river ranged from 4,500′ elevation to 6,500′ elevation. If you want more details or a more in-depth explanation, shoot me an email!

The LOGIC, the time frame, the miracle

  1. Late October – Mid November:  Browns are on the gravel making babies. Take note… Low elevation streams (in UT) at say ~4,000′-4,500′ are warmer than high elevation streams at say 6,500’+. Makes sense right?! Stay with me.
  2. Late Oct – April 30th: Eggs are incubating in the gravel. Due to warmer temperatures, egg incubation times are SHORTER and Brown trout fry emerge from gravel EARLIER at lower elevation spawning sites than at higher elevation spawning sites.
  3. May 1st – June 5thish (low elevations first then high elevations later): MASS fry emergence occurs!!!! Do you get what I am throwing down? MASS hatch and mass biomass and mass minnow mania and mass scrumptious morsels swimming around like, “Where am I??” Ever wonder why brown trout fishing with streamers in the spring time can be so…. redonkulous? It is THE hatch that is actually…a “HATCH”.

Brown trout fry are tiny when they first emerge, but will quickly grow into the minnows you are hoping to imitate. If you time this right, you could have some of the most epic streamer fishing of your existence. FYI, depending on where your stream or river is located, this can coincide with rising and somewhat muddy water. That being said, I ALWAYS have some of the most epic streamer fishing around this time of year.

Since I have been talking streamer fishing, here’s a few pics from the past few weeks. The nice brownie that ate the white steamer chased and ate twice and I swung and missed both times. I rested the fish for 15-20 minutes and came back and got him on my first cast.

Here’s a question for you…how long do you guys typically rest a fish that is “worth another shot”???


1) You saw him but he didn’t even move.

2) He swung and you missed and didn’t prick him, but he won’t move again.

3) He swung, stuck, head shook and came unbuttoned.


About The Author

The Professor

Phil Tuttle is a Fisheries Biologist, a Guide, Loop Global Team Pro Staff Member, Fly Innovator, and a skilled Videographer/Video Editor. His passion for conservation, travel, youth fishing programs, and fly fishing drive his desire to promote the sport in diverse and out-of-the-box ways.