Catch Some Brook Trout for Dinner
Fall is one of the best times for trout fishing. During the hot weather of the summer, trout generally stay deep in the lakes where it is nice and cool. They come closer to the surface at night to feed, but they are generally less active. However, now that the weather is cooling down and food is becoming scarcer, the fish are moving much more. In fact, some species are spawning right now. This makes them even more ravenous, and ready to bite at just about anything you throw at them. That is the case of the Brook Trout. Fishing for them can be a blast.
The easiest way to catch brookies is to just use a worm. Other times of the year you might want to try fly fishing, or using a jig or a lure. But right now all these fish want to do is eat. They do not even want to try very hard for their meals. So break out the spin rod, pick up a couple dozen night crawlers and some size 3 hooks, and head out.
Finding the fish should not be difficult; they are all over the place in mountain lakes and streams. I generally put on my waders and polarized glasses, then walk through the shallow slower moving streams that flow from mountain lakes. Walking upstream you will be able to see schools of spawning Brook Trout. Throw your worm up ahead of the school, and slowly reel it back through the crowd of fish. Most likely you will pick up one on the first cast, and if you didn’t make too much noise and scare the rest of them away, you should be able to pick up two or three before the group catches onto you and disperses. At that point simply keep walking upstream another 25 or 50 yards until you find the next group of fish. Since in most places around Montana the limit for these trout is 20 per day (and in possession) you can fish all day and keep nearly every fish you catch.
I debated about giving away my favorite fishing spot, and decided to let you find your own. I will just say that you should head toward the foothills of the Beartooth Mountains. There are many streams and rivers such as Rock Creek near Red Lodge, East and West Rosebud, the upper Stillwater River, and many more through the whole area. There is no shortage of trout to be had nearby, and right now when they are hungry you just need to give them what they want.
If you do head out in the next few weeks make sure you take some precautions. Bring adequate clothing since the weather can turn on you quickly. Make sure you keep an eye out as the bears are getting close to hibernating and they could be out fishing with you. Pack some hunter orange if you are waiting a week, as opening day for deer and elk is on October 20th, you don’t want to be mistaken for a deer crossing the river. Be respectful of nature and only take as many fish as you know you will eat (by the way, if you have a smoker Brook Trout are excellent if smoked). Most of all have fun and enjoy being outside.
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