Catching Brook Trout Out West, by Brian O'Keefe

Catching Brook Trout Out West

by Brian O'Keefe

Brook Trout "Brookie" 5SkinHere in Oregon I really like the springtime, early season opportunities for brook trout in many lakes, and creeks. People who know western rivers may not know that a section of the Deschutes River, near Bend, Oregon, has a healthy population of big brookies. By big, I mean two to four pounds. They are cagey and hard to catch, but a few locals have them wired. I like several lakes in the same area, just after ice out. We sometimes snowmobile or snowshoe into one particular fly fishing-only lake and drag float tubes behind. There can be three feet of snow on the banks in April, but if you are the first angler on the water, the normally super smart brookies are fairly easy. I start with a yellow, gold and brown woolly bugger and then move to suspended chironomids in size 18.

In late June and sometimes in early July the BLM opens a road in extreme southeast Oregon and I try to be the first one in and the first one to fish a special alpine lake full of small to medium sized brook trout. The snow lingers on the banks well into August. The cold waters and big midge hatches make this wilderness lake a fun bank or float tube experience. A couple have ended up in a flying pan, over a campfire with eggs and bacon…