WHERE TO FIND BIG TROUT
Scott Cook of Fly and Field Outfitters in Bend, spends three seasons of the year chasing big trout in Oregon’s high desert. He doesn’t spend much time focusing on smaller trout. “Big fish get big because they’re smart and lazy,” he says. “To catch them, you need to use a slower retrieve so they don’t have to work as hard to take your fly.” In general, Cook fishes the deeper water. Look for transition zones, changes in depth, rocky points, weedbeds, and submerged timber. In such places, you’ll find the biggest trout, waiting to ambush their meal.
When prospecting trophy trout water, experiment with different depths. On the first exploratory cast, let the fly hit the water, count to two and start the retrieve. On subsequent casts, count to 10, 15, or 20 to allow the fly to sink to various depths. That
way, you can cover everything from the first two inches of water, down to about 10 feet.
Big-bellied trout get that way by eating big meals and conserving their energy. That means avoiding the sting of the steel as much as possible. That jaded outlook means you’re not likely to catch Mr. Big on a pattern he’s seen over and over. That’s why, in a guide’s box, you’ll find the go-to flies they turn to when they need to boat a big one. Instead of tying on another Pheasant Tail, show them something different. If you want theedge next time you search stillwaters for trophy trout, read on.