Brown Trout on Dries

By perseverance the snail reached the Ark.

Charles Spurgeon

I spent the last two weekends fly fishing the Missouri river. The place was buzzing with anglers. The first weekend was cloudy and cool. The second one sunny. Not surprising the dry-fly angling was better when it was overcast. Trout are more likely to rise in low light. The main hatch: Blue Winged Olives; secondary hatch March Browns.



brown trout

A lot of people nymph the river. Many also throw streamers to the banks while drift boating it. The river has such phenomenal insect life that I can’t imagine fishing it any other way than with a dry-fly when the conditions are favorable and the bugs are out. I find that walking the river in search of a few good rising fish is just about as exciting as trying to trick them with a fly. It’s the hunt! Any garage sale or flea market aficionado would understand.


flat side

dry fly side channel



Missouri river

On this trip(s) I was trying to spot Brown trout. I eventually located a few good ones feeding in the shallows. I spent most of my time focused on one particular trout as it proved to be a challenging fish, at least for me. I spent more time than I care to say trying to fool it. I spooked it several times and then had to sit for long periods waiting for it to settle down and then reappear. Waiting was easier when my retriever, Brooke, was with me. She’d sit by my side often leaning against me while we watched the water and I’d occupy myself and let time pass by picking hundreds of burrs out of her thick golden coat. Her presence made me a better angler.

first week brw

brown trout


brown2 (1)

brown trout

I had hooked that particular trout a week ago but it tugged me around and eventually broke off. This weekend I pulled a fly out of its mouth, and then later “nicked it”. I did eventually land it on a size 18 olive…more perseverance than skill. Late afternoon shadow on the water pulled it out of its lair and it started feeding with more of a rhythm. A fish eating this way is easier to trick.


olive hatch


goose eggs




riverside bush bunny

When I tried taking a picture of the trout my camera batteries failed. I did, however, manage to fiddle around and get a few shots. I would have liked to get more. I had spare double AA’s  in my pack but decided to release the fish as it took a fairly long time to land it.


late april light snow


brown2 (2)

brown trout


ist week brw2

brown trout

Here are some trout (brown and a few rainbows) and western landscape pictures. It was nice to spend some long Spring days outside by the river and witness all of the life along it, and be part of it. All trout were caught sight fishing with small dry flies, size 18 olives, in shallow water.


rainbow trout



trying to match the hatch





river trial

cold afternoon on favorite trail



warm morning

art bow

rainbow trout


4 thoughts on “Brown Trout on Dries

  1. Hi Bob, been waiting to hear about your trip(s). Your patience and persistence were well rewarded I see. Very well done. Like you, the hunting, sneaking and waiting is what I like most about this fishing game we play. Best regards…

    • Hi Les:
      Yes, the hunting is a big part of what makes it so thrilling and the Missouri is a great place to do it when the weather cooperates(wind). It fished well when i was there but challenging. Many fish would only take an emerger…in the film or just below it. I didn’t fish a dropper rig but went with BWO’s tied on a Klinkhammer hook (dangling as you know) and had some success with that. Late in the day a cripple pattern worked well in some locations. I tie kind of a Quigley style pattern, again sits flush on/in water and antron/zelon shuck sometimes dangles. The march browns were just starting when I was there and even with their larger size many surface riding ones in full sun were being ignored in favor of emergers. Thanks for dropping in… look forward to your future posts from Montana.

  2. Whoa…I mean wow! Nice fish. Do you photoshop the reel smaller in the pics? You must. Either that or you’re using a wide angle lens. Or perhaps you know how to catch only big trout?

    • Roman: They were all very nice fish captured on my inexpensive waterproof camera: nikon Coolpix….point, focus and shoot. One brown trout I spent a good half day trying to fool and eventually did on a small dry fly. I spotted some nice fish that weekend and there were a fair amount of bugs around.
      How did you do angling for pike with your boys?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s