View Full Version : Flies for Fall Browns

10-09-2008, 03:51 PM
I'm curious about what everyone uses as their go to flies to catch the browns running in the Fall, in the mtns. I know some of you have "secret" patterns that you'd never share (you know who you are) and thats ok, I'm just looking for some ideas of flies to tie for upcoming trips to Deep Creek, Snowbird Creek and Slickrock Creek...

Rog 1
10-10-2008, 10:04 AM
Biggest brown I have managed fell to a #14 yellow EHC

Hugh Hartsell
10-10-2008, 10:19 AM
I think you'll find when you talk to many people who seek after large browns in the Fall that they were using large Beadhead Prince Nymphs, Beadhead Pheasanttail Nymphs, SMBBSH, Crow Flies, or some mountain derivative of the Yallarhammer. There are some more of the older mountain nymphs that can be deadly as well. Every fly that I have mentioned has one thing in common and that is... enough weight to get it down deep where the big fish are hiding.
Good luck this Fall.

10-10-2008, 12:20 PM
Heres another question that is very unlikely to be answered.

Where do the browns run to?:redface: Upstream or Downstream? Nice coloration?

I posted another topic about the spawning habits of the trout in the park and nobody wanted to reply. Worth a try, I guess.:rolleyes:

Hugh Hartsell
10-10-2008, 01:27 PM
I'll take a shot at the question and it is mostly observation that I am going by. Apparently when the female becomes mature and ready to spawn, she emits a pheromone (scent, taste, or whatever), that is carried by the current downstream to mature spawning size male browns. They are able to follow this attractant right back upstream to the female. The female will be fairly close to a gravel bed with just the right water depth passing over the rocks that she has chosen. She will then fan out a small bed in the gravel area and begin to lay eggs. The male will follow closely and fertilize the eggs. If there are enough fish in a given area, the males will not travel too far, maybe just one or two holes upstream. If the stream is almost devoid of mature fish, they may travel for long distances to reach a female that is ready to spawn. One of the most revealing things at spawning time in almost any creek that holds browns is the numbers and sizes of fish that are really in the creek. You might fish a stream all season long and never see a large fish, or if your lucky, you might catch one. However, if you are on the stream in the right area at the right time of the year, you may see dozens of very large fish following one or two females. Many of the fish will be over 20 inches. If you happen to be on the South Holston, you may see fish up to 20 pounds in size.

10-10-2008, 02:26 PM
Thanks you sir! I have been to the South Holston and even hooked a monster there in December, ( didnt land it, tho). I have always wondered about the spawning habits in the park. Thanks for the info!

I have heard mention of "Lake Run Trout" and actually thought that some of the park trout migrated to the lakes in the winter, but this thinking must be incorrect. Still not sure what a lake run trout is.

10-12-2008, 11:53 AM
John Switow is really the guy who should respond to this, but simply put a lake run is a trout that enjoys the easy living in the lake, then runs up into a feeder stream to spawn.


10-16-2008, 08:46 AM

I agree with Hugh about the flies to use. My go to flies are
1. Crow flies tyed with a plamer twist, -black body on #4 or 6 hook w/weight
2. Some type of imatation Yellowhammer,-black body,#4 or 6 hook w/weight
3.Some type of beadhead,-darkgreen or black body, #6 or 8 hooks w/weight

I guess what I'm saying is big heavy flies are the thing for me. I hope this info. helps. The crow fly will be the best bet for the low water conditions.
Good luck...

May God Bless you... John 3:16


10-16-2008, 10:59 AM
Girdle bugs, Grampus nymphs and Jack Gregory's "little river rainbow" streamers have always worked.

10-16-2008, 12:37 PM
Thanks guys for the input.

Bill - Where can I find a recipe for the Crow fly that you use. I've tried a couple Google searches but have been unable to find it.


10-16-2008, 11:16 PM
If the water gets up more toward normal, drag a Marabou streamer slowly along the bottom. I just got back from the West Branch of the Penobscot in Maine and caught several 10-14 inch Brookies fishing a Marabou Grey Ghost for Landlocked Salmon.

10-21-2008, 07:54 AM
Sorry it took me a while to answer with school going on and work it is hard for me to find time to chat on line. I follow Hugh Hartsell's pattern, instead of a soft hackel I place a palmer twist along the body. I tye my flies with a peacock body also put so weight on the flies. I hope this helps if not reply back and let me know.

May God Bless You...


10-21-2008, 09:11 PM
Man, the penobscot is Awesome. Talk about remote. I camped at Big Eddie Campground some years back and had a blast catching Landlocks.