If brown trout grew over 12′ long, I reckon we’d all be too scared to head out on the river. Big brown trout are enormously aggressive, cannabalistic, and will just about anything that swims in the water.
AGFC research shows that once browns reach 16″ they are pretty much carnivorous. It doesn’t mean you can’t catch them on a sowbug, a small midge or a worm pattern if it drifts past their nose. I guess these are trout Cheetos.
But for a meal they want bigger fare. Sculpins, minnows and crawdads are abundant in our rivers. So are stockers. Almost 1.5 million trout were projected to go into the White River in 2009. Almost 1.2 million rainbows go into the White averaging 11″-13″. Brown trout, cutthroat and bookies all go in at 6″ long. All are fair game for a hungry big brown.
Ive often heard it said around here that big browns like the deep dark holes and only feed at night. Its not totally inaccurate, but the best summation is sometimes. It was well known in my Tasmanian home, and the pattern seems to follow here that brown trout move shallow to feed when they feel secure.
Low light, and/or high water levels will see at least some of the bigger fish move to these ambush zones. Rock banks, grass beds, flats, anywhere the browns can gain some cover from the current, but be close enough to snatch food coming past, and with the safety of deep water close to hand seem best.