Sunday, January 22, 2017

Big Brown Kind of Day

We couldn't have scripted it better for what we wanted to do. Late winter is prime time for big browns on Arkansas' White River, and we had heavy cloud cover and plenty of current, with four of eight turbines in Bull Shoals Dam turning. We wanted to throw Rogues and had an excellent jerkbait flow. We also were fishing with Cranor's Guide Service, which specializes in targeting big trout on the White and Norfork rivers.

Jumping straight to the outcome, nothing about the day disappointed. Throwing nothing but Smithwick Rogues, we caught at least a dozen browns in the 16- to 24-inch range, plus two that would have stretched past the 25-inch mark on a measuring tape. The two biggest fish, which both came late in the day, probably weighed 5 and 6 pounds, and both were males with beautiful color and big crazy-looking hookjaws. We also caught a couple dozen stocker rainbows and smaller browns.

The top-producing color, without question, was Avocado Shad, which, as the name suggests, is sort of an avocado green on the back with opaque white sides. It looks an awful lot like a stocker rainbow in the rainbow, which certainly might help explain the appeal to the big brown trout.

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