Sunday, May 17, 2015


 (What sucker spawn looks like- corn colored tapioca)
Leviathan Big browns and bows are available usually in three venues in the A/A mode .1- Carnivores eating /kill artist hunting  big meat : bait fish other trout and mice- usually best in nocturnal situations.2- During a major hatch like the first ones of the season- ie. Hendrickson's, stones ,sulphers ; or long in duration big fly hatches like gray drakes/Hexagenia/Isonychia.3- Or in the " poaching" mode eating eggs behind larger migratory fish like salmon, steelhead and where they live in very good populations, SUCKERS: a.k.a. BUGLE NOSE/CHICAGO BROWN TROUT/LIPS ONLY A MOTHER COULD LOVE ETC.
On Michigan's Muskegon and Manistee, where enormous resident and migratory populations exist, spawning takes place in May once the waters hit 54F. They spawn right next to steelhead and on the same gravel. They also eat steelhead eggs , but when the suckers spawn on top of the steelhead redds, they do not disturb the previously laid steelhead eggs since they do not dig deep enough to disrupt the very carefully laid and buried trout eggs 
  ( a May egg poaching big brown laying on the lip of redds looking for steelhead, sucker eggs and dislodged nymphs )
So....find the gravel spawning suckers and rest assured you find big browns and bows lying in wait for the protein rich egg smorgasbord- plain and simple, if you like nymphing and want a real trophy! 
Several notes: once a trout has been hooked and released on sucker egg imitations, it will become extremely wary and selective/reflective. Another component of the biological drift released by the 'san Juan' shuffle of suckers spawning are mayfly and stonefly nymphs, caddis and midge larvae. The larger wiser trout eventually target the meatier nymphs and will ignore sucker eggs since they are so tiny. They will target the larger 'clumps' of sucker eggs, but the individual eggs are very, very tiny. They will become very tippet shy so fluorocarbon- 4lb/5x is advised. Be cognizant of the backwash, reverse upwelling currents the ledge off the gravel bar creates- the trout often face downstream looking for the upwelling biological drift 
It's not 'purest pursuits' - I'd rather fish dry flies myself, BUT!...if you are looking for a real trophy, now is the time for it.
( May sucker spawn box- Yellow McFly foam is perfect for the eggs tied in lobes on Daiichi # 14/16 x120 heavy hooks- also Chinook/trout fry will look for the eggs since they are so tiny and the big meat eater browns will hammer them in addition