Rainy's Blog

THE MINNOW HATCH: Why Spring Season the Best Time for Streamers
(by Phil Tuttle)


Here is a quick summary of brown trout life history and you will see where I am going with this. Follow this logic and note the dates... they may become important to you this Spring.

NOTE: This will happen everywhere, but I used some of my local streams in Utah as the example. Adjustments will have to be made for your differing climate, elevation, temperatures, etc... I used a river at that ranged from 4,500' elevation to 6,500' elevation.

The LOGIC, the time frame, the miracle:

1) Late October- Mid November: = Browns are going bonkers on the gravel making babies. Females lay eggs in the gravel. Take note... Low elevation streams (in UT) at say ~4,000'-4,500' are warmer than high elevation streams at say 6,500' + Makes sense right?! Stay with me.

2) Late Oct-Late April: Eggs are incubating in the gravel. Due to warmer temperatures, egg incubation times are SHORTER and fry emerge from gravel EARLIER at lower elevation spawning sites than at higher elevation spawning sites.

3) Early May 1st- Early June (low elevations first then high elevations later) MASS fry emergence occurs (depending on water temperatures)!!!! Do you get what I am throwing down? MASS fry emergence and mass biomass and mass minnow mania and mass scrumptious morsels swimming around like, "where am I"!!

Ever wonder why brown trout go bonkers for streamers in the spring time? It is THE hatch that is actually...a "HATCH". Brown trout fry are tiny when they first emerge, but will quickly grow into the minnows you are hoping to imitate. If you time this right, you could have some of the most epic streamer fishing of your existence. Good luck and happy streamer fishing!


Phil grew up in central Utah and is a self-taught fly angler. He is a Fisheries Biologist, a Guide, Loop Global Team Pro Staff Member, Fly Innovator, and a skilled Videographer/Video Editor. His passion for conservation, travel, youth fishing programs, and fly fishing drive his desire to promote the sport in diverse and out-of-the-box ways.