Merwin: Brown Trout Battle Plan

This morning I’m fishing for advice on catching brown trout. Here’s the deal. One of my favorite bass lakes also holds a number of large browns. Right now in the cold, clear waters of early spring, the trout are cruising the shoreline drop-offs chasing baitfish. These browns are skittish and easily spooked. They are also serious fish–from 2 on up to 6 or 7 pounds and more.

I could slow-troll something along the drops, but I think in that case the boat and motor might be spooking fish. Or I could position the boat for a slow, quiet wind-driven drift along shore, casting something like a Rapala or a big streamer fly. I could also anchor and hope one or two fish eventually cruise into range. I could fish live baits patiently. I could cast hard jerkbaits aggressively.

So help me out with a plan here. What’s the best way to catch these things? And what’s going to be the best lure? I won’t be able to get back out on that water until sometime next week, but I’ll happily take the best of your suggestions and give them a whirl….