During the months of October and November Brown Trout converge upon the various tributaries of Lake Ontario as they make their journey to spawning grounds. Eating on the plentiful food base found in the lake helps these fish to reach over 10 pounds and create an excellent fishing trip for anglers.
These fish will usually stay in the tributaries throughout the winter and into the month of May. At this point they will return to Lake Ontario and remain until the following fall. Numerous anglers take advantage of the easy fishing in the fall but fewer are aware of the opportunities to catch brown trout during the winter and spring months.
Towards the middle of October brown trout will move into the mouths of the various tributaries and work their way upstream. They will search for spawning salmon and then wait downstream for the eggs to float by. A simple technique for locating brown trout is to first find King Salmon. These fish are large and easy to see in the clear water. Then it is a matter of moving downstream a bit and try to hook up with one of the brown trout.
When the middle of November has arrived the brown trout has made their way upriver a few miles and begin to separate in order to find appropriate spawning spots. The spawning usually lasts for two weeks and then the fish return to the tributaries.
After the spawning period the brown trout are hungry and will readily hit a good fly. Their preference is to stay away from the heavy current but close enough that they can quickly hit a prey and retreat to the deep pools. Brown trout in this stage prefer to eat minnows or baitfish as well as insects native to water.
As December approaches most of the brown trout have found a spot to hold for the remainder of the winter. They become protective of their area and are not likely to move very far out until the water temperatures begin to increase in spring. The best time in winter to catch a brown trout is in the late afternoon when the water temperature has had a chance to improve a degree or two.