Duck Mountain Trophy Browns

Laurie Lake- Part Two

I had deliberately delayed my ride home a day so I could get a chance to fish with Ryan Suffron of Alpine Country Outfitters. Working out of his home south of Benito at the base of the Duck Mountains has allowed Ryan to become an expert on the different trout species that exist out his back door.  Funny, but on this day, he too wanted a crack at the big brown trout that exist in Laurie Lake. In fact the Manitoba length record brown of 31 inches comes from this beautiful lake.
Ryan fishes out of 16 foot aluminum boat that will launch into most of the lakes in the region. It’s also equipped with front and back troll motors which allow him to make sure to abide by the electric only rules that apply to a number of lakes in the region. So when you hire Ryan, you know that you will be fishing in comfort.
What impressed me as the day went along was how Ryan read the water and controlled his boat in the wind and with the wind. When the fish are in shallow he likes to cast but when the fish are along the first drop off like they were on this day, he uses a reverse drift to present our dropper fly rigs to the deeper fish. On this day we marked most of the fish along a 12 foot transition line from harder to softer bottom. By letting our flies drift down behind the boat we were able to cover all depth ranges with a very subtle presentation.

As luck would have it, I had on the first brown of the day, a large fished that wallowed to the surface from 14 feet before throwing the hook. Not to be discouraged Ryan quickly got the boat back up to the top of the drift and this time I made no mistake, hooking and landing a beautiful 22 inch brown.

After a couple more drifts with no takes Ryan took us into a flush area between the mainland and an island. On the one side of the island Ryan backed us into the wind.  Tick, tick, wham was the bite on Ryan’s small back fly, a blue leech pattern.
Another big brown was on the end of the line, with Ryan guiding the fish from side to side during the fight with his 10 foot fly rod.  Around and around the boat this fish went, finally sliding into the waiting net. Another trophy brown was in the boat, a classic story from the Duck Mountians.
For more information on Ryan and his fly fishing guide service, visit his website at: