A meal worm is not the first meal choice of a brown trout over 4 pounds. Like most humans, when a brown trout cruises out from under his shadow infested haunt, he wants a mouthful of meat. Most of the time, a big bruiser will have to settle for a creek chub or a smaller trout, even though they would much prefer to chase a clumsy frog, or a mouse that tripped off the bank and found his way into the drink.
Big browns are like big snakes, they eat something huge, and then they relax for prolonged periods of time. Big browns will eat smaller flies, but only when they are abundant enough to justify the energy expended on them. Most of the time, they hunt creek chub and other small trout that they catch off guard and inhale. Despite this fact, most anglers continue to use small, little fat head minnows when chasing their trophies. Besides being incredibly annoying to handle and hook, fat heads don’t have enough heft to get a trout over 6 pounds truly interested in an attack.
To really get a big brown riled up, you need to use lures that most reserve for chasing bass. The most productive of these lures are medium sized hard baits, like husky jerks, shad raps, and in shallower streams, jointed floating rapalas. The key to these lures is their action, a big fish that ignores a spinner moving slowly past his face will aggressively maul a jointed rapala jerked past him, he just can’t deprogram his instincts fast enough to avoid the treble hooks of a well retrieved jerk bait.