Getting schooled by some smart brown trout teaches you lots. Sometimes just stopping and watching them can give you a clue about what they are dining on! On the long weekend, I was camping out west of Red Deer with my family! I wanted to fish along one of our few spring creeks in the evening. There were brown trout actively feeding. It seemed that on each stretch, the browns were focussed on something different! One one stretch it was caddis, on another small pale morning dunes and on yet another stretch it was brown drake emergers.
If you stop and watch the trout rise for a bit, you can tell if they are cycling and if they are eating on the surface or just below it.
I have also learned not to cast unless you see an active fish and have a plan. Randomly casting will just spook the browns and they will be gone.
If you see a bubble in the rise form, the trout are probably eating on the surface, if there is a dimple, look carefully and see if they are actively feeding on emergers!
This brown was eating very small bugs off of the surface and also just below the surface.
A brown drake emerger finally got this brown. Caddis, brown drake duns, PMDs did not get the hook up.