brown-trout-pattern-minnow-crankbait-painted-with-autoair-paintsNow and then I get asked how to paint a brown trout pattern for a minnow style crankbait, so I thought I’d post a picture and a recipe that you guys can follow to paint your own brown trout pattern.

Now, there are lots of variations of this color scheme, and that’s because the natural brown trout is so highly variable in it’s own coloration. They range from olive green to dark brown on the back, silvery sometimes (especially sea-run trout). On the sides they can be green, brown, silver, golden or orange. They can be heavily or lightly spotted and the spots can be light or dark, with or without white margins ……you get the picture.

But there is a story behind the brown trout pattern that I’m going to show you in this post. You see, as a young aquatic scientist I once met a fellow who specialized in trout biology. One of the things I learned from him was that quickly trout can change color – it can happen in seconds. And one of the things that prompts these changes is territorial behavior.

You see, brown trout in a stream or lake have a pecking order, and the larger, more aggressive fish claim the best spots. These fish tend to be darker in color. When another fish challenges them the loser will become very pale in color and slink back to a lower position.

So when you throw a lure painted with a pale brown trout pattern into the territory of a large, dominant trout it gets seen as being a weaker fish that is trying to challenge. The natural reaction of the bigger fish is to be aggressive towards the weaker intruder. And if that doesn’t tell you how to use this lure, I don’t know what does!

Brown Trout Pattern: Paint Recipe

I have airbrushed the brown trout pattern shown in the photo above using AutoAir brand colors, although there are equivalent Createx and wicked colors you could use. The following is the color combination I’ve used:

  • Sub-base: Autoair Brite White over light sealer
  • Base: Pearl white
  • Sides: Transparent yellow
  • Back: Metallic burnt orange toned with a small amount of pearl black
  • Gills: Add a little more pearl black to the color used on the back
  • Spots: Brite white base with flame red and deep black spots


Both the construction of this lure and the painting are provided as video tutorials in my