Trout Fishing guide:
“Fishing relaxes me. It’s like yoga, except I still get to kill something.”-Ron Swanson
Trout fishing is a great and inexpensive hobby. You don’t need a boat, fancy flies, or even a nice shiny pole. You can get all the gear you need for around $40. Some of my best poles and fishing tackle were picked up at yard sales for pennies on the dollar. As fishing goes, trout tend to be the easiest to catch. And fishing is a hell of a lot more fun when you are getting lots of bites and hooking fish right and left. If you are smart enough to figure out how to cast, then you shouldn’t have any trouble outthinking a trout.
Trout Fishing Tips:
1. Use a bobber with a Rooster Tail. People look at me like I’m crazy, but it works. You don’t need it for lakes, but it’s a necessity for fishing rivers and streams. The reason is that the Rooster Tail has a habit of sinking near the bottom and getting snagged on submerged logs, branches, and rocks. However, a bobber placed at the correct length will keep your Roster Tail submerged above debris. I have heard of people doing this with flies as well.
2. The best times for fishing are the early morning and the late afternoon.
3. Don’t walk in the water unless you have to and try to keep hidden from the fish.
4. Cast upstream and let your bait naturally float down.
5. Power Bait tends to only work on stocked trout, as opposed to native trout. However, nothing works better when it comes to stocked trout.
6. When you land a big trout, don’t try to reel it in as fast as you can. Doing so may cause the line to break. Avoid letting it get downstream from you since it can use the current to its advantage. If this happens, then your best bet is to follow it downstream.
7. Keep a variety of gear and bait in your tackle box. When I go fishing I like to keep a variety of flies, spinners, power bait, and more often than not some worms. Worms are perishable, however, you can keep them for up to a week or more in your refrigerator. The last time I went out I was using a rooster tail (as were the two guys fishing next to me). None of use were having any luck, although one of the guys said that he had great luck with his rooster tail in the same spot the day before. The guy on the opposite side of the bank was catching a trout every 5-10 minutes. I asked him what he was using and said worms. I quickly switched out my rooster tail for some worms and immediately started catching big trout. Lesson learned: variety is key. You never know what will work.
Trout Senses: Just because a river is clouded with silt doesn’t mean that you won’t catch anything. Trout have an incredible sense of smell and hearing. Just because it may be hard for them to see the bait, doesn’t meant that they can’t find it. When fishing in clouded water, it is best to use live bait over a fly or Rooster Tail. The reason being that trout won’t be able to hear, smell, or see the fly. They will, however, be able to hear and smell a live worm. Besides putting out a scent, worms also tend to move around. In doing so they put out vibrations in the water that attract fish.
Trout Fishing Environment: I once bought a book on trout fishing. The book talked extensively about what part of the river is the best place to find trout. It said that they like deep pools and rapids. It said that they like lots of shade and sun. None of this helped me because it basically just said that trout are everywhere. It only took the author 200 pages to say it. I have caught trout in every part of rivers and streams, but that doesn’t mean that you should fish every part of a river.
When fishing, a lot of time is wasted getting untangled. There is nothing more frustrating than losing your lucky Rooster Tail because it got caught on a log or rock. The first thing I consider when I go out fishing is what kind of fishing pole I will use. For example, I will take a short stubby pole if I know I’ll be bush whacking along the river. In these circumstances a short pole is desirable because it’s easier to maneuver through the brush, you don’t need a lot of room to cast, and since it’s a narrow river I don’t need to cast too far. This is much different than fishing on lakes where I need a larger pole that can cast farther out.
The most important thing to consider when it comes to the environment is what the fish will eat. For example, from experience I know that the fish in the river by my house like Rooster Tails, flies, and worms. However, the fish at my favorite lake couldn’t care less about Rooster Tails, flies, or even worms. No, for them it’s all about the Power Bait (preferably the green stuff). As such, it’s important to have a diverse tackle box. I keep several different kinds of Rooster Tails, flies, hooks, worms, and Power Bait.
I really can’t stress the importance of having the correct bait for the area. The last time I went out fishing I saw what looked to be a very competent fly fisherman get frustrated because he couldn’t catch anything. All the while there was a redneck in a lawn chair just yards away who was catching literally dozens of fish with Power Bait and a pink children’s pole. You know, the poles that are only a couple feet long and you push a button to cast.
Where to fish on the river: As previously stated, I have caught trout in every part of rivers from deep pools to rapids. However, some places are better than others. Finding the best spot to fish depends on what you are using. For example, my favorite spot to fish with a Rooster Tail is a point in the river where it runs straight and deep with few rocks and debris. I cast as far down river as I can and then reel it up against the current. Doing so keeps it off the bottom and keeps it spinning to attract the trout’s attention.
Fishing with worms is much different. When using worms, I cast upriver and let it gently float down. The ideal spot to fish is a place with a large back current, either behind a large rock or logjam. Doing so makes for easy fishing since your bait will remain in the same general area with little to no effort. It also means that you will have to reel in and cast less which equates to more time with the bait in the water. Large pools are also desirable for the same reason.
What kind of line to use: Many years ago I went out fishing with my uncle and little cousin. My uncle and cousin each caught 3 large trout (over 18 inches) in 20 minutes or less. I, however, just sat there like an idiot running low on excuses. We were all using the same bait and the same hooks, yet I wasn’t catching anything. I traded poles with my cousin and landed a huge trout within just a few minutes. The difference was that they were using fishing line with a 4 pound test. Whereas I was using line with a 12 pound test (I had been salmon fishing with the same pole and didn’t think to change out the line).
The smaller the pound test, the thinner the line is. Obviously, the thinner the line is the harder it is for the fish to see. However, the negative is that the thinner the line is, the more prone it is to break. If you are fishing in a clear lake, you should consider using a 4 pound test. In a murky/silty river you can get away with a 6 pound test.
Be Sociable: I once got a great deal on 30 odd fishing flies at a yard sale. I took them down to a popular fishing hole and tried my luck. Unfortunately, both I and the one other fellow there weren’t having much luck. After an hour I finally landed my first trout with one of my newly acquired flies. I told the man about the great deal I had just gotten on flies and gave him a few. A couple minutes later he started packing up his stuff and asked me if I would like to go to his other fishing hole. After following him in my truck for a good 30 minutes and doing a bit of bushwhacking , we were at his secret fishing hole, and boy were the fish jumping. Giving him a few flies resulted in finding a great new fishing hole and a new friend.