Dedicated To The Outdoors

Assorted Fishing Tips

After spring flows subside, trout streams run clear and trout are harder to catch. A prerequisite for any small-stream presentation is to avoid spooking fish, especially old hook-jaw browns that are known to be wary. Stream fishing for trout is a version of cat and mouse–you’re the cat. These are the general rules: Wear camouflage clothing that blends with the background of the day. Avoid white, yellow, or fluorescent colors, especially on hats and shirts.

Approach holding areas from angles underneath, behind, or outside the trout’s range of vision. Stay low. Keep natural objects like vegetation logs and trees between you and the fish to conceal your presence. Walk softly and avoid breaking sticks to minimize ground vibrations. Move slowly. If possible, keep your rod low and parallel to the water when casting. Cast to lies from as far away as your casting ability allows. Cast relatively far upstream of lies. The closer your cast is to the trout, the quieter your lure entry into the water must be.

Try imitations of terrestrial insects, aquatic nymphs, small spinners, or light jigs with livebait. Feather your line with a finger as the lure flies, increase pressure as it nears the target, and stop it inches above the water.

Remember they have a small mouth so your lures shouldn’t be more than about 2.5″ in length and 1/4 oz. in weight using #10 or #12 hooks. With Light or Ultra Light rod cast your line about 20′ from the boat, allow your lure to sink to the bottom with your bail open, then begin to reel in slowly. You want to remain very, very close to the bottom, so just give two soft jigs with an upward motion, and then let the line sink back to the bottom, while reeling in excess slack line. Once your line is beneath you, let it remain there while jigging, and they will hit it. Landing them is another story!

1. Troll Slowly: Big fish will not expend any more energy than necessary to catch a meal. Also, most lures will not perform correctly at fast speeds. The best advice is to troll S-L-O-W-L-Y, the slower the better. Many expert trollers, particularly when fishing for trout, refuse to use a motor because they feel it’s just too fast. They use oars instead. However, if you must use a motor, make sure it will throttle down to a crawl, or, better yet, purchase a multi-speed electric motor or a one- or two-horse gas motor. You can use this for trolling and save the large one for power.

2. Vary Your Speed: While slow is the password, this does not mean slow all the time. A lure running through the water at a constant speed, at a constant depth and giving off the same vibration pattern will not catch many fish . . . there’s just nothing there to indicate an easy meal is available or that something is in trouble. Slowly, yes, but adjust your speed every few minutes to change the lure’s speed and vibration pattern.

3. Work In “S” Curves: Consistent trolling results require that you do everything possible to keep from running in a straight line. We recommend an “S” pattern because every time the troll and lure are on the inside swing of the boat, they will drop deeper and slow down. On an outside turn, they will speed up and rise. With each turn, you will impart a different action to the troll and trailing lure, signaling meal time to nearby fish.