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Easy Tips on How to Catch Trout

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow TroutTrout fishing is usually depicted by seasoned anglers in waders standing in a creek or river artfully using a fly rod to deliver a fly accurately to where they believe a fish is laying in wait. But every year thousands of tourists flock to lakes and ponds that are stocked with trout just waiting to supply the thrill that will take them to a new level of interest in fishing for trout.

What do I need to fish for trout?

Now let’s first get one thing very clear, this article discusses the average guy on vacation with his family just trying to catch trout in a stocked lake or pond using the easiest methods available. We are not talking about fly-fishing for wild fish in streams and rivers. If you have never done this before we recommend finding a reputable outfitter and learn the equipment and the area before going it alone. We will be explaining how to run into a Wal-Mart or local sporting goods store to get everything you need to catch trout in a stocked lake. The first thing you need to get is a fishing license if one is needed in the area you are planning to fish. Many private lakes may not require them but public areas most likely will. Check the regulations and limits to avoid a hefty fine.

Lake Haviland Rainbow Trout

Noah Van Hochman with a nice Lake Haviland Rainbow Trout

Equipment for Trout fishing

When choosing a rod for trout fishing when on vacation you can usually get an inexpensive combo at Wal-Mart for about $25. I prefer about a 6 ½ foot rod that can handle an ultra light spinning reel with no more than 4-6 lb test monofilament line. My preference is 6 lb test as it can usually handle any snags or bigger fish I get myself into but is not too heavy to reduce chances of catching trout. If you are just on vacation and need a set up in a pinch these inexpensive combos are a good choice. Don’t concern yourself too much with the number of bearings of the reel of too much of technical issues as you are just trying to get out on the water and are not fishing a tournament. If you brought along better equipment from home you already know about the action of that rod and its accuracy.

What artificial lures should I use for trout?

I have had the most luck with the Worden’s Rooster Tail and Panther Martin spinners. I rarely go over 1/8 and prefer 3/16 ounce and will buy a few in various colors of both light and dark to adjust to water color or just keep trying to discover what the Trout seem to be hitting on at that lake at that time of the day. Remember you will be using very light line with very a very light lure so make sure that you will be able to cast sufficient distance with accuracy. There are plenty of great trout lures that you can purchase at local stores and I’m sure the local outfitters may have just what you need, but this article is written for the novice and the equipment mentioned should be found at most box stores such as Wal-Mart or Target.

What bait should I use for Trout?

Tricky question in deciding what bait to use for Trout fishing as a lot may depend on whether you are fishing in a stock lake or going for wild Trout. You also may use different methods when fishing moving water such as a stream or river as opposed the calm stillness of a lake. Worms, Minnows and Salmon eggs are always good bets as well as various insect larvae, but remember in trout stocked lakes the fish were raised being fed trout pellets so brands such as Berkley Power Bait or similar products usually out fish most other baits, I have not had great success with these baits on native Trout. For Native Trout many fly fisherman use the phrase “Match the hatch” to suggest spending some time to see what the trout may be feeding on during that time of year.

Lake Haviland, Durango Colorado

Places Like Lake Haviland near Durango CO are great places for the family to learn how to fish for trout

How catch Trout in a Stream

In moving water, pay careful attention to how the water flows. Generally moving water may create deeper pools that can hold some bigger fish. These holes may be found where the stream bends or is diverted in some fashion. You should also look for areas such as boulder in the stream from which Trout can ambush smaller fish or insects as the flow downstream along with the current. Mimic this by casting your bait upstream and let it flow back over these ambush areas. Keep repeating this process over all possible spots but don’t allow the bait just to sit in the water once it gets too much past the hole.

How to rig for Trout

Here’s where knowing the depth and type of bottom you are fishing can make a big difference. If the bottom is 10 feet or less and covered with thick plant growth you may consider using a bobber set up. A slip bobber is great if you want to play with the depth of your bait a bit. If you are using a floating power bait a split shot may be needed to keep it a set depth. I f the vegetation is sparse of relatively low, I like to use a rig with a weight on the bottom to assist in casting and a very light wire hook connected to the main line by 2 feet of light line about 2 ½ feet above the weight. This keeps your rig near the bottom but allow the bait to float up a foot or two. This rig seems to work great in stock trout ponds and lakes, it will also work with worms and minnows but I prefer a bobber set up with those baits. Just remember that light line with light hooks is the way to go. If you are fishing the stocked trout pond then don’t forget to mold the power bait around the hook, I like to start with about a size 8 or smaller.

Catch and release Trout fishing

First remember that some areas may not allow bait fishing or require barbless hooks. Always check the size and keep limits of where you are fishing. Also, many times these lakes are stocked with rainbow trout and too much time out of the water or a tough fight can often make it difficult to revive them, try your best to gently handle these fish if you want to release them. Also, carry a pair of forceps or small pliers as these small hooks are often buried deep in the fish and need extra care in removal.

Trout fishing whether you are on a family vacation or a seasoned fly fisherman usually puts one in close proximity to some of the most beautiful scenery you can imagine. In many places it takes no more than an inexpensive rod and reel combo and minimal equipment, perhaps a total of $25 dollars at Wal-mart and you and the kids can have the adventure of a lifetime!

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2 Responses to Easy Tips on How to Catch Trout

  1. Dee says:

    So, basically if a pond or lake has been stocked with Trout those little colorful pieces of play dough looking nuggets will simulate the pellets that they were feed at the hatchery?

  2. HikerGuy4 says:

    Yes, they work well with stocked fish and also have a scent to them. Just make sure the hook is completely covered.

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