Trout fishing for trophy-sized fish is hard work, but the rewards are worth it. Nearly all fishermen begin with worms. This bait is very good at times and sometimes it is the only thing that trout want, particularly in early spring. However, worms are not the best way to take the fish throughout the season. Worms are at their best when the water is high and colored, and in small, brushed-over brooks. They are also good in ponds where the trout rarely feed on the surface but can be taken with a worm fished on the bottom. The worm should always be lightly hooked with the ends free to wiggle.
In stream fishing it is often advisable to put on enough weight to make the worm drag along the bottom under the pull of the current. As you feel it touch the bottom, lift it a bit with the rod, and let the bait drift a bit farther, and then bring it in slowly. You are sure to get hung up often, but this method gets you down where the fish are.
In pond trout fishing drift slowly, letting the worm drag behind, with no sinker to deaden its action. Keep it close to bottom by letting it touch at frequent intervals, and then bringing it up a few inches. When you get snagged, as you often will, break the leader rather than disturb water where fish may be. In order to do this use a fairly light tapered leader, not heavier than IX at the point. Remember that trout hang out where the cover is good, among sunken logs and snags, and among rocks at the bottom. You must be prepared to lose tackle but this is a method which will get you fish.
Live minnows are often very effective bait for trout fishing and are very deadly on large brown trout at dusk and at night time; which trout rarely will rise to the fly. They are at their best in deep holes where the fish are lying on the bottom. In such places weight is needed to take the minnow down to where the trout are. They should be fished with slow, rhythmic tugs.
Brook Trout Tips
Spinners are effective for trout fishing when nothing else seems to interest them. The way they dart and shine through the water simulates a living minnow. They should be small in size, and while they can be handled with an ordinary fly rod if care is used, they are best fished with a long, powerful fly rod weighing from 5-1/2 oz. to 6 oz. Such a rod should be stiffer than the usual fly rod. In fishing with a spinner remember that it should be brought to the top of the water before making your back cast, for otherwise the strain will be too much for the rod. Cast a spinner across the stream, let the current take it down, keeping the line taut so that it will spin. Baiting it with worm or minnow sometimes helps or adding a fly. Retrieve by stripping the line in short bursts to generate flash from the spinner.
Though live bait works fine during the early season, in lakes as well as streams, I use worms or baitfish only if the trout are still deep. Once they move out of their wintering depths, I prefer to cast or troll the popular spinning lures and minnow-like plugs. Not only are they more acceptable to trout at this time, but casting or trolling the big waters allows for greater coverage of likely areas.
When spinning equipment is handled correctly, especially during the cold water periods early in the season, no other gear presents lures or bait more effectively. But it won’t do you much good unless you know where and how to use it. That, of course, depends on what the fish are up to – a factor which in turn depends on water temperature. This premise holds for lakes and ponds as well as typical trout streams and rivers. Using these tips for trout fishing will help you land more fish.