Trout fishing is a sport or hobby anyone can pick up. Unlike other fishing methods, you don’t need to charter a boat, a guide, locator or costly tackle.
All that’s needed are some night crawlers, a boxful of hooks, a spin casting outfit and boots.
And if you don’t catch any during your first try that’s okay; just keep doing it and you’ll get some, but it starts by learning the trout’s habits.
Learn About Trout
There are many kinds of trout, but the most common ones are the rainbow trout, brown trout and brook trout.
- Brook trout are usually found in small streams with high water quality, and you’ll also find some in shallow riffle and ponds. Usually you can find them near in-stream vegetation and are characterized by their aggression, which makes for an easy catch. They’re smaller than rainbows and browns, and a 14-inch trout is a huge catch. If you’re fishing in medium and large streams, look for them in major springs and headwaters.
- Brown trout are very abundant, but they are more wary than the brook and if they spot your shadow on the water, they’ll hide for a couple of hours at least, so patience is required. Their favorite covers are fallen trees and undercut banks, and you’ll also find them in shallows and deep pools during late afternoons and early mornings. Brown trout are bigger than brook and rainbows, with 14 to 18-inch fish not uncommon, and there are 25-inch fish as well. Regardless of their sizes, they almost always feed on mayflies, caddis flies and other insects.
- The rainbow trout is usually found in large bodies of water, fast currents and streams. The rainbow trout is well known for tail walking, and it’s quite exciting to catch one. There are many ways to do this, but for beginners you should stick with a light spinning tackle.
How to Get Started
Start by getting a map of the area where you’re going to fish. These are available online, wildlife management offices, parks and fisheries, and there are also other resources online that will tell you where trout can be spotted.
Once you’ve got the map, use a monofilament line no more than 6-pound test for muddy or cloudy water and no more than 4-pound test for clear waters.
Next, fill up your reel with heavy line backing and add 30 yards of light line at the end. If the line gets worn out just replace it.
Here are a few more things to keep in mind:
- Use #10 to #14 size hooks and avoid the shank long sunfish as those are too obvious.
- The reel has to be clean so the line moves easily from the spool.
- Make sure your gear is in proper working order.
Tackle and Bait
Each angler has his/her own idea for the best method to catch trout, but for the beginners there’s no need to get all fancy about it.
A good fishing outfit will include a light, fast spinning rod 4 to 5 feet long and a spin casting or light duty spinning reel with 4 to 6 lb. test line.
You’ll also need #10 to #14 shank hooks and some split shots in case you have to put the bait in swift water.
Finally you’ll need a knife and canvas reel.
As for the bait, your best option is the night crawler. They’re easy to find and are ideal for a long cast.
Worms are much harder to cast, but water worms and hellgrammites are good alternatives. Though the two can be a bit hard to find in the middle of summer, they’re ideal for drift fishing.
Put half a crawler at the hook’s end and go to the water quietly. Your approach has to be from downstream and away so you’re concealed from the fish.
Now you just need to cast upstream and let the crawler naturally drift to you. Since your line is floating you’ll be able to determine if there’s a bite.
If you’re careful and don’t make a lot of noise, you might be able to catch more than a single trout in the area. If you disturb the water though, you have to try trout fishing at another location.