Learning how to fish for trout can be fun, and the trout can make for a very tasty meal afterwards. But you have to realize that it is a never-ending process, as no one knows absolutely everything there is to know about how to catch trout. Even the most grizzled veteran can learn something new. The best way to catch trout may change depending on where you do your fishing, and different conditions may come with different results.
In any case, the best way to learn as much as you can about is by having a mentor to teach you the ropes. You can go with them as you fish so you can pick up on various trout fishing tips along the way. While your mentor can guide and talk you through the various steps, you also have someone with you to pass along the time while you enjoy the great outdoors.
Of course, some people also like to regard trout fishing as a solitary experience. If you want to go at it on your own, have at it. Here are some steps you need to take:
Getting the Right Equipment
You’ll want to go to a sporting goods store first, so you can get the things you’re going to need. It may be better if you go to a store that focuses mainly on fishing, so you can pick the brains of the people who work there. They’re more likely to give you great recommendations on what kind of rods, reels, and tackles to get that would be best for trout fishing. They can also teach you to rig up your tackle by tying on a barrel swivel with a rudimentary clinch knot instead of an overhand knot.
Also, the fishing goods store is a great place to get your fishing license, which you’re going to need. You’ll need to get a copy of the local regulations and restrictions issued by your state, which you can get from the wildlife management department. Follow the law so you don’t get into legal trouble. Also, by following the regulations you can help keep the local ecosystems and fish populations productive.
You may also want to shop online, where the price is usually lower for equipment because the sellers don’t have to pass on their considerable overhead costs to you. Here you will need to use Google extensively, so that you can read reviews on the various trout fishing equipment you’re planning to buy.
To make it easy on yourself, get a rod and reel combo, and have it pre-spooled with line. Get something light, and you can check the weight oriented on the tackle. It should weight somewhere between 2 to 8 pounds. Make sure you get a net too.
Finding a Location
You can ask the people at the sporting goods store where the best places are for fishing for trout. The booklet you get from the wildlife department should also contain info regarding rivers with trout near your location.
As a beginner, your best bet is to find a river that’s stocked with trout. Your chances of catching trout are better if the river is stocked and besides there are usually some stricter restrictions when it comes to rivers with naturally producing trout populations.
Visit the river first your first time out, and scout for suitable spots. A stocked river usually attracts lots of fishing enthusiasts, so you can ask around and get some tips. They may tell you about which trout lures to use, although usually the best trout bait is live bait.
You should also check the weather before you head out. While of course the fish will bite even in inclement weather it may be more comfortable for you if the weather is nice. If the weather is windy, you can use crickets or grasshoppers as bait. You can also use earthworms, especially right after a rainstorm when there are lots of them washed into the river.
Usually, the best spots for are accessible clearings on the shoreline. Find areas in the river where the currents converge, where the depths change, or where the patches of deep water are moving slowly.
Make sure your equipment is rigged properly before you head on out. You should also have practiced casting with your equipment. If you haven’t mastered it yet, look at the other fishers and see how they do it.
Once you get there, you can find the live bait you need. You may also bring along some artificial lures, but you have to make sure that these lures are allowed for your particular location. Some places have stricter restrictions to protect the trout population numbers.
When you cast, do so upstream so the bait appears more lifelike. Head about 30 to 50 feet downstream from the visible fish, and cast upstream past the fish. Trout usually face upstream, so your position is unlikely to be seen by the fish and they’re more likely to see your bait instead.
Keep your eyes focused on the tip of your rod, and use your peripheral vision for the line. You’ll know you’ve got a bite when you feel a big pull on the rod tip. When that happens, quickly jerk the rod tip a foot or two to set the hook. Reel in the trout slowly. Maintain the rod tip above your head, because if the rod tip gets low the trout may be able to get off the hook as it wildly thrashes around. Reel it in to shore and gently scoop it up with your net.
There’s usually a 20-minute rule for particular spots. If the spot isn’t biting for 20 minutes, try another spot instead. If you get a bit at a particular spot, or if you spook the fish inadvertently, let that spot “rest” for 20 minutes before you come back to that spot again. Try another spot in the meantime.
Keep or Release?
Your booklet may also have rules regarding the trout you catch. Stocked fish may usually be kept, but you should eat it. The fish you don’t plan to eat should be released carefully instead.