Although there is a wealth of knowledge available in book and on the internet about trout fishing techniques, much of it is overwhelming and above the level of most beginner anglers. The bulk of it is also geared specifically to fly anglers, and although fly fishing is a blast (and a great way to catch trout) – it’s not the only way.
We thought it would be a good idea to break down three simple techniques for trout fishing that anyone can use, no matter their experience level or tackle collection.
1. Inline Spinners
Small baitfish are a huge part of most stream trout’s diet, and they become even more important as trout get bigger. Inline spinners are one of the all-time best baitfish imitators, so it’s no wonder that they are tops when it comes to trout fishing. Inline spinners pack well, cast easily, and are actually pretty snag-free for lures with a treble hook. Classics like the Worden’s Rooster Tail, Mepps Aglia, and Panther Martin have accounted for countless trout over their storied histories. The good news is that they work just as well today.
2. Nymphs And Streamers
For fly fishermen, it can be easy to fall victim to the myth that the only good fly is a dry fly. Sure, the sight of a big brown rising to sip a dry fly off the surface is akin to holy communion at the church of Muir and Thoreau, but let’s be honest – if you only fish dry flies you’re gonna end up doing a lot more fishing and a lot less catching. Nymphs and other sub-surface food actually make up the bulk of most trout’s diet. Scuds, Woolly Buggers, soft plastic nymphs and bead-head nymphs are all excellent search patterns that will keep you on fish between hatches. If you’re unwilling to give up your dry flies altogether, you can easily fish a dropper rig with a small piece of tippet tied to the hook shank on your dry fly and a nymph – double the opportunities!
3. Live Bait
This may cause the hackles (pun intended) of the trout traditionalists to rise, but trout will absolutely destroy live bait presentations like minnows, night crawlers, and even crawfish. Where it’s legal, fishing with live bait will greatly speed up a beginners learning curve because the bites will be much more frequent. A simple split shot rig with a minnow or nightcrawler will often do the trick when nothing else is working.